June 6, 2017
Winning-How Sweet It Is

There’s nothing like winning an award to boost confidence and inspire one to continue on the chosen path! Fatal Refuge, Book Two of the Arizona Thriller Trilogy won second place in the Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association Mystery/Thriller contest.  Even greater was the first place win in the National Indie Excellence Awards, category Regional Fiction, Southwest.

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February 5, 2017

Retirement strikes some people like a bolt of lightning that violently strips their identity from them. Others feel the bonds of a kind of slavery being slashed; they feel liberated, free. I’m on the cusp of retirement myself and was not sure if I stood with one of the extremes, or tried to cling to the middle ground. Then I happened on an essay from A Deep Breath of Life by Alan Cohen. He says, “All identities serve us temporarily…..but then we must grow beyond them. For any affiliation you can identify yourself with, there is a grander one available; we must let go of what we were to become who we are. …..There is a bigger room to live in.” Or a better, more beautiful road to travel? He refers to our essence, our Spirit, of course. What wisdom!

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December 5, 2016

Greetings, Respected Readers,

Yes, my blog and I had a tragic break-up due to “technical difficulties.” With the help of a computer guru, I am now back to network nirvana. I look forward to chatting with you all. Regards, Sharon Sterling

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January 5, 2016

And I’m not talking about bridge or pinochle, I’m talking about Donald Trump, who I fear will be the Republican candidate for our next President. His bigotry, stupidity and crudeness aside, I would never vote for him because he is Big Business personified. So what’s wrong with Big Business? Big Business seeks to rule the world without regard for merit or moral principles. It’s bottom line and cherished goal is simply profit, at anyone’s and everyone’s cost. Much of Big Business today is simply Capitalism run amok. When unrestrained by law it can be as vicious and virulent as the other end of the political spectrum, Communism.
A case is point is the rule of Pol Pot, the communist ruler of Vietnam who slaughtered millions of his own people for Communism’s bottom line. As stated above, the focus of Big Business is profit by any means, no matter how perverted and unjust. Take, for example, the CEO of a drug company who very recently raised the cost of a life-saving drug by five hundred percent, putting it out of reach of any but the very wealthy. I agree with the assessment of one psychiatrist who said that the great majority Continue reading

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December 7, 2015

Are you one of those people (usually of the male persuasion) who road trip like it’s a marathon, no stops allowed? Tucson residents wanting to re-hydrate in San Diego or Los Angeles drive Interstate 8 just like that. Yuma goes by in a blur, then across California sand dunes to the beautiful Pacific shore. What could Yuma have to offer? Check it out. The places in these pictures are featured in Fatal Refuge, my latest mystery/thriller novel.

 

Inside the Little Wayside Church

 

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November 4, 2015

Many locations in the U.S. and throughout the world have gained the reputation for generating spiritual energy and inspiring those who view them. I just visited one of those places, Monument Valley on the Arizona/Utah border. It is Navajo tribal land. While there, our Navajo guide, Loyal, helped us understand a little more about their spiritual tradition “The Beauty Way.” This gives you a little idea of their inspiration.

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October 17, 2015

Death, whether by suicide or homicide, is too easy to accomplish with a gun. Even relatively stable people can make mistakes or be guided by impulse to do something that they regret forever after, or that their survivors regret forever.
I once had police confiscate a young woman’s gun. She had come to me for counseling after she almost killed herself earlier that day with a gun that was now in her car, outside. I promptly called police. The woman gave the officer permission to take the gun, and he talked with her until he was reassured that she had no idea of killing anyone else. The agency I worked for was not pleased that its image was tarnished by having a police car in the parking lot, but I am sure to this day that I did the right thing.
When NRA groupies say, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” I say “Atomic bombs don’t kill people; people kill people, but would you want that weird guy down the street or that radical Muslim next door to own an atomic bomb?” The least a progressive society should do is to ensure, to the best of its ability, that Continue reading

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October 8, 2015

The new law submitted by members of the U.S. Senate, if passed, will not help those who need mental health care most — the potentially violent. The mass murderers we read about are young men, not the elderly and disabled.
The bill submitted by Senators Stabenow,Mikulski and Lee applies to Medicare recipients only. It would increase the amount of payments to social workers for counseling and other mental health services, including services provided in skilled nursing facilities. That’s great for the elderly.
What kinds of laws might help prevent violence? Laws that most liberals would oppose. We need to expand and increase social control over people who show a tendency to violence. Yes, this means locking them up in mental hospitals and making so-called “mandatory” treatments compulsory. At this time, mental health professionals have the deck stacked against them when they attempt to curtail peoples’ civil rights — even for the purpose of saving lives! Weak and ineffective laws restrict the provision of care. As a social worker and author, I feature these dilemmas in my thriller novels from the provider’s perspective, as well as the client’s point of view. It’s an effort to educate the general public in a Continue reading

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October 2, 2015

Why Did He Do It? He Was Mentally Ill

Who’s responsible for the killing of Umpqua Community College students in Roseburg, Oregon? We are, we collectively, as a society. I won’t print the name of the individual who actually did the deed because it doesn’t matter.  The sickness of violence afflicts our Nation’s people, and there are many specific indicators of that. Before I enumerate those examples, a question:  What if you knew someone who appeared to be “crazy” or “peculiar” and had a history of violence, or was threatening violence? Would you know what to do?

Talking to the person (we will call the Subject) and giving him/her information about mental health services might be a first step. Talking to the parent(s) or other loved one of the Subject might be a second step. Or maybe the first step, but certainly the third, if the first two weren’t successful, should be to contact the local Community Mental Health Agency and ask to fill in and sign a form called a Petition for Involuntary Evaluation.

Here is a brief explanation of how, in doing that, you might prevent another mass murder. (The specifics here apply to the State Continue reading

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