Monthly Archives: March 2012


If you or someone you know struggled through school, was belittled and robbed of all feelings of self worth, you will especially appreciate Jim Lawrence’s story: You Never Know. But even if neither you or your friends were victims of such experiences, you can’t help but feel Jane’s struggles and cheer for her ultimate success. If this story touches you, do leave Jim a comment to let him know.

Just one more wonderful “tale” entered into the Tales2Inspire Authors Helping Authors project.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty




Have you ever been challenged to face your fears by trying something you had dreamed of doing for years? That is exactly what Anne Knorr did and tells us all about it in her tale, What Would I Do If I Wasn’t Afraid . Through this challenge, she discovered that “Sometimes a sense of humor is a key ingredient for moving forward and enjoying the moment, no matter how embarrassing . ..” Her charming story might even stir a hidden desire to challenge yourself with a unfulfilled dream. Read What Would I Do If I Wasn’t Afraid , another wonderful “tale” entered into the Tales2Inspire Authors Helping Authors project.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty



Never Look Back is the gripping story of one woman’s fight to survive domestic violence. Debbie A. Heaton chronicles the relentless mental and physical abuse one women endured for seven years, until she found the strength to fight back. From the  brink of suicide to the rebuilding of her life, this story is ultimately a tribute to determination and strength of will. Whether you have ever experienced, known, or simply read about a victim of domestic violence, you will relate to this inspiring tale, entered into the Tales2Inspire authors helping authors project. Read it here and if it touches you, be sure to leave Debbie a comment.

One more  inspiring  “tale” entered into the Tales2Inspire Authors Helping Authors project.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty



What is the definition of the word hero? According to TINA CHIPPAS, it is an “everyday person who performs unselfish acts of valor”. Although Tina had never met or known her Greek-Orthodox priest grandfather, she learned of his heroism through a chance encounter in a German cemetery forty years after his death. Or was it really by chance? Read A Profile of Courage and decide for yourself. And if you enjoy this story, do leave Tina a comment to let her know.

Just one more wonderful “tale” entered into the Tales2Inspire Authors Helping Authors project.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty



Through her travels to lands as distant as Japan, Bulgaria, Russia and South Korea, Pauline Hager discovered that something as simple as a smile can bridge all language barriers. A smile might simply brighten one person’s day or go so far as leave a lasting memory for another. Her story is a great reminder of one simple way we can change people’s attitudes worldwide.

Keep smiling as you read Pauline’s tale, A Smile Goes a Long Way, another wonderful “tale” entered into the Tales2Inspire Authors Helping Authors project.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty




The 12-year-old boy sat in the synagogue, looked out at the congregation, and waved. On a day when Jewish tradition marks the transition from boy to man, Matthew Emmi smiled often and moved his hands to the music of the Hebrew songs. During prayers, he alternately slouched and sat erect.

And when it was time for him to say a prayer before the Torah, he touched the screen of an iPad.

Matthew is severely autistic and cannot read, write, or speak sentences. His family, friends, and educators never know exactly what he is thinking, but they know Matthew likes going to synagogue. He has been a regular at the Sunday service at Andover’s Temple Emanuel, where he hums, claps and smiles when Cantor Idan Irelander plays traditional Hebrew prayers on his guitar.

Several months ago, Suzanne and Michael Emmi decided their son’s autism would not prevent him from having a bar mitzvah.

“Because of the issues in his life, he’s not going to have a wedding or a high school or college graduation,’’ his mother said. “We wanted him to have that opportunity to have a special moment and shine.’’

‘We wanted him to have that opportunity to have a special moment and shine.’

After some discussion, one of Matthew’s teachers came up with an idea. Jamie Hoover, who is also the executive director of the May Center for Child Development School, met with Mathew, his family, and the temple clergy. During the meeting, she handed Mathew an iPad and after little prompting, got him to touch an icon on the screen. The iPad responded by reciting the name of his younger sister, Mia, and Matthew was delighted.

“It gave him a voice,’’ said Hoover.

The structure of the bar mitzvah was set: Matthew could essentially lead the service by touching iPad icons. School staff recorded Matthew reciting “mama’’ and “dada’’ and the names of other relatives who would be called up to the Torah. Irelander recorded blessings and Torah readings that a boy being bar mitzvahed would ordinarily recite, and e-mailed them to Hoover – who matched the prayers to icons and photographs.

“It’s quite amazing,’’ said Rabbi Robert Goldstein, of Temple Emanuel, who has known Matthew for several years. “We’re blending the most cutting-edge technology with tradition; with reading the ancient text of Torah. It’s facilitating spirituality.’’

Early yesterday morning, Matthew and his family arrived at the synagogue. After posing for photographs, he began to race around the mostly empty building – something he does often around the house, in addition to his regular routine of bouncing balls, riding a scooter, and listening to Disney and Broadway show tunes. When guests arrived, Matthew greeted them with a high-five and an enthusiastic “ha’’ – his way for saying “hi.’’

Shortly before the service, he sat at a table in between his parents, and opposite the ark, which holds the Torahs. His mother held the iPad and his father placed his hands on a laminated blue cardboard that had 30 large icons representing the parts of the service that Matthew would announce by pressing the iPad.

Shortly after Irelander began strumming the guitar with an opening blessing, Suzanne held the portable tablet in front of her son, who confidently touched the screen with his left index finger.

“Pappa,’’ came forth from the sound system. It was Matthew’s prerecorded voice, and soon his grandfather, Harvey Glass of Peabody, was standing before him with a prayer shawl, or tallis.

“This is for you. It was given to me by my grandfather,’’ said Glass, before placing it on Matthew’s shoulders.

A few minutes later Matthew pressed on an icon that resembled an ear, and the cantor’s recitation of one of Judaism’s holiest prayers – the “Sh’ma’’ – reverberated.

After he had touched the IPad many more times – alternating between index and pinky fingers – calling his parents and other relatives to the Torah, it was time for his name to be recited. Soon, Irelander’s pre-recorded voice was playing again – filling in for Matthew – as the Torah reading prayers were sung.

Matthew fidgeted, waved again to friends, and sat pensively during the chanting. Once he pushed his father’s yarmulke from his head. Mike Emmi calmly reached for the skullcap and gently placed it back on his head.

Soon Matthew’s parents were giving him their blessing.

“Matthew, you are a remarkable young man,’’ they said, turning to their son. “Continue shining the special light of your love on the world and making it a better place. That is your gift to the world, and a mighty special gift it is. We love you.’’

After the family had walked through the synagogue with the rabbi and cantor and Torah, the service was over.

Matthew seemed relieved. He began to race throughout the room and seemed to find comfort in running up a long handicapped-access ramp. After most of the people had left, he ran in between the seats several times before pausing at a banister in front of the ark.

He looked back at the few remaining people in the temple, closed his eyes and sighed.

Watch this video.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty

* JEFF AND FREEDOM: A Circle of Healing – by Lois W. Stern

Freedom and Jeff have been together for over 13 years. She entered The Sarvey Wildlife Center as a tiny eaglet in 1998. Both her wings were broken, her left one in four places. Even after surgery, it didn’t open all the way and never healed completely. She’s Jeff’s baby.

When Freedom arrived, she could not stand, was emaciated and covered in lice. The Center staff made the decision to give her a chance at life, so Jeff took her to the vet’s office. From then on, they were a twosome, always together. They placed her in a huge dog carrier minus the top, loaded with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. Jeff used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking up at him with those big brown eyes.

Freedom had to be fed by tube for the first 4-6 weeks, and even after that she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where they made a decision: If she couldn’t stand in the next week, they would euthanize her. “You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning”, explained Jeff.

She was going to be put down that Friday, and Jeff was scheduled to come in to the Center  that prior afternoon. He found it difficult to push himself to make that dreaded trip to the Center on Thursday because he couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized. But he went anyway, and when he walked in, to his surprise everyone was grinning from ear to ear. He dashed back to Freedom’s cage; and there she was, . . .

This story continues in the Tales2Inspire ™


Ruby Collection.


Lois W. Stern is the author of two award winning books about different aspects of aesthetics (physical beauty): Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour. Beyond those topics, Lois is committed to writing short stories to touch the soul – stories that she calls her inner beauty “tales”. Suspecting that many writers who don’t have a enough inspiring stories for an entire book, might  have one fabulous “tale”  to share, she set out to find out . By initiating the TALES2INSPIRE contest as an “authors helping authors” project, Lois hopes to provide authors with a platform for building their own fan base, with the opportunity to have their work published in a short story anthology.

Lois invites all  interested in either cutting edge physical beauty news and tips, her energy renewing, spirit uplifting stories, or both to visit her Facebook Page If you like what you see there, become a fan by clicking on the LIKE button at the top of the screen.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire project

Facebook-like-button2Please LIKe my new Facebook Author page.


The story of The Voice is nothing short of a medical miracle. The near tragic death of this newborn infant is averted by what many might consider no less than divine intervention. Read this story, contributed by Dr. Stanley Cupery to the Tales2Inspire contest, and decide for yourself.

Lois W. Stern, Author and Contest Creator



If You Are a Woman, Nurture Those Girlfriends Relationships

At an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings, whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going.

Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo… let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.

Forward this to all your girlfriends – and stay in touch! Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.Life isn’t about surviving the storm but how you dance in the rain.

I always welcome your feedback, so if you have a comment please don’t be shy, add it to the Comment box..

Beauty Within


                  Beauty Without . . .


                                  What’s Your Passion?


Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty


NEVER LOOK BACK – by Debbie A. Heaton

Tall as a model, Jaclyn was svelte with rich black hair complimented by chocolate brown eyes bright with laughter. Popular in school, she dated the team quarterback, but soon found herself pregnant and unwed. Joining the ranks of teen mothers, at sixteen she welcomed a beautiful baby boy. After graduation she sought out full time employment,bypassing college altogether.

Acclimating well in the workplace, she made friends easily with co-workers and supervisors. Vivacious and fun loving, Jaclyn eventually paired herself with, “the man of her dreams,” who just happened to be in upper management. Spending pleasant days and nights together, she grew to believe she was as important to him as he was to her.

Three months into the relationship she discovered her pregnancy. With a two-year-old son already, another child wasn’t something she looked forward to. Breaking the news to her lover, she quickly shared her plans to terminate the pregnancy. Declaring undying love, her lover encouraged her to marry him and hesitantly, she made them one big family.

Ten days into their nuptials, Jaclyn was fired from her job and forced to become a stay-at-home mom. Verbalizing her discontent, her new husband slapped her across the face with such intensity she slammed into the ground. Before she could respond, he dragged her by the hair across the floor, flinging her across the bed before ripping her pants off and raping her repeatedly. To all appearances, he saw nothing wrong with his actions.  Jaclyn knew down deep that it was wrong, but she was eighteen, he was thirty-five, and she had another child on the way.

Escalating, the hitting turned into daily beatings. Anger is a powerful thing, and when it’s crackling in the air, the line between reason and emotion is likely to get blurred. Unconcerned about her condition, he justified his behaviors by telling her, “If you would do what you’re told, I wouldn’t be forced to discipline you.”

After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl she thought things would improve, the miracle of life renewing itself and all. But they didn’t. With two small children now, Jaclyn felt as if there were no options open to her. Black eyes, busted lips, and bruised body had taken a toll on both heart and spirit. Isolated from family and friends, life had become nothing more than survival.

Hundreds of beatings and two years passed only to find her unhappily pregnant again.   He was sorry–always sorry.  Jaclyn despised her life, fantasized about death, and found hope in the obituaries inspired by the knowledge that death does come eventually. Miserable as she was, she stayed for the love of two children she could never leave behind.

Early one spring morning, one black eye swollen shut, Jaclyn risked calling her parents for help. “You made your bed now you can lay in it!” Her father shouted the words at her before slamming the receiver down. Despair washed over her, agony gripping her insides and buckling her knees. No. Her father saw her pregnancies as “her fault, always the woman’s fault.” Both parents distanced themselves farther away from her. Wallowing in misery, she began hiding money all in hopes of saving enough to pay for a tubal litigation. If it’s the woman’s fault when children are conceived, then the woman has a right to severe her own fertility. During her last prenatal visit, Jaclyn arranged for the procedure, setting plans for future change in motion.

Just days after the birth of her new son, Jaclyn told her husband, “I hate you with every bone in my body.” With powerful fists he slugged her, propelling her across the room like a rag doll. Smiling, she said, “Are you done?” The physical violence escalated. While Jaclyn endured the beatings, she stashed every penny she could. No matter how long it took, she was going to take her children and leave, one way or the other.

The familiar bland look that had begun to spread across her husband’s face looked too smug for her liking, and she felt her anger spike to new highs. With determination born of blinding rage, Jaclyn stood up to him, openly defying his orders. He hit her because he found dust on the coffee table, a dirty dish in the sink, a laundry basket of unfolded clothes. Locked in a silent standoff, tension crackling between them, each one waiting for the other to retreat, a determined Jaclyn stood her ground gripping a roll of pennies in each fist. When her husband threatened to hit her, she gripped both rolls and pounded back. There wasn’t a chance in hell she was backing down–never again. Her children and escape took precedence.

Flipping through a magazine while waiting in the pediatrician’s office,  it fell open to a picture of a battered woman. “This could be me!” All she needed was to look in the mirror for confirmation. What did that mean? Reality seemed to be lying in tatters around her feet, and she didn’t know how to reassemble it. Words on the page sprang out at her: “Domestic violence, sexual assault and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other…violence can be criminal and include hitting, shoving…Anyone can be a victim!”

Jaclyn had been in an extremely abusive relationship for seven years, never recognizing it for what it was. Gutting it out day after day, her self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth were destroyed. Resigned to her fate, hate and bitterness warred inside her heart and soul. Withdrawing into herself, she subconsciously built a force field around her, numbing down her emotions to the point where she wasn’t able to feel or think beyond the day-to-day survival. In spite of the abuse, she had stayed for her children.

When the nurse called her back to the examination room, she settled the children and erupted like a volcano. She had to speak out. This was exactly what she had to do. She let her words and her certainty settle into her bones, washing away her fear of sharing secrets, leaving determination in its wake. When the flood of words subsided, silence fell like a blanket over the room. With assistance from the clinic staff, Jaclyn and her children entered a women’s shelter.

Haunted by her violent memories, Jaclyn struggled with depression and anxiety, both clinging to her like lint on a black sweater. Looking at her children, seeing the fear etched in their faces pulled her up, allowing her to rally. The staff connected Jaclyn and her children with support services. Therapy and anger management  classes filled their days. As soon as Jaclyn acquired positive coping skills, the staff assisted her in finding employment, daycare, and housing. Independent now, her family is stronger, more confident.

When asked about her ordeal, Jaclyn encourages other victims to educate themselves about domestic violence. It is possible to change your life–but only you can do that. No one deserves to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused. In her own words, “I found a hero inside myself I never knew was there. I was able to fight back, move forward, and never look back.”

For more information, or for those seeking help in combatting domestic violence, please click here.


Debbie A. Heaton has been a licensed therapist for more than twenty-six years with a background in mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Currently working with families and children, she specializes in behavior modification. Heaton is the author of the multiple award winning novel, The Haunting of Wolfe Haven, is a member of both The International Women’s Writing Guild and the Paranormal Romance Guild. Heaton resides in Southeastern Arizona where she enjoys hiking with her dog and reading. She serves on her local Library Advisory Board promoting early childhood literacy.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about the Tales2Inspire project

We welcome your review of this story in the Comment box below. Your name and credentials will be included with any review we post on Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s highly respected Book Review Blog under the TALES2INSPIRE banner.

Beauty Within

                  Beauty Without . . .

                                  What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Dollycas's Thoughts Part II


Inspiring true stories for the winners of the Tales2Inspire "Authors Helping Authors"project/contest

Folsom Mill Studio

going with the flow

Daily (w)rite

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity


fiction under the hood

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi


Welcome to my Blog!


"It's about learning the difference between creating healthy lifestyle change and simply dieting." - Robin Kushner

synchronicityjournaling site


Just another site


Just another site

Denise Saylors

Love Laugh Live


Open, free, philosophical


Creative writing by Benjamin Keay.

Neelima Vinod

Writer, Editor and Mentor

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences


The work and activities of a writer/bargee

A Witch's Path. . .

a path worth taking. . .

little box of books

A cozy place to open a collection of words!