Archive for the ‘Helen’s Harpings’ Category

Boo some bad guys! Win some good reads!

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

book_and_coffee.jpgCare for some villainy with your coffee? Are nasty boys your cup of tea?

Then check out this post at Layered Pages about the Schemers of Azgard. They made life miserable for me and most everyone else. Feel good about sending them your very worst.

My author, C.L. Talmadge, will be watching the comments section. The funniest will win a set of e-books (Kindle, Nook, or .pdf) of the first four novels in the Green Stone of Healing® series.

So read, shake your head, tickle your keyboard, and win four juicy reads just right for the coming beach season. 

They ALL win!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

My heartiest thanks to all those who visited the StoneScribe blog during the Indie B.R.A.G. “Be Still My Heart” Romance Blog Hop!

On my blog remains an excerpt from B.R.A.G. Medallion winner The Vision—Green Stone of Healing® Book One. This sweeping speculative fiction series is packed with romance that spans multiple lives and chronicles the explosive clash of passion, politics, and piety in a doomed island nation called Azgard.

Those who visited left such delightful comments I could not decide between them. So I just declared them all winners! I will email each person her choice of Kindle, Nook, or .pdf e-book versions of the first novel in this epic series.

Happy romantic reading to all my winners!

Day of reckoning awaits the 1% and the Kindred

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

The seventh novel in the Green Stone of Healing® speculative fiction series is now under way. Books Five and Six are complete as first drafts and await a big enough improvement in their authors finances to see the light of publication.

This forthcoming tome sees a changing of the guard. Outspoken heroine Helen Andros fades and her offspring assumes the spotlight. Think Helen was feisty? Wait until you meet her child.

I‘ll give you some idea of what the Kindred of Azgard are about to face. Billionaire Nick Hanauer wrote a lengthy piece in Politico about seeing the pitchforks coming for U.S. oligarchs if we as a nation do not do something to roll back raging income and opportunity inequality. It’s spot on and well worth reading. 

Helen’s descendant is that pitchfork, growing up to despise the indifference to suffering and outright cruelty she witnesses in those privileged, powerful, and wealthy few who have more than they could possibly use in multiple lifetimes and refuse to provide chances for others.

She also is the reincarnation of the very soul who founded the nation of Azgard, and thus has the karma to make a huge impact on everyone, Turanian and Toltec alike. Does she? You betcha!

She’s the embodiment of the ancient Chinese curse about living in interesting times…..

Buffy and Helen

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Hellmouth podcast recommends The Vision. The link goes straight to the podcast URL, and the review starts about six minutes into the podcast. 

Apparently the heroine of Green Stone of Healing(R) series has a lot in common with  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

 Who knew!?

Past Lives on BlogTalk Radio

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
The Healing Circle coauthor Candace Talmadge will discuss healing your past lives with BlogTalk Radio host Cherokee Billie.
Join us live for The Sacred Path on Tuesday, July 13, at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

A podcast will be available after the show for those with schedule conflicts.

Please “like” our book’s page on Facebook. Find it by searching for The Healing Circle. It’s the page with a photo of young people sitting on grass in a circle.

The Healing Circle

Like the page and leave some comments! Tell us about your own experiences with loved ones who have passed on.

We love to hear from you.

Candace (C.L.) Talmadge
Jana L. Simons
Co-authors, The Healing Circle

Tech Enhanced Training Wheels for Teen Drivers

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Ford Motor Company has developed a special key that worried parents can program. When their teens use this key to drive certain models of Ford automobiles, the car cannot go faster than 80 miles an hour and it cannot play the stereo at more than half volume. The auto also will not turn on unless all passengers fasten their seat belts.

Think of it as technology-enhanced “training wheels” for teen drivers. Those aged 16 to 19 are four times more likely to crash than other drivers.

Who could argue with using technology to keep kids safe? Technology – especially so-called safety technology – has demonstrated unforeseen consequences, however.

“We have never gotten the full benefits of any safety technology ever invented because people have adjusted their behaviors due to these technologies,” says George E. Hoffer, professor of economics at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was speaking to me back in 2007 when I was writing a column for a syndicate that is now The North Star National.

Hoffer has spent four decades studying and writing about what’s called “offsetting behavior” resulting from automobile safety features such as seat belts and air bags. His research has found that when drivers know their cars have safety devices, they tend to behave less responsibly behind the wheel. In other words, safety technology encourages them to be less cautious.

Another term for offsetting behavior is free will. As souls created and endowed with unconditional freedom, we will always find ways around anyone or anything presuming or purporting to save us from ourselves.

Here’s the fly in this ointment. If this magic key keeps teens from learning to make their own judgment calls behind the wheel, what happens when they finally drive a car without the high-tech protections? Will safer driving have become their habit? Or will they be so conditioned to having big brother take care of them that they remain unprepared to assume full responsibility on the road?

We’ll find out in a few years. 

The gender-power equation

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

When comparing male power to female power, think of the former as action and the latter as attraction. Another way to look at it: doing versus being. The yang and the yin. The light and the dark. The electric and the magnetic.  The push and the pull. The broadcaster and the receiver.


The two forms of power complement each other, but this male-dominated world considers only the male/push/electric form as legitimate. Female/pull/receptive power is derided as seduction or temptation, when it really is the basis for the experiences and people we all attract into our lives. The law of attraction rests on female power, not male. Perhaps that is why it is so poorly understood.

In other words, to act, we use the electric energy of the mental-spiritual half of self. This is the side of self we are most familar with. To attract or receive, we use the magnetic energy of the emotional-physical parts of our being. One side of self cannot do or be without the other, yet we venerate and elevate the mental-spiritual (the masculine) at the expense of the emotional-physical (the feminine).

We also need to understand what we mean by energy here. The energy we speak of is the energy of consciousness — thoughts, feelings, beliefs — known as the aura in metaphysical terms. This consciousness-aura energy is called kura in the Green Stone of Healing® speculative epic. Whatever the name, this energy is the essence of who we are. Even our physical bodies are energy in a form that we are capable of perceiving with our physical eyes. Other names for this energy are chi or prana.

So where does romance fit into this gender-power equation? Interestingly, romance is where the two kinds of energies, masculine and feminine, collide and mingle. That’s what makes romance so compelling and essential, especially to women. During a romance, a woman finally elicits emotional (and sexual) attention from a man who otherwise would ignore his feelings about her or anyone else (himself included) to focus his energies on action, usually competition, in business, sports, or elsewhere.

Men absolutely hate it that they are not immune to women’s attracting/receptive power. This is one of the fascinating dynamics of romance. But they cannot escape this kind of power because they also possess it, although not to the degree that women do, unless the man is gay or bisexual.

Moralizing aside, one of the reasons a non-hetero sexual orientation is so threatening to straight men is the extra degree to which attracting/receptive feminine energy is present in the aura of non-hetero males. Lesbians and bisexual women also possess a greater extent of male/push energy than straight females. This is not as threatening to straight men because they are familiar with this kind of energy and regard it as superior anyway.

To be female in this world has long been associated with powerlessness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Attracting/receptive energy is extremely powerful, but can also be misused easily and degenerate into manipulation.

Throughout the generations, the Green Stone of Healing® saga explores how female power is the missing link for true healing at all levels of self and in the world. It also examines how women’s greatest challenge is to accept their own attracting/receptive nature as legitimate power and wield it forthrightly to sustain their personal autonomy, and improve their own lives and the lives of those they love.

Ground Hog Day debate

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Call it a sign of our polarized times. Even the ground hogs disagree.

According to Reuters, the venerable Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter today when he saw his shadow after coming out of his burrow. Phil has been at this for more than a century, so he has lots of practice.

Upstart rival Staten Island Chuck, however, did not see his shadow, in which case spring is just around the corner.

Of course, the actual groundhogs in question didn’t say a word. That was up to their human handlers. Animals are smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves, while we humans beings tediously blog on and on…

We moved our money to community banks–a decade ago

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington struck a nerve in the American public when she suggested on Dec. 29 that we take our money out of banks that are “too big to fail” and put it into community banks or credit unions.

In other words, vote with our pocketbooks against the venal, corrupt institutions that caused the U.S. economy to crater and were rewarded with billions in taxpayer bailout dollars to save them from the consequences of their short-sighted greed and folly.

Welcome aboard, Ms. Huffington. We walked away more than a decade ago. We have two checking/savings accounts. One is with the Fort Worth City Credit Union, which my partner can use because her grandfather was a Fort Worth city employee for decades. We opened that account back in 1989.

A decade later, we moved our second account from Bank of America to a credit union serving residents of our small Texas town just south of Dallas. It was a minor pain in the keister to move the money. The satisfaction of blowing off BofA was priceless.

The BofA account did not start out at BofA. It began in 1981 at First National Bank, a Texas-based institution that, like most large Texas banks at the time, served consumers as an afterthought but really cherished commercial business. Then the 1986 oil crunch hit, and FNB became First Republic, merging with its statewide rival in a desperate bid by both parties to remain solvent.

The years passed. We watched as a larger regional player stepped in to acquire InterFirst before it swooned into bankruptcy. That regional powerhpouse was, in turn, snapped up by BofA. Along the way, customer service evaporated, fees for everything exploded, and we finally cried, “Enough!” and left in sheer disgust.

That was at the height of the 1990s dotcom boom.

We have never looked back. The service is great at both of our credit unions, and the one in our town, which deals with us on a day-to-day basis, knows our names, and refuses to deliver check refills to our home out of concern about identity theft. (Instead, the CU has the checks delivered there and calls us to come get them.)

Any money we subsequently earn will go into credit unions or small local banks. Once we pay off our credit cards, we will look hard at how to ditch plastic, too, and go all cash.

BofA never noticed or cared about losing our meager dollars. But if thousands and maybe millions of us make the effort to walk away, it will hit the big boys in the only place they can feel–their pocketbooks.

Group looks to engineering science to cure bad behavior

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

“Physician, heal thyself.”

–Luke 4:23

Now that healthcare employers take disruptive workplace behavior seriously, and a major survey has indicated that physicians cause the majority of it, what are they doing to change the situation?

According to Dr. Barry Silbaugh, CEO of the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), one effective method is based on the engineering concept of high reliability. “This sticks more with doctors because they think like engineers,” he says.

“There is a fair amount of overlap between disruptive behavior and medical malpractice,” Silbaugh says, although he knows of no studies examining the exact relationship.

With lives and health on the line, the healthcare field is following the aviation industry, which several decades ago brought in the principles of high reliability to improve behavior among pilots and crew in airplanes, where lives are also at stake.

The ACPE works with physicians all around the country, teaching them how high reliability applies to the practice of their profession. “We try to emphasize the knowledge and behavior competencies needed by physician leaders,” he says.

The most dangerous time for patients is when they are transferred from one department to another, such as the operating room to intensive care, Silbaugh says.  “Doctors need to learn how to behave and influence people,” he adds. “They must let go of autonomy and become part of a team” that feels free to ask questions about patients and their care without fearing attacks or reprisals.

Another huge issue for physicians is admitting that they are not perfect, that they will make mistakes. In addition, Silbaugh notes, the obsessive-compulsive behaviors that may have helped them through medical school start to work against doctors in the real world of actual medical practice.

“Medical schools use too much humiliation as part of their training,” Silbaugh adds. He says that when he speaks to doctors, he talks about the baggage they carry with them, and always cites poet Maya Angelou, who writes that people never forget how we make them feel. Amen to that.

The real issue, however, goes beyond behavior, which is visible and measurable, and is therefore usually the focus of improvement efforts. Behavior, in its turn, arises out of our feelings about self and our beliefs. The baggage, in other words.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals dishing out disruptive, possibly criminal behavior do so out of low self-esteem. They feel bad about themselves and are insecure, and take it out on those around them. They also play politics, jockeying for position and recognition. All at the expense of patients and colleagues.

How do we heal feelings? How do we even find them within ourselves to address them? The low self-esteem and insecurities that prompt disruptive behavior are often not available to our conscious awareness. We cannot fathom why we act the way we do. It just comes out and blindsides us as well as those around us.

The irony of medicine today is that having devolved into a science devoted strictly to the physical, there is little accounting for the mental part of self, and no place at all for the emotional and spiritual aspects of our being.

Yet if physicians (and the rest of us) are ever truly to heal themselves or their patients, they/we must finally include the overlooked parts of self that cry out for succor. The emotional and spiritual are just as real and valid as the physical and mental sides of self, or our behavior. Feelings and beliefs are powerful and important.

Yet medical science ignores and leaves behind this entire half of self, rendering healthcare incomplete and ever more costly as a result.