Jennifer Busskohl, writing as J.B. Kohl

From her new book, One Too Many Blows to the Head, a collaboration with Eric Beetner:

Ray was a hard cord of a man, with muscles coiled tight enough to fire bullets without a gun if needed. His hands were cuffed together and rested on the table in front of him. Like the cuffs would do me and Bob any good if Ray decided to pounce.

Bob wiped the sweat off his forehead when he saw me and led me over to the corner to tell me what he’d got so far . . . which wasn’t much. “Says he was there looking for a girl.”


Bob nodded.

I moved back over to the table and told Ray I was sorry about his brother—and that was the truth. I was sorry about a lot of things and his brother’s death was just one more on the list. “Let’s talk about what you were really doing in Negrotown.”

His fists clenched a little when I said that, the tendons of his wrists straining against the metal of the cuffs. “Get those off him, Bob,” I said.

Bob looked like he wanted to argue, but he took the cuffs off and stepped back, like maybe he’d let a tiger out of the cage or something. Ray just nodded and sat there, not giving in to the urge to rub the raw spots.

“You want a cigarette?” I asked.

“Don’t smoke.”

I shrugged. “So how about it? What were you doing there?”

“What makes you think I’m lying about the girl?”

“I think you’ve been too busy to think about girls.”

He was silent.

“Tell me about the fight.”

See another book by this author, the Deputy’s Widow, at


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Nathan M. Richardson – Poet, Author, Publisher

Make Merry

“Better your anger and fears
flow like ink from a pen onto the page,
or paint onto a canvas,
than blood on the sidewalk.
Better your blows strike the faces of drums
or cords of melody,
than the backs and faces of
women and children!”

Nathan M. Richardson

This little aphorism was born from the many poetry readings and workshops Nathan teaches independently and through Young Audiences of Virginia. It is the message he brings to youth, that their creative gifts can be used counteract the challenges of life. It is also currently under review by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for use as a promotional supporting that cause! Find out more at

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Mac McKinney: Post-Katrina Blues


Biloxi was under the sea for quite a while:

Did fish swim through
Jefferson Davis’s cobwebs?

Beauvoir, glowing icon of Southern history,
symbol of past and future glory,
got hammered that August day, 2005.

Her wings got clipped, this
house of the Confederacy,
wooden siding, structure ripped away,
old mansion windows shattered.

The white apparition above Highway 90
groaned and screamed for hours,
Katrina more cruel than the Yankees.

Mac McKinney

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Lori M. Hobson: Momma Sayings and Life Reflections

From her book Momma Sayings and Life Reflections:

What does success look like to you? How do you define it? Is it writing a book, building a business or making a certain amount of money? Clearly success looks different to different people. Equally clear is that success looks quite different from the inside than it looks from the outside. Those of us who are working to build something for ourselves and our children can relate to the long hours, setbacks and disappointments. We know what it took to get that house, that car, those clothes, etc.

When you pursue your dreams you may expect to encounter certain obstacles. Things like lack of financing, time or support. When you are a member of a minority group (this includes females), you expect to meet people who don’t believe in you because of who or what you are.

There is one thing that goes with the territory that could easily blindside you. That thing is haters. A hater is a person who cannot handle your success. He or she is bothered by the fact that you have been blessed. A hater is someone who wants what you have but doesn’t want to or can’t do what is necessary to get it. Unfortunately they are quite often the people who are closest to you.

One of the things that I learned about myself years ago was that I have a ‘light’ that people find attractive. Most of the time people are attracted to my light and they want to talk to me, be in my presence, ask me questions, etc. It’s great and it makes me a good friend, counselor, speaker and trainer.

However there is a small percentage of people who are also attracted to my light but want to put it out. When I realized this, I tried (to no avail) to hide my light so people wouldn’t try to hurt me. It didn’t take long to figure out that it is impossible to hide your light, especially from those who are most intimidated by it.

In the message Our Greatest Fear, Marianne Williamson says in part, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” My interpretation of Marianne’s comments is that you should be who you really are always. Don’t attempt to hide your light and don’t let haters put it out.

A friend and mentor once told me that the difference between a star and a superstar is motivation and perseverance. When people hate on you it means that you are doing something right. The next time you encounter a hater tell them, you don’t hate me because I think I’m all that, you hate me because you think I’m all that. Look them in the eye and tell them to BRING IT!

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Nelson Farley and Ghosts

One of Nelson Farley’s hobbies is ghostbusting. There have probably been more ghosts in his house than in any haunted house; but most of them weren’t haunting, just visiting. This hobby inspired the license plates on his two Cadillac Sevilles: GOSBUSTR on the yellow ’83, and GSTBSTR on the blue ’85.

In the early 1990’s, my girlfriend’s son, Eric, taped a documentary on ghosts for me. One incident involved the Cabot, an American pocket carrier during World War II.

After the war, San Diego used the Cabot as a floating museum. One young woman, after touring this museum, reported that it was haunted by a young American sailor.

During a battle in 1942, the Cabot was hit by a kamikaze. The Cabot returned to service after repairs and finished out the war. It appeared the museum’s ghost died in the kamikaze attack.

By the time I got Eric’s tape, I had been educated by owners of haunted houses: leave their ghosts undisturbed. But I could still sit in my Hilton home on Hopkins Street and do what needed doing. The procedure is simple: I pray and then alter my state of consciousness by meditation. I ask my guides to bring me the haunting soul so I can talk to him. The talk is based on the summary of the law which Jesus cited as the two greatest commandments: You are to love God with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Those are three requirements really: love God, neighbor and self, I then explain why haunting is a hindrance to each of the three. It is important to first acknowledge the soul’s predicament, as best you know it. It is also helpful to remind them this is an invitation, and not a command. At the end, I ask them to look around for whomever they want as a guide and to go to the light with them, and then I bless them on their way.

As I finished my discourse, I saw the starboard side of a carrier with about two hundred men looking over the side at me. Many of these men were manning antiaircraft guns. They were smiling, but I was offended. ‘”Why were you hiding? I would have been there for you, too!” They didn’t reply, although I believe they understood. I did not understand: They were not hiding but welcoming their friend home from the war.

As I came out of meditation to the awareness of my room, I saw another man standing in the doorway to my small room. He was about 5′ 10″, and might have weighed 145 pounds if dripping wet. He wore a pilots’ uniform, complete with goggles, but no parachute. Only one country in World War II did not equip their pilots with parachutes, “Would you-please do for me what you just did for him?” He was shy and polite; not a warrior on a deadly mission, but a likable young man. I would, but first I asked my guides to see if there were any more like him. When I finished this second séance, I saw a second pilot. This one was short, stocky, confident, and seemed very much in charge of the situation. Certainly, this was the guide. He had three Zeros, in the early-war gray; and a second young pilot just as tall and skinny as the first. The slim one opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came forth: he was speechless. The message was clear though, and I liked it. The last thing I saw was the three warbirds flying off to their spiritual destination.

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W. Michael Farmer Writes About the Old West

W. Michael Farmer was born in 1944 in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Tennessee, and has taught graduate students, managed atmospheric instrumentation projects and databases, served as an advisor to the U.S. Army and NATO, published technical books and papers, managed small businesses, and traveled widely in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Pacific Rim countries. Living for nearly fifteen years in Las Cruces, New Mexico, he studied the region’s rich history, lived in its culture, traveled its deserts, mountains, and ranges and learned truth derived from fiction is as valid as any physical theory. He now lives and writes in the Tidewater area of Virginia, in Smithfield.

Read a Mike Farmer short story of the Old West at the link below.

A Charge Clearly Proved

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Wil LaVeist and Unemployment

Fired Up: How To Win When You Lose Your Job

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

– Joseph

To go to work one morning only to be fired without a clue by the afternoon can be as depressing as any other loss – even the death of a loved one. This is because in America what we do for a living is often intimately tied to who we are. When someone you meet asks, “So, what do you do for a living?” How do you answer when you’ve just lost your job? But like any other major crisis where you’ve been rejected, being terminated can be the defining moment that actually launches you to your true destiny. Fired Up is an intimate account that shows in raw detail how to climb out of a personal crisis.

Fired Up: How To Win When You Lose Your Job offers a concrete plan for coping and climbing back from any crisis, only in this case it’s a blindsiding firing. After being terminated, you will likely go through the various stages of grief, such as denial and anger, before reaching acceptance and hopefully forgiveness. I went through most of the stages, but got stuck at anger. In Fired Up I share the steps I took to cope, recover and eventually forgive, enabling me to move on toward my true career destiny, which, by the way, is what true success is really about. More than 1.5 million jobs were lost in the U.S. in 2008. Those aren’t just statistics, but actually people, some with children in college, or elderly parents they are caring for, or mortgages to pay. Many of them, like me, didn’t see the firing coming. Of course not all terminations are unfair or financially devastating. In fact, many are simply necessary, nothing personal and just business. But when you’re fired without warning, your life can be turned upside down and inside out. Fired Up helps employers realize that being humane when letting people go is better for business, and employees to understand that shock may be just what was needed for them to become who they were truly intended to be.

Buy it at

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