Disaster Preparedness: Surviving A Nuclear Attack

The possibility of nuclear war is not a pleasant thought. The human mind can scarcely comprehend what would occur in the aftermath. Even so, thermonuclear weapons exist as does the possibility of their deployment.

Should a nuclear exchange occur, there would be a great loss of life following the initial blast, fire storms, blast winds, et cetera. There would also be great loss due to short and long-term exposure to radiation. Damage to the environment (including food and water) would be irreversible. The threat to humans and other biological life would continue for many years.

Know the Targets

Nuclear targets would likely be the same targets for terrorist attacks or any other war-like action. They include, but would not be limited to, the following areas:

  • Military bases, airfields, storage facilities and other such locations
  • Large cities and state capitals
  • National capitals (example: Washington D.C. in the United States)
  • Government buildings
  • Airports, water and other commercial ports
  • Areas of large industry
  • Other areas of population, national or state significance and government buildings

Get Inside, Stay Inside

Nuclear attack is one scenario that requires people to take immediate shelter and stay there in order to shield yourself and your loved ones from its aftermath. Following a nuclear blast, winds of up to 600 mph carry radiation far away from the target. Quick reaction time is key. The moment you know a nuclear attack is eminent, seek shelter.

Some official information advises sheltering for at least 48 hours. However, it is advisable to plan for a much longer period of time (several weeks or more). When the dust has settled, opening the door that separates you from the outside world will be risky. However, at some point indoor air will need to be replenished.

If wind is present, keep the door shut. Winds will lift the radiated earth and dust from the ground and carry it inside where you and your family are then exposed. Do not go outside and walk around until the environment stabilizes. When you must venture out, be aware that whatever is on the ground is highly toxic to all forms of biological life, water and everything in the environment. Cover yourself well and remove clothing/shoes before reentering your shelter or home.

  1. Prepare Your House. Make sure your home is leak-proof. In other words, if you know you have a wall separation from its foundation where the air from outside can get in, make the necessary repairs now. In the aftermath of a nuclear attack, the point is to make sure the outside air stays outside. Exposure to the initial radiation resulting from a thermonuclear blast would have disastrous effects on human health. Radiation causes great suffering to those who do survive. NOTE:  After an attack, you may need to use plastic sheeting, duct tape or other supplies to seal off a room (or several rooms) where you and your family can safely stay. Remember, do not make a room air-tight for days because oxygen depletes quickly. At some point, you will have to allow air (oxygen) in. Allow as much time as possible to pass before unsealing the room or rooms you are in.
  2. Keep Sheltering Supplies On Hand. Necessary supplies include duct tape, plastic sheeting, dust masks (or even face and/or gas masks, if possible), hazard suits (if possible) and garbage bags (several hundred – large and small), old sheets and old towels and tools (wrenches, pliers or other) to shut off utilities. Include books and decks of cards. It is important to keep the mind active in aftermath of disasters. Do not underestimate the power of aftermath trauma.
  3. At-home Survival Kit (“ASK”). Make sure your at-home survival kit includes flashlights, batteries, bandages (for treatment of thermal burns), antibiotic ointment, first aid booklet or pamphlet showing emergency medical t
    reatment, baby wipes (4 packages per person for washing), bleach wipes (for sanitizing), bottles of bleach (for sanitizing), whistles, a radio that is powered by crank (emergency radio), plenty of canned food and bottled water. If you have small children, remember to plan for diapers and other needs. Keep changes of old clothes with your at-home survival kit.
  4. Stable, Non-Perishable Foods. Store canned foods (even if you do not generally eat them), white and/or wheat rice, beans, canned or powdered milk, Pasta, Oats (old fashioned whole oats are more nutritious), and as much distilled water as you can store (one gallon per day, per person, is ideal).
  5. Pet Supplies. We consider our pets as part of the family. Remember to store sealed food and supplies for your pets. They will also need water and emergency supplies.
  6. Waste management.  To deal with this problem, store thick garbage bags, pet pads, food, water, et cetera, for humans and for pets. You should not allow pets outside due to the risk of exposure.

Preparations such as those made for other types of disasters apply in the context of nuclear exchanges. You do not need to spend a lot of money getting prepared for nuclear or other types of disasters. Pick up a few extra items each time you go shopping and find an area to safely seal and store them.

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Author Jana Brock (pen name) has extensive training and years of professional experience in emergency management, domestic preparedness and teaching citizen preparedness. However, this information is not all inclusive. Reader should do independent research on thermonuclear and other disaster aftermaths and then prepare accordingly. It is also advisable to research, and plan for, EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attacks.

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Copyright 2017.  All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or printed or written duplication of this material without express, written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Social media and blog reposting without edits or alteration is agreeable to author as long as author is given full credit and text is unedited and unchanged. Unaltered information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” CITED: en.wikopedia,org/wiki online 2016. Photo Credits for this Article: The amazing volunteers who contribute to: Pixabay.com. Thank you!

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Survival Tip 101: Fire Starters

Fire starting tools take up very little space in your survival kit. They should be considered a preparedness priority.

Lighters, Matches and Cotton Balls

YouTube videos and television shows highlight tools you can use to start fires the hard way.  The skills they teach are excellent and it is wise to have them. However, your survival kit should, first and foremost, always include the most common fire starters: lighters and matches.

Place matchbooks, wooden matches and several lighters in a sealed plastic bag. To start fires easily, compress several cotton balls and seal them in a separate bag, removing the air from the bag before sealing. These items take up very little space when packed correctly and add virtually no weight to your survival kit.

All-Weather Emergency 2-in-1

Since matches will not work if they get wet and lighters will eventually run out of fluid, it is wise to have a good backup tool. Flint, magnesium and fuel bars (fire starting kits) are inexpensive and can be purchased on sites like Amazon. Why not grab a few and toss them in? These fire starting tools require some practice. Learning how to use them properly will save you time and frustration.

People tend to either hate these tools, or love them. That said, the all-weather emergency 2-in-1 fire starter and magnesium fuel bar comes with everything needed to start a fire and that makes it a great resource. It is smart to have at least one in your survival kit. A few additional points are below, followed by some helpful videos.

  • Non-rusting metal can be stored for countless years, even in damp places or water and it will still work;
  • Not always easy to use but highly reliable when used correctly- even in the rain;
  • Very inexpensive; takes up virtually no room in a survival kit/backpack;
  • Requires practice. Learn how to use it before it becomes a must.

CLICK HERE to view a demonstration of this tool.

CLICK HERE to view tips and tricks to using a magnesium fire starter tool.

CLICK HERE to view instructional video on making fire in the rain.

CLICK HERE to view a helpful video on winter fire lighting techniques.

 

Disclaimer: The video references in this article are not owned by Jana Brock, nor are they formally endorsed. These external links are provided for your information and reference purposes only and remain the property of their authors/creators. Jana Brock does not take credit for, the content, presentation style, language or techniques in these training video references. We provide links to free YouTube videos we found to be credible and helpful.

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Go-Kits: Build One Better

Survival kit, go-kit or bug-out-bag. Called by whatever name, it is smart business to have one. In fact, every member of your family should have his/her own. Here are some things that no go-kit should be without.

  1. Hand-crank flashlight (lower beam range, but does not need batteries);
  2. Emergency candles or glow sticks;
  3. Hand-crank emergency radio (best is an all-in-one radio & flashlight and power source)
  4. At least 4 heavy duty carabiners
  5. Matches, lighters and cotton
  6. 1 bag protein drink mix (preferably soy-free vanilla powder)
  7. 10 Resealable plastic bags (5 gallon size and 5 quart size)
  8. 2 50′ nylon rope
  9. 25″ duct tape
  10. 4 20-gallon plastic garbage bags rolled tightly (compact by wrapping with thick rubber bands, which will also be useful in survival situation)
  11. 2 50-gallon plastic garbage bags rolled on outside of 20-gallon bags
  12. 5 or 6 N-95 face masks(on inside of face mask, pack band-aids, roll tape, and medical supplies to conserve space)
  13. Band-Aids, medical roll tape, absorbent feminine mini pads (see #9 for packing inside face masks)
  14. Small sewing kit (2 needles, 2 pins, thick and thin thread with small scissors, which can also be used for medical supplies)
  15. Cotton handkerchief folded flat;
  16. 2 Thin tarp (available at dollar stores)
  17. Roll of snare wire or similiar
  18. Lightweight long-sleeve shirt and lightweight short-sleeve shirt
  19. Undergarments and wool or heavy easy-dry socks
  20. Working gloves and mittens
  21. Light fleece and long underwear
  22. Hat with brim (pack clothes tightly inside hat)
  23. Poncho (for rain)
  24. Wool blanket, padding (for ground) and sleeping bag/rolled
  25. Canteen
  26. Toothbrush/toothpaste
  27. Aspirin, Aleve or Ibuprofen (pain reliever)
  28. Soap/wash cloth
  29. Machete and multi-tool
  30. 1 fork; 1 spook; 1 knife (preferably strong metal)
  31. Compass and map of area
  32. Edible plants book/leaflet for your area and survival guide (book or manual)
  33. Sunglasses
  34. Emergency whistle
  35. Notebook, pen, pencil (preferably carpenter style)
  36. Pepper spray and handgun/ammo
  37. Small fishing kit (or at least fishing line, hook and bobber)
  38. Cell phone, cord and hand-crank charger/power bank
  39. Two-way radios (hand-crank)
  40. Shoo Goo (for repairing leather shoes/other items)

It may not seem possible, but these items will fit in (and clipped onto) a large, hike-style backpack. You may have other items to include or you may wish to replace one or more of the items listed above, but this is a good start for a large, survival bag that you can grab and take with you in an emergency situation.

Note: Protein shake mix (powder) is suggested as your emergency food source because a 30-meal bag can be stretched out to 60 meals. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, takes up less space than emergency food packs and can be mixed with water. Emergency food need only get you to a place where you can forage and/or hunt for both food and water. Also, survival books (the good ones) are worth their weight in gold. Your survival book should address finding clean water (or purifying it), building shelters, finding food, medical emergencies, et cetera.

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Author Jana Brock (pen name) has extensive training and years of professional experience in emergency management, domestic preparedness and teaching citizen preparedness. However, this information is not all inclusive. Reader should prepare according to his/her needs. Additional research on personal preparedness is advisable.

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Copyright 2017.  All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or printed or written duplication of this material without express, written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Social media and blog reposting without edits or alteration is agreeable to author as long as author is given full credit and text is unedited and unchanged. Unaltered information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” CITED: en.wikopedia,org/wiki online 2016. Photo Credits for this Article: The amazing volunteers who contribute to: Pixabay.com. Thank you!

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5 Reasons To Get Prepared

Not long ago, preparing for a really bad day was something that most people did not take seriously. In recent years, there is a marked uptick in natural disasters, threats of war and even civil unrest.

With all manner of chaos on the rise, people are realizing that having extra food, water and supplies on hand is not such a bad idea. Having a backup plan if you must leave your home is wise, too.

Preparedness: A Professional’s Prospective

I come from a career in professional emergency management which included teaching preparedness classes to citizens as well as government partners. Working with federal, state and local levels of government, I was deployed to large-scale disasters across the nation. I have also worked locally on all-hazard emergencies and incidents that quickly overwhelmed local police and fire departments (stay with me – I’m sharing this for a reason).

My years of experience in emergency management also included complex disaster and emergency planning, full-scale drills and witnessing first-hand the immense shortage of taxpayer dollars to pay for it all.

One thing I know for sure. It is not wise to have a personal or family plan that says, “We will just wait for the government to help us.” That simply is not good enough anymore. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Chaos is on the rise. Like it or not, the world has changed. Storms are getting more destructive, divisions among people are growing wider and the threat of catastrophic war is thrown around as if no one on this planet matters. While all this is happening, laws and policies are tightening down more and more. How many more large disasters do you think will occur before the system can no longer help people with recovery?
  2. You are responsible for you. Somewhere along the line, the masses started believing that they can’t think for themselves or take care of their own families. A dependency mindset will not serve you well in a disaster situation. There is help (for some) available through government processes, that is true. However, when it’s all said and done, your ability to recover from a catastrophic event will be determined by your own resiliency and the planning you did beforehand.
  3. Help is everywhere, and nowhere. If one disaster strikes and then another closely follows, emergency workers (and volunteer services) are quickly spread thin. This is also the case when a single disaster is very widespread and affects many citizens at once. To those in the affected areas, it will seem as though nothing is being done. There are only so many people trained to do those types of jobs. Recruiting and training volunteers takes time and a great deal of resources. There is help somewhere, but it might not be anywhere near you for quite some time.
  4. Your home and everything in it. If you have no backup plan, you could lose everything overnight…literally. Don’t think it’s possible? Look carefully into the flood insurance program. Imagine that insurance only covers losses that were the result of a natural disaster. Because there has been such record rainfall in your area (due to a storm), the officials decide to release dam water in the middle of the night which floods your entire neighborhood. You are forced to evacuate with nothing but the clothes on your back.  Your house will be condemned, yet you still owe the mortgage (remember, the flood insurance program covers damage due to natural causes). What then? (As an aside, this is one of the best reasons not to be in debt or get stuck with a too-high mortgage payment).
  5. Mindset. It is harder than you might think to go from being self-sufficient to relying on others for even your basic needs (food, water, clothing). Not only do you feel an immense loss of freedom, but you will struggle with everything from depression to grief. If you are one of the people that does get some help from the system, be prepared for long wait times. What will you do in the meantime? Where will you and your family go? What about your pets? Your job? Your kids’ school? Your lifestyle?

 

The list above could be a hundred things long, but it should get you thinking. From the planning rooms to boots-on-the-ground deployments, I can only say that planning for these incidents should be a must.

What Can You Do?

Learn what you can about preparedness. Skip your evening television shows and search YouTube or the internet for preparedness content (many “preppers” have great survival tips and preparedness information). Read books written by authors about preparing your family. Start where you are and take a few steps to prepare every day.

Have an out-of-state contact; pack a go-bag (bug-out bag); have an At-home Survival Kit (ASK) with plenty of food, water and emergency supplies for several weeks or more; keep your gas tanks full; have an emergency savings; pay your bills off and stay out of debt.

Getting and staying prepared is not just about learning to start a fire in the woods with two sticks. Outdoor survival skills are important. They may come in handy someday soon. Closer to home, plan, prepare and don’t expect things to work like they should in the aftermath of a disaster. Large-scale incidents are game-changers. They do not care what your status is at work, how big your home is or the model/make of your vehicle. They strike, and lives are changed.

Be smart. Get prepared. Stay prepared.

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Copyright 2017, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited except for sharing on social media sites and other public forums. Shared material must give full credit to Jana Brock and be unaltered and posted in full. All readers, without exception, agree to the terms and conditions of the janabrock.com website. Information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” CITED: en.wikopedia,org/wiki online 2016.

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Realize Your True Purpose

There is a deep knowing within each of us – a place where true fulfillment and purpose lives. It is that persistent whisper that continues to gently nudge us. We know we will not be content until we pay attention.

One of the quickest ways we can get ourselves aligned with our own life purpose is to develop a mindset of giving rather than getting. Some might say that contribution is the key that unlocks the door to abundance. Regardless of societal teachings, belief systems or upbringing, there are universal, natural laws at play. One such law says that life supports that which supports life. Contribution is supportive of a positive life. It has always worked that way.

There are many reasons why we may not yet have recognized our true purpose. We are too tired or we stay distracted; we have limiting beliefs or misconceptions about the powerful nature of our thouFAB_6792ghts; getting what we truly want seems overwhelming; or we get stuck on complaints rather than solutions.

A great first step is to schedule some quiet time to think. Turn off the music, phone and television and just sit quietly for 15-20 minutes. Think about how you would answer this question:  If money were not a factor, what would I do with my life every day?  Most people can answer that question once they give it some quiet thought.

Now, answer these questions: How can I do whatever that is while positively contributing to the world around me? What does the world need right now? Though our systems often do not teach this reality, we already have the potential, intelligence and knowledge to align ourselves with purpose.

Focus on contribution and know that your gifts and talents are greatly needed, especially today. When we live in alignment with our own true purpose, we not only contribute to the world, but we find lasting fulfillment and happiness. How could we not?  Doing what we were meant to do ensures we are operating naturally and become our very best. It is who we were meant to be and how we were meant to live. No one can define that for us.

Happiness and fulfillment never came from monetary wealth. That is flawed information we are taught from a very young age. When we focus only on getting money or are driven by greed, our natural creativity is stifled. It also separates us from what we really want. When we are not true to who we really are, lasting fulfillment continues to elude us. Many rich and famous people have said that when they act against their true purpose they are not happy, nor fulfilled. Failing to honor true purpose causes continued internal conflict. True success, happiness and fulfillment comes from within, not from a high balance in a bank account.

A a mindset of contribution goes hand-in-hand with abundance. Abundance might mean something different for you than it does for someone else. Abundance can include monetary wealth as well, but money cannot be the foundation for happiness.  We were not meant to be slaves to money. Let the money come after purpose. For now, focus on abundance by knowing you already have what you need. If you desire monetary wealth, then you can bring that into your life as well. Just be careful that it is not the only reason you do what you do. When you are in alignment with purpose and contribution, then you will naturally have greater abundance. You get to decide how abundant your life will be and what form that abundance takes.

Start where you are by helping whomever you can, even if it is one person. Giving to others does not need to be monetary. It can be a kind word to someone either known or unknown to you. It might be sending a card for well wishes to a friend you have not seen in a while or someone who could use some encouragement. Or, it can simply be posting something positive on one of your social media sites and doing that day after day. Build from there. Remember, life will support you when you choose to support life.what do dreams know of boundaries

There is nothing more fulfilling than living your purpose. In line with your purpose you must contribute. Those two things working together creates abundance. Turn off the noise of the world around you, dream more, serve more and be who you want to be!

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Copyright 2016, Inspiration Fanatic Publishing. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or its owner is strictly prohibited. All readers, without exception, agree to the terms and conditions of this website. Information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” 

 

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How Positive is Positive?

Ever wonder why so many successful people say that solving problems is really just a matter of positive thinking? Think positive and things will be better; change your mindset and change your life; positive thinking brings positive results. It is important to be positive, smile and stay upbeat. However, it is also very important to pay attention to the foundation of those positive thoughts.

Desensitizing

Today, information comes at us so fast that we scarcely question why we think the way we do. Our mainstream societies are full of realities that most good people would wholly reject. Why do these bad conditions exist on such a large scale? Because we accept ill-intended concepts unknowingly.

The process of assuring we consume unhealthy information has become prevalent through desensitizing – a technique used in mind control. Objectionable ideas are fed to us slowly and with consistent repetition so that we become familiar with them. When our minds become comfortable seeing that which we otherwise find unacceptable, our thinking changes. We have become desensitized to all manner of atrocities and now view them as normal. If we are not paying attention to the messaging embedded in what we watch, read and listen to, we have no idea what is adversely affecting us.

frog-830869_960_720

Photo Credit: Pixabay

It is much like the frog in the water scenario. A frog sitting in a pan of water on the stove will not notice what is happening if the heat is turned up very slowly. He will die rather than jumping out because he got accustomed to the increasing heat. Conversely, if you were to place that same frog into a pan of very hot water, he is going to immediately realize the danger and jump right out.

How Mind Control Affects You

To demonstrate this concept, let us examine how the corrupt get people to do their bidding. Adolf Hitler used messaging directed at the subconscious minds of his followers through repetition. He convinced the masses that Jews needed to be exterminated. Over time, his psychotic ideas became familiar to people. He had successfully influenced the thoughts of millions, convincing them that his agenda of genocide was necessary. Hitler was said to be responsible for the deaths of six million people during the Holocaust.

Think about that for a moment. When others are able to manipulate the way we think, they control what we accept as our reality. That reality has a direct influence on our behaviors and actions. Once we become aware of these techniques, we can see everything for what it is. Intention is important, as is the energy behind messaging. Our positive thoughts can be built on a flawed foundation and hence, produce no good results.

Could these same techniques be used for good? Absolutely. First, we must make people aware of what is happening so we have an informed public. People do not much appreciate being manipulated. The problem is that our societies either do not know how these techniques work or they believe they are unaffected.

We presently live in a world where we have allowed money and its associated power to corrupt our mainstream systems and processes. Hence, our thinking has been adversely affected to align with those who do not have our best interests at heart. Since money determines who and what is in control, the elitists have full reign. They long ago figured out how to desensitize the masses and shape our views to ensure their continued wealth. That obscene wealth means more power and control over our systems and societies. It is a viscous cycle which is adversely affecting a large part of our world today.

Hitler’s regime was a brutal force of no-good. Regardless, the same mind control techniques he used are now the backbone of our mainstream movies, television, news media, social media, disinformation practices, product marketing and everything that influences us. A great deal of free resources exist on this topic. One short video, Rule From the Shadows, is a good introduction of these concepts. To view that video, click here: Rule From the Shadows. 

Getting Back in Control

monument-1027554_960_720

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Positive thoughts are important, but what they are based upon is crucial. If we were participating in Hitler’s regime, we might be very positive that today’s method of eliminating humans will succeed. That is positive thinking, is it not? Positive thinking in that context is based on very bad things and is fueled by a significantly dark energy. We can smile all day long while we are doing it. It is is still murder.

In order to ensure that positive thinking produces positive results, we need to realize the hidden messaging embedded in information we consume. What is the intent of what we are accepting as normal? Is it good or is it bad? Who does it benefit? The techniques discussed here are used most widely in the entertainment industry. We do not need to ignore everything we find relaxing or pleasurable. However, if we expect to ensure that ill-conceived ideas do not continue to infiltrate our minds and adversely affect us, we must become aware of what is seeding our thoughts.

It is also important to be mindful of how appearance is used in our societies today. Just because something shows up in a pretty little box with a bow on top does not automatically ensure its contents are good for us. Taking control of that which shapes our thoughts and recognizing it for what it is ensures that we control our views, behaviors and actions. When we are in control, our intentions and energies can be focused toward the positive. This benefits not only us, but the world around us.

For additional information and free articles, visit: Inspiration Fanatic by Clicking Here.

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Photo Credits for this Article: Jana Brock, Author, and the amazing volunteers who contribute to: Pixabay.com. Thank you!

Copyright 2016, Inspiration Fanatic Publications and Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All readers, without exception, agree to the terms and conditions of this website. Information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” CITED: en.wikopedia,org/wiki online 2016.

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Does Your Mindset Affect Your Life?

Does your mindset directly affect your life? History says yes. Common sense says, yes. Personal experience says yes. What do historic studies have to say about mindset?

Studies Show…

Let’s take a quick look at the growth-versus-fixed mindsets published in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, PhD. This 2007 book discusses a few familiar concepts. However, she refers to them as “growth” and “fixed”.  Her long-term studies reaffirm what we have known for years. People can drastically alter the direction of their lives by changing their beliefs and behaviors. Our mindset can deeply impact the course of our lives.

People with a growth mindset tend to: search for ways to improve themselves and attain their goals; view failures as a chance to learn so they can change their process; enjoy challenges; are dedicated to keep moving forward, regardless the effort involved; enjoy learning; model those who have succeeded before them; believe they can improve all areas of themselves; be more transparent; believe in their potential and that they determine what happens to them; take criticism well; think for themselves and hence, control their own lives and take risks.

People with a fixed mindset tend to: shy away from challenges and risks; be more interested in seeking approval than accomplishing goals; see a failed attempt as a negative; have negative thoughts that hold them back; blame others rather than taking responsibility; feel as though they must prove they are smart; be threatened by successful people; believe that they cannot change their level of talent or intelligence; do not take criticism well; do not try as hard as positive-thinking people.

Of course, there are many other attributes and variations of mindsets. And there is a lot missing in modern studies. In fact, perhaps most of the vital information is yet to be known, even though the habits of humans are easy to identify. For purposes of the Dweck study, the concepts of “growth” and “fixed”  could also align closely with the negative versus positive mindset, or optimist versus pessimist. Many today also know that we can change anything in our present reality by changing our thoughts and not allowing others to tell us what or how to think. Positive thinking alone does cause much to happen of and by itself. A change in the underlying drivers of that thinking does.

Your Mindset Moving Forward

Regardless where we live, our background or cultural history, there is one thing we can always choose and that is our state of mind. We can be negative, positive, optimistic or pessimistic. There is plenty of evidence apparent in today’s world to show that negative, submissive mindsets have let us to no good place. As well, we may have to look at some fairly negative issues in order to have a positive outlook so that our thoughts are actually based upon realities. Dweck and other studies align with the many benefits of being positive, joyous and harmonious across the board.  The benefits of knowing your own mind and making changes for the better are limitless. The wisest of humans throughout history have told us that in order to change the world, we must first change our thoughts. We are living in a time when changes in the world are a must.

You Choose

Our minds are powerful tools which are capable of survival, success, problem-solving, massive change, healing, imagination, creativity – the list goes on. Limitations we place on ourselves and our lives come from either programming, perceptions, beliefs or fear. Many of the systems in our modern world are built on the knowledge that humans can be controlled by this negativity, especially fear. A lot of those outdated methods have played out in our societies already. We can turn that around by retraining our minds and refusing to participate in anything  harmful or damaging. Regardless what is going on in your life presently, that is a very good place to start.

If you want to be something different, choose something different. It is entirely up to you!

 

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Jana Brock in Louisiana

Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

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Girl Next Door

We see human trafficking and, more specifically, child sex trafficking, in the news occasionally. Sometimes we even hear about another child gone missinghandcuff pic, though cases are rarely headlined in this context. Looking closely at this problem from the inside, the reality is stark. The “troubled” kids are not the only ones targeted. This is a horrific business that continues to grow. Whether you are aware of it or not, it is growing right next door.

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING DEFINED

To find a succinct “official” definition is not so straight-forward, unless we rely on all-things Wiki or independent websites. I have a career which has afforded me the opportunity to attend closed classes with individuals that work on the front lines of these problems across America, so I am clear on the definitions and process.

That said, in an effort to aid in awareness of those still uninformed, I did a basic internet search to find an agreed-upon, succinct definition of child sex trafficking without having to study complex laws and legal verbiage. Many examples exist. However, what I found most helpful were the relevant Federal Codes regarding coercion, involuntary servitude, debt bondage and commercial sex acts. To take a closer look, you can visit the website of Cornell Law University, citing U.S. Code §7102 (Definitions):  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/7102

Articles also exist, though they are scarcely helpful. Here is one excerpt that does contain a fairly good, brief definition:

“Georgia’s State Attorney General Samuel Olens calls human trafficking a brutal, complex and widespread crime. Olens says vulnerable people, often children [emphasis added], are sold and forced to have sex against their will.” Cited/Credit: Human Trafficking Brutal and Widespread in Georgia, posted Jan 11, 2014 7:31 PM PST, Updated Jan 29, 2015 7:03 PM PST.  WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation.  Entire Article Here:  http://www.cbs46.com/story/24425994/human-trafficking-brutal-and-widespread-in-georgia#ixzz3olENGMwZ

I am of the opinion that every man, woman and child in every country needs to be well-versed on what child sex trafficking is and what they can do to not only protect their children, but shut the business down entirely. As with so many things that involve our legal system, this is easier said than done.

THE HOOK

Many law enforcement officers, FBI agents and the like do not allow their children access to social media sites, cell phones with internet service, etc. They are not being unreasonable when they talk about watching your kids closely.  They are doing their best to impart knowledge about protective measures each of us can take inside the home. Here’s why.

I could be your daughter

Photo Credit: Article Published May 13, 2014, by Tara Grieshop-Goodwin. “Kentucky Action on Human Trafficking Help Child Victims”. KYYouth.org

Carey is 12. She is active on a social media site and does not realize that she is being watched. Much like her friends, she takes many “selfies” and shares them online. She has no idea that undesirable adults are watching her very closely. She would not be labeled a “troubled” kid. Carey is a pre-teen trying to navigate a difficult age with peer pressures most adults today cannot fathom. She is just the girl next door.

Carey’s social media page draws attention, even though she is just a regular “this-is-what-preteens-do” sort of girl. They stalk her site to learn what type of manipulation will work on her. Pimps know that every kid wants something not presently within their reach, and most kids respond to flattery and compliments. That includes from strangers. Social media makes it easy to discover a child’s interests and gather quick information about them and their lives. Many responsible parents do not watch their preteens or teenagers 24 hours a day. We work. We have bills to pay. We have life going on separate from what is occurring at home. Things slip through the cracks. They just do.

Young Carey receives a message from a woman who compliments her on one of her photos. Conversations follow until meeting up is arranged.  False promises are made. Carey is nervous of being secretive. The perpetrator says all the right things to make Carey feel safe, never mentioning the real purpose of luring this preteen away from the protection of her family.

By the time Carey arrives, it is too late. She realizes she was lied to and she will now be held against her will. Selling her for sex is now just a matter of physical threats, violence, drugs and eventually, brainwash. The pimp starts his well-formed process immediatly, including repeatedly raping her. This could occur within hours of her arrival. Her parents have no idea where she is or even where to start looking. Hours pass while they call friends and family, blow up Carey’s cell phone with texts and calls and kick themselves for working overtime that day, wondering how long she has been missing.The Art of Deception

Of course, that is just one example of how “regular” kids living in suburbia can wind up in sex trafficking situations. The bigger problem (of epidemic proportions) is occurring 24 hours a day with kids on the streets and those who have difficult home lives.

Much of the information society can get focuses on the latter. Once you become involved in the system and become educated, you may be shocked to find how many girls-next-door (and boys) types are coerced into trafficking lives. A huge obstacle is the effectiveness these pimps have over children. It doesn’t take long for a child to submit. If they don’t, they know their sisters, brothers, parents and anyone else close to them will be dead. Or worse, they are threatened that if they do not comply, their siblings will be abducted and pulled into the child sex trade as well. Pimps also use a false sense of “love” to capture and keep these kids. That is why it is so important to ensure that our children know they are loved at home. Do not give them any reason to search for love and acceptance elsewhere. That in itself is a huge problem as the modern family structures continue to deteriorate.

Depending upon the situation and the kid, often they eventually do not want to go home and work toward recovery. That is not true of every victim. But many would not leave their pimps no matter what has been done to them. The sick, demented life they have been pulled into becomes their reality and they become, as we say, hooked. To make matters more complex, the business of human trafficking (to include using children for sex) is now tied in with gangs and the hugely profitable business of selling illegal drugs, including in-demand pharmaceuticals.

WHO IS BUYING?

As we all know, in order to have any successful business, someone has to buy whatever is being sold. In the case of trafficking children for sex, who on earth would support this pedophilia business?

It seems no one wants to talk about this part publicly. We certainly do not see it in headline news. Why? Because the purchasing of kids for sex is also going on right next door.  Police officers, religious leaders, teachers, construction workers, retired military, active military, government officials and employees, gang members, the person pumping your gas…and every. single. profession. you. can. name.

Many resources on this topic exist. “Tricked” is a well-done documentary which is available on Netflex and other common streaming sites. The trailer on YouTube (parental discretion is advised) is located here:  “Tricked” on YouTube  Another full documentary worth viewing can be viewed on YouTube here:  Exposing Child Sex Trafficking (again – view discretion advised).   A myriad of solid information is available. The cost to you would be missing a regular program at home one evening. Better informed people = better world.

Among the top buyers are your neighbors. And mine. Even more shocking is the reality that our protectors – those who hold public office and public safety positions – are customers of child sex trafficking, too. Reason [insert number here] why we should not be teaching our children to trust people based on a uniform/badge they wear, or the higher-education degree they hold. People are people – good and bad. We must return to a state of common sense in teaching our kids, rather than putting that responsibility solely onto the system. Most system employees and public servants are amazing and hardworking individuals. Some are not. That is just the reality of living on this planet with other humans, especially in modern times where our government systems are overwhelmed to the point of breaking.

CONNECTED: PORNOGRAPHY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

We already know this information, but when it comes to couple time…who wants to admit they are participating in the sex trafficking trade in their own homes? I did not make the connection until I attended professional classes with those on the inside and front lines fighting sex trafficking. The truth was shocking to me.  I am sure it would surprise many.

Porn includes images, videos, online postings of nudity and DVDs that you purchase within your legal rights. It is not exclusive to a low-sound quality, basement production that uses humans to satisfy the sexual needs of those who watch. According to Miriam-Webster online, pornography is: “movies, pictures, magazines, etc., that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement.” Pornography is not just watching the act of sex on a DVD. The grown-up truth is, porn is any image that shows or describes naked people or sex… That means, the emails traded with buddies that contain nude or sexual images of young girls or boys. In today’s mainstream, one cannot watch a hamburger commercial without very blatant sexual imagery being used. That is the sad reality about our society’s appetite, so to speak.

Like it or not, legally-purchased pornography is often the product of children or others who became enslaved in human trafficking and illegal sex sales. Even if the porn “stars” are of age by the time they reach your bedroom DVD player, many were recruited using force, coercion and fraud. Often, the recruitment age was very young. That should disturb every decent man and woman to the point they refuse to participate.

Countless studies and reports have been published about the connection today between porn and sex trafficking.  According to Shared Hope International’s report on the demand for sex trafficking, pornography is the primary gateway to the purchase of humans for commercial sex.” Credit: Richard Justice Initiative (RJI), 9/7/11, Guest Author. More Information Here:  http://richmondjusticeinitiative.com/the-connections-between-pornography-and-sex-trafficking/

The Shared Hope International full report on Domestic minor sex trafficking in VA can be found here:  http://sharedhope.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/VirginiaRA.pdf  Keep in mind, this is just one report in one state in one country.  This is a growing, worldwide problem of epidemic proportions. As with any significant crime, the data we have available is based on what we know. Since “what we know” is monumental, then there is more that cannot be accounted for in these types of reports. The “hidden in plain sight” problem is always bigger than what we can see.

This is a difficult topic, at best. We cannot all get directly involved in saving these children. The way our criminal system is set up, it is difficult enough to even see a child in handcuffs (and leg cuffs) who is pulled out of a human trafficking sting.  Yes, the victims are arrested treated as criminals when a bust is made. There are problems with returning them home. Issues exist with keeping them safe. To make the problem even more difficult, a high number willingly return to their pimps and a life of trafficking. There are many reasons for this reality.

What can be done?

To solve every aspect of this terrible problem is too much of a burden for anyone, including law enforcement at every level. It involves too much damage, too much corruption and too many kids. Honestly, it also involves people that would rather brutally kill all of us than to lose one, single dollar they earn selling these kids for sex. You cannot fix human beings that are that broken. Those involved on the front lines of these overwhelming investigations do a great job – the best they can. As with most things today, the system does not have a good structure to support the few who are assigned to these countless cases.

Make the world as you want it to be. Without buyers of any of these services, including the pornography that drives human (sex) trafficking, then the demand disappears. As with anything in our world, we decide. We can say, ENOUGH. We can educate one another. We can protect our neighborhoods from gangs and drugs and those who are tied in with human trafficking. If you are involved in anything that supports any type of business that feeds or is connected with the human trafficking business, simply stop participating.

No demand = no supply.

There are also many resources online intended to educate us on this serious criminal business. One such resource is the NHTRC (National Human Trafficking Resource Center), which contains an overview of human trafficking data state-by-state. Though any presented information cannot be comprehensive, taking one step toward awareness is much better than turning a blind eye.

Be Well,

Jana

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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock and Inspiration Fanatic Publishing. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

 

 

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Worthy Resources for Writers

Wading through the myriad of websites in search of contests and other publication opportunities can be an exhausting chore.

In my recent search for viable contests for my latest book, Just Keep Breathing – Second Edition, I happened across some useful information.  A word to the wise writers:  Before you submit your blood, sweat and tears to any company for a writing contest, check them out carefully to ensure it is a good fit for you and your writing.

I hope you find this helpful.

Glimmer Train Contests
http://www.glimmertrain.com/writguid1.html

Glimmer Train is a company started in 1990 by two sisters who have done worthy work in short-story compilations.  If your story wins a place in one of their books, you could be paid handsomely for your contribution.   These books are also excellent reads.

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
http://bulwer-lytton.com/

In this contest, writers submit only one, single sentence (via email).  You may submit as many entries as you wish.  See website for deadlines and rules.

23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
https://app.wizehive.com/apps/wdselfpub2015

Have you published a book that qualifies as self-published?  This contest offers contest winners excellent exposure, monetary rewards and other notable opportunities.  Authors – see contest rules at website if you wish to submit.

Poetry International
http://poetryinternational.sdsu.edu/contests_pi.html

Calling all poets!  Prize and publication for winning entries.

Poets & Writers (Writing Contests, Grants & Awards)
http://www.pw.org/grants

Check out their search tool and database.  This site offers an excellent way to minimize hours spent by authors searching through individual databases for useful information.

Be Well,

Jana

To purchase my latest book, Just Keep Breathing (Second Edition), visit:

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Keep-Breathing-Journey-Recovery/dp/150887851X/ref=sr_1_2_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427292334&sr=8-2&keywords=just+keep+breathing+book
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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Just Keep Breathing – Second Edition Released

At some point in life, we will all experience the loss of someone close to us.   There is no getting around it.  The human body just does not live forever.  When this happens, depending upon how close the deceased was to us, it can force permanent changes in how we view life and others.  Sometimes that grief is so difficult to manage that recovery seems impossible.

Just Keep Breathing (Second Edition) can help you and your loved ones navigate grief and recovery using outside-the-box recovery methods.  It also discusses how to support someone who has suffered a significant loss so that relationships are not damaged during very emotional times.  Many books on this topic are not written on an emotional level.  So that we might remember these critical lessons, this one has been.

Just Keep Breathing (Second Edition) can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other literary outlets.  Paperback book is $8.10.  ebook is $3.99 for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers.

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Keep-Breathing-Journey-Recovery/dp/150887851X/ref=sr_1_2_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1426688223&sr=8-2&keywords=just+keep+breathing+book

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Shifting Autumn

Greetings ~

Thumbing through past writing, I found this poem I wrote in my youth.  Definitely a great time of year, at least here in Oregon. 

Be Well,

Jana

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Summer swiftly

Fades to Fall

Thieving warmth

And cooling all

Chill that settles

In the air

Fogs that linger

Warn, beware

Night birds carry

On their tune

Songs against

A harvest moon

Skies are silent

Still and calm

Nature slumbers

Dusk till dawn

Through the Winter

Will fall rain

Till the Spring

Comes round again.

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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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The Cusp of Adulthood

Somewhere in the dark recesses of my youth rest the expectations I once had of beyond high school. I figured everything out fairly early in life. Grow up, live on a tropical island, own a ragtop Ferrari and stock my cupboards with fine chocolates. Long-term health and dietary concerns were of no importance back then.  Neither was money. I knew that most adults stayed healthy and also bought what they wanted. I did not know how those things happened. I just knew they did.  I was also looking forward to no more curfews and less rules to obey.  I was heading into a time when I would just relax and savor every freedom in this grown-up world.



Starting college, I had a rude awakening about all-things adult.  Money from my summer jobs rented me a studio apartment not far from college campus. Carrying 18-21 credits a term, I simultaneously worked several part-time jobs just to stay afloat.  I was the poster child for cliché broke college students.  There was no room in my budget for expensive chocolate, nor did I have a Ferrari.  I could scarcely afford fuel for my beat up old puddle-jumper car.  I ate little more than Taco Bell and Top Ramen most every day.  It did not take long for reality to smack me right in my leaving-adolescence face.

Contrary to the ideas of my youth, adulthood did not arrive with the promise of anything easy. It was one huge expense after another.  The bills just kept coming.  The only thing that got easier with time was strengthening  my resolve to ensure my future was not as difficult as earning that first degree.  Failure was not an option.

Months turned into years of juggling jobs, studies and trying to eat enough to stay a few pounds past starving  skinny.  My life was wrought with so much work that I was barely surviving.  White-knuckling it to my college graduation, I put on a cap and gown for my second substantial scholastic achievement.  Proudly, I walked across the stage to shake the Dean’s hand and receive what I viewed as the holy grail of all possessions.

Now 47 years old, I have plenty of other time-passing accomplishments left in the wake of my adulthood, including a second stint in college and a worthy professional career.  At face value, those early years of hardship paid off pretty well in the context of middle-class.  In the bigger picture, I had debts with karma that could not be paid with money.

Somewhere between immaturity and who I became I had an epiphany about my true purpose.  That changed everything for me. I began to measure success by how I treated others and the relationships that I established. I now know my life is rich because of the people I love, and those who love me.  No amount of monetary compensation can buy what is most important today.

Considering the road to here, I wish I had a genie to grant me one wish.  I would abolish money in our world and reset the focus on true wealth so that our actions result in human connectedness and world peace.  Maybe then our children’s children might have an easier go of it.

Had someone asked me years ago what success meant to me, I would have responded in dollar amounts.  Thankfully, time, maturity and experience changes us. Back then, I did not understand the question.  I was not grown up.  I was only on the cusp of adulthood. 

Be well,

Jana

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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Just Keep Breathing

Just Keep Breathing, by Oregon Author Jana Brock, was written to raise awareness and share vital information about the effects of losing someone very close. Many books on this subject are not written to reach the reader on an emotional level. So that we might remember these critical lessons, this one has been.

At some point, we will all succumb to death. Before that day comes, it is also likely we will lose people we love. We will see friends, family and colleagues suffer those losses, too. When death occurs, we become a support system for the bereaved, just as they will at some point be in a position to give their support to us. Learning how to best support those around us is key to maintaining strong relationships in times of crisis.

Take a walk down the path that stretches from the present day back to the turn of the 2011 New Year. Read. Learn. And pass your knowledge onto others so that they may do the same. May this book travel far across many miles and oceans, helping as many people as possible.

Just Keep Breathing can be purchased in paperback and in ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble. It has also been distributed to over 115 book stores in several countries through online outlets and other literary sources. To buy your copy, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Keep-Breathing-Journey-Recovery/dp/1507765525/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424996598&sr=8-1&keywords=just+keep+breathing

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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock, Author. All rights reserved. No duplication, distribution, use or copying of this material without express and written permission from Jana Brock or Starry Night Publishing is permitted. (c) February 2015.

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Starry Night Publishing

Fellow Authors ~

Having done I a good deal of research on large publishing companies for possible acceptance of my manuscripts, I have learned a lot. For starters, taking that path to publication would mean not reaching goals I have worked toward all these years. I would also have to give up rights to my own work in addition to accepting unfair compensation for my books.

After deciding the large publishing houses were not the best fit for me, I looked into self-publishing. I determined quickly it was not my thing, either. Hours turned into days and months of searching for the right outlet for Just Keep Breathing. Because I have other books in the pipeline which are also ready to release this year, I wanted to find a solid publisher – someone established in this business. A fellow author recommended I look into Starry Night Publishing. At long last, my search was over. They offered me exactly what I needed.

starrynight

Starry Night Publishing is not about greed. They are about helping good writers succeed as known authors. This company will handle your manuscript with integrity, answer endless questions and publish your book on time. If your manuscript is not ready for publication when submitted, you will be told that up front. In addition to countless perks of publishing with Starry Night, the CEO is genuinely a nice person.

Be well,

Jana

For more information on Starry Night Publishing, click here: http://www.starrynightpublishing.com/
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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication, copy, rewrite or other use of this material without express and written permission from Jana Brock or Starry Night Publishing, is strictly prohibited.

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The Rose Wall (Excerpt From my Novel)

Greetings ~

In the wake of releasing my nonfiction book, Just Keep Breathing, I am working on my novels. The Rose Wall is the first fiction book in a supernatural trilogy. Several years in writing, it is nearing its last formal edit. As with all books I write, the story is based here in Oregon.

Juggling several manuscripts at once, family time, a long bought with (some kind of still undiagnosed) illness and a full-time career has been tricky. But you know what they say about busy, motivated people getting things done. We do.

This work has not yet been formally edited.

Be Well,

Jana
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The Rose Wall

On either side of the resting site were fresh roses. Each time Megan had come here, the flowers on the Lighten graves had been new. Red and perfect, their color bled onto the concrete structures surrounding them. Both graves were encased in a larger-than-most tomb. Ancient and weathered, Megan was somehow drawn to the bold floral color flawlessly placed around it.

Why, after all these years, would the roses still be replaced so often? They were never faded or brown. Enough years had passed since the Lightens died that even their children would be elderly by now. Or deceased.

Her lips pursed tightly as she turned her attention back to The Rose Wall, looking at the niche of her dead boyfriend. There was always a fresh rose there, too. She wondered how long Trenton’s mom would keep bringing the roses in memory of her son. Megan had never once seen Joy Murray’s car, nor any evidence of her visits here otherwise. Joy had been so harsh, so unkind. As if the reality of a dead boyfriend wasn’t enough pain, she had endured the unyielding feeling of guilt that Trenton’s blood was on the hands of her father. Avoiding Joy had been easy since the funeral, even in this small town. It was better their paths not cross again.

Standing there pondering the flowers, Megan was startled as movement in her peripheral vision sharply caught her attention. Gasping, her pulse raced hard. Crossing her arms tight against her chest, she looked around the graveyard. Nothing. Not even a bird moved in that direction. That familiar anxiety invaded her – a feeling she often had here that she was not alone.

She thought if ghosts did exist they would be in a graveyard, but she doubted she could see them. With intention, she slowed her breathing and decided that spirits would probably only appear at night anyway. It was broad daylight now.

“Ghosts,” she said quietly to herself as her eyes surveyed the cemetery. “Get ahold of yourself, Megan.”

The fog was lifting, revealing the sun high over the East hills. Soon, rays of bright light would replace the lingering fog and cast itself across the beautiful Willamette Valley. Dew sparkled on the tall grass in the surrounding fields as the blades swayed gently, back and forth as subtle winds picked up.

Megan was excited for the warm weather to return to Monmouth. A few more months and it would be cool sunshine, followed by warmer days. Then a crisp, colorful autumn. The calendar showed springtime had been here for a while. In Oregon, it often still froze as late as May and the cold rains were frequent.

She turned around and leaned her back against the gate. Tucking her hands back into the pockets of her coat, she thought about him. In three years, she had not been able to shake the dreadful feeling that one decision could have changed everything.

Just weeks after his 18th birthday, she and Trenton would have graduated high school together and been off to some college far away from the overbearing eyes of her father, and the judgment of Trenton’s mother. Instead of those dreams coming to pass, half a future remained behind her, stranded and alone on the very day that permitted his entrance into legal adulthood. Frozen there in time, forever.

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Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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