It’s Release Day for Jill Weatherholt’s New Novel!

Congratulations to friend and author, Jill Weatherholt, on the release of her second novel, A Father for Bella! Click through and get your copy now!

Jill Weatherholt



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The Luck of Friday the 13th #MondayBlogs #neverstopbelievinginyourself

I always think of Friday the 13th as a lucky day for me, even if the luck only extends as far as nothing bad happening on that day. This Friday the 13th started off ominously though, putting me in a funk that lasted all the way to bedtime when my luck finally changed.

As I do every morning, I was sitting with a cup of coffee in my favorite corner of our couch, a heated wrap around my neck to ease my cervical arthritis. I had been fairly upbeat the day before, since Thursday is the day before Friday which is the day before the weekend. Those two days a week–Saturday and Sunday–I practically live for. But I digress.

So I’m nestled in the corner, sipping hot coffee, poking around on my iPad as the fog from my brain slowly clears when I sniff and my sinuses contract. I quickly shoo away the first thought that comes to mind. “No, no, no! I do not want to deal with this. Not this early in the morning!” I proceeded to ignore what my nasal passages were practically screaming at me, forcing me to breath deeper as the scent overwhelmed my senses, yet I recoiled at the thought of the obvious.

Finally I took my last sip of coffee, put the mug down, the iPad away and got down on my hands and knees. Granted, I did have to put my nose practically into the thick pile of our area rug, but there was no denying it, no way to ignore it.

Cat pee. Old cat pee. I looked up at Maxine, innocently curled up on the back of the couch.

What? Who, me?

Maxine is now 14 1/2 years old and lately we’ve been having some issues around her “inappropriate elimination.” Long story short: we resolved some of this peeing in all the wrong places by doubling her dosage of Cosequin. Cats, as many of you know, are stoic creatures. They keep their pain to themselves; if they choose to let you know, it’s often in oblique ways such as peeing in all the wrong places. Our theory is that Maxine, due to her age, probably has pain or at least discomfort in her hips and the trip from the back porch or from the living room to the nearest litter box is a road too far. When we doubled her Cosequin (that is, giving her a dose with her morning meal as well as her nighttime meal), she perked up, became more alert and interactive, and ceased to pee in the living room. (The back porch is still an issue, probably because she has to use steps and a cat door to get in and out.)

But apparently that didn’t mean that we had found and cleaned up all the places she had peed on in the past couple of months. So the morning of Friday the 13th, before I went to work, I pulled the area rug from the living room, wrestling it from underneath a rather large ottoman and rolling it up so I could drag it into the garage where it can stay forever as far I’m concerned. I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to getting rid of the smell of cat urine; fortunately, my husband has taken on the task of soaking the porch rug with Nature’s Miracle, sucking up the residue with a shampooer, and repeating … indefinitely.

That was the start of my Friday the 13th. The rest of the day was filled with angst. I could barely motivate myself to answer emails. I didn’t go for a walk during the workday because, as per summer in Florida, it was too effing hot and humid. A twenty-minute promenade around the complex leaves me with sweat stains in all the wrong places. I almost blew off going to the gym after work. I’m glad I did go since I needed to work off some negative energy, but the road trip from my workplace to the gym is like the highway from Hell.

Eventually I made it home, disgruntled and peevish (my husband’s word). He had spent the day cleaning the porch rug. We had dinner, drank wine and watched an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. We got ready for bed. What happened next returned the luck to Friday the 13th.

I flipped open my iPad, something I don’t often do right before bedtime and I can’t say why I did it this night. But I did. On the screen, a series of email notifications bubbled up. One was from Z Publishing. The subject line was “Your Submission Decision.” The first sentence of the email read “We at Z Publishing House would like to congratulate you for having your writing accepted into our upcoming Florida’s Emerging Writers publication!”

It’s all a blur after that. I think I started shouting. My husband ran into my room. I read him the email. We’ve been celebrating every since.

Way back in April, I received an email from one of the staff at Z Publishing, inviting me to submit some of my writing for their upcoming series of America’s Emerging Writers. She had visited my blog and thought I might be interested. Well, that was an understatement. I did a quick search on Z Publishing, found a forum on Reddit that pretty much verified the entity as legit so I went to work. I managed to pull together five short short stories–the word count is 1250–and sent them in. I had only a couple of days to meet the early bird deadline, and my husband remembers very well how I closed myself up in my room tweaking those short stories to fit Z’s requirements … and still make sense.

Ever since I have been waiting. Now I know that three months is not a long time to wait to hear from a publisher, but I don’t do this very often. Well, actually, I don’t do this. I can count on one hand the number of submissions I’ve made in the last several years.

The publication date is September 6, with preorders available starting August 6. At that time, I’ll join their affiliates program and will be able to provide you all with a link to Z Publishing so you can purchase Florida’s Emerging Writers or any book that strikes your fancy. I will get a commission for any sales that come through that link. That’s icing.

The cake is the publication of one of my stories in a printed book.

The luck of Friday the 13th has been redeemed.

One last thing: I really owe it to ALL of you for being part of my life, for encouraging me, following my blog, reading and sharing my stories and WIPs. I know this is a very small success, and I won’t stop here.

THANK YOU for always being here for me. MWAH!

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A Dynamic Duo of Authors: The Contract by John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano is now available!

Today I am psyched to help promote a new book co-written by John Howell and Gwen Plano. They are both wonderful people and writers, and their new novel is definitely on topic for the time we live in. Read on for more about …

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Marie for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your blog to share a bit about our new book. We know your passion is knitting and related arts and respect the amout of work that goes into each piece. We thank you for taking the time away from this advocation to help spread the word.

The Contract


Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Watch the cool book Trailer!

Here is an excerpt.

The headline read: Russian Spies Infiltrate Suburban America,and just below the headline was a photo of Nika. Sarah froze and dropped her glass. She got up, and without picking up the glass, went inside to call her former neighbor.

“H-hi, Donna, it’s Sarah.”

“I’m so glad you called; I’ve been worried about you. Is everything okay?”

“I’m not so sure. I arrived today and have just begun to settle into my new home. I was at the grocery store a little while ago and picked up the local paper. I couldn’t believe what I read. Abram and Nika were identified as Russian spies.”

“It’s horrifying, Sarah. Everyone is shocked. Nika’s photo was on the front page of our newspaper.”

“Here as well. I’m speechless. I can’t believe that members of the Russian intelligence service lived in my house and had God knows what discussions with my ex-husband.”

“And, you have to wonder why, don’t you?”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

Available on Amazon at

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Reflections on Suicide #BeThe1To #SuicideAwareness

I’ve been reading a lot about suicide lately. For obvious reasons, of course. Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. So many people are shocked by their deaths because, well, they were famous. They were rich. They had fans. People adored them. Why would anyone willingly, intentionally end what so many others consider the only life worth living?

It’s often a surprise to a person’s loved ones when that person commits suicide. To me, that’s a sign of how well people can function in their routines, and then not function when they’re alone. (Laura Zera)

Our culture is so hell-bent on celebrity, on branding, on whatever it makes to get into the public eye even for a lousy 5 minutes.

Our culture says that everyone should aim to “be their own brand,” a fiction that can feel easy to maintain as long as we have a screen between us and the world. (Ana Marie Cox)

We just can’t understand how people who are living the lives we envy would say “enough.” They leave behind family and friends who love them, and who are now having to pick up the pieces. The second-guessing will never stop, the hindsight will stretch back years and years.

Any life lost to suicide is one life too many. For some, suicide becomes an option because our society does not know how to talk about death. For others, it’s an option because they don’t know how to ask for help, or they do ask for help and no one hears them, or they ask for help and are rebuffed because nobody wants to hear them.

Suicide doesn’t make sense to most people, not when tomorrow might be different. That was often my way of “coping.” Let’s see what tomorrow might bring, although sometimes I was deathly afraid of what tomorrow might bring.

I have and still do engage in suicide ideation, although I’ve never made a plan. I have had those black moments in my life when I could have died “unintentionally”: too much alcohol and too many painkillers at one time. But I’d wake up, surprised and feeling miserable and strangely resigned to muddle through the day. And the next day. And the next.

But long before that, when I was a teenager and had not yet entered into the drug- and alcohol-fueled phase of my life, I thought of suicide. A lot. It was philosophical (what does it mean to live?) as much as it was concrete (No one likes me). I remember one particular afternoon in a college library. I was in the second-story lounge, sitting on a couch facing a picture window which looked out onto the quad. I started to wonder what the point of life was, why was I living, who the hell would even miss me if I was no longer around? I was painfully shy and introverted. In high school other kids thought I was a snob when I was simply terrified of making eye contact. I had a few friends but I was always on the edge of sabotaging the friendships. I hated myself and, by extension, hated anyone who liked me. Something had to be wrong with them if they liked me. Or maybe they were really mocking me behind my back.

I definitely had “issues.” I considered suicide that day, in a general way, considering my options. But when I came to the part about what would happen afterward, I froze. I didn’t believe in God but what if I was wrong? I had read Dante. What if what he wrote (The Inferno, The Purgatorio) were all true? What if suicide were truly a sin? Then I’d be worse off, wouldn’t I? So I filed away my thoughts and anxieties and distracted myself with ideas for what tomorrow might bring. I was pragmatic.

I think what saved me then was literature, and not just Dante and the fear he put in me of the afterlife. Literature gave me hope, helped me to imagine a world different from the one I was in. And there was no social media–no Facebook, no Twitter, no cell phones, no computers–back then. No cyberbullying. No 24/7 news cycle to overload my psyche with information. I could lose myself in books and imagine places in which I could reinvent myself. If I just hung on one more day.

Of course, that’s not the end of the story, and my own bouts of depression and anxiety and suicide ideation aren’t really the point of this post.

What I would really like is, if we as a society stopped and considered how we contribute to a person’s suicide. When we say, “but she should have asked for help,” we are essentially blaming the victim. When we say, “he should have had a therapist to talk to,” we are labeling the problem as internal, something unique to the person who committed suicide. But is it?

Sure, mental health problems can be organic, and chemistry might help. It’s not enough to take medication, though. I’m going to out on a limb and suggest that perhaps we really don’t want to be labeling people as being “mentally ill” or having “mental health problems.” Maybe the problem isn’t with them. Maybe it is with us, the royal us, the outer, external world with its demands and conformities and rigidity.

It’s not my own mental health issues I’ve had to deal with. My dad was “mentally ill.” I put that in quotes because I still suspect–and will to end of my life–that he wouldn’t have been so bad off if he had been born a few decades later. I suspect that much of his “treatment” led to the worsening of his mental condition. He was born in 1919 and at some point in his adulthood, he had electro-shock therapy. Do the math. Electro-shock therapy is not something you would have wanted to undergo back then. Nor would you have wanted to be given all those drugs which left him with a Parkinson’s-like condition.

I was afraid of his pain, the utter anguish that poured through his tears.

Once my father was labeled, there was no hope for him. His world didn’t have much use for a man who was emotional, who had a hard time holding a job, who felt such an incredible weight of responsibility for things and events he had no control over. And that was it: he had no control. They labeled him. Put him in a box along with the other mentally ill, and sent him off on his slow decline.

I guess I’m kind of angry. I’m not angry with Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain or the almost 45,000 American who committed suicide in 2016. I’m angry with a society that values celebrity over privacy, a society that values transactional relationships over meaningful relationships, a society that values the branded self over the intimate self, a society that says, “Here, take this pill and all will be well.” A society that labels you and makes the label stick.

Almost 40 years ago, a gentleman who was part of a group I hung with killed himself. He had been missing for a few days when another friend came up to me in a bar and said, “Matt shot himself in the head.” I didn’t know Matt very well. Most of us were in our 20s and Matt was much older. I remember him as a soft-spoken, kind, handsome man with interests in art and music. He was also an alcoholic. My boyfriend at the time complained that Matt should have told them that something was wrong; they would have helped. I said nothing because I knew better. Nobody wanted to hear Matt’s pain. He was a little bit like a celebrity: someone we looked up, admired from a distance. He drank too much, but we all drank too much. He had financial problems, romantic problems. So did we. Frankly, I don’t think he was even trying very hard to put a good face on things. He shouldn’t have had to say anything. We should have seen his pain and reached out to him.

And maybe that’s the point of this post: Don’t wait for a friend or a family member or just another human being to ask for help. A few minutes of your time can be a lifeline for someone else.

To learn how you can help, visit

And if you feel you need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone.



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Living in the Moment: Softshell turtle #mondaymorningzen #MondayBlogs #softshellturtle

Here it is … your Monday morning moment of Zen.

For more information on this lovely creature, click here for the Animal Spot website.

You’re welcome 🙂

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Mind Over Matter: Overcoming Self-Doubt in Those Opening Lines by Anita Gill — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

I’m popping out of my self-imposed bubble long enough to share this essay by Anita Gill in BREVITY. So much of this short essay resonated with me and my perpetual struggle with my inner critic, and, of course, it prompted a comment from me. Please read the essay (and my comment below) and let me know: How do you handle your inner critic?

By Anita Gill On a chilly winter day in Oregon, Laura Hendrie, an award-winning fiction writer, gave a craft talk to a room full of graduate students on the topic of crafting the beginning lines of a story. She looked around the room and asked, “What is it about an opening that pulls me in […]

via Mind Over Matter: Overcoming Self-Doubt in Those Opening Lines — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

My comment:

“And this would apply to fiction as well. Even when I’m purposely making things up, my inner critic argues against my authority to do so. The thing about memories–and why the inner critic can often win the battle against writing down memories–is that they are subjective. Your memory of a particular event may differ from every other person who witnessed that event. I’ve often gotten blank looks from family members when I recall an experience that I know we share, but they no longer remember … or choose not to remember. When I write down memories, my inner critic often takes on the voice of my mother or brother or sister, arguing against my version of events and whether I have the “right” to tell it as I remember it. If I go public, I risk being called a liar or of hanging out the family’s dirty laundry. So I write fiction, but my inner critic still knows what I’m up to. This essay is validating and makes it clear that the only way to silence my inner critic is to simply keep writing until my words drown her out.”

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Life in the Moment: Still Breathing #MondayBlogs

My Facebook page recently reminded me that no one has heard from me in a while. Funny how those prompts make me feel just guilty enough to start thinking about writing a blog post, but not guilty enough to write one right away. I’ve been cruising through Life lately, musing on how busy I feel even though I’m not as busy as I used to be.

I’ve been writing … which some of you might be pleased to hear. Still, it’s hit-and-miss. I’ve never been terribly organized and, at 60, I probably won’t start now.

Several months ago I was diagnosed with cervical osteoarthritis. Also known as chronic pain in the neck. Well, the pain is not constant and is mostly due to the stiffness that seizes my neck when it’s been immobile for a while … like when I’m typing … on my computer … for my blog.  My arthritis can even be a pain in the neck when I knit–adding insult to injury. My husband wants me to have an MRI to make sure it really is arthritis, that the physical therapy I went through really is what I need to be doing.

My husband is a case study of how x-rays can deliver an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis. The short story is after several months of physical therapy for his back (during which he got little to no relief for his pain), he finally got an MRI and found that he has, among other things, severe spinal stenosis. The kicker: the physical therapy he had been prescribed was contraindicated for his type of back problem. Before I continue, let me reassure you all that he’s fine. He’s retired which allows him to spend as much time as he needs to exercise and take care of his back. He’s actually doing quite well compared to a year ago.

So, given his experience, he’s somewhat adamant that I consult my doctor about getting an MRI. Have I mentioned that I’m claustrophobic?

Besides doing a bit of writing here and there, complaining about my neck, and knitting … and let’s not forget my day job–although I try to, I really try to–I’m living in the moment. About 75 moments were spent walking around Lake Overstreet this Saturday.

It’s a nice walk, about 3.5 miles from the parking lot and back. It’s one of the few places in Tallahassee–aside from our house–that gives me a respite from the workaday world.

Start of the trail

Sometimes we’re lucky and we see some wildlife.

Gray rat snake. Harmless and very pretty.

Unfortunately, as I was just starting to take a picture of Mr. Snakey, a bicyclist came barreling down the path. Mr. Snakey was startled and slithered away, his head hidden in the bush before I could snap. Still, he was a treat to see, and I’m glad we were there otherwise the bicyclist probably would have ridden over him.

The trail has a few places where walkers, runners and bicyclists can stop and admire the lake. I’m always looking for alligators, of course.

Lake Overstreet

I know they’re out there. The view in the photo above is from a rest area built away from the water. Too far away for me to see whether there’s any lurking about.

Another nice spot with a picnic table even. And no barrier to the water. So I strolled up to the water line, looking for alligator trails among the tall grasses. Nothing.

Nothing but the moment and the being there. Turn up the volume.

Hope you’re all doing well and living in as many moments as makes you happy.

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New Release! THE BONE CURSE, A Genre-Bending, Supernatural Medical Thriller

Here’s a medical thriller with a heavy dose of the supernatural! Carrie Rubin, author of Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge, has a new novel available! It’s been getting great reviews which is no surprise to us who love Carrie’s writing 🙂 Now be like me and rush out to get a copy!

Carrie Rubin

Do you believe in the paranormal?

I wish I did. Life would be more fun. But in reality, a ghost could hit me upside the head with a copy of War and Peace and I’d still find a way to explain it. Thanks to my left-brain skepticism and years of science education, a believer in the unseen I am not.


That doesn’t mean I don’t find it fascinating, and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to write about it.

The Bone Curse, available today, takes a rational-minded man of science and tosses him into an otherworldly situation, one with curses, dark priests, and Haitian Vodou.

The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin After getting cut by an old bone in the Paris catacombs, a skeptical med student must use the occult to stop a deadly curse and a vengeful priest.

The Hero:

Ben, the main character, is not a perfect guy. He’s a med student…

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Living in the Moment … As Much As I Can #MondayBlogs #hiking #knitting

I’ve been leading a non-writing life lately … well, if you don’t count writing letters (of the snail mail variety). Although I’ve been writing in my head a lot. Somehow I don’t manage to put those thoughts down on paper. No, what usually gets down on paper is my endless to-do lists for both work and home. Over the last few weeks, aside from writing lists and letters, I’ve done a few other things, things that compelled me to be in the “here and now.”


I’ve been knitting up a storm, folks. Not for me, mind you. No, I’ve got plenty of shawls, scarves and hats for this relatively warm climate. I’ve been on a mission knitting for others. My most favorite knitting is serendipitous: I see a pattern and yarn combination and a friend or family member pops into my head. So I knit.

A shawl for a friend.

This shawl requires two different colors of yarn, but in the pattern, the colors are both solid. I had originally intended to knit a different shawl but the pattern and I weren’t getting along so I reverted to this one. It is one of my favorite shawl patterns, but the yarns deviated from what the pattern requires. So I was a bit of a nervous Nellie while knitting, worried that it wouldn’t look very nice at the end.


Detail of shawl.

What’s not to love about this detail?! It was a real pleasure to knit and even more fun when I gave it to my friend. Nope, she had no idea.

Next up was a scarf for a family member. He is a relatively new family member, older than me and related by blood, but we’ve only just “discovered” each other recently. Yup, I took a DNA test and got more than I was hoping more. His birthday was recently. Usually I don’t knit for birthdays because, well, I don’t want to set expectations (i.e., no, D, you are not going to get a knitted scarf every birthday). But, again, serendipity. I wanted to do SOMETHING. I had the yarn (alpaca blend) and a favorite scarf pattern. So I went to it.

The long view.

Believe or not (and I know some of you non-knitters won’t believe it), this is a very easy pattern. It knits up quickly and is a real pleasure. I love seeing the pattern unfold.


More cables!

Cables are fun to knit! I learned to knit cables decades ago. I used to be so intimidated by them but they are ridiculously easy to knit. The cool thing is knitting cables makes you feel like you’re actually building something 🙂


Another living in the moment experience was going on a hike with my husband to Shepherd Spring. It’s a flat hike (no hills to stretch our calves), but lovely. It was quite pleasant until we got to the Cathedral of Palms when we were dive-bombed by mosquitoes. Usually this is a place where we would want to linger, but, since I have a blood type that mosquitoes can’t resist, I picked up my pace and nearly left my husband behind.

It was a lovely afternoon. A much-needed immersion in nature. There are a lot of things I don’t like about living in Florida. I can count on one hand the things I do like. Shepard Spring is one of them. Please enjoy the slideshow.

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Ruminations on the United States as an exceptional country #neveragain

Exceptional in its penchant for violence, for a first-world country, the United States is a country I no longer recognize. It’s not the country I grew up in, where people rose up demanding equal education, equal rights for women and minorities, celebrating diversity and the wonderful complexity that is life. There’s some irony here because a lot of other people also pine for those “good old days” and their remembrance is much different from mine. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, feeling frustrated even as a young teenager with the restrictions placed on me simply because I was female. But I also felt empowered and hopeful because of all the adult women fighting for my future, by marching and by voting. I grew up in “ethnic” diversity where people made distinctions based on whether your family’s origins were from Poland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, or Puerto Rico. Only three black kids went to my high school and they were related to each other. Yet, we wanted to be friends, to be inclusive because at heart we were all kids. Our parents cared about the color of skin, but we didn’t. So I grew up frustrated and yet hopeful.

The country I live in now is unrecognizable to me. We don’t just make distinctions based on nationality; we deport people, even if the only crime they are guilty of is staying here too long. We want to roll back the clock on women’s rights and make them all handmaidens. Our path here has been insidious, only obvious when we look back and see the long road we’ve traveled.

We’ve come to embrace violence as just the way we exert our freedoms. The right to own an AR-15, a weapon designed for the sole purpose of killing a lot of people in a short period of time, is far more important than the lives of the people killed with an AR-15. The NRA has infiltrated our political system the way a cancer metastasizes. It kills, like cancer kills. Indiscriminately. No one is safe. In my eyes, the NRA is a terrorist organization, no better than ISIS.

Today I am going to my state capitol to stand with hundreds, perhaps thousands of people to demand that the Florida legislature enact serious gun control, to demand that these legislators stop being whores to the NRA and start serving the people they claim to represent. We must vote them out, vote out the NRA in November 2018. I can only hope that there are no more mass shootings before then.

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