Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Family Options, Letters from Vietnam, and a Thanksgiving Day Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “opt.” Use it as a word or find a word with “opt” in it and base your post on that. Have fun!

Have fun, because misery is optional.

We opted out of family Thanksgiving with extended family. It was me and David and Mama Cat who slept through dinner. (Mama Cat slept, not David and me.) We made an almost vegan dinner with stuffed acorn squash and a roasted cauliflower. David made an apple pie. There was a little butter somewhere which was not vegan and humane certified hard boiled eggs in the stuffing.

But that is not what I was going to write about. I was going to say that we always have options. But some people have fewer or more options than others. I was going to write about mask wearing options and how it annoys me when people wear a mask below their nose, but maybe they have a chronic respiratory illness….. I don’t know.

I’ve been reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam for NaNoWriMo research which has slowed considerably to a trickle, but has not stopped. And will not stop for more than a day, because I’m rolling slowly along. Gathering no moss so far.

My dad had options in Vietnam, but not many. Most were about attitude and whether to pray. Mom was having nervous breakdowns while he was there. It was an awful year, and we moved a lot that year. My dad did have the (illegal) option of deserting, or “bugging out.” But that option was so distasteful, so full of way worse consequences of shame and dishonor, that it probably felt he had no choice. He chose to make a commitment to the Marine Corps and to honor that commitment, to do his job well. But it was so hard. He had also promised my mom he would come home to her and us kids. He had orders to return fire, not knowing who might be killed. He was the only enlisted Marine (a Gunny, not an officer) in charge of a platoon in his company. He was a natural leader who would be haunted by nightmares for the rest of his life by what happened in Vietnam. I’m so proud of him and my mom who were half a world apart on Thanksgiving and Christmas when Dad was in Vietnam. They did a lot of good service work together after Dad retired.

My dad in Vietnam (1967) He lost about 40 pounds there.

I feel like I’ve spent more time lately with my deceased parents, through Dad’s letters, than other family members living outside of my household. Maybe for now, that’s okay. For now.

What happened to having fun? Fun is different now than it was when I was a kid, or a teenager, or in my twenties or thirties. Fun can be relaxing and watching a movie. Or taking a hike on Thanksgiving Day. Like this one at our neighborhood creek:

A pair of ducks
Graffiti on a drainage pipe

A pair of old hikers

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and maybe even some options, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 28/2020 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: The Lord of the Rings and Letters from Vietnam

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check,

but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday

deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…

small acts of kindness and love.”

Gandalf in The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Today’s prompt is the word, “ring,” to be used in any form and to have fun with.

Fun comes in many forms. One way I have fun is to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Being a huge fan, I can watch these movies over and over again, especially the parts with the elves.

LOTR is about heroism, good winning over evil, sacrifice, fellowship, loyalty, natural magic, and more set in a place that allows me to escape the things I want to escape from that I will not mention. But the qualities and messages are still relevant in reality.

There’s a scene toward the end of the trilogy when Sam and Frodo are exhausted and don’t know if they will survive. They reminisce about their sweet home, The Shire. Sam imagines the goldilocks girl, barmaid he would like to marry. The reminiscing starts at 1 minute. Be sure to watch til the end when the Eagles come!

Coincidentally, but not really, I’ve been reading about all these things in my dad’s letters from Vietnam since Veterans Day.

I’m reading them for research for the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Reading the letters is slowing me down, but it needs to be done this way. So what if I don’t write 50,000 words by Nov. 30? It will be okay.

My dad’s letters show how much he adored my mother. He writes of dreaming of her constantly while asleep and while awake in Vietnam. It almost seems like he puts her on a pedestal. The dreams and images of her keep him going, keep him sane, and give him hope to stay alive to come home to her.

I watched a video about another guy talking about doing this in Vietnam, dreaming about his girlfriend kept him going, sane, alive. Let see if I can find it…. The speaker, Dr. Earhart, was a high school teacher after he got back. Toward the end of the video, at around 13 minutes, he talks about the girlfriend that had sent him a “Dear John” letter. The whole video is eye opening.

My dad’s letters mention that a lot of guys got “Dear John,” letters. Maybe that’s why he expressed so much love for my mom in his letters and always signed them,

All My Love,

Your Husband Forever,

Jim

When things are going badly, when we don’t know what’s going to happen, even when it seems like we might not make it, dreaming of a better future, imagining holding our loved ones in our arms, being with family in our homeland, these are legitimate coping skills. Valuable survival skills. And so we keep on doing those small acts of kindness and love to keep the darkness at bay whenever and wherever we might be.

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and such, please visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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SoCS: The Road to Fruition is Lined with Caladiums

Our Stream of consciousness prompt for today is: “-tion.” Find a word that ends with “tion.” Bonus points if you start your post with it. Have fun!

Fruition takes time. Fruition is one of the words I thought of when I read the prompt. There was also communication, action, imagination….. I recently did a one-liner on imagination. Creation is a word close to my heart. But fruition keeps tugging at me.

When we want something badly, we don’t want it to take a lot of time. But fruition is about growing into, becoming, developing. There’s a readiness that needs to happen. Like in my memoir. 39 years is a long time, but a lot happened in the meantime. Life flows up and down, around and under, twisting on The Long and Winding Road which is one of my favorite songs.

My garden veggies are not coming to fruition as I’d hoped. David says it’s because there isn’t enough sunlight on account of all the trees. We cut some back, but maybe we’ll have to cut more in the winter. Not cutting any big ones mind you. Mostly we’ll cut privet. The basil has done well and the ginger seems to be growing nicely. The zucchini plants have plenty of leaves and beautiful flowers, but no zucchini. Maybe we’ll try spinach.

The caladiums have done great.

Behind the elephant ears are basil and ginger on the left, and maybe squash leaves coming through the fence. Maybe we let the squash vines get too long. I don’t know.

Prayers come to fruition over time, but not always how we expect. A few nights ago I stood in my backyard in the dark praying hard about a family issue regarding one of my adult children. The angels heard me. God heard me. Jesus heard me. I felt a bit of relief that comes when you can’t deal with it any more and have to trust a Power greater than yourself. Things have improved, and I am reminded that sometimes things have to get messed up before they can get better.

The long and winding road continues to twist and turn, and I will enjoy the caladiums. And the basil.

May all your best dreams, hopes and prayers come to the best possible fruition.

One more thing. US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87. She was a strong pioneer for equality and justice. She lived a life that came to abundant fruition.

For more streams of consciousness, and the rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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Good News Tuesday May 19, 2020: Gifts for Health Care Workers, Car-Free Roads, Bella’s Back Home, and Sunshine for Grandma

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Free Gifts for Health Care Workers

Free vacations, crocs, and free rides are some of the gifts companies are donating to health care workers.  For example, JetBlue is giving away 100K pairs of roundtrip airline tickets to healthcare heroes. You can read more about the gifts here. 

Cities Around the World Make More Roads Car-Free

Bogota, Budapest, Paris, Milan and Seattle are among the cities designating more car-free roads and pathways for biking and walking and making many of these initiatives permanent. Read more about these “eco-silver linings” at the Good News Network .

Bella’s Back Home

Australian Shepherd Bella woke her family up the night of the tornado, but they couldn’t get her to come into the bathtub with them for safety. Maybe she was hiding under the bed. After the tornado, Bella was nowhere to be found. After 50 days, a church friend and dog rescuer spotted her in an alley and put out some really good food which led to the family reunion. Watch this video for details about Bella.

You Are My Sunshine

For mother’s day, a family sang “You Are My Sunshine” to their 87-year-old grandmother from outside her assisted living apartment. Other residents came out and joined in from their balconies.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

*Update: Please see the link in Maggie’s comment below about portable sinks for people experiencing homelessness.


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Five Spirit Dogs

I started this poem many months ago after Doodle crossed over and updated it last week for Mary Moo. The waves of grief come further apart now. I no longer check Mary’s room every day. David and I reminisce about the pack, their antics, and individual peculiarities. Fond memories are starting to match the sadness. Maybe some day fond memories will prevail.

back cover painting (4)

Mary Moo, Jesse, Doodle, Beep, and Oreo.  (Back cover painting for Trust the Timing.)

 

Must love dogs, she said.

Be careful what you wish for.

My soul mate’s three joined my two

For a crazy blended family.

The five pack struggled to mesh.

Who was in charge?

The humans of course!

So we thought.

 

Little Mary Moo had been the boss.

Doodle, food-obsessed coon hound,

Taught her otherwise.

Possessive Beep and Neurotic Oreo were buds.

Golden Boy Jesse shared guard duty.

The five pack adapted.

Dog love flourished,

With episodic bedlam.

 

My golden boy was the first to leave.

He used to love to run on the beach,

But his old legs wouldn’t work anymore.

Then there were four.

 

Quiet Oreo left us next.

His lovable heart gave out.

No more thunder storms to terrify.

Then there were three.

 

Beep missed Oreo,

But she still had a pack to herd

Until she could walk no more.

Then there were two.

 

We thought Doodle would be last,

Being so loud and full of life.

I bet she took that rainbow bridge in a single bound.

And then there was one.

 

Mary Moo was once a feisty girl.

Almost 18, deaf and blind,

She kept looking for something she lost.

Maybe that squirrel she caught long ago.

 

Our five spirit dogs

Now live on the other side

of the rainbow bridge,

Not waiting idly.

 

Jesse swims in mountain lakes.

Oreo doesn’t have to be scared anymore.

He’s running with his friend, Beep.

Doodle is friends with everyone.

Mary Moo chases squirrels like lightening.

 

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse

oreo (2)

Oreo

 

Beep

Beep

Doodle w foot on head

Doodle

 

Mary Moo at the Boone Dog park (2)

Mary Moo

 

Rainbow Bridge

 


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Good News Tuesday, 3/10/20: A Hospital’s Compassion, Meals for First Responders, Earth Friendly Alternatives, and Our Weekend In the Mountains

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Tennessee Hospital Will Not Charge Tornado Victims

Cookeville Regional Medical Center will not be charging patients for medical care resulting from last week’s deadly tornados. Insurance companies will be billed, but not the patients.  “If they don’t have insurance, they will not be charged.”

Here’s more of the story from ABC News. 

Meals for Event Spectators Sent to Nashville First Responders

Meals prepared for a bodybuilding show in Ohio where donated to first responders in Nashville. Meals had been prepared for 200,000 people, but the show was prohibited from allowing general public spectators in order to contain the coronavirus, so they decided send the food to Nashville in refrigerator trucks. Here are the details. 

 

Palm Oil Alternative

Bill Gates has invested in a company producing an alternative to palm oil to help reduce deforestation. C16 Biosciences uses a fermentation process to make the product. Here’s more on the palm oil alternative. 

Sustainable Oats

“Research has shown that oats crops are far more sustainable than the production of coconut, almond, or rice milk.”  GNN

Hälsa Foods, a Swedish company based in Florida, uses oats as a dairy substitute for their organic yogurt. They’re offering help to small, struggling dairy farmers who want to convert their pastures to oat crops.   Read more from the Good News Network.  

Our Mountain Weekend

In personal good news, we spent the weekend in the mountains and took  care of my granddaughter and grand dog for an overnight. We also got to spend time with my son and daughter-in-law, and we even got to see snow! David loved walking grand dog  “Rumpke” whose name was inspired by the band, Rumpke Mountain Boys.

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Plus, I got to swim at the Y, and my granddaughter learned to float on her back, swam under the pool rope, and did a cannonball!

What’s YOUR good news?

Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: Infinity, Time Travel, Doggie Dementia, and the Circle of Life

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “figure.” Use the word “figure” any way you’d like. Have fun!

Go figure. So many ways to use that word, figure. The first thing I thought of was the figure 8. Turned on its side, it’s the sign for infinity.  ∞  is what it looks like from my symbols icon panel.  I bet I can find a better one. Maybe pixabay has one.  Oh yeah, that was a fun little diversion from the stream.

infinity symbol from pixabay

Infinite possibilities in infinite combinations. Where does that line come from? Star Trek maybe. Sounds like something I might have read in a ST novel. Spock might have said it. Maybe I’ll look it up later. Don’t want to divert again right now.

I’m typing this on Friday morning from my home away from home in the mountains. The snow is coming down steadily as I look out my window to the balcony. It’s amazing that I’m here right now. If I could go back in time to myself in say, 1972 or 2001 which were some of my toughest times and tell myself it’s all going to be okay, better than you could imagine! I would, and I will send that message back. I’m imagining putting my arms around that lonely confused teenager and the lonely confused divorced woman many years after that and telling them, “It’s going to be okay. Better than you can even imagine! But you’re going to go through some stuff. It’s not going to be easy, but you can do it. You are strong.”

Wow, I didn’t know that was going to come out.

If you could go back in time to any point in your life, what would you tell yourself?

I’m writing this Friday morning because by grand daughter will be here this afternoon and we’re going to have a sleep over. It’s going to be wild and crazy, but also cozy with bedtimes stories. My grand dog is coming too so my son and his wife can have an out of town date night.

We brought Mary Moo with us. She’s sleeping and it’s 10:19. She’s two months from being 18 and has had some rough nights. Don’t know how much longer she’ll be with us. I read an article about what if we treat death like birth. Maybe I’ll go find it in a minute. It’s been useful in preparing for the coming death of my little mutt, Mary who is the last of our five pack. Taking care of Mary, who is deaf, mostly blind, demented, and has accidents, is like taking care of a baby. We just accept it. That has helped.

Mary Moo doesn’t make figure 8s. She makes circles that get tighter over time. She always circles to the left because of her dementia. Like the circle of life. She’s starting to stir now and I should get her up and take her out for a little walk in the snow with her old wobbly legs and circles to the left.  I’ll be back here after I take her out and see if I can find that article on death and birth.

Well, she’s not quite ready to get up yet. I can understand that.

Here’s the article: What if We Treated Death Like Birth?

 

#SoCS is brought to us by our excellent host, Linda G. Hill. For more information, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-7-2020/

Here are the rules:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
8. Have fun!


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A Children’s Book, Loving Energy, and Body Alignment (#SoCS)

socs-badge-2019-2020

From SoCS host, Linda Hill: “….our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cheek.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Enjoy!”

There’s a children’s book called The Kissing Hand. It’s about a little raccoon who is afraid to go to school because he doesn’t want to be away from his mom. His mom kisses the palm of his and and says that whenever he is lonely or nervous, he can put the palm of his hand, the place where she kissed him, on his cheek and remember that his mother loves him.

I must’ve gotten this book for one of my children who was nervous about starting school at least 20 years ago. Children’s picture books are special to me, so I keep my favorites. I believe it’s at the mountain house where I took most of my children’s books since that’s where I’m most likely to spend time with my grand kids.

The Kissing Hand story got me thinking about how powerful the mind can be, especially when we have a physical cue, like kissing a hand and then putting it on the cheek. Is there real energy in that kissed spot? Energy of love that can be transferred to the cheek? Reiki works a little like that, but residual energy?

Anything is possible.

What we do know is that the mind is very powerful in healing and mood. Thoughts are powerful and can influence the body.

I have a bad habit of biting on the inside of my mouth around my inner cheek area. I can go for years without this happening, but it’s surfaced lately, maybe because I’m too busy, way busier than I ever imagined being retired. Too many interests I guess. Or is there more to it? Maybe I’ll come back to that.

I’ve told myself to stop biting the inside of my mouth. I’ve prayed for help with this since it seems to be an addiction of sorts. A nervous habit? The problem happens when I put my tongue in my cheek. Funny, I don’t like the figurative meaning of that expression because I don’t like sarcasm.  It’s dishonest. Oh, I’ve used sarcasm occasionally, but not when things are important, serious, or could be misunderstood.

Anyway, when I keep my tongue away from my cheek… wait let me go back. When my tongue feels an imperfection, a bump of some kind, that’s when the biting starts. So, if  I just keep my tongue lined up forward, I’m better off. I’ve started breathing with imagery of a vertical line. This relates to something I read about chakras and energy  (qi/chi?) moving up the front of the body and down the back of the body.  I’m sure there are people who know a lot more about this than me, and I’m resisting the urge to look it up because what I really want to get to is this:

When I inhale imagining energy moving up the front of my body, cresting at the top of my head, and flowing down the back of my body, it feels really good. I don’t know why. Maybe it helps me sit or stand straighter. My head seems to go back a little, or maybe it’s just energy moving, aligning my osteoporotic whatever  posture. I’m sitting up straighter just typing this.

Well, I’ve already used up a lot of words…. Isn’t it interesting how the mind and body work together? There’s a lot we can do with this understanding.

Here’s a little video of The Kissing Hand. It’s very sweet. I just watched it again, and the part about energy flowing from Chester’s hand to his heart when his mom kisses him fits with the whole energy thing.

Enjoy the watercolors!

 

Whose love goes with you wherever you go?

The Stream of Consciousness flows every Saturday from the blog of Linda G. Hill. You can find out more here:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-15-2020/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


5 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Homeless Shelters, Pet Adoption Hero, Fighting Cancer, and A Police Officer’s Surprise

 

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Pope Francis Turns Vatican Palace into a Homeless Shelter

They could have made a lot of money turning this 19th century Vatican palace into a hotel, but instead, Pope Francis decided to make it a homeless shelter.  Be sure to watch the short video contained in this story from NBC.

In a related story, a non-profit in Denver, Colorado grabbed an old hotel to turn it into a homeless shelter.  Here’s that story from the Good News Network

….

 

Superbowl Winner Pays Adoption Fees for 91 Homeless Dogs

After his team won the Superbowl, Derrick Nnadi paid the adoption fees for the 91 dogs in Kansas City’s shelter. But this isn’t just a one time thing.

“Nnadi sponsored a program during the regular season in which he paid the adoption fee for one hard-to-adopt dog after each Chiefs victory. All of the dogs in that program found homes.”         Source and story:  ESPN

New Discoveries for Cancer Treatment:

Re-purposing Drugs to Fight Cancer:

Researchers have discovered that several drugs have more than one purpose. Medications for diabetes, inflammation, and alcoholism have been shown to kill cancer cells in the lab. Here’s the story from the Good News Network

Newly Discovered Immune Cell Kills Most Cancers:

British scientists were analyzing blood to find bacteria fighters when they “accidentally” discovered new type of T-cell that kills most cancer cells. You can read more in this article from The Telegraph.

New Police Officer Gets a Surprise Visit

At the age of 42, Erika Benning, an immigrant from Honduras, achieved her dream to become a police officer. But there’s more! Her son who has been stationed overseas for two years showed up for his mom’s ceremony. Enjoy the video!

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.

 

 


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#WATWB: Caring for 600 Foster Children Over Fifty Years

We Are The World Blogfest in white

Linda Herring, and her husband, Bob, provided foster care for over 600 children in nearly fifty years.  They mostly took in children with special medical needs and would often take calls and go pick up a children in the middle of the night. One of the comforts Linda provided was to make sure every new child had a professional photograph hanging on their living room wall.

When Linda first started fostering children in the 1970s, she was running a home daycare and working as a high school custodian. She also volunteered as a first responder for much of her life.  One of the things that drew me to this story is remembering how much energy it took to raise my two children. I know Linda and Bob had help, but what a labor of love!

Linda is now 75 and has decided to stop fostering children due to her own health concerns. She was recently recognized for her service in her state of Iowa.

You can read more about Linda Herring in this article from the Good News Network.

We Are The World Blogfest is a festival of positive stories hosted on the last Friday of every month. This month’s co-hosts are D. Biswas – https://www.damyantiwrites.com/ – L. Hartz – https://authorlizbethhartz.com/blog – S. Garg – http://shilpaagarg.com/ – M. Giese – https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/ – S. Stein – https://ssteinwriting.wordpress.com/

For details, click here.

You can find more WATWB stories on the Facebook Page.

To sign up for WATWB click here.