Sunday, April 22, 2012

Molly's house is definitely on fire.




What readers are saying about 

Molly: House on Fire



Excerpts from Readers' Online Reviews on Amazon.com:

“This book about the story of Molly has been a long awaited dream for diehard fans of RE Bradshaw. It does not disappoint. The story is a blockbuster. A book with so much crammed into it, it will leave you breathless and still wanting even more… The book is extremely well written, in the typical RE Bradshaw style… The book is fast paced and a page turner right from the first page through to the last page… With all the goings on in this book, you will also find the subtle touch of humor throughout that I've come to adore when reading one of RE Bradshaw's books. No matter how serious the story is, there is always a little light relief interspersed among the dark deeds… Last but not least, there is the romance. I always enjoy a touch of romance and I was more than happy with the balance of romance to the rest of the story… Once again RE Bradshaw has written a winner. This book is perfect. It would make an excellent film.”

“It has all the things a great book should have, suspense, laughter, fear, joy, friendship and love.”

“Suffice to say this is another great book from RE Bradshaw. She is the master of both the thriller and the romance and this one combines the two. Put down your Patricia Cornwell and read this one instead.”

“Molly's story was done exceptionally well… I have authors that I love who write romances and other authors that I love who write thrillers. The list of those that write both and can pull it off is VERY short for short for me and R.E. Bradshaw is a member of that list.”

“RE manages to give us a wonderful glimpse at life in the South and Molly's beginnings. Action and romance are part of a very attractive package.”

“This is a love story wrapped in murder and the reader won't be disappointed in either the romance or the mysteries. (Yes, there is more than one mystery for our heroine and her cohorts to resolve.) If you're a fan of Ms. Bradshaw you'll need to buy this book. If you've not read any of Ms. Bradshaw's previous books give this a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed and I would venture to say you'll be buying more of her work.”



Molly Kincaid is an extremely successful and equally wealthy defense attorney, but that is all even her closest friends know about her. Behind the facade is a dark past she thought she buried long ago. Now, Molly must face that past and the danger that comes with it. Murders and mayhem, a Civil War gold legend, and a secret Molly has carried for twenty-nine years threaten to bring her world crashing down around her. Molly Kincaid must return to the land of her birth and nothing good can come of that... or could it? Molly's house is on fire and the only way out is through the flames.



Molly: House on Fire on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Friday, April 20, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions Answered


     Since I first self-published, eighteen months ago, I’ve been asked frequently about different aspects of the process. Lately, the emails concerning self-publishing have picked up. Up to now, I’ve answered these inquiries individually, but I’ve done it so much now, I thought I’d just write it down in one place to save time. I am by no means the expert on self-publishing, and would never represent myself as the spokesperson for the diverse community of authors who choose this method of publication.
     I’m not sure I like the term “Indie.” It implies independence, and yes, I am independent in that I make the decisions about what and when I publish. I am called an Independent publisher, but so are Bella and Bold Strokes. Anyone publishing outside of the major New York houses are considered Independent. Case in point, how many "Indie" self-published LGBT fiction novels made the finalist in the Independent Publisher's Awards for 2011? The answer, none. The finalist were all from traditional publishers. So, I find the Indie label a bit misleading. The "self-published" label has its own bias attached. The myth prevails that only people who cannot find a publisher "do it themselves." I hear the constant clamor about the quality of self-published books. Here's my suggestion. Most of the books for sale on Amazon offer a preview before buying. Take advantage of that. If you don't know within the first ten pages whether you want to finish the book or not, at least you can make an informed decision. I don't think an entire industry should be damned because some bad books are out there. There's a hell of a lot of bad music I won't listen to either. I sure don't have to play the whole song to know that, and I'm not going to stop buying Indie music because people are uploading crap and selling it. 
     In addition, I do not operate independently of the traditional norms of publishing in many ways. I run a publishing business pretty much the same way the publishing houses do. I am self-published, but I am not alone or independent in the process. I use the services of professionals, from editors to accountants, publicists, designers, and lawyers. I have two jobs, one as a publisher and the other as a writer. As the publisher, it is my responsibility to make sure my team is operating efficiently. It is time consuming and takes discipline to juggle all the hats of self-publishing. There are days when I would love to hand off some of the responsibilities to someone else, but those days are few, and the hard work is very rewarding. Keep in mind that this is my full-time job and I work pretty much seven days a week. I’m not sure I could manage as well, if I had another job too.
     In that vein, I am often asked how I have been able to write so many books in such a short time. My answer, I write almost every day. I am fortunate to be able to do this. My house is often a wreck, the laundry always needs doing, I’m rarely out of my pajamas, and I’m basically a hermit and a slave to the keyboard. I am extremely lucky to have a spouse that doesn’t mind sitting in the room with me and not having a conversation for hours, while I peck away at the computer. She is not concerned when I write all night and nap on and off the next day between writing binges. My kid is grown and the fur babies don't seem to mind my preoccupation with the fictional worlds I create. As long as the ideas keep coming and the muse blesses me with words, I’ll keep writing. Another advantage is that I’m a priority for my editor. We can go through the editing process much faster, because I’m not waiting in line with other authors. I don’t know how long I’ll keep up my current publishing rate, but I’m riding this horse until she turns to the barn.
     Let me preface the rest of this blog with, “I did it all wrong, but learned from my mistakes.” I published without knowing a few things that I know now, so the following advice is based on my experiences alone. Other authors may have different takes on the process. The only right answers are the ones that work for each individual. Read, read, and read about the self-publishing process. That’s how I started my journey and I’ve continued to read about self-publishing from some of the most successful authors out there. I learn from others. I hope some of you will find what I have to say helpful, as well.
     First, and most important, hire a professional editor. I know that's hard to do on limited income, and that is the reason my first four books were unedited. I was criticized for that and very lucky to have been given a second chance to publish with an editor. If your first novel is so riddled with mistakes it turns the readers off, you will have difficulty attracting them to your future work. You cannot edit your own writing and that smart friend of yours is free, but not a professional editor. Invest the money. It will pay off in the end. I am in the process of re-releasing the first four novels, now in cleaner condition. If one of them is the first book of mine a reader picks up, having the unedited ones out there is not helping me. It’s worth the money to me to clean them up.
     Second, before you spend the money on an editor, find beta readers willing to say more than, "I liked it." You need honest appraisals from a variety of readers. My beta readers are well read, and from all over the world. They include experts in some of the fields I write about. The differing perspectives are very informative. One of my betas is a classically educated executive that reminds me often why I wish like hell I had taken Latin. She keeps me honest and has had many belly laughs at my expense. Seek out beta readers that can help you become a better writer. You will find out soon enough which ones can offer honest, helpful feedback. Beta readers are invaluable. Collect them and treat them well.
     Third, if you do send your manuscript to a publisher, pay attention to what they say in response. If you are accepted then they will help you with the editing process, so you can skip my first step, but do use beta readers before submitting. If you are rejected, read and process what the reasons were. You can learn from these rejections. That said, my one and only submission to a publisher was turned down flatly, after I had already self-published a best seller. I believed in the book. I self-published the exact book that was rejected. That book hit #1 on Amazon and stayed there for a very long time. Lesson learned: publishers don’t always know what readers will read. If you think it’s worth publishing, do it, and find out for yourself. Note: see step one.
     Fourth, book covers are important. Spend the time to do the best work or hire a professional. This is what the reader sees first. Make it interesting. I design all my book covers. (I did have help on Molly: House on Fire.) My first four book covers were poor examples, and I have new covers for the re-release. I misunderstood the importance of a good cover in the beginning. I have a background in advertising and design, so I have a bit of an advantage in working with the various programs. My advice is to look at covers you like. Ask yourself, what it is about the cover that attracts you? Use what you learn to create a cover for your novel. Make it relevant to the topic and eye catching. Remember it must look good and be easily read in a thumbnail size for online sales. I will add here that you must own the rights to the picture you use on your cover. If you use a picture with a person’s image, make sure the model rights are included also.
     Fifth, formatting your e-book correctly is extremely important. Make sure you check the uploaded file thoroughly in whatever format you use. I hire someone to format my books and it is worth every penny to avoid the headaches. Your print file will need to be formatted as well. Be sure you know how to embed styles in your document, and that those styles transfer correctly to whatever format your on-demand print company suggests. Createspace offers templates for the size of book you plan to print.
     Sixth, word of mouth sells books. This particular part of publishing is no different for traditionally published authors and self-published ones. Cultivate readers, form or join discussion groups, have Facebook pages and blogs to interact with them. Make sure your webpage directs visitors to the site for purchasing your books. People who like what you write will spread the word. Words of warning: Manage your social networking time wisely. Schedule the time you will spend and stick to it. Your blog should not be exclusively about being an author. Add personal stories and opinion pieces to keep the visitors interested in returning. As fascinating as the process of writing is to us authors, it’s not that interesting to non-writers. Fans don’t buy People Magazine to read about the acting process. They want to know about the real lives of their favorite stars. Also, do not bombard readers with “buy, buy, buy.” Do not flood chat rooms and message boards with “all about me” or “look at my great review” posts. Too much exposure can backfire. If you write a good book, the publicity will take care of itself. You need only gently prod it occasionally.
     As far as the actual uploading of files to Amazon and other online distributers, I suggest you read everything in their help files. Ask questions of the support personnel, if you’re confused. Read the fine print. There are step-by-step guides out there for this part of self-publishing. Buy your own ISBN numbers from Bowker.
     I’m going to go ahead and answer a few more of the questions I’m often asked. If you recognize your question, don’t be offended that it's listed here. If I answer it below, it's been asked by quite a few people. Chances are, I’ve already explained my answer to you in a private email. I’m not cold or unfeeling, and I encourage everyone to follow their dreams. I am simply trying to follow mine and can’t take on more than I already have. So…
  • No, I don’t want to write your story. I appreciate your sharing, but only you can write your unique story. I have enough going on in my own fictional world, I doubt I'll run out of ideas any time soon. I’m sorry I can’t help you, but I do encourage you to write your story down. That’s how it started for me. Getting the complete story written is the first step to becoming a published author, then follow the steps above. Note: See step one.
  • No, I can’t help you edit your manuscript or beta read for you. Please don’t send me your work. I really have a lot on my plate and to be honest, do you really want the comma queen editing your manuscript. There is a reason I use beta readers and hire an editor. It’s not that I don’t want to help other authors, I just don’t have the time or the expertise, and I’m fairly new at this. I won't pretend to be something I'm not. I am not an editor, nor do I think I would be a good mentor. I'm still working it all out for myself. There are a lot of experienced authors willing to help. The Golden Crown Literary Society has a mentor program for fledgling authors. I’m sure there are others. Word of advice, don’t fall for the “Let us help you publish” scams. There are plenty of free services without forking over hundreds of dollars.
  • No, I will not write a review of your book. I rarely make public statements about another author’s work. If I do post a quick note, you can rest assured I have read the book and liked it, but you will never see my name on a full review. I am a writer. I am not a book critic. I do not write reviews or critique books, and believe me there is a distinct difference between the two. I have a healthy respect for those people that choose to put their stamp of approval or disapproval on a novel. It can be difficult to put your opinions out there, as difficult as publishing your novel and having it dissected by others. Hats off to those brave souls, I am simply not one of them.
  • I’m going to answer this last one, because believe it or not, I am asked this very often. The question is always, “Are you really making a living as a lesbian fiction writer?” Despite the personal nature of the question, I’ll answer it. Yes, even though I have heard it said often, “You can’t support yourself writing lesbian fiction,” I am making a living writing books. I’m not rich, but I’m much better off than I was on a public school teacher’s salary. And lest you think my spouse's salary makes this possible, she's thinking about quitting her job and coming to work for me. I'm doing just fine, but I know I would not be making the royalties I do, if I were with a traditional publisher. That's just a fact.

     There, I think I’ve covered the most frequent questions I receive about publishing. I probably did not say anything that hasn’t been said before. Bottom line is, there is no magic wand to wave over a manuscript and instantly have a smash hit on your hands. Traditionally published or self-published, it’s all hard work. I wish for those of you seeking to publish the best of luck. Remember, there are very few things in life that are worth anything, if you don’t have to work for it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Deeply Rooted Against Amendment One

     My North Carolina roots run deep. I was born in the Tar Heel state, at the old Woodard-Herring Hospital in downtown Wilson, to be precise. That was in 1961, but my family tree was planted firmly in Carolina soil over four hundred years ago. If I include the Native American branches of the family, the roots are deeper and older than that. There is suspicion that one of the original Jamestown settlers was the first of my European ancestors to set foot in the New World, May 14,1607, but the connection has never been proved. Although it is highly likely that Thomas Webbe is the seed from which my family grew, records were lost or burned. The documented Webbs I sprang from just appeared, very near Jamestown, shortly after the settlement of the first permanent English colony in America. The other roots of my tree arrived a few years later in 1633.
     Parts of my family tree are planted firmly in Southeastern Virginia. The branches range from colonial governors to indentured servants. Volumes have been written about the Herndons of Virginia. Not much was penned about the men who came on ships paid for by wealthy adventurists. These men had to work off the cost of their passage by improving land for the investors. That’s where my North Carolina connection begins. The two main branches of my family connected in Nansemond County Virginia, just across the James River from Jamestown. The part of that county my family settled was later deemed to be in the Carolina Colony, so we were really in North Carolina all along.
     After the indentured servants earned their freedom, their sons went on to acquire land grants through military service during the revolution. Eventually, the main branches took grants in Edgecombe County, not far from where I was born, going on to be wealthy landowners themselves. The remaining branches moved from the coast into the heart of the Carolina Colony in the 1700s. The Harrells, Webbs, Dukes, Herndons, Daniels, Wests, Hunts, Masseys, Lees, Hollomons, Tomlinsons, Byroms, Mercers, Bradshaws, Worrells, Skinners, Wallers, and others in my family tree have been in the state of North Carolina since it was a colony, and that’s just the European branches. The Native Americans were there long before that.
     I am sure many of you feel the way I do about the land of your birth. If you’ve read any of my novels, then you know how much I love my home state. I am proud to be from North Carolina. I live in Oklahoma now, but will retire back to the Old North State in a few years. Once that tar is on your heels, you can never wash it off. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina is a beautiful state with a proud heritage of being among the first in many categories. The first English colony was established on Roanoke Island, and though the fate of the colonists is unknown, it produced the first English child born in America. The first flight took place on the Outer Banks. The University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States. Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775. North Carolina can be proud of these and many more accomplishments.
     So, it is with immense pride in my homeland and the people who live there that I call for the citizens of North Carolina to be leaders, once again. Be the first Southern state to stand up for all your citizens. Amendment One is bad for North Carolina. Nothing good can come from changing the State Constitution to include language that excludes some citizens from basic protections under the law. I’m sure most of the people that read this blog will agree with me, but agreeing isn’t enough. Donate money, volunteer, or simply talk to your neighbors, family, and friends. Make sure you’ve done what you can to educate them on what this amendment would actually do. Encourage everyone to vote. No one can afford to stay home on Election Day. Every vote counts. It is my hope that North Carolina will once again lead the South away from the labels of ignorance and bigotry that so many expect from us Southerners. It is time for a new South, one that protects the human rights and dignity of all its citizens.
     We are bound by our love of this great state, and in that bond we must find common ground. Open your hearts and minds North Carolinians, love one another, and dispense with this hatred and hypocrisy. Remember our forefathers came here to escape religious persecution and a social structure that denied rights to the common man. In search of these human rights the New World offered them, our ancestors built a country where all its citizens were equal under the law. Laws that deny these rights are against everything this country stands for. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the new morning, when the citizens of this glorious state stand up together and say no more hate. On that day, the branches of my family tree will bloom with hope and confidence that North Carolina, once again, will stand for what is right and just. That tree may bend, but it will never break. I love you North Carolina. Make me proud.
Vote no on Amendment One. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

“Don’t knock it till you try it.”


     I always set the print book price for my novels as low as possible. I rarely make pennies on a print book sale. I finally loaded Molly: House on Fire "correctly" to CreateSpace. According to them, I have to charge $17.10 for this print book. I'm not really happy about a book price that high, but it is a long book, 465 pages in a 6x9 format. I checked the box for Amazon basically to take control of the pricing. I'm hoping they will discount the price, making it more affordable. As it is, I am making no profit from bookstores or online retail print sales from this book. What this means is, I'm writing off all print sales as advertising. To be honest, print books are maybe 3% of my total novels sold, so I'm simply offering the book in print as a service to the readers who have not made the jump to ebooks. Such is the life of the on-demand publisher.
     I know, I know, some of you do not want to let go of the printed page. Holding a book just feels right to you. The smell of ink on the page, the smudges of chocolate, the water spots from the tub, the first crack of the spine, and other things you would miss too much to give up. I felt the same way and fought against the revolution alongside you. Then I became an author. Still, I went a whole year after beginning to sell ebooks before purchasing a Kindle Fire. I needed it to check the formatting and make sure the books were uploaded correctly. My entire take on e-readers changed the moment I turned it on.
     First, book covers look very cool in their original digital format. It’s not a reason to give up print books, but as a cover designer, it’s a plus. I won’t go into all the advantages to having the wi-fi enabled Fire. I will say, I can do almost anything on the Fire that I do on this laptop. My cell phone and a wi-fi connection are all I need when I travel. There are even some things I can do on the Fire that I cannot do on the laptop. I can read outside. Drop it in a zip lock baggie, sit in the tub, hang in the pool, sit on the beach, all things I would never do with this laptop. Still, if you’re not on the internet, it’s not a reason to give up print books.
     Did I mention how easy it is to read an ebook? What happens when your eyes get tired, but you want to finish that chapter? The printed page becomes too fuzzy to read one more word. When that happens to me now, I simply hit a button and make the words big enough to read easily. I gave my 74-year-old mother a Kindle for Christmas. She has always been an avid reader, but her eyes are failing her. She had pretty much stopped reading. She's reading books on the Kindle now and enjoying it again, and I assure you she is anything but tech savvy. 
     Suppose you want to finish that chapter in bed and the person you share your bed with hates the light. No problem with an ebook, it’s backlit. No need to keep your partner awake and grumpy. No matter how you stretch out to get comfortable, the text on the Fire re-orients with you as you move. Turn the page with one touch. Highlight a word and get a definition or search text on the Internet. Highlight a section, make notes, bookmark pages, great tools for text books or research material. I’ve read more books since I bought this e-reader than I have in the last five years combined. I haven’t found a reason not to like it. In my research, I am forced to buy some books in print. I find the holding of the book, the highlighting, writing in the margins, is tedious, after learning to use the e-reader. I’ll admit it. I am a convert. I also love the ease of purchase. See a book, hit a button, and it appears in seconds in your hands, no more waiting weeks for a print book, and no shipping costs. Not to mention, ebooks are cheaper across the board, more along the lines of what I like to pay for a book. I can purchase far more books for a lot less money. That’s a win for the reader and the author.
     I just wanted readers to know, I’ll keep printing books as long as I can, but it doesn’t take a genius to see this business model isn’t going to last long. I write books because I can’t help myself. I need to write like I need to breathe, but I also have to eat and keep a roof over our heads. This is my job and how I support my family. Putting a book out in print just to make money for the company that prints and ships it is rapidly losing its appeal. I would rather not sell print copies, if the price is so far out of line with what I think is a fair price for a print book, something as a reader I would pay. I don’t want to see the bookstore on the corner go out of business. Going the way of the record store is a very real problem faced by the print industry. I have no idea what the solution is to that part of this equation. What I do know is that writing books that are sold by other people and never seeing a penny from those sales is real to me.
 I’m simply speaking for myself here. 99% of my income for 2011 came from ebook sales. The majority of my readers buy ebooks. That is a fact. I love all the readers, print and ebook alike, but I’m hoping to have persuaded some of the die hard, “You’ll have to wrench this book from my cold dead hands,” enthusiasts to at least give an e-reader a try. Save a tree, save an author, let go of that print book. I loved my eight-track, but I had to evolve with the technology. When I push play on a digital recording, I know I'm going to get the same quality every time. That's progress from scratchy records and broken tapes. Nat King Cole never sounded so clean and crisp. I'm happy for the digital recording process. I can enjoy old favorites again and again, in sparkling surround sound. I'm quite sure the ebook revolution will do for books what digital recording did for the music industry. It made their products better. I’ll borrow an old Lipton tea slogan here, “Don’t knock it till you try it.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stop, just stop!


     A close relative called me last night. She wanted to talk about what another family member had said to her. I’m not going to call anybody out here, so let’s just call the one I was talking to E, and the other one B. E said something to B that upset B and… well, it wasn’t pretty. Both E and B are church going, practicing Christians. E spends a lot of time praying for my soul. She’s not really sure that being a lesbian is a sin, but she prays for me anyway, just in case. E also has a way of asking irritating personal questions. Honestly, I really don’t think she means anything by it. She’s just curious, and unfortunately doesn’t possess a keen since of inappropriate meddling. People that know E simply call her on it. She will then explain why she asked and most of the time it really is a harmless inquiry.
     I listened patiently as the whole sorted tale was laid out for me. From the description of the events, it got pretty nasty. E wanted to know if her behavior had caused B’s outburst. She wanted my opinion and I gave it to her. I don’t think it was what she was expecting.
     My first question was, “Did she say all that while her (barely teenaged) daughter was in the car with you?” E said that yes, the daughter was in the backseat. “That’s unfortunate,” I replied. “I hope her daughter doesn’t model that behavior, but then that’s the model B grew up with.”
     “But did I cause that?” E asked again.
     “No, that outburst has been a long time coming. B has an awful lot of baggage to carry around. You hit a nerve, and you know you do that, but her response was over the top. Think about it this way. You are pretty much what she has left of the adults she grew up with. She was going to blow eventually, so you just happened to be the one standing there when it happened. She’s hurt and scared and you were there. That was a lot of pain and anger she let loose. You saved some unsuspecting stranger from that. Maybe you had to endure it so she can heal.”
     E protested a bit. “But she said some horrible things about C (another family member,) and then went on and on about D (more family.)”
     “Look,” I said, “that’s packing tales. There’s enough of that going around and I’m not interested in what he said, or she said. I’ll tell you what I think the problem is. People used to live among family members. They saw each other frequently. We all did, growing up. We spent every holiday and most weekends with one part of the family or the other. We’re spread across the country now. I think we’d be a closer and happier family if we still had family reunions, because you can’t be an ass around your family. They will tell you all about it. People should have to look each other in the eye from time to time. It’s a lot harder to spread the venom when everyone is on the same page.”
     “You’re right. I’m just so upset.”
     “Own what you did and then reach out to her, if you want to. That’s entirely up to you. Like I said, she’s hurting and you’re really the only parent figure she has left. You can be the adult and show that child in the backseat that love and understanding can fix even the most severely broken heart. B surely has one of those.”
     “But her behavior…”
     “Stop,” I said.
     I’ve been dealing with my own little nest of tale packers and I was primed for this conversation. E listened quietly, namely because I did not give her time to speak, as I continued.
     “I’m just not participating in this. It has nothing to do with me. That’s what’s wrong with everything today. Somebody says something about someone else as if it were a fact, and that gets packed around as the gospel. What happened to looking people in the eye when you called them out? What happened to not talking about something if you were not there? What happened to coming right out and talking to the person you have a problem with? When did we become a society that would lie and cheat with impunity, because it only counts if you’re caught?”
     “We are all up in arms because of bullying in schools. If you ask me, the kids are just repeating the behavior modeled by the adults today. Adults lie about a co-worker for no reason other than to cause that person problems. Adults get on Facebook and mount campaigns against exes, or friends that made them mad. They talk behind each other’s backs, packing tales they know have no basis in fact, too eager to join in the bullying of another. Petty jealousies turn into all out wars. Our politicians engage in hate speech and no one calls them out. The parties bully each other, slinging unfounded accusations. Who is telling the truth anymore? I think it’s time everybody grew up. Don’t listen to gossip and certainly don’t spread it. Do you know what really happened? No, you don’t and neither do I. What does that bible you’re always quoting have to say about all this? If I remember correctly, it says something about casting first stones. You can do the Christian thing here and love her through this, forgive her pain generated lashing out, and help her find the peace she so desperately needs.”
     The phone grew very quiet. E was thinking. She finally said, “Well, I guess you’re right. I have to go now.”
     That’s how we stop it. That’s how we change the path we’re on. Stop listening to the gossip, stop packing tales, mind your own business, be kind to one another, and remember, unless we have walked in that person’s shoes, we have no idea what their life is like. No, we don’t have to stand by and take crap from people, smile and pretend their words don’t hurt, but there would be a lot less crap to take, if people would just stop listening to it. When someone starts packing tales, walk away. Maybe some day when the tales are about you, people will walk away and not listen. If you can’t look someone in the eye and repeat what you’re saying about them, then don’t say it to someone else. That’s how we regain our common decency, our humanity, our ability to really communicate. Unless the adults start modeling good behavior and upstanding character, we can pump millions into anti-bullying campaigns and see no results.
“For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little? That's how peace begins.” Spoken by Eleanor of Aquitaine, from the “Lion in Winter,” by James Goldman.