Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

Getting Published for a Good Cause

Oh Sandy! An Anthology of Humor for Serious Purpose is now available and I’m honored to be a part of it! Back in December, editors Leigh Beighley, AJ Fader, and Peter Barlow put out a call for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on topics dealing with surviving disaster or being from New Jersey. The twist? Each submission was asked to take a humorous tone (can’t be too hard when asking for stories about New Jersey) to help raise spirits for those who survived (and are still surviving) Hurricane Sandy.

Like most residents of New York and New Jersey, I experienced Sandy in my own way, and it’s something I’ll never forget. I was one of the lucky ones though. Thousands of people lost their homes and possessions in the super storm.

When I heard about Oh Sandy! it seemed like a personal calling. I’m a writer. I lived through the hurricane. And I’m from New Jersey. Plus, I can be funny when I put my mind to it. And so it went. I composed a piece about a hilariously lame weekend my sister, our friend, and I spent down the shore in Belmar. I made sure to weave as many “Jersey” themes as I could–The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Springsteen, Parkway traffic, and more.

What’s great about this publication is that all proceeds go straight to those affected most by the storm.

If interested in supporting me (yay! I got published) the hurricane cause, or perusing a new read, see below:

Purchase the ebook here.

Purchase the print edition here.

Or,  simply visit the website here for more information or to check it out.

Thanks to all my readers for your continued support.

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Filed under Breaking Through, Inspiration

Old School Sundays: Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

I mentioned that my purpose in dedicating the next several Old School Sunday posts to the Bard is to enlighten my readers about the ubiquity of Shakespeare’s words–even in our own day and age.

Last week I was able to tie a line from King Lear to Hurricane Sandy. This week, I feel strongly compelled to link Shakespeare’s wisdom to the tragedy (though I hardly think the word ‘tragedy’ does the situation justice) that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

As I scoured through my “Bard Books” I came across a passage from Much Ado About Nothing, and while I understand that this play is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, I think the poignant line will speak for itself:

“Men/Can council and speak to that grief/Which they themselves not feel; but tasting it,/Their council turns to passion” (5.1 20-3).

homero chapa → in Sculptures

I’ve been witness to several media stories of mass shootings in my day (I was a high school student when the Columbine incident occurred, making the notion of something like that happening very real), and though ALL of these occurrences are beyond horrific, I simply  haven’t been able to separate myself from this one.

And I don’t think I’m alone.

This is something that is felt by anyone who is a parent. By anyone who is a teacher. And more than that, anyone who is a human being. We all attended kindergarten, first grade, etc. In other words, we’re all tasting this.

May all the victims, families, and residents of Newtown find peace.

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Old School Sundays: Shakespeare’s “King Lear”

I’ve decided that for the next five Sundays…or at least until the new year, I’m going to dedicate my Old School Sunday posts to The Bard, himself, William Shakespeare.

I debated this at first–wondered if my readers would even be interested in Shakespearean wisdom. But then I thought, well everyone ought to! So here it is…

“It’s good to be the King…” Jose → in Church & Cemetery

I read King Lear in college. Such a powerful story of hubris followed by a complete unraveling. After all, isn’t a mental breakdown usually an appropriate punishment for excessive pride? Doesn’t it always follow? At least in literature.

I’ve been amazed by Lear’s pomposity, and impressed by his lovely daughter Cordelia’s earnest answer of ‘Yes, father, I love you, but not anymore than I should.’ There’s nothing more drastic to the ears of the grandiose than the good old, honest truth.

There are many memorable lines I could pull from this play. But there was always something about this one that I could relate to my life on a number of different situations.

In Act 4 Scene 1, Edgar, Gloucester’s legitimate is disguised as Poor Tom. Right before the old man leads his recently blinded father onto the stage, Edgar reflects on the horrific nature of situation. He discovers, though, that it’s perhaps not as bad as it could be:

“And worse I may be yet: the worst/is not/So long as we can say ‘This is the worst'” (4.1 29-30).

Being from New Jersey, I can attest that the recent storm, Hurricane Sandy, was perhaps the ‘worst’ our state has ever seen. We lost our favorite vacation spots. Many of us lost heat and power. Some (too many) lost their homes. Some lost family members. Others lost pets. We waited on long lines for gasoline, something, we all learned, we’d taken for granted.

But we’re “Jersey Strong” and resilient. And we’re all aware of the fact that we’re damn lucky we can still say that Sandy was the worst storm in our history. Because if it was truly the worst…we might not be around to even suggest it.

See? We can all learn a thing or two from Shakespeare.

Stay tuned for more next week!

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Filed under Old School Sundays, Uncategorized