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I’m very excited to announce that my official author website is now up and running! The webmaster did an awesome job and I can’t thank him enough! Love you, Rex! Mwah!

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How Getting the Lowdown on Your Bullies Benefits You

Empowered Arrow in Bull's Eye Target Confident Attitude Ambition

Knowledge is power! It’s also another way to take the sting out of bullying. We must first know the bullies’ inner workings- how they think, what they deem essential, their desires, and what it is that motivates them to bully. We must also know the types of bullies we are dealing with, the tactics they love to use against us and why. Because when we understand what motivates bullies to bully, not only are we better able to build a strategy to defuse the situation, but this knowledge can be a buffer to the effects of bullying on our self-esteem and our psyches.

For example: If a classmate or coworker is bullying me, and I know that her best friend has recently kicked her to the curb, or that she is going through a horrible break-up or divorce, that maybe she is being abused at home, or someone else is bullying her, I can at least know that there’s a strong possibility that she is trying to bring me down solely to keep from feeling so powerless herself, rather than to be fooled into thinking that her behavior is because there is something wrong with me.

I then know without a doubt that her mistreatment of me comes from a place of her insecurity and that her belittling me is only a desperate attempt to feel some sense of power. Therefore, I know that I’m still a great person and my self-esteem remains unscathed. Also, it would help to quell any anger, hatred or resentment I might otherwise feel towards her. Instead, I will more than likely feel pity for her or even feel vindicated in some way. Any future bullying she might subject me to won’t bother me as much, which will make it much easier for me to blow her off as being just another blowhard and not as perfect or strong as she has vigorously tried to make herself out to be.

Combined, this can be a real self-esteem booster!

Another example would be if my bully were a narcissistic psycho/sociopath, I’d know that her ego is puffed up or she’s a spoiled, coddled brat, or maybe mistreated in the past that she thinks she’s owed special treatment. Either way, I’d know that it would probably be best to avoid her like the plague and go completely no-contact.

Here’s the third example: If I have a group of people who are bullying me because they are jealous of me and wish they had something I possess- talents, gifts, relationships, material things, etc, I know that I should feel great about myself as if only goes to show that these bullies actually admire me (in their way) or the things about me they covet so much.

This article may sound strange, even delusional, but think about it. Why else would these people seemingly go out of their way to belittle and crush my confidence?

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It helps to know what the bullies may be going through in their own lives and to have a little intel about their lives away from school and work. There’s nothing wrong with aligning yourself with other people your bully has bullied before you and with your bully’s enemies. There’s nothing wrong with getting some counterintelligence from reliable sources if it will protect your self-esteem from being crushed under the proverbial bootheel of a bully! So, do a little spying, nonchalantly get their enemies and other victims to talk!

Doing this will be a piece of cake to do as they will almost certainly be too happy to give up the deets! Then, you will be armed to the teeth will info that will take the wind out of the bullies’ sales and the blunt force out of their attacks.
The more you know, the better you protect yourself!

Where Writers Get Inspiration for Good Fiction

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I’ve met all kinds of people in my life, some were totally awesome and others were so hideous you’d have thought they were spawned by the devil himself!

Some were blessings and others were lessons. If I’ve written about you, don’t go off feeling mad or sad. I’ve made you relevant and it only means you’ve made me feel some really deep stuff, good or bad.

As a fiction writer, many of my characters are based on different people I’ve either met or heard stories about.

Much of the story lines and dialogue are based on conversations and stories I’ve heard in doctor’s offices, lobbies, waiting rooms, restaurants, clubs, public restrooms, the locker room at school, standing in the checkout line in the local supermarket, or from many conversations I eavesdropped on as a kid.

Some are from stuff I’ve seen at school, a few workplaces, online and in public.

I can’t count the times I’ve overheard conversations in a cafe and thought, “Wow! Now this is some really good shit!”, then wrote it all down on a napkin to keep in my purse until I could get to my notebook or computer.

My mind is always writing because I take in everything around me. This can get exhausting but it’s something I love to do!

Nonverbal Language of Bullying From Head to Toe

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Eyes- That Creepy Piercing Glare. The eyebrows narrow and the eyes bore into you without blinking. The head does not move. The person stares you down as if they want to attack you. Bullies do this number to either challenge or intimidate their targets. Return the stare and the bully will likely go away.

Nose- The Nostril Flare. You’ve seen the nostrils of a bull flare when the animal is about to charge a matador. It’s the same with bullies. The nostrils flare to take in extra oxygen needed for a possible physical attack. When a bully does this, he’s hostile. When a person’s nostrils flare at you, look out! Because it is a sign the bully is about to physically attack you. Keep your eyes peeled and be prepared to defend yourself.

Jaw- The Jaw Clinch. The bully is gritting his teeth at the target and hiding it. When this happens, you’ll notice the jaws protruding. The bully either pulls this move to intimidate or in preparation for a fight. Again, this is a sign of a possible physical attack. Don’t ignore. Stay vigilant.

Mouth- There are many expressions bullies use with their mouths. One of which is, The One-Sided Upper-Lip Raise. Coupled with a glare, people raise one side of their upper lip to convey contempt or disgust. Return the sentiment and the bully will likely move away. Thinned or Pursed Lips are a sign of hostility as are baring of the teeth or snarling. Again, return the expression but be prepared.

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Chin- The Jutted Chin. The bully tilts the head back and juts his chin forward all for the purpose of looking down his nose at you. When the bully does this, he is either challenging you, trying to intimidate you, or he truly thinks he’s superior. Again, return the sentiment and the bully will back down.

Neck- The Exposed Neck. The bully will expose and lengthen the neck to challenge you. People do this to show that they aren’t afraid of the person in front of them and can hold their own if necessary. Bullies do it to make themselves appear taller and to intimidate anyone in their way. Again, reflect the gesture back to the bully and he’ll likely leave you alone.

Shoulders- The Shoulder Throw. Bullies will often throw their shoulders back to convey confidence and power. If you want to appear confident, never slouch the shoulders, always stand up straight, tall and with your shoulders back.

Chest- The Puffed-Out Chest. The bully’s chest puffs outward toward the target. The chest fills with extra air in preparation for a possible fight. Again, this is not only done to make the bully look bigger and to intimate his opponent but also a sign of a coming physical attack. Be aware.

(To be continued in Part 2)

How to Spot Bullies Before They Spot You (Part 2)

Arrogant Young Man With Girlfriends

As I said in the first part of this post, bullies are too easy to spot if you know what to look for. You can spy a bully before you even meet the person. All it takes is observing! Here are a few more red flags to be aware of:

Red Flag 5. Disrespect Toward Authority and Doesn’t Take Advice Well – this person thinks that rules don’t apply to them. He/She is also a big know-it-all and thinks they’re smarter than anyone else. You can’t tell them anything without them already knowing it or offending them. And if you don’t tell them what they want to hear or don’t agree with them (self-entitled bullies also exhibit this type of attitude), look out! You might have a bully on your hands!

Red Flag 6. They have an Entourage/Lots of Followers – This goes back to charming and too good to be true. Again, this charm and seduction is a farce used to seduce people and lure them to follow them. Because anyone with a drove of followers is always seen as socially superior, I want you to understand that these followers may not necessarily “like” the person they follow, but only want to be seen with the individual so they can also be seen as one of the in-crowd.

Red Flag 7. They are always Impeccably Dressed/Groomed – This doesn’t apply to all bullies, only the narcissistic types. You will never see these people with one hair out of place or wearing anything other than name-brand attire. This is because the person must always put on the act of having lots of money, class, and perfection. Again, know that this is a farce and hides insecurities the bully may have. Also, the bully may use this to compensate for any shortcomings he may have. These people also put on the act of being better than most other people and will often treat them as inferior.

Red Flag 8. They are HUGE Gossips – This is a biggie! These types can’t go five minutes without gossiping about someone else. Understand that these people don’t have ideas or lives of their own. So, they consistently put others down to feel better about themselves and like they are better than. They are always striving to look more significant than what they are. Always remember. If they talk about someone else, they will talk about you too! Just give them time!

Red Flag 9. They are Drama Kings and Queens – Have you ever met people who seem to be immersed inconsistent and never-ending drama? I have, and they’re exhausting to be around. These people take offense to everything, and they will misinterpret you too if you aren’t careful! And when they do, they’ll never stop coming for you! These people are habitual and chronic bitchers, moaners and complainers, and are never satisfied with anything. They will suck you into their little drama-filled world if you aren’t careful! If you spy a person of this character, don’t engage! Stay away!

Anytime you see one or more of these signs in a person, he/she is almost always a bully! Steer clear!

If Those Walls Could Talk

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Sometimes, I drive by our old family home, slow down and gaze at the old house wistfully. It holds so many memories, mostly great memories, a few not so good, but the great memories vastly outnumber the not so good. If those walls could talk, they would have so many amazing stories to tell.

Those walls would tell you that the house was big enough that we’d often play hide and seek inside it, running up and down the stairs, hidings in the closets, under the beds, and in the attic. As a small child, I would often try to straddle the stair railing and slide down it, only to be reprimanded by an adult. It was fun though!

This house holds precious recollections. Those walls would tell a story of a world that we no longer live in, a pre-9/11, pre-Digital Age, freer and more carefree world. Of a world that was wholesome, fresh and filled with wonder! We lived there with my grandmother for years. After we grew up and moved away, she continued to live there until about twelve years before she died.

It was the home we lived in when I was born, the home we would always return to after my Daddy went off to the military and during our time living out of state.

We celebrated many wonderful Christmases and Thanksgivings in that house. New Year’s Eve parties were a blast, with lots of music, food, fun, and togetherness. We also had many cookouts, barbecues, picnics in the huge backyard behind the house.

My dad and several uncles who were the family musicians, would often get a band together and play music in that backyard, attracting neighbors from all over the neighborhood who wanted to hear good music and have good, clean and drama-free fun. Sadly, you couldn’t do this today without booze, drugs or disturbing the peace.

During these celebrations, the whole family would get together, sometimes up to twenty of us and it was the love which made that house a home. The tiny town and neighborhood itself was thriving and bursting with life! We held parades every Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

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During Halloween, the community would be swarming with trick-or-treaters (I was one of them) and every house had its porch light on with residents sitting outside, in full Halloween dress, a huge bowl of candy and goodies in laps, waiting to greet the little kiddies! Some even had scary music playing and spooky props in the front yards or porches! In those days, it never even occurred to us to be on the lookout for muggers, rapists, and sex traffickers. The worse we had to worry about was some bigger kid swiping our trick-or-treat bag and running off with it.

Kids could play in the street and people could sit outside or work in the yard without fear. Elderly couples walked hand-in-hand down the street during the Spring and Fall months for exercise. Teenagers and young adults could drive by with the window or drop-top down and good music blaring from the car speakers.

Even better, my mother and I could walk around the block at night and never worry about being mugged and we could sleep with the bedroom windows up and the cool night breeze blowing on us through the screen. My generation lived in a totally different world than the generations that followed us. I truly feel sorry for the kids and young adults today! I wish they could have grown up in the carefree and kid-friendly world my brother, sister and I grew up in.

I now mourn the home we once knew. It is now abandoned, unkempt and overgrown. The neighborhood in which it sits is much different now, disheveled and plagued with crime. Sadly, most of our once-thriving small-towns and neighborhoods are only a shell of their formers selves. If those walls could talk, if they could feel things, they would mourn with me.

How I grieve for small-town America!

How to Spot Bullies Before They Spot You

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To protect yourself from becoming a target of bullying, you must be able to identify a potential bully before you ever interact with the person. Fortunately, this is easier than you think. How you find out who the bullies are is by watching and listening to what is going on around you.

How I wish I knew this when I was in school!

Here are some sure-fire red flags that a person is a bully:

Red Flag 1. Arrogance and a Superior Attitude – the person has their nose in the air and thinks his bowel movements smell sweeter than anyone else’s. This person never walks, they strut like a banty rooster. They have their head back, and chin jutted outward, appearing to look down their noses at others. These stuck up bullies often take up space, either standing with feet apart and hands on their hips or they sit their feet propped on their desks or a table with hands and fingers laced behind their hands and elbows out. The arrogant person will also sit with one leg draped over a chair arm.

Red Flag 2. They treat lunch ladies, janitors, waiters and clerks with inferiority – if the person or group treats anyone who does menial work like garbage and acts as if they are above/better than “such” people, they are more than likely bullies! Also, watch how they treat kids in special education or Sped teachers.

Red Flag 3. Self-Entitlement – These people are incredibly pushy and don’t know when to shut up or take ‘no’ for an answer. They think the world and everyone in it owe them and that everyone should grant them anything they desire without expecting anything in return. People such as these believe that they shouldn’t have to work for anything because work is ‘beneath them.’ If they do not get what they want, they can be downright vindictive and bitter. Rules don’t apply to them and neither does the word ‘no’. If anyone tells them ‘no,’ or what to do, they will surely take it as an insult. Then, God help you!

Red Flag 4. They are Suck-ups and Charming to people who can benefit them somehow, or they are too good to be true – If a person seems too good to be true, they probably are! Bullies are notorious for putting on the perfect act, but no one can be completely perfect 100% of the time. The overwhelming charm these people exude is probably a front either to get something from you or to lull you into bringing down your defenses and win your trust before they attack you later. Usually, if someone is using charm and charisma for self-serving purposes, you will feel it in your gut. You’ll feel that something is “off” about the person but won’t be able to put your finger on it. But listen to your instincts and put some distance between yourself and that person. Pronto! Better to be safe than sorry.

I will reveal more red flags in the next post! Stay tuned!

(To be continued in Part 2…)

The “Tiny Grain of Truth”-Another Powerful Weapon Bullies Use

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The “Tiny Grain of Truth Technique” is one of the bully’s most powerful and used tactics.

As I have said a million times before, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars. Bullies have been lying and telling half-truths for so long that they have it down to an art. Most bullies rarely tell blatant falsehoods. If they did, they would be much easier to expose and punish. Instead, bullies deceive by telling half-truths and adding their own spin.

The grain of truth is used as a starting point for a bully when he/she decides to defame you to others. If you are a bully, the beauty of the “grain of truth” is that it is often mistaken for the “whole truth”.

Anytime there is even the smallest grain of truth to a rumor, the rumor can be spun, twisted, and completely taken out of context not only to benefit the bully but to cause more damage to the victim. And no matter how much a story has been changed and rearranged, that grain of truth is usually all that’s needed to make the story more believable to others and damaging to the victim.

The more you know, the better!

9/11/01- When Life as We Knew it Changed

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With the 18th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I can’t help but look back on the past eighteen years since. My heart has ached not only for the lives lost on that fateful day but also for the loved ones left behind.

I also mourn the loss of the America that I grew up in, the America that my Daddy served and took great pride in, an America whose people once felt secure and free in, an America whose schools always began the day with the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer, an America without some of the ridiculous laws of today…an America whose people were never afraid to tell it like it is or call it what it is, an America that was not afraid to profess its faith in God.

I also grieve for a once-great nation who’s people were proud to be Americans instead of being ashamed of it. We were proud to fly Old Glory on our lawns and it never occurred to us that there would one day be those who would try to force us to take it down. I grew up during a time when standing on the flag was unheard of. In those days, great care was taken so that it never even touched the ground.

When I watched the Twin Towers burning on my television screen that morning, I knew that this country would never again be the same and that life as we knew it was forever changed.

I remember well the images on the news as does everyone else. I recall the towers burning and falling, I remember the streets being covered with ash, plane parts, concrete, and papers.

But the image that haunts me the most is of people plummeting 100 stories to their deaths to escape the intense heat of burning jet fuel.

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the terror that went through their minds as they plunged to the hard asphalt below. I cannot imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of knowing that I am inevitably about to die and having to choose which way to go, with the alternative being so horrible that I would have to jump from so high up.

I hope and pray that no one will ever again be put in a situation to where they would have to make a horrible and soul-shaking decision such as that. Ever! I also hope and pray that one day, we the people can rise up and take back not only the values and morals of yesterday but also the freer, happier and more care-free country we once knew.

In God We Trust
God bless the USA

7 Common Tricks of the Cyberbully

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Cyberbullying can be bullying of the most devastating kind and for anyone- children, teens and adults alike. This is because attacks are seen by a much wider audience and there’s a high degree of anonymity as cyberbullies are cowards and hide behind fake screen names and profiles to avoid exposure. Here are 7 common tricks they use to cover their own behinds and make you look like the perpetrator.

1. They inbox you with a barrage of insidious messages.
Again, cyberbullies are cowards and fear being detected for the sick creeps they are. So, they use the inbox to unleash their vile attitude onto their victims. Even if you delete the person from your friends’ list, they can still send messages through the inbox.

2. They will tag you in a post, then claim you’re stalking their page.
This happened to me once. Although this is rather obvious (or should be) to others and used by dumber and maybe drunk cyberbullies, it does happen.

3. They rally their friends to troll your page.
Once you hit the “Block” button, watch for an influx of friend requests from people you don’t know or who would otherwise never in a million years “friend” you. This almost always happens just after you’ve blocked a cyberbully.

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4. They troll the pages of your spouse, family, and friends.
Cyberbullies do this to seek and gather information about you and those you’re closest to, which is then used as either ammunition to defame you, make fun of you, or to attack those you love.

5. They create hurtful, degrading and humiliating memes of you.
Cyberbullies do this to intimidate and embarrass you and to bait others to harass you.

6. They have others (or they do it themselves) to insert images of porn and other disgusting materials onto your timeline.
All designed to cause embarrassment.

7. They copy your profile photo and create duplicate and fake profiles in your name, claiming to be you.
They then send requests to all your family, friends and associates, baiting them to accept. Once the requests have been accepted, the cyberbully then sends your associates deplorable messages or tags them and posts flaming or lewd posts to their timelines in hopes of causing friction between you and the people you care about.

And sadly, there isn’t much anyone can do until better technology is introduced to track down these vile bullies and more robust laws are passed against this practice. What worked for me was staying on top of it, blocking many cyberbullies and deleting any incendiary posts as soon as they appeared. By being vigilant, I was able to preserve my good online reputation.

If they are other tricks which have been used against you and that I have left out, please feel free to comment.