Second-Hand Fear


I am sure most of you have heard ofsecond-hand smoke (SHS), which is when nonsmokers are exposed to smoke exhaled by a smoker. Here are some alarming facts about SHS.

(1) Non-smokers who breathe inSHStake in nicotine and toxic chemicals the same way smokers do; (2) There’s no safe level of exposure for second-hand smoke (SHS); (3) Second-hand smoke is known to cause cancer; (4) SHS is linked to the following in children: lymphoma, leukemia, liver cancer, and brain tumors.

While it is undeniable that SHS is extremely detrimental to one’s health, have you heard of second-hand fear (SHF)? My guess is that many people are unfamiliar with this phenomenon and how it might be affecting their daily lives.

So, what is second-hand fear (SHF)? And how can you prevent it from influencing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?

Second-hand fearis the act, conscious or otherwise…

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A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 30


Christina Rossetti1830 – 1894

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
   You tell me of our future that you planned:
   Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
   For if the darkness and corruption leave
   A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
   Than that you should remember and be sad.

This poem is in the public domain.




A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 29

Into the Light

Let the Light Enter

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper1825 – 1911

The dying words of Goethe.
“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
   And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:
   Light! more light! before I go.”
“Softly let the balmy sunshine
   Play around my dying bed,
E’er the dimly lighted valley
   I with lonely feet must tread.”
“Light! more light! for Death is weaving
   Shadows ‘round my waning sight,
And I fain would gaze upon him
   Through a stream of earthly light.”
Not for greater gifts of genius;
   Not for thoughts more grandly bright,
All the dying poet whispers
   Is a prayer for light, more light.
Heeds he not the gathered laurels,
   Fading slowly from his sight;
All the poet’s aspirations
   Centre in that prayer for light.


This poem is in the public domain. 

A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 28

April 28th marks the observation of National Great Poetry Reading Day.

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck (Sonnet 14)

William Shakespeare1564 – 1616

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy;
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find.
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert:
   Or else of thee this I prognosticate,
   Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

This poem is in the public domain.

A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 27


John Rollin Ridge1827 – 1867

I saw her once—her eye’s deep light
Fell on my spirit’s deeper night,
The only beam that e’er illumed
Its shadows drear. The glance was slight,
But oh, what softness it assumed!

I saw her twice—her glance again
Lit up its fire within my brain;
My thoughts leaped up, like lightning warm,
And felt a sweetness mixed with pain,
While gath’ring wildly round her form.

I saw her thrice—she was alone,
And her deep glance more deeply shone
Upon my heart with rapture chained,
The thrill was a meteor thrown
Athwart some sky where darkness reigned!

I saw her yet again—and clear,
But low, her rich tones met my ear;
They wandered thro’ my bosom sad,
As waters thro’ a woodland sere,
That make decay itself seem glad.

The fifth time I saw her—and still
She taught my quiv’ring heart to thrill,
Like some wild hand upon a lyre,
That’s borne along, without its will,
Across the strings of magic fire!

I saw her oft again—, each hour
Enhanced o’er me her conquering power;
Her image in my thought became
A spirit-planted, fadeless flower;
And all my music was her name!

I loved the earth on which she trod—
More beautiful than if a God
Had placed immortal foot-prints there!
I loved the world, though dark its load
Of ills, because she breathed its air!

I loved her slightest careless word—
More sweet than matin of the bird
That scales the Heaven on mounting wing!
It through my maddened pulses stirred,
As though it were a living thing.

Oh, that ’rapt heart’s forever gone,
That boweth once to Beauty’s throne,
And feels the bliss her looks inspire;
For, oh, the seeds of death are sown,
When love assumes its mad empire!


This poem is in the public domain.

A Poem a Day Series 2019 – Day 26

National Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska.

Winter Trees

Winter Branches

When winter-time grows weary, I lift my eyes on high
And see the black trees standing, stripped clear against the sky;

They stand there very silent, with the cold flushed sky behind,
The little twigs flare beautiful and restful and kind;

Clear-cut and certain they rise, with summer past,
For all that trees can ever learn they know now, at last;

Slim and black and wonderful, with all unrest gone by,
The stripped tree-boughs comfort me, drawn clear against the sky.

This poem is in the public domain.

Beyond Good Writing: Two Literary Agents Discuss What Matters Most – by Sangeeta Mehta…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Jane Friedman site:

Almost anyone who has spent time in the query trenches knows how challenging it is to capture the attention of a literary agent.

Most agents, even new agents eager to build their client list, pass on over 90 percent of the queries they receive. In some cases, the reason is obvious: The agent doesn’t represent the writer’s genre; the writer has written a synopsis rather than a query letter; the agent isn’t accepting queries, at all.

In other cases, the writer might be doing everything right—researching agents, following submission guidelines, querying only once they have a polished manuscript—but still experience radio silence. Or, maybe they are receiving requests for pages, or feedback from the agent along with the opportunity to resubmit, but an offer of representation just isn’t coming through. If the writing is good or at least shows potential—how else would they have come this…

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