“It’s Just a Dance.”

Week 29! Whew! 😉

Felicia Denise, Author

Shoes at a Wedding

52 Week Writing Challenge: Week 29
This is another unedited excerpt from my Camp NaNo project , ‘Calla.’

“I cannot believe you said that!”
Calla grinned, shrugging one shoulder.
“She shouldn’t have dared me.”
Calla’s grin was replaced by a dramatic eye roll when staccato clapping sounded behind them.
“Okay, Taylor Bridal Party! Prepare to join the bride and groom on the dance floor, please.”
Cherri’s face fell. “Do we have to wear shoes?”
Neeri shot the young girl a withering look. “Of course, you do!”
“Then we’re not dancing.” Mavis leaned back in her chair, done with the conversation.
“Of course, you’re dancing! It’s tradition! Tena is counting on you!”
“We’re done with you playing the Tena-card, Neeri.” Donna motioned toward the dance floor. “Look at her. She doesn’t see anyone or anything except Lloyd.”
The rest of the group nodded in agreement.
“A lot of time and…

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A Cry for Help


This past Thursday the music industry was hit with the devastating news of another death. Fans of the alternative rock band, Linkin Park began mourning the loss of lead singer, Chester Bennington (age 41). His body was discovered in his home located in Palos Verdes Estates, California. Reports say that it was suicide by hanging.

Chester Bennington was close friends with Chris Cornell, who was the frontman of the alternative metal band, Soundgarden. Chris also was found dead, but two months earlier. Cause of his death? Suicide by hanging as well. His body was discovered in his Detroit hotel room. What makes these two talented individuals’ stories even sadder? Chester’s life ended on the day of Chris’s 53rd birthday.

Regardless of their reasoning, or anyone else’s reasoning for wanting to commit suicide, suicide is a very serious matter and it should never be taken lightly. Everyone goes through their moments…

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“Why People Suck” by Abe Surde

1.99 at time of posting!

Why People Suck cover

“Why People Suck”

Author: Abe Surde

Genre: Humor

Release Date: September 24, 2016

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You’ve heard of Sigmund Freud. You’ve heard of Carl Jung. But have you heard of Abe Surde? Surde is a humorist and master mixologist who tackles, with a smile and a wink, one hundred commonly irritating and upsetting personality types seen in everyday life.

From disconcerting creeps to loudmouth louts and worrisome weirdos, Surde shares with readers his channeled theories on the origins of bad behavior and why people suck. His assemblage of wacky yet clever musings combined in a quasi-serious and silly way adds levity to a world gone mad.

This nonsensical collection amuses while simultaneously serving kernels of truth that surprisingly hit the mark. Surde’s “divine” insights will tickle your funny bone unexpectedly, the way a dramatic comedy can suddenly spark a fit of laughter, because you didn’t see it coming.

The book version of WHY PEOPLE SUCK is a great icebreaker for parties and a fun distraction for anyone disturbed by the actions of another. It’s also the perfect gift for that special someone in your life.

Note of warning for delicate readers: the book contains adult language, references to sex and drugs, but only minimally to rock and roll.

Hailing from a small conservative town in Wyoming, Abe Surde knew from an early age he was destined for something great. He packed his bags and headed for the big city lights of Cheyenne where he studied traditional bartending, learning to make such classics as the Whiskey Sour, the Sea Breeze, the Gin and Tonic, the Mai Tai, the Margarita. Once he accomplished the basics, he set his sights for more exotic libations.

He headed to New York City where he was mentored by the best and brightest bartenders in the nation. After earning his bachelors degree in bartending, he went on to do his scholarly work on drinks from the Hellenistic age, comparing the practices of each continent during that time period. He wrote his thesis on the fermentation practices of ancient times and recreated several beverages using old methods.

During his tenure as a bartender, Surde discovered his gift for therapeutic consultation. It was in the atmosphere of a darkly lit room where patrons, with a whiskey or vodka to help soften inhibitions, openly discussed their divorces, exploits, complaints, dreams, and desires.

After many hours of interactions with his troubled customers, he realized he had a knack for giving helpful advice. In time, his reputation as a therapist grew. Even non-drinkers began to seek him out. However, these extra customers upset his regular clientele. Many of the new folks also failed to follow the one-drink minimum rule, causing friction between Surde and his employers.

Some of these advice seekers were also extremely obnoxious, caustic, mean, and demanding. They came in droves, making Surde not only the most popular bartender in the area but also the most burned out. This demanding period led to serious soul-searching, a time Surde calls “the turning point” in his life.

For the next three years, Surde read psychological texts, took classes, read reports, met with therapists and psychiatrists, went on vision quests, partook of ayahuasca and peyote ceremonies, and smoked excessive quantities of super strong cannabis to understand how difficult personalities came into being.
He wanted to understand what could turn a good person into an annoying ass. Why divas are such douchebags and how bullies got made. He documented the many stories he heard and in doing so, discovered patterns to rotten behaviors that could be identified and categorized into at least a hundred different types. But what remained unanswered was: What caused these shitty behaviors in the first place?

He felt the literature available in the field failed to truly answer his questions in a meaningful way, leaving him less than satisfied but driven by a profound need to understand why people behaved badly.

Through an unexpected journey into the unconscious, Surde received divine guidance when he accidentally fell one day, hitting his head on a statue of Athena. The Greek goddess of wisdom seemed to answer his queries. From that point on, Surde was able to divine the origin for many difficult, annoying, and rotten behaviors. He became a psychological intuitive. Thus began the birth of “WHY PEOPLE SUCK: the bizarre and ridiculous underlying causes of 100 annoying behaviors.”

Seemingly ludicrous at times, Surde has nonetheless added to the extensive body of work currently available in the psychoanalytic field. By doing so, Surde has offered an alternative to the time-consuming and expensive mainstream therapist/client dynamic. His down-to-earth remedies offer quick and satisfying results that are simple and sensible.

Surde currently resides in upstate New York. He no longer bartends and spends much of his time in his garden, reading and writing next to several Athena statues he now has on his property. Yes, even in winter. Currently, he is commissioning an additional statue for his garden—a curvaceous Aphrodite. He hopes to gain insight from the goddess of love as he penetrates the depths of the female psyche.

“Made for Love” by Alissa Nutting

Made for Love cover

“Made for Love”


Genre: Humor/Satire

Release Date: July 4, 2017


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From one of our most exciting and provocative young writers, a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love—and how far some will go to escape it. 

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all. Perceptive and compulsively readable, Made for Love is at once an absurd, raunchy comedy and a dazzling, profound meditation marriage, monogamy, and family.

“The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3)” by Erika Johansen

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“The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3)”

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Epic
Release Date: November 29, 2016
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Katniss Everdeen, you have competition.”—Entertainment Weekly

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Timesbestselling Tearling trilogy.

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.

To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne.

Now, as the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea—and the Tearling itself—will finally be revealed.

Fibromyalgia and Itching


If you know much about fibromyalgia, you’ve no doubt heard the list of most common symptoms: chronic fatigue, widespread pain in the joints of the body, mental fog and difficulty remembering basic things, and mental symptoms like depression. But the thing about fibromyalgia is that it’s never that simple. There are a wide number of different symptoms you might not think of. And one of the most annoying to deal with might be pruritus.

Pruritus is a medical term that describes a kind of chronic itching. A lot of things can cause pruritus like dry skin or allergies. But it’s also surprisingly common in chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. So what is it about chronic pain conditions that causes pruritis? And what can you do to treat it?

Pruritis and Fibromyalgia

Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia report constantly feeling itchy. Typically, the sensation is worse at night and people with this kind of pruritis often find it difficult to sleep. Instead, they’re up all night scratching their skin until it’s raw. And if you’ve ever had an itch that you just can’t seem to scratch, you know how infuriating that is.

But what’s interesting is how common this itching is among people with fibromyalgia while, at the same time, few people seem to associate chronic itching with fibromyalgia. So why do these conditions seem to go together?

Well, to answer that question, it’s worth considering the fact that fibromyalgia isn’t the only chronic pain condition that seems to cause pruritis. And doctors have speculated that the basic neurological mechanisms that cause chronic pain are the same mechanisms that cause chronic itching.

It’s possible that the misfiring nerve signals that transmit the sensation of chronic pain become more sensitive to all forms of stimulus. And thus, sometimes they transmit the sensation of itching, even without any obvious cause. Unfortunately, the field of chronic itching isn’t one that gets a lot of attention when it comes to research, so it may be awhile before we get any good answers about the cause of pruritis.

But luckily, there are still some things you can do to treat it.

How do you treat Pruritus?

One of the most important things when it comes to pruritus is not to scratch. Obviously, this is a case of “easier said than done.” But scratching your itch can actually make the condition worse. Doctors call this the “itch-scratch cycle.” When you scratch, you not only damage your skin but actually activate the nerve fibers that cause the itching sensation.

So while a good scratch might help relieve the itch in the short-term, it’s a self-defeating way to deal with itching.

There are a few different medication-based options that are better for treating itching. Typically, some of the basic over-the-counter stuff is not as effective for cases of pruritus, since the itching is not originating in the skin itself but rather in  the nerves. So the sorts of anti-histamine creams that you would use for allergy-related itching or the moisturizers you might use for dry skin won’t be as helpful for pruritus as they would be for the conditions they are designed to treat.

But with that being said, they aren’t completely useless. One of the most common treatments for pruritus is a specific type of moisturizer designed to help repair the barrier between the skin and the air. Studies have shown that moisturizers with a low pH balance are effective for treating the condition. The best explanation for their effectiveness is that they help deactivate certain receptors in the skin cells that trigger pruritus, though we aren’t completely sure of that yet.

And clinical trials have also shown a lot of success with a certain class of drug designed to prevent seizures. Gabapentin works by slowing down the interaction between neurons in the brain. This helps stop the rapid-firing interaction between neurons that leads to seizures. But something about the way the drug helps dull the interaction between nerves seems to prevent the itching stimulus as well.

The drug is actually regularly prescribed in countries like New Zealand, where doctors are aware of its effectiveness for treating cases of pruritus. Of course, like any drug, it carries side effects. So it may not be for everyone.

Fortunately, there are also some natural ways to relieve pruritus. Avoid hot showers, which can make the itching worse. Limit your consumption of caffeine and aspirin, both of which are known to increase the severity of itching. And there’s even some evidence that medical marijuana might help cure pruritus.

The preceding article is from Fibromyalgia Treating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For more information please visit their site.


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