Hello & Goodbye

Happy New Year!

Without hesitation, I can say that I have never been happier to say goodbye to the old and hello to a new year.  Many of us view New Year’s Day as a new beginning.  It is the chance to make changes to diets, exercise routines, and daily habits in general.  All with the hope of making our lives better, healthier, and more prosperous.  This year, it is my hope that the curse of 2016 does not carry over and tarnish the gleaming promise of 2017.

In 2016, we lost music legends, prominent actors, and distinguished political figures.  Several of my childhood idols and heroes are among the now departed.  On top of the newsworthy deaths, we lost my dad to cancer in October.  An event that just serves to make the past year the worst of my life thus far.

My dad was truly a unique individual.

On the surface, he was an intimidating, big, bald guy who looked as though he could break a person into tiny little bits with no trouble.  He frightened more than one boy during my teenage years.  In fact, there was one date who arrived to pick me up for a Friday night out that left before I made it to the living room.  Just because my dad answered the door with a stern look on his face and a question.  Afterward, my dad felt horrible because I was left at home on a Friday night.  He later admitted that he’d always dreamed of answering the door to a boy and demanding to know, “Young man, exactly what are your intentions towards my daughter?”  It would seem that this boy’s intentions were not the purest.  I never saw him again and today I can’t even remember his name.


My Dad sitting with my daughter. This was his favorite picture of all time.

Appearances and jokes aside, once dad spoke, it became obvious that he would not hurt a fly.  He was a kind man who never met a stranger in his life.  When he happened to meet someone new, he would try his best to find a familial connection to that person.  Either by blood or by marriage.  The funny thing is that he found a connection more often than not.

He always had a story to tell.  Long, rambling stories that often made no sense were a common theme.  He was full of stories about people you never knew.  He would start a story and you would listen and wait for the tie-in to the current topic.  Some time later, as your mind continued to try in vain to find a connection that did not exist, all memory of the previous conversation would disappear.  His stories often drove me crazy.  But I’m a little sad that my three-year-old daughter will never have the experience of sitting through one of his stories.

I was a teenager when he came into my life, and he accepted … No.  He embraced me as his daughter even though he didn’t have to.  In fact, within a couple of months of his and my mom’s wedding, he asked my permission to legally adopt me.  I was your run-of-the-mill angry teenager at the time and I am ashamed to say that I turned him down flat.  He never brought up the subject again.  He also never wavered from loving me and always treated me as if I was his daughter by birth.

One of the few times I saw him with tears in his eyes was when I gave him a pocket knife with the word “Dad” engraved on it.  He cherished that knife, and he only carried it on special occasions.

We had almost no warning that he was sick, and his death caught us off guard.  We knew in a general sense that there was a problem with his health for about a month.  Then, we found out that he had pancreatic, liver, and intestinal cancers.  It was a Friday; a trip to the doctor led to a trip to the emergency room where he was admitted after they found the cancers.  Even though the doctors said he would be able to return to work in a week or so, he was gone two days later.

I am thankful that he did not suffer through a prolonged and what would have likely been a futile battle with cancer.  I am thankful that he experienced the joy of hearing my daughter call him “Paw-paw” for the first time ever during a hospital visit earlier on the day he died.  I miss him and I am sad that he is gone and that my daughter will never have shared memories of her Paw-paw.  I am filled with regret over things left unsaid and guilt over the infrequency of visits even though we lived a few minutes away from each other.  I am also overflowing with a selfish rage that he was gone so suddenly.

If I have learned anything this past year it is that life is short.  Too short.  My dad was only 66 years old.  I expected more time with him.  We all did.  But it wasn’t meant to be.

With that lesson fresh in my mind, my goal for 2017 is to leave nothing unsaid.  To make the most of every opportunity to tell the people closest to me that I love them.  To worry less about the small stuff, and focus more on the things that make me happy.

What about you?  Do you have New Year’s Resolutions this year?  Or have you given up on resolutions and plan to focus more on goals?  Leave a comment and let me know.

In my next post, I will delve into the many newsworthy names that we lost in 2016.  Until then, stay safe and treat each other kindly.


Kung Fu Panda 3

As the parents of a three-year-old, my husband and I are always on the lookout for a new children’s movie to add to our video library.  Young children tend to watch the same movie a thousand times over and over and over again before they are ready to move on. And speaking for myself, I can only cope with repeating that same movie so many times before I start having dreams where I take on one of the leading roles of our daughter’s current movie obsession.  Yes, I had such a dream back in the days of Riley’s obsession with Frozen.  It was around the time of her second open heart surgery.  During our hospital stay, Frozen was on a continuous repeating loop in her room.  If she woke up and the movie was not playing, or worse if something else was playing, she broke down into an inconsolable crying fit.  Not a good thing for a small child (or anyone for that matter) who is recovering from open heart surgery.  Nothing calmed her down during these episodes.  Nothing except for hearing the opening song to her favorite movie.

That was 18 months ago, and I can count the number of times we have watched Frozen in the last twelve months on one hand.  We have gone through a few other movie obsessions since the days of Frozen.  I try to make sure that each movie she watches not only provides entertainment value but also has some sort of positive lesson to teach.  A few examples from our video library include:

  • Tangled, which teaches young girls to stand up for themselves.  More important, is the lesson of not allowing anyone, even a loved one, to stand in the way as they follow those dreams. 
  • Wreck-It Ralph gives children a safe way to explore the topic of bullies and shows how much words can hurt.  Also, there is the valuable lesson that we should not judge a person by their outward appearance. 
  • Toy Story teaches children the importance of friendship and teamwork. 
  • Inside Out shows us how emotions are often more complex than they first appear on the surface.   Also, it gives voice to the fact that a person’s actions do not have to be controlled by emotion. 
  • Home illustrates the value of individuality when a person is surrounded by conformity.  It also explains the value of a single true friend over the accumulation of masses of acquaintances. 

I know that at three-years-old, Riley is still a bit too young to be aware of these lessons.  I also know that she does understand the intended feelings of the different situations presented..  No matter how many times she has seen these movies, she gets upset every time when Ralph smashes the cart that he and Vanellope built together.  The same for when Merida thinks that she has lost her mom to bear form forever.  And she becomes distraught when we are left to believe that Oh is crushed by the giant alien spaceship.  And when the happy endings come, she performs a full cheer, complete with arms raised high and a huge smile on her sweet face.  So, she does understand happy versus sad events, and I have no doubt that she will grasp more of the nuances of these stories as she grows older.

The Kung Fu Panda series is by far one of my favorites to date.  The series is filled with funny moments, but it is also filled with learning moments. 

For those who have not watched these movies, the main character is a panda named Po.  Po has always dreamed of learning Kung Fu.  Even as he spends his days working at a job he hates in his adoptive father’s restaurant.  One day, Po gets the chance to turn his dreams into reality when he is chosen as the Dragon Warrior.  The Dragon Warrior is supposed to be a Kung Fu master who will save the valley during a great time of need, and his coming was foretold in a 500-year-old prophecy.  The rest of the series shows Po learning Kung Fu and fighting the bad guy who threaten the village when nobody believes he can do it.  He is often clumsy, and his approach is never what would be expected from a great Kung Fu Master.  And yet, his approach works.  The whole series teaches children to think outside of the box, and just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that is the only way to accomplish their goal.  The series is pretty deep on the subject of personal growth, but does it in a way that is not preachy.

May 13th marked the home video release of Kung Fu Panda 3, and I can say that Riley is in love with it.  She asks for it at least twice a day.  Often more.  This is huge for our girl who has barely a handful of words because she actually says “danda.” while pointing to the movie tile on the screen.  That in itself is enough to make this mommy love the movie.  But it is a great movie filled with funny moments and tons of great lessons for both children and adults alike. 

For instance, there is a scene where Po’s teacher, Shifu, has turned over teaching the training class to Po.  It is a disaster and Po is left feeling humiliated afterward.  When he finds out that Shifu knew he would not be able to teach the class, Po asks why he set him up to fail.  The answer, “If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are.”  What an awesome lesson for children and adults alike!  There are, of course, many more comedy-laced learning moments throughout the film. 

In short, if you haven’t already seen it, even if you don’t have children, Kung Fu Panda 3 is a great movie that adds to the overall story of the series while standing on it’s own for those who have not seen the first two movies.  I highly recommend it!  

Cover Reveal for Captivated By the Winter King

Hi everyone!  As I mentioned a few days ago, I am here today to help spread the word of the cover reveal for my good friend, Mistral Dawn’s latest book.  I am very excited to share this with all of you, but first, a few words from the author.  Take it away Mistral!

Hey Everyone!! 🙂

Guess what!!! We’re only one month away from the release of Captivated By The Winter King!!! 🙂 Squee!! 😉  This newest installment in the Spellbound Hearts series is due to be released on November 30, 2015.  To celebrate, I thought I’d share the fantabulous cover that the amazingly talented Erin Dameron-Hill has created!  Here’s a little about the story:

Captivated By The Winter King Cover AmazonKate is a woman on the run. After years of being physically and emotionally abused by her fiance, she’s finally had enough. But leaving might be even more dangerous than staying, so she needs to get as far away as she can as fast as possible. A late night, desperate drive through the pouring rain ends suddenly when a cat appears in the middle of the road. While trying to avoid the half-drowned creature, Kate loses control of her car and crashes through a portal to Fairie.

Ankou is a fallen God of Death and the king of the Winter Court of Fairie, and he’s facing pressure from every direction. The magic of the Court is out of balance due to the centuries-long lack of a queen. He is harried constantly by the Court nobles who want him to either step down or take a mate. All the duties of a ruling pair rest squarely on his shoulders. And added to all this is a soul-crushing loneliness. His existence stretches back hundreds of millennia, and in all that time he has never found the one person who could warm his lonely heart. He is exhausted and discouraged, and the last thing he needs is to go tearing off into the night on a fool’s errand. But one of his lingering god powers is the ability to sense the right course of action to follow, and his instincts are screaming at him to go to a particular place in the forest of the Winter kingdom and wait. Imagine his surprise when he finds the one he has been waiting for his whole life!

Using a careful blend of patience, seduction, and domination, the Winter king tries to win his soulmate’s love. Feeling safe and valued for the first time in her memory, Kate explores her new freedom by agreeing to try the BDSM games her lover suggests. As she experiments with both domination and submission, she learns just how liberating surrender can be. Will Ankou be able to convince Kate that she can trust him with her feelings as well as her body? Will Kate find a way to overcome the trauma of her past and open up her heart to accept the love that is offered to her? Can these two broken people find a way to fit all their disparate pieces together into a stronger, united whole? You’ll have to read to find out!

I’m also excited to share a sneak peek with you with this excerpt:

When he saw his Anamchara’s nod of consent, Ankou released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. The trust she was showing warmed him far more than any fire could. He was determined to prove himself worthy of that trust. Looking around at the gathering light, he realized the air was much too cold for what he had in mind. With a gesture, he cast a spell to raise the temperature of the area around them to something that approached a comfortable level.

Turning back to his mate, he said, “Come here.” When she approached, he ordered, “Remove your clothing.”

In spite of the warmer air, Kate shivered. There was something deliciously naughty about the idea of being naked outside. They were alone and the area was remote, but it was not a private space. Anyone might happen by.

Reaching behind her neck, she tugged at the closure that sealed the dress in back. It had been spelled to release when she pulled at it, and the bodice dropped away from her body. Sliding the sleeves down her arms, she allowed it to pool at her waist as she unfastened the top of the skirt. Once freed, she allowed the dress to fall to the ground and stepped out of it. Seeing that Ankou held his hand out for it, she picked it up and handed it to him.

Standing under the cloudless sky in nothing but her lacy underwear, she felt free. She looked at her mate, who just raised his eyebrows and said, “Those as well.”

After sliding the bra straps down her arms, she reached behind herself to unhook it. The cool air caressed her skin and her nipples puckered. She shivered as she handed the bra to Ankou. Taking a deep breath, she removed her boots and stockings. The cold of the snow under her feet was noticeable, but not unbearable. She realized Ankou was using magic to protect her there as well and she smiled. Sliding her panties down her legs, she stepped out of them and handed them to her mate.

“Stay there,” ordered Ankou, who took Kate’s clothing and laid it on the platform they had slept on to keep it from getting wet in the snow. Walking around the small clearing, he looked for things he could use. He found the remnants of a tree that had broken and fell. Using magic, he smoothed and shaped the stump into a wooden platform. After making sure the surface was polished and free of any splinters or sharp edges, he ordered Kate to join him.

As she padded across the snow, Kate couldn’t help but wonder what Ankou had planned. Looking at the stump he had prepared, she was confused. It looked sturdy and came up to her belly button, but she didn’t see what it could be used for.

Walking a few feet away, Ankou selected a large stick from the pile of wood Kate had collected the night before. Using magic again, he shaped it into a long, thin, smooth cane. He used both hands to bend it, testing how much give was in the wood. Satisfied, he returned to where his Anamchara waited for him.

When Kate saw what Ankou had in his hand, her eyes widened. Did he intend to use that on her? Searching his face, she found no clues in his blank expression.

Standing in front of her, the Winter king saw the trepidation in his mate’s eyes. Cupping his hand behind her head, he threaded his fingers through her hair and drew her body against his. He leaned down, claiming her lips in a possessive kiss. Skimming his lips along her cheek, he nipped at her ear and whispered, “Do you trust me?”

The warmth of her lover’s body against Kate’s front contrasted with the cool air that caressed her back. Ankou’s shirt rasped against her taught nipples and made her shiver. There was a tension in the air, even more so than was usually present when they played these games, and she felt mesmerized by the intensity. As his words penetrated the fog that swirled through her mind, the anxiety left her. “Yes. I trust you.”

Stepping back, Ankou smiled. “Good.”

Oh my!! What’s going to happen next? Want to find out?  You’ll have to read the story!  Captivated By The Winter King is available for pre-order from most popular online merchants:

So feel free to reserve your copy now and get it the moment it’s released!! 🙂  Also, don’t forget to enter my rafflecopter giveaway.  It ends at midnight tonight! 🙂

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/771020011/?

Thank you all so much for checking out my newest work, and I hope you all enjoy it.  Happy Reading!! 🙂

NaNoWriMo… Are You In?

It’s that time of year again.  NaNoWriMo here we come! 

For those of you who do not know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The idea is to write a first draft of your novel that is 50,000 words long by writing 1,667 words a day every day in the month of November.  Now we all know that unless you are writing a young adult novel, 50,000 words is a bit short to be considered a full length novel.  The reasoning behind that number is that is is considered a high enough word count to be challenging while also being a reachable goal, even for those aspiring writers who have day jobs and families to attend to. 

Since the first time that I heard of NaNoWriMo, the idea has intrigued me.  It is a challenge to any would be writer to stop making excuses and sit down and write.  The website, www.nanowrimo.org offers participants a way of tracking word counts as well as forums for support, ideas, encouragement, and connecting with fellow writers.  The rules for the event are simple. 

  1. Register for an account.
  2. Start writing on November 1
  3. Post your novel for word count verification and claim your win.

Now to be clear, winning at NaNoWriMo means that you wrote 50,000 words in a month or less.  The sense of accomplishment is your prize. 

I have considered giving NaNoWriMo a try for the past couple of years.  I’ve read several pieces of advice on how to “win” and pretty much they all agree on several points.  First of all, you should do all of the prep work in advance of November 1.  That means, have at least a rough character sketch written out for each of the main players in your story.  Secondly, you should have at least a general outline of your story’s plot to help guide you along in your writing frenzy.  Third, and perhaps most important (at least to my thinking) is that you have to turn your internal editor off.  Do not try to get the story right, just get it written.  Don’t slow down to correct spelling or grammar problems, just keep writing.  Write.  It sounds so simple, but if you are like me, those little red squiggly lines that word processors place under any errors drive you crazy. 

Last year, I had planned to sit down and work out a plan for a story to write during the NaNoWriMo event, but suddenly I realized that it was November 5th and I had nothing ready.  So I promised myself that I would be ready for this year’s event.  Well, guess what.  Yep.  Once again we are a couple of days away from November and I have no plan.  I have nothing other than a general idea that I want to develop and see if anything good comes of it.  Will I try to sit down and write 50,000 words next month?  Probably not.  But I will sit down and write more than I have in the past few months.  That is my promise to myself, and to you, my readers. 

What about you?  Are you planning to try your hand at writing a novel in November?  If so, what preparations have you made to help make the month easier?  Do you struggle with getting the words down without allowing your internal editor to take over?  Or have you conquered your internal editor?  If you have, how did you do it?  I truly want to hear from everyone on this. 

Hello Again…

Hi everyone!  I have been absent for quite some time, and for that I offer a humble apology.  The past couple of months have been pretty busy for my family and me, but things are starting to settle back down again, and I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of writing here again!  I hope that you will visit often, and please feel free to comment with any thoughts you may wish to share with me!

One of the projects that I have had the privilege to work on for the past couple of months is helping to edit a new book for my friend Mistral Dawn.  This will be the third novel in her Spellbound Hearts series, all of which are set in the magical land of Fairie.  For those of you who have already read the earlier books, book 3 is titled Captivated By the Winter King and is available for pre-order here.  It is due for release on November 30, 2015.  I will be helping her out with the cover reveal for book 3 on October 31, 2015, so be sure to check back!  Each of the books in her Spellbound Hearts series is a stand alone story, so it is not necessary to read them in the order they were written.  But there is plenty of time before the release of Captivated By the Winter King for anyone who wishes to read the other books to do so.

  • Taken By the Huntsman (Spellbound Hearts Book 1) is available here.  This is the story of Cassie, a human who is trying to find her place in the world, and Cadeyrn, the leader of the Wild Hunt.  The tale that unfolds is one of betrayal, danger, and ultimately a magical love affair for all the ages.
  • Bound By the Summer Prince (Spellbound Hearts Book 2) is available here.  This novel tells the love story of Roni, a petty thief, and Uaine, the Crown Prince of the Summer Court of Fairie.  Can Roni learn to live without lies and scams and embrace her new role as queen of the Summer Court beside her soul mate?
  • “Intrigue In the Summer Court” (Spellbound Hearts #2.5) is available here.  This is a short story about the wedding and coronation of Roni and Uaine.  When Jillian, a trusted advisor and friend to the royal family discovers a plot to prevent Roni and Uaine from having their happily ever after, she must search out the source of the threat and save the day.

That’s all I have for you today.  See everyone again soon!

Are You Offended?

We live in a world of political correctness.  It is a time when every opinion, each word written or spoken, and  all actions taken must be examined for its potential to offend.  Celebrities often have to issue public apologies for the wrong words spoken or taken out of context.  Sometimes, these public pleas for forgiveness are warranted.  Yet, so often I hear of this person or that one having to grovel to their critics over some trivial thing that has offended the masses.  Our society is fraught with potential land mines, and all too many seem to be more than willing to cry foul over things that have no relevance on their lives. 

The job of any writer is filled with potential to offend someone. For example, take the sentence: “When a candidate applies for a job, ___________ must provide proof of identity.”  When I was in grade school, it was correct to use “he” to fill in the blank.  In this type of statement, it was to be understood that “he” referred to any person, male or female.  My teachers all explained that it was a matter of simplicity, not a slight against females.  We students understood this and moved on to the next lesson.  Currently, it is expected that the blank be filled in with “they.”  I have a problem with this because “they” is not a singular pronoun.  You know, they, the many them.  Alternatively, a writer can use “he/she” to fill in the blank.  My problem with this third option is more of a personal pet peeve:  a lack of common sense.  I do not buy the argument that using “he” as a generic pronoun oppresses women.  By this line of thinking, when reading historical documents like the Declaration of Independence, the line, “…all men are created equal…” would have to refer to men while excluding women.  Now we all know that is not the case.  We understand that the meaning of “men” is to be taken in the sense of “mankind” not only the male gender of the species.  I am a woman, and I am not offended when I read the Declaration of Independence, nor when I see “he” used as a generic pronoun.  As I writer though, I need to be aware of this issue, not because it makes sense to me, but because so many people are offended. 

As many of you know, my daughter has a group of congenital heart defects (chd) and had two open heart surgeries by the time she was 18-months-old.  As a heart mom, I’m a member of several support groups on social media.  These groups are supposed to be a place for heart parents to ask for or offer advice about coping with their child’s condition.    So often though, I see other heart moms posting about how they are offended every time they are in public and a stranger comments on their child’s scar.  Likewise, these same heart moms are offended when people say that their child doesn’t look sick.  They say it is offensive that people, in general, are not aware of the medical problems their child faces in this life while at the same time they become offended if people ask questions. 

My daughter has a “zipper” scar, and it is visible with most tops she wears, but especially in the Florida summer heat.  I will not teach her to ashamed of that scar.  I want her to be proud of it because it is proof that she was stronger than the heart defects that tried to kill her.  When we are at the grocery store and the person in line behind us sees her, the first thing they say is how cute (beautiful, adorable, etc.) she is.  Sometimes a person will notice her scar and timidly ask what happened.  I take that opportunity to spread a little awareness of congenital heart defects.  I am not offended that they don’t know how common congenital heart defects are because I didn’t know before Riley was born.  I am not offended at their curiosity.  I am not offended when they exclaim that without seeing her scar you would never guess at what she has been through.  In fact, I am proud of those things.  She is not defined by her chd, nor by her scars.  I am offended when I see heart parents try to turn their child’s struggle into yet another reason to be offended all the time.

The Confederate Battle Flag has been in the news a lot of late.  I won’t go into that argument here because I feel that both sides of the debate are right in some ways and wrong in some ways.  I will say that both sides are offended by the other side’s arguments, and that is how it ties into my thoughts today.  I will also say that I am offended by the idea of taking a television show off the air because it had a car with the flag on it when that show in no way ever condoned slavery.  People are offended though, so the show must never see the light of day.  Since people are offended, businesses must remove the item in all forms from their shelves.  This is called censorship, and it is wrong and sets the stage with a slippery slope.  What happens when Native Americans decide to shout that they are offended by the American flag?  After all, it is a symbol of the oppression of their people.  I am offended at the idea of digging up the graves of a Confederate General and his wife to move them to a less prominent location.  For that matter, I am offended by the idea of digging up any person’s grave and moving them. 

I’m not sure when the concept of freedom of speech morphed from the idea that the government cannot silence the people into the idea that we the people have the right to not be offended.  In a nation with a population of more than 300 million, it is not possible for each individual to agree on anything, especially when talking about topics like religion, politics, and equality.  We need an open and honest dialogue on the issues facing our nation and the world at large.  The problems with our healthcare, judicial  and educational systems are more important that what is offensive this week.  The large homeless population, the unemployed and the under-employed, and the hungry; all these people represent the need for changes in the way our society functions.  So the next time you find yourself becoming offended by something, ask yourself, Is this truly important? 

Equality for All…

Monday morning I saw a video of a man asking people why we celebrate July 4th, and the answers he received were appalling!  I have to hope that the video was edited down to remove the many people who actually knew the answer was that we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and that it happened in 1776, not 1985 as one woman stated.  But then I look around and see so many examples of people not knowing or understanding the fundamental principles that our nation was built on, and I have to wonder if videos like this don’t show the reality of our society.

In the past few weeks and months, there has been so much vitriol and hate over the idea of marriage equality in the news.  The religious right claims that allowing gay marriage somehow infringes upon their Constitutional right to freedom of religion.  They base many of their arguments on the Bill of Rights, but only refer to the first amendment.  I wonder if these people have ever read the Constitution or the even The Bill of Rights.

I am guilty of not reviewing these documents myself since my American History class back in high school (a long time ago), so I took it upon myself to read the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights again.    What I found is pretty much what I remembered:

    • All men are created equal.  I won’t go into the linguistics of this statement, but honestly, we are all human, we all bleed the same color blood, and we are all entitled to equality.
    • We all have the “unalienable rights” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Nowhere does not say that we have the guaranteed right to be happy, only to pursue that what makes us happy.
    • Freedom of religion:  each of us is allowed to follow the religion of our choosing, without the government telling us we have to follow X, Y, or Z religion.  This does not mean that religion is to be absent from any part of our society, only that the government can’t make us all attend Sunday mass at the the local Catholic church, or to sing hallelujah at the southern Baptist churches located in the bible belt.
    • Freedom of speech:  we are able to say what we think without fear of censorship.  This does not mean that there are no repercussions for the things we say, only that the government does not have the authority of censorship.  Neither does this mean that people are free to say only the things you agree with.  If you are going to stand behind a freedom of speech argument, you have to be willing to tolerate your opponent’s stance just as strongly as you expect others to tolerate your stance.

I also found something that I had forgotten:  The 9th Amendment to the Constitution states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  Now I’m no Constitutional scholar, but that says to me that we cannot use the the fact that one right is specifically listed in the Constitution to deny another right that is not listed.

I would like to say to all of those people out there who are claiming that same-sex marriage somehow infringes upon their rights:

    1. If you are opposed to same-sex marriage, don’t participate in a same-sex relationship.
    2. A gay couple’s ability to get married in no way impacts your marriage.  If you think it does then you need to examine your own failings, not cast blame on others.
    3. Your freedom of religion does not give you the right to discriminate against anyone regardless of their race, sexual relationship status, or anything else (see “all men are created equal” above)

It is my opinion that all of those Americans who are so against equality for all need to take another look at the documents they claim supports their views.  We are all created equal.  We all have the right to pursue our own happiness.

I would also like to suggest that we need to get rid of the terms “gay marriage” or “same-sex” marriage and just call it what it is; marriage.