One Stop For Writers: An Online Library Unlike Any Other

Every once in a while, something comes along that changes things for the better.

And in the world of writers, this is especially welcoming, because we all know just how much sweat, courage and persistence it takes to write a book and then release it into the world.

Today I’m pointing you toward a new website which I hope will help writers brainstorm stronger characters, craft deeper, more compelling plots, and teach us how to be more effective with our description so we draw readers in.

One Stop For Writers is a collaboration between Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, and Lee Powell, creator of Scrivener for Windows. This powerhouse online library is filled with one-of-a-kind descriptive thesaurus collections, tools, tutorials and much more, all geared to provide the resources you need to strengthen your prose and write more efficiently.

Want to check One Stop For Writers out?

Hop on over to Writers Helping Writers for their Launch Week festivities (October 7-14th)! If you know Angela, Lee and Becca already, you probably can guess there will be some great prizes, and probably a bit of paying-it-forward too.

check out my new Blog.. Prickle Forrest Chronicles

Ever go into the woods and find a trail you have no clue as to where it will lead?

Well, that’s sort of what this blog is like.

http://prickleforrestchronicles.wordpress.com/

Hahaha! Welcome to my world.

The Prickle Forrest Chronicles hope to raise the hairs of your consciousness, whether it is by tickling your funny bone or sending a chill down your spine and possibly getting your ire up.

Uh-huh. That’s the plan

There’s no agenda. No map to plot out. Just a sense of direction to follow the muse. So push forward to venture in.

That’s right you can do it!!!

Like a forrest with its many varieties of life, this blog won’t be skewed to one thing.

Yep! Yep! Yep!

The writing is all-subjective to the ponderings of the moment.
Don’t be surprised to see essays, opinions, pros, poetry, snips of my novels, and even reviews.

Yeah baby!

All me…

But do remember I have a wee bit of a life outside my writing and for now I don’t blog on a regular basis. So if you want notified of any future postings then follow me…this might be a journey you won’t want to forget. .

Hahaha!

Remember writing keeps the muse at bay…and they can be ornery stinkers when they want.

Happy writing!

Thanks in advance…

Chrissy Hartmann

Double-Dog Dared To Book Review

Ever been put to a challenge? A double-dog dare?

Yep, nodding the noggin.

Something you might want to do or maybe not?

OOO! Sounds dangerous.

Something you have no clue to do, but it really only takes some thought and your opinion.

Thought? Opinion? Hmm?

The muses challenged me some time way back, actually a double-dog dare, to write some book reviews…

Uh-oh! Definitely some trouble surfacing here.

First I thought they were crazy, but after cleaning out files I came across two I’d done for Good Reads.

Yep, I did.

. They aren’t too bad which got me thinking…

Holder Luke, we’re headed for the rhubarb!

So I’m a writer. I love books. So why not write some reviews?

Uhh, yeah. Cause you’ve never done it before.

But for this reason alone, I’m going to try my hand at writing out what I really think of the stuff I’m reading.

Yikes!

Maybe deep down inside it will tell me more about myself.

Oh licorice!!!

Some I’ll post, I’ve already written but there will be fresh ones to come, I hope soon.

But resist the urge to wait by the PC, I do have a life.

My acquisition to books is slow. The NLS BARD is fantastic but they like to take their good old sweet time in providing current literature.

Bummer! Bummer! Bummer!

Now the “Book Share” people do seem to make their electronic books more readily available, but then again they should. After all they are digital and not read by “real live readers.”

The computerized voices are computerized. Need I say more?

My choices won’t always be from the New York best sellers list, but what I’ve grown to love in genre and suggestions by friends.

Good thing I’ve got lots of author friends.

For the most part books, like movies can be reviewed. The review is subjective. Like it or hate it, that’s how it works.

Yeah baby, they are. I’ll try to stay positive.

Just to let you know ahead of time I prefer the romances, paranormals, sci-fi, mystery, historical, and biographies. I can almost guarantee 100% I won’t post any reviews on cookbooks, self helps, technological, etc.

Stop crying. I’m not into torture.

I’ve already written two for a series that is dear to my ticker.

Fabulous commentary, if I say so myself. Hahaha!

Hopefully the next book in this series will be out soon.

So enjoy, but remember they might have spoilers and they might not.

Spoiler alert…Most do.

My reviews tend to go with the moment…the moment of what concerns me the most with the book.

You know, the major plot idea thing-a-ma-jig. .

I’ll take suggestions on books to consider.

Well, uh, uh, uh, maybe. Hahaha!

So if you are following this blog just know I write about what catches
The muses at the moment…and definitely my opinion.

WARNING…Muses have executive veto power.

Stay tuned, and please enjoy…

Smiles!

Thanks bunches!!!

Prickle Forest LLC
CRHB ©
August 2015

The Blind Perspective…Service Announcement #1

Public Service Announcement #1

Directions… for the Sighted

Okay, okay, how many of us out there use the phrases “over here”, “over there”, “this one”, “that one”, “this way”, “that way”, “”turn here”, “look at this”?

I know, I know. I am guilty of it too but II will say in my defense I rarely do it but usually if I do, I give signals with hand gestures or by holding up an object or pointing to it.

But come on now in all reality blind folks aren’t able to see those visual clues…why you ask? Oh-uh, well, umm their visual clues and blind people can’t see them. Doah!

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard one of those throughout the day but if I were to get a dollar (a $1 for cost of inflation, a nickle just won’t cut it any more) I’d be well on my way to taking that trip to Europe by now.

This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves as a blind person. I absolutely hate it when sighted people do this.

I’ll admit it but the biggest culprit of it is probably my hubby. Heck even my 11-year-old son does a better job but he does come and hand me stuff to look at or will lead me to what he wants me to see…usually some $$$ expensive Lego set.

My hubby like many-many other people naturally assume that the visually impaired have stronger senses such as hearing…well this might be true but when you have to add in parking lot noise, blowing wind, people chattering around you, cars idling, music playing around you, and what ever other noises that you sighted people take for granted we blind have to process all that and decipher just where in the heck “over here“ just exactly is. Sound can be distorted and believe it or not we might and I mean might not be able to figure out where it is your standing exactly. Sheesh! Plus, if our senses might be stronger because we’ve lost our vision, it doesn’t mean that our ears are the best sense now. For instance I have a hearing deficit in my left ear of about 20% so anyone on the left of me sounds a little muffled and not to clear and put me in a room with a lot of noise and that will make me go bonkers. A conversation for me in that type of situation ..Well you’re putting your life on the line then for your own personal safety. Hahaha!

I will say in defense for my hubby though he does really try. He’s just in a hurry trying to keep an eye on our son while at the same time making sure I don’t get squashed in the parking lot.

Sighted people do need to remember that the visually impaired have a lot to concentrate on when out and about so specific detailed directions are very much appreciated and it allows us to spend more time doing the things we want then having to sit and waste time figuring out where the heck or what the heck were supposed to be doing, going or looking at.

Give directions with the words right, left, forward, backward, up, down, bottom, top, etc. etc. etc. It’s most helpful to us and we really appreciate it because one thing a blind person hates is looking stupid and vulnerable. I detest it! It’s bad enough we can’t get a straight answer from our color identifiers to make sure we’re not wearing some horrid color combo, but to throw lack of communication for directions is even worse…then we look like a lost clown in the middle of a parking lot. Shesh! So do a blind person a favor and be detailed with your directions…don’t take the lazy way out…it just might get us lost.

Thanks!

Don’t forget to check out my other posts at:
https://4crhb.wordpress.com/

Thanks again!

Prickle Forrest LLC. © July 2015

Blinding Heart

Aside

Blog: Blinding Heart

I never expected at age 43 I would be sitting on a gurney in the local ER being told I was having a Heart attack.

What?

That was the last thing I ever expected.

..NO kidding, you don’t say.

I honestly thought I’d win the lottery first before I ever considered a heart attack.
Wow!

Did I get a shock…and I’m not talking with the cardioverter paddles either.

Thank goodness too!

I mean how ironic could it all been?

Read on you’ll find out…or maybe better yet instead of the word ironic how about just plain weird? Lucky?

Yep that’s the word…weird and a lot of Luck!

Works for me!
We had just laid my husband’s cousin to rest earlier that day. I hadn’t been feeling the best for almost a week.
I noticed an ache in my left shoulder on the previous Saturday and Sunday.

Classic signs.

By Tuesday my elbow to my hand was numb. Then by Wednesday night I couldn’t sleep. I got in the bathtub where it felt like I had someone standing on my shoulder blade with a 3 inch stiletto heel.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Thursday morning when I woke up I had a squeezing pinching feeling in my chest that ran from the center of my chest all around and down under my breast to my armpit.

Yeah baby, I sure did.

I finally decided to check out some facts on my symptoms.

Thank goodness!

I looked up the signs of sweating, nausea, sharp shooting pain in the left arm, shoulder, and hand plus let’s not forget the pinching sensation I had in my chest.

1. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/911-Warnings-Signs-of-a-Heart- Attack_UCM_305346_SubHomePage.jsp

o CachedSimilar

Painful!

I had heard before that some of my symptoms would mimic a heart attack but I also heard that women’s heart attack symptoms were different from a man’s. So I’ll admit I still didn’t think it was a heart attack.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp

Yep they are!

So to confirm this I went to AHA American Heart Associations website to check it out for myself.

ww.aha.org

What I found out was that yes women and men do have different heart attack symptoms but they also have some similar ones

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp

Okay now looking at the list and even when I look over it now I thought and still think “Wow!” you were pretty darn lucky you survived this.

Darn right I am!

Actually I’m totally and pretty dam lucky I survived the whole thing.

I could have been stupid and ignored the whole symptoms…and by the way it’s pretty typical of what women do.
Apparently women wait until the very last minute to seek treatment and by that time its almost too late.

Luckily for me it wasn’t.

Give it that most women are the caregivers of the family. They think its nothing. They think their invincible.

But we’re not!

After all, if we aren’t here then who’ll do it?

Okay so I hope I’ve made my point.

Right? Right?

My experience in our local ER was a scary situation in it of itself.

OMG! Wait till you hear the rest…

I serously had my doubts.
First after realizing from the AHA page of signs and symptoms

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp
That I was probably having a heart attack we jump in the car instead of calling an ambulance.

Big -big mistake!

Mistake, really? How so?

Emergency squads are trained to treat immediately for a heart attack and have an EKG and nitro. Plus they can get you into the hospital quicker.

They can?

When we got to the ER there was no one at the front desk.

Say what?
We had to wait for a nurse to come from whatever place she was at. We went into a triage room. Here she proceeded to ask me questions about insurance, medications, address, etc. etc. etc. Even after I first told her I was having chest pain. I don’t know if it was because I look so young or that it was because I walked into the ER on my own that she didn’t take me seriously.

Yep! Yep! Yep!
That’s right. She even walked out of the triage room to go help someone else. Then she came back in asked me some more questions and then finally took me back to an exam room. I got to the hospital at about 5:36 pm and got into an exam room just before 6 pm.

Holy smokes!
Oh wait it gets better…
Really?
I didn’t get taken back in a wheelchair or anything but was asked to follow her.

Yes, you get it now.

I walked on my own back to the exam room. The pain was pretty intense by then. It felt like someone was pinching my skin all down around the breast.

It didn’t feel good at all.

I was asked to sit up on the gurney by a new nurse who then proceeded to ask me some questions. Like name, birthday, and oh yeah she even gave me a memory test.
A what?
A memory test. Still not sure why but I was asked to repeat three words after five minutes of talking with her. I still remember the words

Apple, table and nickle.

Sheesh!

Here might be the reason why:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/WarningSignsforHeartFailure/Warning-Signs-of-Heart-Failure_UCM_002045_Article.jsp

Okay so I passed with flying colors. I remembered the three words.

I just kept asking myself when am I going to see a doctor?

Finally!

He arrives. The ER Doctor then asks me some questions and finally does a quick exam. After a minute or two of chatting with me he sends in the machine to do an EKG.

A what?
An EKG. Those are the little machines they wheel in and attach all those fun sticky pads on you to get a reading of your heart.
Check out more on it here:
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/electrocardiogram

Okay…so I’ve gotten the EKG finally but how long did that take? In all reality not long for the test at all but to get to this point was a different story.
Keep reading and you’ll understand why time is of the essence here…

Time? What time is it?

Oh let’s see, I’ve been there at least 45 minutes.

So I get all hooked up to the EKG with all those fun sticky little tabs and the EKG tech suddenly jumps up and runs out the room.

Oh crap!
My exact thoughts. After no more than 30 seconds, well maybe a whole minute but that’s all I’m giving them because right now their time management sucks. So anyway after a minute there must have been at least a half dozen people who came flying in the exam room.

I’m thinking what the hell?

I’m immediately handed a couple of baby aspirins, then I’m given some heparin, and two IVs are stuck into me.

Oh no!

I asked the lady who seemed to be the nurse in charge what was going on and she had the balls to tell me,
“Uh om the doctor will be in soon to tell you what’s going on.

Soon? Really how soon?

By their time keeping standards “soon” could mean next year and by the way they were all in a panic I might not be around those next five minutes.

Wow!

Yep, that’s what I thought. I even managed to tell the hubby that this wasn’t good. They don’t normally start shoving pills like aspirin and blood thinners and a sedative down your throat for nothing. And let’s not forget about the second IV they’ve just now started.

No sir ee!

So finally the doctor comes in. Calm, cool, and collect.
And he says those words you never ever and I mean never ever want to hear…
“You’re having a heart attack.”

Holy $h1t!!

Sorry but that’s what I thought. Then my next thought was I’m 43 and I’m having a heart attack. Right here, right now, a heart attack!

No way not possible!

. Sure I’m a little overweight but I eat lots and lots of veggies, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I do exercise…plus I’m only 43!

A heart attack. Wow!

I didn’t think it was possible. I’ve always lived a very clean life and ate right so when I heard this they’re just lucky I didn’t pass out right then and there.

Yeh baby!

So next the doctor tells me they are sending me to Akron. Akron has the heart trauma center. They have the experts. They have the doctors who can save lives.

http://www.ohio.com/news/top-stories/summa-akron-city-hospital-earns-recognition-for-heart-attack-treatment-1.317867

No effing way!

Yep they sure did and I’ve got mine to prove it. I went via ambulance. It was going to be a fast 45 minute ride to Akron city Hospital’s cath lab.

Speed racer get your motor running!

The guys in the ambulance were great. They kept all wheels on the ground and got me there in 119 minutes of the 120 minutes allotted to them just as soon as you walk into an ER and say those four magic words…

“I’m having chest pains.”.

Okay you said something about 120 minutes?

Yep, that’s right I found out later that from the time you walk into an ER with heart symptoms and your diagnosed with having a heart attack that staff needs to get you to the heart trauma center within 120 minutes or less. If they don’t, your life expectancy goes down by 5% for each minute after 120 minutes.

Yikes!!!

Yes, it’s true. I was told by cardiology staff who coordinates services between hospitals and the cardiac trauma center that this is a national standard set by the AHA and American College of Cardiology, but this particular hospital wants a heart attack sufferer there within 90 minutes.

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx%3Farticleid%3D1486115&sa=U&ei=S7YzU5LyLsHgsATo2IKAAg&ved=0CCIQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNEiMVbfXSubOSWtjlvXeiaNw4XL6g

Hmm? Let’s do the math…

Okay no need for that because we all know the local ER screwed up royally just as soon as I walked through the doors. I was told if I wanted they would give them a slap on the wrists…I should have had an EKG just as soon as I said the words chest pain. They were to bypass everything and do the EKG right then and there and they didn’t. I waited at least 45 minutes before I got one.

Go slap happy on their a$$es.!

Okay, so thanks to

Samaritan Care Ambulance services I make it in one piece and alive to the cath lab at Summa Akron City Hospital

Hmm?
Still wondering to this day why I didn’t go by chopper. Would have love to have flown to Akron via Ohio Life Flight.

http://www.medflight.com/

The Akron City Hospital

http://www.summahealth.org/heart?gclid=CIjnp5vcu70CFfFFMgodHUcAQQ

Cardiac cath lab team and the cardiologist were waiting at the door for me when they rushed me in.

My emergency cardiologist was Dr. Khaled Sleik, from NEOC

1. http://www.neocs.org/

And a member of the Summa Akron City Hospital cardiology team

http://www.summahealth.org/cardiology‎

I knew I had to be in some serious trouble when they were practically running the gurney to the cath lab and the whole cath lab team was waiting on me.

The cath team were great. They told me they were going to get me all fixed up. I don’t know if it was from the sedative they gave me or I knew I was in a good place but I had an overwhelming sense of relief flood my body.

Oh yeah, I did!

I knew it was bad by the intense talking and quick movements to get ready for the procedure because they hadn’t bothered to have me remove things such as my sunglasses, jewelry, and I was even still holding my phone.

Yep I sure was.

When they did manage to strip me of it and my jeans I was told they were going to do a heart catheterization via the artery in my groin.

Oh, uh , okay…I guess.

In all reality I didn’t know there were any other options for a heart catheterization…but there are.

There is?

Yep sure is. They can go through the artery in your wrist.

The procedure is done where they make a slice into your artery via groin or wrist then they fish a scope up the artery so they can take pictures to look at the arteries and heart and get a good idea of the problem.

You can check out the full details of the procedure here below:

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/cardiac-catheterization

Or at
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cath/

Problem? Did you say problem?

Oh man and what a problem I had. It turns out that the right artery had three blockages.

Three? Seriously?

Yep, that’s right. Three apparently in the right artery the right branch was blocked 70% but that wasn’t the biggest problem. The left branch of the right artery was blocked 80%. Nope, still not the worst of it. My center branch of the right artery was blocked 100% and that was the reason for all the pain.

Holy Cow!

Did I mention that you’re completely awake for this procedure?

No? I didn’t?
Sorry about that but you are. I could hear everything. If I could se I’d been able to see it all going on to. Apparently the monitors are right there in front of you so the doctor can watch as he moves the scope towards the heart. So can you imagine what I was thinking when they told me the percentages of blockage???

Another Sh!$t ran through my head. I just wanted to scream and say well get them open. Don’t just sit and watch the screen.

Did you?

NO I didn’t because in all reality they were carrying on a very important conversation.

And what was that?

They needed to get the one that was 100% blocked open. They have three ways of doing this.
1. Put in a stent
2. Angioplasty
3. Coronary artery bypass grafts

http://www.medtronic.com/patients/coronary-artery-disease/treatment/

My problem was the fact that I have had diabetes since I was 9…that’s almost 35 years. Diabetes is not a friend to the cardiovascular system. Apparently over the years diabetes can cause your vascular system to narrow. This is one big reason why so many diabetic patients also have CAD (coronary artery disease).

Oh no!

Yeah, what a hell of a way to find out I have coronary artery disease.

So now the problem is that the part of the artery that is 100% blocked is only 1.5 in diameter and the smallest stents that are made are 2.5 in diameter.

It’s too big!

All I can say is that it was a good thing that I had a sedative in me cause all I wanted to do was once again scream…but I kept telling myself there were other options…there had to be, right?
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Dr. Sleik told me that they couldn’t do a coronary artery bypass graft because of where the blockage was at and but mostly because of the narrowing. It was just too small. To high of a risk. So instead he was going to perform an angioplasty. Now the angioplasty wasn’t going to open it up to 100% but the best they were hoping for was to 50%.

Oh yikes!

The procedure altogether was quick and painless, if you want to forget about the Novocaine shot I got in the groin .

Now that was funky!

Remember how your mouth feels after getting Novocain for a dental procedure? Well just think how weird for a shot in the groin.

Yeah? Yeah? Yeah? See what I mean?

Okay so back to the angioplasty…it’s a quick fix but it’s a dangerous one. Not only do they not want to blow out the artery they are working on but they have to use contrast dye to help see the progress they’ve made with expanding the artery.

Dye? Why’s that so bad?

Well, contrast dye that goes into your vascular system has to get out of your body via the kidneys and kidneys don’t take too kindly to contrast dye.
You could suffer from contrast induced nephropathy.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/246751-overview

And for women it could be worse.

http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/nr/ContrastDye.cfm

So when Dr. Sleik said they had to do it I told them in a panic that I already had stage III chronic kidney disease via diabetic nephropathy. So now my choices he told me was to stop the heart attack with the dye with possibly causing more damage to my kidneys and possibly leaving the hospital on dialysis or to do nothing. I had a 50-50 chance of the contrast induced nephropathy. I was told that since I had two Intravenous lines running since about 6:15 pm and it was now about 6:45 and the fact that they were going to use a very small amount of the contrast dye and keep me on Intravenous fluids for the next three days I had a lesser chance of the kidney function worsening.

Here’s when I said another prayer. I had asked God to let me survive all this and that I come out of this no worse than I had been . It was a quick prayer and I Okayed the procedure.

Phew! Phew! Phew!

Dr. Sleik told me that with the trauma to my heart, I now had some minimal damage and that the two side branches of the right artery he wasn’t able to stent or angioplasty at that time due to the trauma.

Oh Lord what next!

But he did get the center branch of the right artery open to 50%. They were going to change my blood pressure meds and put me on a statin.

Okay that sounds good, right?

But what I later found out that wasn’t the end of the treatment. I had thought I could handle the new drugs even if I had to take a few more. I could do that but what I learned was that I was going to have to come back for another heart catheterization so they could stent those two side branches of the right artery.

O’ Mon Dieu! Yep, that’s right I was going to have to come back in a few months to do this all over again…but I told myself …You’re alive and you’re going to survive this.

I give a lot of credit if not all to the cardiac cath team at Akron City Hospital and all the nurses and other supporting staff who helped to make it possible that at age 43 I survived a heart attack that had 3 branches of the right artery blocked 70%, 100%, and 80%.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

This will be a journey I will have to follow on the cardiac pathway for the rest of my life but at least I can now do it with more energy and more hope.

I’ll continue the journey in another post or two because this is far from over…