Tag Archives: stories

Do you believe me?

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

If you are a constant visitor to my site, you probably know by now that my favorite authors are King, Poe, and Lovecraft. I read Straub-master of literary horror they say- once in a while and you know what the funny thing is, I am not a fan of anything horror. I find horror movies funny and whenever I read the works of those writers I have mentioned above, I failed to see anything horror in their writings. There is nothing ghastly frightening morbid or shocking in there as far as I’m concerned.

If I’m not a fan of horror and don’t prefer macabre tales you might wonder why I read them. The explanation is simple enough: because they write so well. And they write easy to understand phrases devoid of flowery words, and when it comes to King, I admire the way he can make ordinary whatever into something extraordinary. And Lovecraft can convey feelings and emotions so strong you can almost taste it. So does Poe. And that’s why I love them and not because I am fond of gristly and gory. It just happened that they write horror stories.

Do you believe me?

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Understanding Madness

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” 
― Philip K. Dick

Very dangerous Idea. Imagine omitting the “sometimes” from the above sentence and what you got is a powerful conviction (or excuse) to do something outrageous.

Having said that, There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when the reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. I guess that is what happened to my sister, she has gone insane to escape the sick reality of our lives.

Later on, she will choose to live on the streets than to face her responsibilities, leaving her six children behind. I’ve tried countless times to change her mind, fostering her kids, sending them to school, but although she will play with them and stay for a while, whenever I brought up the topic of her settling down with her children again, she will get hysterics and tell me she doesn’t want headaches anymore and she will disappear again, back to her old habits of moving from one place to another.

It hurts me to think of the horror she had been subjected to being the way she is and living the life she has chosen for herself. Sometimes, she will have deep cuts on her arms or bruises on her bodies. Other times, her hair had been chopped off badly and she was bleeding. Rumor has it she had been gang-raped in the cemetery… It breaks my heart but I am powerless to do anything. You cannot help somebody that doesn’t want to be helped.

I’ve nightmares about it and like her, I avoid thinking about her situation too much for the fear of joining her in her never-ending quest for peace of mind.

Yann Martel said: All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.

Maybe that is what my sister is doing, saving herself in the only way she knows how. It might seem insane to onlookers but to her it makes sense. I hope someday she will find what she is looking for. I hope she will find someone who understands her and will take care of her and show her how it is to be loved. She needs it. Love is something she never experienced in her life. Certainly not from my mother who hated her from the moment she was born. Hate she passed on to anyone and everything that has something to do with my sister including her children. I don’t understand it. I will never understand how someone let alone a mother could differentiate her love between her children? 

They say all parents do it, they love their children in different ways, seeing each child as an individual, each one with their own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses and may find it easier to understand one child from another. That I could understand. But to hate and shun your own child calling her ugly among so many other derogatory terms is to me unacceptable. 

Maybe my mother had her own twisted reasons for doing it. She never told me when she was alive and now that she’s dead, I will never know why. Perhaps that is the madness of my mother, favoring one child among her children.

Maybe we are all mad here in Wonderland.

Emilie Autumn said:

Some are born mad, some achieve madness, and some have madness thrust upon ’em.

I believe the last one is my sister.

Her mind is too weak to cope with our dysfunctional family situations. But she’s not alone. None of us siblings survived the ordeal of growing up without scars, visible or invisible. The traumas manifested in all sorts of bizarre behaviors which in turn have lead into more compromising circumstances breeding the next generations of the likes of us.

God knows where it will lead.

According to the experts___

When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.

I will keep this in mind.

When things become unbearable.

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Home Is Where Your Heart Is

I discovered that what most people call creepy, scary, and spooky, I call comfy, cozy, and home.― Zak Bagans

They say we feel more comfortable in a familiar environment. With the people we know.

Studies have shown that we are all attracted to what is familiar to us and that repeated exposure to certain people will increase our attraction toward them. This is a subconscious process that we’re not even aware of or have any awareness of making such a choice. We are attracted to familiar people because we consider them to be safe and unlikely to cause harm. Even when someone’s behavior or personality is hurtful, on a subconscious level, some part of us finds comfort in the familiarity of that behavior. Good or bad, the environment in which we grew up is the only home we’ve ever known.

This is why it’s so difficult for people to leave hurtful relationships. It’s easy to criticize someone for staying in an abusive relationship and to blame the person for staying, accusing them of being weak or wanting to be treated badly. But no one wants to be treated badly. It is hard to leave because, besides the issues of having nowhere else to go, we are tethered to bad relationships as much as we are tethered to the past by our subconscious minds. [source: Psychology Today- The Familiarity Principle of Attraction]

I am a product of this principle though not by my own choice. I suffered from Stockholm Syndrome and still suffering the consequences nonetheless.

Going back to where I came from, I always seek the familiar environment of my youth even though I’ve long escaped that situation and now belong to another group. That makes me susceptible to horror and ordeal of the past which my family and most people are trying to escape and will gladly trade for my privileged position. Difficult and incomprehensible as it is, that environment could evoke feelings from me when nothing could and will forever be miss and long for against my better judgment.

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THE WEATHER OF LOVE

Love
Has a way of wilting
Or blossoming
At the strangest,
Most unpredictable hour.
This is how love is,
An uncontrollable beast
In the form of a flower.
The sun does not always shine on it.
Nor does the rain always pour on it
Nor should it always get beaten by a storm.
Love does not always emit the sweetest scents,
And sometimes it can sting with its thorns.
Water it.
Give it plenty of sunlight.
Nurture it,
And the flower of love will
Outlive you.
Neglect it or keep dissecting it,
And its petals will quickly curl up and die.
This is how love is,
Perfection is a delusional vision.
So love the person who loves you
Unconditionally,
And abandon the one
Who only loves you
Under favorable
Conditions.

― Suzy Kassem

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Ladies, We Have a Choice

By Galina Singer

“You look tired!” was the first thing my friend said to me as she opened the door to let us in for dinner.

It annoyed me. I actually thought I looked pretty good that day, given the circumstances.

As much as I try not to let comments like that affect me these days, it did wake up the dormant monster of self-doubt. With each year, the pressure to “do something” to stop the inevitable signs of aging mounts.

My friend wishes well. But she simply cannot understand why I don’t get with the program. Most of my peers and even women much younger than me have already included anti-aging regimens into their maintenance routines, although most stop at injections and fillers. They’ll tell me, “It’s basic hygiene—it’s like brushing teeth!” in an attempt to make it easier for me to understand how low I’ve fallen.

Having “work” done is now the norm, so I stand out from the Botoxed crowd like a dinosaur. According to Psychologist Ros Taylor:

“The availability and accessibility of cosmetic procedures, the lack of stigma about having work done and the rise in women’s disposable income has meant the gateway is clear for this to become normalised. And it is only going to increase.”

Still processing the fact that six months ago I turned 50, I know I’m not invincible to the pressures women my age face. I also believe in having a choice.

However, I am concerned.

I am concerned, because over a relatively short period of time, what is considered normal in terms of “routine maintenance” for women has changed dramatically. It has changed due to the increasing emphasis we place on appearance in our social media-ruled lives.

As we navigate this new world, our image often takes precedence over our real achievements. The search for the forever-out-of-reach level of surface perfection leads us to confuse our values and do things out of social pressure—exactly what I teach my teenage daughters not to do!

An article in Time magazine makes me feel scared and powerless, as it states:

“You’re going to have to do it. And not all that long from now. Probably not a full-on, general anesthesia bone-shaving or muscle-slicing. But almost definitely some injections into your face. Very likely a session of fat-melting in some areas and then possibly moving it to some other parts that could use plumping.”

Not having work done is apparently now the new shame: “You’re going to get a cosmetic procedure for the same reason you wear make-up: because every other woman is.”

Women are succumbing to cosmetic enhancement because we feel pressured to. It’s the same reason that women used to wear corsets and had their feet bound and undergo female genital mutilation: because society demands it.

But, ladies, this is 20__ and we have a choice!

We have fought a long time for the right to choose and take ownership of our appearance.

When we inject our faces with stuff, it’s not coming from the same place as putting on a colorful lipstick to freshen up our complexion.

We are manipulated by the multi-billion-dollar cosmetic industry’s slogans urging us to be “the best we can be” and to strive for our “best selves.” The manipulation works because women have been known to readily succumb to pain to fit in and often confuse self-love with self-hate. We are steered to do whatever it takes because we’re told we’re “worth it”—implying that if we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame for “letting ourselves go.”

I find it unfair when the conversation veers in that direction. It implies that I neglect my self-care. And that is simply untrue. Having recently and finally freed myself from the unattainable, constantly moving target of perfection, I now take better care of myself than ever before through yoga, meditation, and working on fulfilling my potential.

Ask yourself: When we succumb to invasive procedures to look younger than our age, what are we trying to accomplish, exactly? Are we trying to turn back the clock?

Surely it’s not injecting poison into my face and paralyzing the muscles out of their natural movements that will slow down the passage of time for me and make me forget my age. And I just know that melting the fat out of my bottom to inject it into my lips will not make me feel any younger, either.

Whom are we trying to deceive? What are we trying to say? Or rather, what are we trying to silence?

Is it rude or anti-social to show up for dinner looking my age? To have my face reveal what I feel? Do I ruin the appearance that all is perfect in the world?

Am I too much of a mirror to my middle-aged friends, reflecting the real state of where we are in our lives—our age, our children growing and leaving, our long-term marriages in which the impending departure of children from home may dissolve the glue that held it all together for years?

Are we trying to pretend that while everything changes, we stay the same? That we are not aging? That we are not getting closer to the unspeakable, the ultimate: death?

Because that’s another pressure we need to face up to—the pressure to wake up. To stop running away from the truth and face the fact that time is precious and fleeting. That life is fragile and that we need to somehow change our relationship with it, before it becomes too late.

So, ladies, we have a choice.

Which pressure will you succumb to?

I am personally looking for a more sustainable path to aging gracefully.

As human beings, we are part of the natural cycles of life. The sooner we accept that essential fact, the sooner we can reconnect with the truth and, hopefully, accept where we are in our lives.

There is nothing ugly in nature. All of nature’s manifestations have a reason for being and serve as part of the miraculously-working whole. Change and transformation are part of life.

I am so done with the need to be perfect. It leads to tremendous pressure and isolation. It causes people to pretend and to hide and breaks down sincere communication.

We shall not stay young forever. As sad as it sometimes is for me to accept, that’s the only truth.

The point is not to look younger for as long as possible. Tampering with our looks does not change our physiology. What does help us to look and feel better is being mentally and physically healthy, while we live lives filled with purpose.

Let’s go beyond the surface. Beyond the temporary. Beyond glossy images of pretend life.

Let us go deeper. Accept the reality. Be grateful. Find our inner potential. Inspire others. Live according to the natural laws. Give back.

Ladies, we have a choice!

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Mr. Sandman Is A Creepy Boogey Guy

I’m obsessed with sleep. You all know that by now.

Just recently my GP prescribed me Diazepam for muscles spasm and -you guessed it right- insomnia.

It doesn’t work.

What it did was gave me nightmares.

My nightmares like my dreams are in technicolor and complete. Beginning.  Middle.  End.

Like a movie.

And

They are either this or this.

But mostly it is just Sleep paralysis.

You know… the

…sounds such as humming, hissing, static, zapping and buzzing noises. Voices, whispers, and roars. Fear and panic. Sensations of being dragged out of bed or of flying, numbness, and feelings of electric tingles or vibrations running through the body. Hypnogogic hallucinations, such as a supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying me accompanied by a feeling of pressure on my chest and difficulty breathing. A menacing shadowy figure entering the room or lurking outside the window, while yours truly is paralyzed.

That, and a lot more.

Like I’m about to change into something else and I can feel my skin and bones splitting, forming and rearranging.

Tempting though to let it happen and see where it brings me, I have a strong inkling that if I let that happen, there is no way back, so, I have to wake up.

Mostly this happens when there is a full moon or when the moon is waning or waxing. Basically, all the time.

My sister called me a Lunatic.

Funny coming from here. But I took no offense. She called me also a paper doll.

Family.

They say

Either you hate them or love them.

I’m neutral.

I don’t feel anything.

What about you?

Do you have a similar experience?

Nightmares. Not family.

Well, do you?

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getting Through The Cracks

I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn’t open. The only thing I had was cracks. I’d do everything to get through those cracks – scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. ~Dwayne Johnson

Only I didn’t do all those things. I was not aware of the cracks. I thought they were doors. I didn’t want to escape, I was happy where I was. I guess if you don’t know any better… I knew there were people who were dissimilar from us but to me, they were just people. I never envy them nor aspire to be like them. Though they behaved differently towards me and my family, their attitude never made me feel inferior or less fortunate. It should have been. Perhaps if it was the case I would try harder getting through the cracks instead of___ what are the right words to describe what I was thinking/doing back then___ going through life one day at a time, more or less happy (in my own way) making the most of how little there was.

I don’t believe in destiny like I don’t believe in supernatural even though I had enough experience to write a dozen books about both. Things happen and that’s all there is to it. I got through the cracks somehow and stay out. No amount of coincidences, conspiracies and risky endeavors catapult me back where I came from. If I believe in luck I would say I am probably lucky.

Lucky that even though I follow my heart most of the time and pride is my greatest sin and I seem to be fond of illogical thinking, I’m still alive and in one piece and far from destitute. Hmmm… maybe the last one is debatable since I am not rich in my own right. Sometimes it is good to be a woman.

There are people who want nothing in their life than to get through the cracks but if offered a lifeline they use it to strangle themselves. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Watched it happening from the ringside often enough to know that those cases are classified as lost causes. No one can help them unless one is willing to commit suicide. Try to teach them to fish and they will hate you for not just giving them the bounty on a silver platter spoon and all. They want to eat fish but they don’t want to go fishing. They expect you to feed them through the cracks. Day by day, year by year. All their lives.

I guess it could have gone wrong for me also if I didn’t make certain choices. I tried it for size and those few times are the only decisions I ever regret making. No harm done. No course altering or life-changing events but still… those deliberate error of judgment is not to be repeated. Shameful they are.

Chances that could stir my life towards the one I had dreamed of never happened. Not for the lack of trying. It just didn’t happen. Everything I had envisioned for myself never materialized. It reminds me of the saying about God gives us not what we want but what we need. Who needs decades of nightmares I wonder.

If I could choose my own destiny I would choose to be a successful career woman ( what I mean by this is I work as a bestselling author/painter, Broadway/actress, an FBI agent ala Mulder and Scully, food/restaurant critic, travel photographer/journalist, a psychologist or even a pirate) unmarried, childless and enjoying one night stands in every city. Like a man.

Too much to ask?

Or

Maybe I just have to be content that I got through the cracks in one piece.

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In The Sea

“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”

― David Lynch

Does the above quote applicable also when looking/hunting/choosing for a potential partner? I heard it before, so many fish in the ocean and to quote a fifteen-year-old boy who thought he knew better he said: She’s not the only pussy walking around. He was, by the way, referring to me, angry because his own brother and first cousin were on the clinch for my attention. But if I read him correctly, he got an adolescent crush on me and probably angry at himself. Those were the days.

Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. Oh, I thought the higher you go up on the social ladder the poorer it gets when it comes to attitude and manners. But then again, Lynch was talking about ideas, not people.

But ideas come from people, and I believe that in order to have depth on anything, the source got to have layers, multiple layers. And layers come from life experience, years of experience. The harder the life you lead, the more colorful and complex the layers become. No wonder most if not all geniuses were tortured souls. All great art comes from pain they say, and history is there to prove it, There is no need to mention names, we all know who they are. The Myth of the Tortured Artist, remember? They say it’s not a myth. Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. Suffering gives insight they claim. What tortured them is what made them great. I can only agree. I write better when I am unhappy and can’t sleep.

Experience and the ability to feel and to know where those feelings are coming from give art authenticity in my opinion. It’s your soul that is out there, no one had been through what you have been through, your stories are solely your own, unique in every way. Your craft is an expression of your personal journey and the bumpier the road, the greater is the experience the deeper is the source of inspiration.

I have lived a thousand lives. No exaggeration. I could write about a million things others could only imagine about. My history and my experience lend truth to my voice as opposed to someone who is writing fictional situations. They say in every book someone writes, there is always a piece of autobiography in it and I believe that. We draw characters and places from our own personal experience. It doesn’t matter if we are writing fiction or not, we based personages and situations on people we know and places we’ve been. There is always a piece of truth in every lie they say. I believe that too. Where else we could get our inspiration but from life itself, right?

With a little bit of imagination or lots of it, we can make ordinary extraordinary and simple to wonderful. All we need is to catch some big fish, and in order to do that; we have to explore bigger and deeper seas and risk drowning. Sink or swim people.

Till next time.

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Fairy Tales

Once upon a time she had felt trapped inside her story with its familiar characters and predictable plot… 

She still is.

But her life goes on in reverse

Her once upon a time came at the very end

The happily ever after happened first

Not in the beginning but somewhat in the middle

After the nightmares before the big mistakes…

~

Then the Prince Charming came not on a horse

Armed with dollars but without a sword

He gave her poisoned apple and left her no choice

She has to bite and swallow the whole

Then she slept and the nightmares began

It took her years to wake up and run…

~

The forest was dark cold and dangerous

She was all alone little Red Riding Hood

Along the way she met a friendly wolf

He took her home gave her shelter and food

They became friends sort of partner in crime

She helped him to grow big and flourish in life

Her task was enormous taking care of her friend

The wolf was her universe no time for little else…

~

Years have gone by before she realized

She lives in isolation, a prison without bars

She wants to run away and become free again

Feel the sun on her face wind caresses her hair

But her wish alas can never ever come true

The time has run out it is now too late

She is not anymore the girl she used to be

No longer on land altered beyond belief

Her only choice is to sink or to swim

No other options left____

Her feet became a tail…


13.12.2018 03:12 Thursday
©2018 ImpossibleBebong@My Own Private Idaho. All Rights Reserved.

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We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

My son told me when I related to him what I’ve experienced when I was eight years old that whatever I believed I have seen that time wasn’t real. I protested of course. How could it not be real when I saw it with my own eyes? I wasn’t dreaming, I was wide awake and running for my life. I wasn’t hallucinating, never took drugs, not drunk either, no fever. It was supposed to be an ordinary day and I was running a simple errand and suddenly my world turned upside down.

It doesn’t matter he said. To me it was real but it doesn’t mean it really was. I never thought of it that way. There was and still is no doubt in my mind that it happened. No matter how bizarre the experience was, I never question my sanity or the authenticity of what I have witnessed. To me, it was as real as you and me and all the people that are walking o this planet. Even my son’s skepticism failed to shake my belief. I will carry that belief to my grave.

Suit yourself he said.

What about this one? I asked. And this? Same verdict. I was imagining things but convinced I wasn’t. What should I do that? What could possibly be the reason why I would imagine situations like that? Believe me, if I would fantasize anything it would be something very different, totally the opposite, like tête-à-tête with Rafael Nadal for instance. But no matter what I said to my son, I could not convince him, and vice versa, which made me think: Do we really___

Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live? 

Joan Didion said:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live…We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.”

Do we really?

I know we learned and we have to turn a blind eye sometimes to what is happening around us in order to survive and protect our sanity. All that senseless violence, poverty, and political issues plus global warming and the declining quality of just about everything are enough to send anybody down the drain.

Those people who had been and still are in an abusive relationship would understand. I have been there done that. I know how it is to make excuses for someone and for yourself in order to keep whatever you want to keep intact. Hence the existence of the  Stockholm syndrome which funny enough I truly believe is possible based on my own experience.

So, what was the possible cause of my imagining things which for the sake of an argument let’s say I did, boredom? Trauma? Stress? Not applicable to the situations. I have never been bored when I was young. I wasn’t traumatized enough then and if_ it will not materialize at that moment. Stress? Unheard of in my generation. Besides, I believe stress is predominantly sickness of western societies in developed countries. We have enough outlets and too resourceful to be stressed. No wonder the globally accepted image of a paradise is a sun-drenched beach with one single leaning coconut tree. Says enough, don’t you think so?

How about you?

Do you believe we deceive ourselves by conjuring up stories to avoid facing the truth? Do we really seek refuge in fantasy to protect our sanity and keep going? Is it a part of our survival skills/ instinct? Inborn? Learned? Taught?  Inherit knowledge? Tradition? Education?

Whatever which way, it isn’t healthy.

Or is it?

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Fixation Problem

My ex-husband said I have a fixation problem.

To him, it means not being able to forgive and forget his deliberate mistakes and failing to turn a blind eye to his shortcomings and not shutting up about it.

In another context I would agree with him, I do have a temporary obsessive interest in something sometimes, like scarves, bags, shoes, succulents, porcelain dolls, silk flowers, and food. Luckily like happiness and the first intoxication of morphine, it doesn’t last very long. I could easily forget the obsession and move on to the next thing. 

But while I am in that obsessive state, nothing can stop me. I must and will acquire whatever the object of my desire at that moment. Which reminds me of someone accusing me of exactly the same thing but talking about people.

Anyway, the other day while watching Strictly Come Dancing I noticed that everyone wore a Remembrance Poppy brooch and I was right away interested. I saw paper versions of the same pin but these ones were different, they were proper jewelry, beautiful and shining. Looking closely, I saw that there were few varying designs, some were larger, some smaller, others had only one stem and no leaves and one was with diamonds. After scrutinizing each, I decided that I want only three and was so elated I was practically dancing around on the front of the T.V. 

Then, like a cold November shower, I suddenly came to the realization that there is no way I could have them; not those exact designs, and before I knew it I was in tears. I was so sad if my heart could break it certainly would at that moment. And I don’t even like jewelry and seldom wear any. But those pins were so cute I wanted to put them next to each other and admire them. I like to have anything that can put a smile on my face. There are not so many of those. The list is short: certain puppies, certain dolls, certain babies, birds and anything unusual.

Before the night was over, I have forgotten about the poppies already but for one short moment, they were so important to me, enough to make me cry, and I didn’t even bat an eyelash when I’d lost 2,000 dollars on a bus while on holiday and certainly didn’t shed a single tear during or after my divorce or when my parents died. 

Do I have a fixation problem? 

I don’t know.

What do you think? 

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Poems and Stories

Genuine artists talk to us about ourselves, more specifically about those parts of ourselves that we keep hidden – the strange parts, the dark parts. But these people wear their strangeness as a badge of honor, making it an important part of their identity. This is why they touch us. This is why we really want to be them. What we really envy is how open they are with their strangeness, when we are afraid. Deep down, we all know that one only becomes an individual when one stops hiding their strangeness.

– Anca Rotar  

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Oops I Did It Again

After a long wait I finally found the time to revised and published the third installment of five autobiographical books I have written more than twenty years ago and hid in a shoe box inside a closet. I did not do it for money or fame but for future reference. For safe keeping. Time is running out and I want it to be out there before it’s too late.

You can find it here. As usual, there is a picture widget on the right side of my blog and if you click the image it will bring you to my author page. Check it out when you have some time to spare.

The book is about Michael and his journey of becoming a man and meeting the love of his life and future wife. But life is never been that straight forward and seldom obstacle free. The woman he set his eyes on is not only married with two kids, she is also his teacher. Can Michael bridge the gap of age, education, background and social status between them? Can true love really conquer all?

Why don’t you find out?

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