As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

2017 ANWA Conference Class by Julie Berry “Authentic Emotion: How Writing from Inside the Body Pulls the Reader into your Character’s Wants, Needs, and Suffering”

Readers want to have a body experience more than a brain experience. Dramatize intellectual processes through character action. Describing your body shows its connection to the setting.

Imagine that your body is underwater. Describe what each part of your body feels from your toes to the top of your head. Note how your body interacts with the water. Don’t use the word “feel.”

GOALS of Writing from Inside the Body: 1) Develop a mindful awareness of how your body is feeling in every situation. Motion/emotion; Action/reaction. 2) Lookout for fresh new ways of describing how your body moves and feels. 3) Break the habit of analytical telling how your character feels.
Sharpen your reactions. For instance, smell is the most overlooked sense in writing. Smells are wrapped up in mood, memory, and emotions. She said of all of the senses, smell has the shortest path to the brain. Pay attention to what you smell and how it affects you.

Exercise: Imagine sharpening pencils. What does it smell like? What does it remind you of? You might begin to question: How are pencils made? Who came up with them?

Her emphasis was on tuning into sensory details so we can create better moods and settings for our stories. We want to write in such a way that our readers empathize with our characters.

Descriptive words related to the body: Skin: soft, wrinkles, veiny hands, calloused Temperature: sticky clothes, breeze tickling our arms Fluids: sweat, tears, blood Sickness: fever, queasiness
Physical/Emotional Pain: throbbing, drumming, cramping. Both types are managed in the same place in the brain—prolonged emotional pain brings actual physical pain. Manifest emotional pain with bodily symptoms.

Picture a character in your WIP. Observe her body language. Act out her actions. Avoid thoughts about thoughts. Don’t label emotions. Stop talking and show blood! Don’t diagnose your characters.


Haapppyyy Hhhaaalloooweeen

4 Good Reasons to Hit a Woman.

4 Good Reasons For A Man To Hit A Woman

Lately, there has been much discussion about violence against women by the men in their life. Many have said there is never a good reason for a man to strike a woman but I disagree and today I am speaking out! I have six sons and I have taught them what my father taught my brothers and I: there are four good reasons for a man to hit the woman he loves;
1. Fire. If you look over at the woman you love and discover flames have overtaken your girl, you should absolutely knock her to the ground and start rolling her around.
2. Spider. If your princess discovers a spider wandering across her shoulder and with sheer terror in her voice says “GET. IT. Off! You should smack that 8 legged sucker right off of her.
3. Choking. If over dinner she begins to laugh at another one of your amazingly funny stories and in the process, lodges a bit of her steak in her throat, you have my full support to yank her out of her chair, spin her around and start squeezing her beneath her rib-cage until she spits up!
4. Train. If, while enjoying a peaceful, after dinner walk with your lover, you notice she has wandered into the path of a quickly approaching oncoming train, by all means, grab her by her arm and like the strong man you are, yank her backwards aggressively.

Absent the presence of fire, spiders, choking or trains, dad taught us boys there is never, ever, ever, ever, ever a justifiable reason for a man to strike a woman. Period. He said real men don’t do it. He then added this important definition about being a ‘real man’ which I want to share with all men today;

“Real men don’t allow other men to hit women either.”

I call upon my brothers-in-manhood everywhere to join with me in ZERO TOLERANCE for violence against women. Don’t hit and don’t tolerate hitting. That woman you see getting abused by her “man”, at the club or in the parking lot or even, oh let’s say, an elevator; intervene. Put yourself between the abuser and the victim. Is that dangerous? Could be. But it’s what a real man would do. Always remind yourself when you witness violence on a woman- that is somebody’s mother, daughter or sister.
Just for the record, it IS your business if you decide to make it your business. In the Dunn household, my sons know we consider the safety of other women, our personal business, whether the abuser likes it or not.
Lastly, a note to the abused women of the world- do not take one more punch, slap or kick from any man. There is NOTHING that makes it okay. Stop making excuses for him. He is a broken man and needs to be repaired before he is worthy of spending another second in your presence. Insist on it.

5 Bad Reasons Women Let Men Hit Them;
1. “He was drunk”. So what? He will be drunk again. And although I have personally never been drunk, I know many people who do occasionally get intoxicated- NONE of them hit their women. Your husband or boyfriend is not NORMAL. Stop trying to convince yourself he is.
2. “He’s under a lot of stress”. Real men deal with stress by hitting the gym, hitting a golf ball or even hitting the buffet. They do NOT hit women. Stress is not a gateway emotion to violence for healthy, normal men.
3. “I deserved it”. What???? No. There is nothing you or any woman can do to validate violence against you. Maybe you have done something so bad he leaves you, but violence is not on the list of options for him to choose from when he is upset. NEVER AN OPTION.
4. “His dad abused his mom. It’s all he knows.” When I hear that statement, it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. So what if he witnessed abuse as a child?? If anything, he knows better than others the hurt and pain that comes from abuse. In life we witness lots of things that are bad but we don’t then go integrate them into our own lives. If your man abuses you because he witness abuse, let him go witness therapy. Let him go witness a support group. Let him go witness life alone without you and the children.
5. “It was only once. He apologized.” Statistics say that where there is a “first time”, there is a second time. Your response to the “first time” needs to send an incredibly clear message to your “man” that there will be no second time. Send that message so clearly it haunts him. Make a bold statement with action attached. It is the ‘action’ that will signal the level of your seriousness. That might be calling the police, it might be moving out for a week or two, it might be telling him to leave for a week or require immediate counseling. Your words to him after being hit MUST be followed up with immediate action to reinforce the true level of intolerance you have for violence against yourself.

You might be shocked to learn that someone in your life is an abuser, which means somebody in your life is a victim. Rather than guessing who it might be, just share this article with everyone so it reaches the ones who need to hear it most.
Abusers, be on notice- I’m watching. My sons are watching. And millions of other real men are watching. We WILL defend and protect your wife, your mother and your sister….even from you.

Troy Dunn

Tooot Toot

It is my turn to toot my own horn, or in this case, that of my son.

Please notice who the  young man is...Sean Gonzales! that's my boy and he is gunning for a state championship and looking for a scholarship to pay for his education after serving for two years for our church.

Oh I wish that this was clear enough for you to read. It asks him what his favorite class is. His answer: Choir.