The World I Imagine
A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace. The essays in this collection introduce creative ideas for ending poverty everywhere, in the hope that humans can finally build a truly peaceful society where everyone enjoys at least the basic benefits of prosperity, for the first time in history.
The mystery set in 1911 Arizona, features murder, adultery, polygamy, and a marauding mountain lion threatening territorial residents! This exciting adventure novel was published by Outskirts Press in 2007.
We want to know your thoughts on how to end poverty and build a peaceful world.
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Imagine the World at Peace
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|All articles originally appeared in the Arizona City Independent Edition. www.trivalleycentral.com
From November 2000 to early 2010, I had the privilege of writing a column for the newspaper in my first Arizona hometown. Kayne Crison, editor of the Arizona City Independent Edition, gave me carte blanche. Some people might think that makes things easier, but it places more responsibility on me to make sure my work is well written. Of course, writers should always do that anyway. But when I catch a small error on the printed page, I can usually look back at my file and see that I let that one get by me. I have no one to blame but myself!
Still, a newspaper column, like a web site, provides a wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with the world. Sometimes I'm serious and other times I like to laugh. The best thing is, the column gave me the chance to work out my ideas for The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace, the collection of essays detailed elsewhere on this site. Just click on "The World I Imagine" in the menu at the right side of this page, and you can read the complete Table of Contents of the book, along with a sample essay.
Meanwhile, you can find many of my other columns by choosing from the subject list below. Each page contains two or more of my favorite articles from the newspaper gig. I hope you enjoy them.
|Articles by Categories
Click on a category below
Baseball and Other Sports
As a dedicated fan of America's Pastime, I've written several articles about baseball, mostly about the two teams Jim and I love best, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves. Following are three of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them too.
Still America's Pastime
Joe Torre and the Angel
Cats (and Other Critters) RULE!
I love all God's creatures, great and small, but I have a particular affinity for the felines among us. Cat people understand how gifted these little fur-persons are. Rather than being "loners," as the rumor goes, they are very social, but with reservations. They are the epitome of interdependence, the best kind of relationship that we humans will ever strive for. They are also extremely intelligent and empathetic, which makes them such interesting companions. And they have such a sense of self-awareness and dignity that they seem incapable of guilt or shame.
Below, I have shared some of my personal observations about these fascinating creatures. First is an essay in which I compare the important roles that both cats and dogs play in human society. Next comes a poem in which I reveal the secret role of cats in God's Grand Plan.
The third article recounts a small experience in which my own fur-friend helped me begin a series of articles on the things that we disabled people want to say to those of you who don't worry about whether you'll be able to get out of bed each day. In time, I'll share more of the articles in that series on this web site too.
Finally, I share my affectionate observation of the exalted status we give to cats and all the other fur- and feather-persons who kindly allow us to inhabit "their" little worlds.
Cats, Dogs, and the People Who Love Them
The Clerk (poem)
Disability - Finding Balance
The Egyptians Got It Right
"CURE" That Cold Quickly
One day in late 2000, my esteemed editor at the Arizona City Independent Edition appeared on my doorstep with a budding case of the sniffles, so I made him take a printout of my list of "sure cures" for the common cold. Since I'd put the recipes into article form, he had me share them with my readers in the paper, and now I'm making them available to everyone on this web site. If you hadn't realized it before, after reading the following, you'll know what a total "nut" I am when it comes to using natural means, whenever possible, to deal with illness.
Actually, I've collected four separate "recipes" from different sources over the years to help fight viral infections of the respiratory system. Because my explanations, especially of the vitamin C recipe, can be lengthy, I've divided them into smaller parts, starting with my favorite, and the easiest, method, which is also the quickest to use in a pinch. The other three take a little more preparation than the vitamin C recipe, so if you catch cold soon, I hope the first one holds you together till you can get your hands on the rest of the ingredients so you can try whichever method works for you. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my antiviral folk "wisdom."
Quick Vitamin C Recipe
"Miracle" Root Veggie Broth
The Remarkable Benefits of Sauerkraut
Disability: Disarming the Carts
The following articles detail the various problems that disabled people have in getting around stores because management and employees don't understand the importance of providing adequately designed and well maintained transport for people who lack the stamina to walk around stores on their own.
I want to encourage people to add their voices to mine to fight for this service, especially now that more and more stores are replacing older electric carts with new ones that lack any side support for people with balance and/or back problems. I've tried to get someone with some kind of clout to pay attention to the problem, but no one seems to care! The only people who will even say anything to me at all about this issue are low-level employees who lack the power to do anything about the problem.
I sent a letter to the CEO of one major retail chain that replaced all their old carts with armless ones. I have yet to receive any kind of response--not even an acknowledgement of my letter. I know it reached their corporate offices. I also sent e-mails to two of the most influential advice columnists in the country, and they completely ignored me! And when I sent a letter to the editor of our local paper, the only reason he finally printed it is that my husband showed up in the office and reminded him about it!
As you can see, I also wrote about the issue in my own column, but I have yet to hear from anyone who cares about the problem at all! So, are we who can no longer shop at many stores totally alone?! I hope not!
If you care about the needs of people with disabilities, please e-mail me at:
And please put "carts" in the subject line, so I know what you're writing about! I'd love to hear from you!
Meanwhile, if I get a chance to talk about this problem in any other venue, I'm going to use the opportunity for all it's worth! I look forward to the day when disabled people will once again be able to go into a store and shout: "Let's roll!"
Disarming the Carts
Disability: Going the Distance (Part I)
Disability: Going the Distance (Part II)
I admit it, I'm a fan of golf--sometimes. I don't watch the sport as much as I do baseball, but I do appreciate certain players, each for different reasons.
I love what Tiger Woods has done for the game, and for minority athletes overall. His skills at what is considered primarily a mental game has finally helped put a small crack in the "dumb jock" stereotype that is more often attached to athletes of color--though I dare anyone to explain how more brawn than brains helps a running fielder intercept those tiny baseballs hurtling toward them at lightning speeds! Athletes use their brains in different ways than scientists do, but they still apply some of the same principles in their respective games.
My other favorite golfer is Casey Martin--about whom I wrote my first golf article, below--because of his courage in standing up for his civil rights as a disabled citizen and athlete.
I hope you enjoy these articles, and this often fascinating game!
Be a Sport
The Lazy Vegetarian
If you read much of my book, The World I Imagine: A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace, you know that two issues that are very important to me are the quality of the environment and taking a holistic approach to health care. I don't just preach these principles, I try to practice them as much as possible. Of course, each of us can help the environment in individual ways, by recycling, for instance, and setting the air conditioner to a higher temperature.
One way that I take care of both my body and the environment is by not eating meat. There's no question that everyone feels better when they eat more fruits and veggies and less meat. But since it takes far more of our natural resources to produce one pound of meat than it does to produce one pound of fruits or vegetables, vegetarians also help preserve the planet. I'll leave it to others to document these facts for you--and you can certainly find plenty of data on these points all over the internet--but for anyone who just can't manage to kick their appetite for animal products, I offer the following articles.
Even if you don't give up meat altogether, at least you can cut down on the amount of animal products you eat by using some of the delicious vegetarian substitutes I discuss in these articles. In addition, I'm sharing two of my favorite easy vegetarian recipes with you here. So read on, eat your veggies, and take good care of yourself! Bon Apetit!
The Lazy Vegetarian
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Chili Magic Chili
Tips for the Lazy Vegetarian
The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich in the Universe
Some Weighty Issues
"Playing" Post Office in Arizona City
The situation detailed in the articles on this page won't mean much to anyone who doesn't live in or around Arizona City, AZ, but the things that are being done by a quasi-government agency to a few thousand citizens should concern all Americans. These articles detail events that occurred within a short span of time in the fall of 2006, but the story doesn't end there. If anything, the Post Office situation in Arizona City is worse now than ever before.
First, the results of that (obviously jerry-rigged) "election," in which Arizona City residents were supposed to choose between continuing the status quo or setting up a system of neighborhood box deliveries, were announced. Not surprisingly, the Post Office won. But for two reasons, many people were suspicious of the way the "ballots" were counted: No one from the public was allowed to witness the votes being counted, and the tally was done by an employee in the office of the U.S. congressman who represents the district. I must say it was no surprise to many people around here when that same politician became the subject of one of the ubiquitous investigations, and later a long list of indictments, that have dogged a certain political party in recent years. That fact, as well as the lack of full disclosure before and after the "election," have not set well with many people in Arizona City.
But it gets worse. Shortly after the P.O./delivery question was supposedly "settled," the authorities announced that they were looking for a new location for the Arizona City Post Office. The reaction to this news was mixed, since the Post Office at that time was in a central location, but it was situated at the end of a small strip center, and the people in the offices next door were constantly complaining about the constant traffic in their part of the parking lot. The Post Office parking lot seemed--you'll pardon the pun--like it was the size of a postage stamp. There was additional parking in back, but that was harder to get into and out of, and the neighbors back there were also unhappy about the situation.
For a while, there was public comment about several possible locations for a new Post Office, but in the end--again, not surprising--the worst possible location was chosen! Now the Arizona City Post Office is located in one end of a building that is also occupied by a fitness center. The street outside is a well-traveled two-lane highway that runs east and west with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour, and there is only one entrance-exit into and out of the cramped parking lot.
This means that nearly every day, most people in that town that is fast growing past 5,000 in the winter season, when the "snowbirds" come down here to escape the northern cold, needs to make some use of services provided in this building. It's not surprising that within the first month of doing business in that location, someone managed to hit one of the barrier posts that are supposed to keep people from driving into the drainage ditch between the parking lot and the highway. Many of us feel it's just a matter of time before a major accident occurs when someone tries to come out of that parking lot at a time when the rising or setting sun makes it impossible for a driver to clearly see oncoming traffic!
Incidentally, my internet research indicates that the only other city in the United States that doesn't have residential mail delivery is Page, Arizona. Interestingly, with Arizona City in the south central part of the state south of Phoenix, Page is located almost directly north of Arizona City on the other end of the state. I've also found that certain neighborhoods in larger communities do have central mailboxes or smaller Post Office substations, but I wonder if they're being denied so many of the basic mail services the way residents of Arizona City are. The real wrinkle lies in the fact that citizens of Arizona City still have to pay full price for any services they do get, while being denied most of the free services available to other U.S. citizens, such as free home services, such as pickup and delivery of packages, certified mail delivery, and home stamp purchases.
So, you see, something needs to be done to help the residents of Arizona City. Even though my husband and I moved to the closest town of Casa Grande last fall, we remain loyal to Arizona City. I can truly say, "I feel your pain!" If my posting this information on the internet will help, then I've done a good thing. And if anyone in the media wants to write an article or discuss the problem on the air, then I can put you in touch with people who know more about this situation than I do. Just contact me at: email@example.com.
MEETING PLANNED FOR JUNE 19, 2008,
TO DISCUSS ARIZONA CITY POST OFFICE ISSUE
Less than a month after I posted this page with my past articles about mail service problems in Arizona City, a town hall meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008. All Arizona City citizens are invited to attend in order to discuss their feelings about the issue. To read the article announcing the meeting, go to:
Arizona City Town Hall Meeting
Then one day before the meeting, the following (very enjoyable) note appeared:
Second Notice--Arizona City Town Hall Meeting
Since the meeting did take place on June 19, 2008, the Independent ran the following report on that meeting (which was an eye-opener):
Arizona City Town Hall Meeting--Report
As if all the problems detailed in these articles isn't bad enough, here's a hint that things could have crossed the legal line:
Letter to the Editor--Stolen Mail
Despite all the mail that went missing when we lived in Arizona City, I thought at least secure mailboxes meant no one was stealing it. Now I know better! And we still have friends who live down there and depend on that (lack of mail) service. For more information on the history of this issue, check out the articles below.
Boxed in at the Arizona City Post Office
More Post Office Questions
Whither Our Mail Now
The Staff of Life
Here are a couple of more articles that are self-explanatory. You'll note that like much of my diet, my bread recipe has developed over time according to my changing medical needs and limitations. There are many other ways to manipulate a basic bread recipe to accommodate special or restricted diets, so bread is, indeed, the "staff of life."
The Staff of Life
More Machine Bread Making Tips
Tips for Beginning Writers
Though I've been writing all my life, I've only thought of myself seriously as a writer since the early 1980s. That's because only one person--my sophomore English teacher, Mrs. June Gorrell--ever really encouraged me to consider writing as a profession. On the other hand, I've benefited from several experiences in my early years, especially the intense training in spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and syntax as taught by nuns in parochial school in the 1950s. I was delighted that once I decided to really learn more about writing and publishing, my strong basic foundation in English composition made it much easier for me to focus on the more important details of this business. That's why I quickly jumped from student to teacher during the years I was involved in writers groups around Houston, Texas, and later in Cumming, Georgia.
Besides giving speeches and conducting workshops for writers, I helped organize and run several writers groups. I also turned some of those workshops and speeches into articles, many of which are featured below. It is my sincere hope that something I've included on this page will help aspiring writers improve their skills and reach their writing goals.
And if you're trying to decide whether to try to get your work published the old-fashioned way or bite the bullet and publish your own work, check out my articles on “Traditional vs. Self Publishing,” below. You'll discover that there are pros and cons to each option, so everyone must make that choice for themselves.
How to Start Writing
Conquering the Index-Card Dragon
Steps to a Complete Book
A Character Chart for Writers
Ready, Set, GO!
Resources for Writers
How to Write a Press Release
Traditional vs. Self Publishing
The following articles are self-explanatory. They tell the story of how I once had a novel published the old-fashioned way and am now taking complete control of my writing fortunes--and failures! Of course, another difference is that the first book was the product of a team--though I did just about all the "heavy lifting," while my partner's contribution was extremely limited. Now that I'm doing everything on my own, I'm having much more fun!
So, if you're trying to decide whether to risk all the rejection this business is famous for or sink a small fortune into your dream, maybe the articles on this page will help you make the choice. If so, then I'll be happy. Meanwhile, hold onto the dream!
Publish Or ...?
Writing for Myself
Debunking the Publishing Myths
Read any Good Books?
Weathering the Weather
The following article is self-explanatory, self-evident, and anyone with arthritis will undoubtedly understand. On the other hand, I feel compelled to remind everyone that I hold no hard feelings against the people who lived in the places where I've lived that made me sick. Those were some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. In fact, the prettier they were, the worse they made me feel--because I'm allergic to absolutely everything! Well, it seems that way, anyway!
So, please enjoy the writing, if you can, and if it informs you, even a little bit, then I've done well. And the next time it rains, when someone you love tells you they feel "under the weather," remember me and try to understand, just a little bit!
Weathering the Weather
Women in the Bible
Back in the 1980s, I was disgusted by a letter written to the editor of a Houston newspaper in which a man (naturally!) claimed that the Bible dictates that God requires women to dedicate every moment of their lives to caring for their husbands and children--with no help from friends, neighbors, or extended family members--while they subvert their own opinions that run counter to those of their husbands!
I kept my cool and opened up my own copy of the Bible--or copies, since I have at least a dozen different translations and versions in my library, so I can study any verse in depth when questions arise about its meaning. You can imagine how relieved I was to confirm that nowhere does the Bible make any statement that supports the claims of that Texas letter-writer. Then I wrote a concise response to the same paper, which they kindly printed shortly thereafter.
Finally, I wrote the following articles, but I was unable to get them published before I began writing for the Arizona City Independent Edition five years ago! So, I thank that unknown editor in Houston who was obviously interested in giving voice to all sides of an issue. And I especially thank Kayne Crison, my esteemed and supportive editor in Arizona City, for giving me the opportunity to speak my mind on so many issues!
Deborah - Judge and Prophet
The Proverbial Good Wife
Writing without Pain
Having suffered with osteoarthritis in both hands for more than 40 years, I've used the Dvorak/American Simplified Keyboard (ASK) without pain for nearly 20 years. In that same time frame, I've avoided writer's cramp by holding my pen between the index and middle fingers instead of the thumb and index finger. I simply cannot understand why, in the computer age, anyone would deliberately cause themselves pain or aggravate a case of carpal tunnel syndrome by using the archaic QWERTY keyboard, or why they would cramp up their hand by holding a pen the wrong way!
The reason, of course, is that most people are taught to write and type the incorrect way in their school years. It's a self-perpetuating torture syndrome in our society. If either of the articles below help anyone learn how to keep typing and writing without pain, then I've done a good thing. Hold on to the dream!
Keys to the Computer Age
Breaking the Chain
Confessions of a Bookaholic
Disability & Real Life
Folding a Fitted Sheet
Fun with Commercials
Privacy & the Internet
Watching the World