Clicking Our Heels – Dreams or Wishes for Others

Clicking Our
Heels – Stiletto Gang Members Dreams or Wishes for Others

At the end of
the year, people begin to think about New Year’s resolutions, but the Stiletto
Gang decided to think of a dream or wish each one would have for someone in the
future — and the Gang is letting you in on those dreams or wishes.

Julie MulhernI have two daughters and I wish happy, healthy
lives for both of them.

J.M. Phillippe – I feel like my day job as a therapist has
me dreaming and wishing for people’s futures all the time. I just want people
to be able to feel joy in their lives–whatever shape joy takes.

Linda RodriguezMy dream or wish for the future is for all of us. I
would wish that we would become a society that values people and uses things
rather than the society we have become that values things and uses people and a
country where the law binds all people of all classes and also protects all
people of all classes. I do believe if this dream came true we would have a
wonderful country to live in.

Bethany MainesTricky question! Is my interpretation of what’s good for someone
else’s future correct? I wish my daughter would win the lottery for over ten
million dollars.  Then I’ll move in with her when I’m old and do nothing
but float in the pool and drink mai tai’s and host book clubs. Too
self-serving?  OK, if I’m being altruistic and wishing for someone else to
truly get their dream I would wish that the Greta Thunberg is entirely successful
in her pursuit of environmental change.

Kay Kendall
– I fervently wish for Earth’s population that the ecological damage humans
have wrecked on the planet would be reversed.

Shari Randall – This is kind of out of left field, but I
wish and hope, in the future, that libraries will be funded and recognized for
the important work they do in building a literate world.

Dru Ann Love
– I wish my mom didn’t have cancer.

Mary Lee AshfordOh,
wow. So many wishes for so many people. I have six grandchildren and so they
immediately come to mind. For them, and really for all my friends and family, I
would wish health and happiness. In addition, I’ll share my own life goals
because these are things I’d wish for them:  #LiveBrave #LoveHard

Debra H. Goldstein – “World Peace” with
acknowledgements to the movies.

Cathy Perkins – Wow, where to start? So many personal wishes are crowding into my mind with friends facing tough financial or medical challenges, along with the selfish, I want my kids and their spouses to be happy. Like Debra, I’m tempted to go with the global “world peace.” (Lord knows we need it!) Anybody who has peeked at my Facebook posts knows I care passionately about the environment, so my wish is people wake up to the damage we’re doing to the planet.

Clicking Our Heels – Charities and Social Issues We Care About

Clicking Our Heels – The Charities and Social Issues We Care About
The Stiletto
Gang members have lives outside of writing. Today, we tell you about some of
charities and social issues we are
passionate about.

T.K. ThorneMaranathan
Academy, a non-profit school in Birmingham, AL that gives critically at-risk
children a second chance, because I get to see faces turn from despair to
excitement with learning and hope for a better future.

Dru Ann Love
– The New York Blood Bank – because when I needed blood for a transfusion, it
was there for me.

Shari Randall – I’m very interested in literacy issues (you
can take the girl out of the library but you can’t take the library out of the
girl!) I volunteer with my local libraries in book sales and book nooks. So
much research has shown how libraries play a big role in leveling the playing
field for less-advantaged children. Many parents cannot afford books for their
children and it’s vitally important to keep libraries open to help those families.

J.M. Phillippe – LGBTQ Rights, because of how much people in
my personal life are impacted by being denied the same basic rights of other
people. And reprodctive rights, because again of the impact they have, not just
on women, but on entire communities.

Judy Penz

Canadian Cancer Society — I’m a
breast cancer survivor (10 years and counting)

. I’ve done volunteer work for
Golden Rescue (golden retrievers) and support them — I’m on my fourth purebred
Golden and had a Golden mix as a kid.

Kay Kendall
– I support the Sierra Club in all it stands for. It’s the oldest and most
influential environmental organization in the U.S., amplifying its 3.5+ million
members’ voices to defend our right to a healthy world. Helping the Sierra Club
keep fighting for Earth’s natural resources is important to me.

Mary Lee
Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey
) – As
Sparkle Abbey, we are involved with several local pet rescue groups and
contribute a basket of goodies (and sometimes a chance to have your pet in a
book) to their Raise Your Paw Auction. These groups do great work to rescue
animals that are abandoned or in bad situations and find them forever homes.
The other cause near and dear to my heart is literacy and I donate, speak, do
whatever I can to support local literacy groups. 

Debra H.
– I have a special interest in
issues relating to women and children. Consequently, I support the YWCA of
Central Alabama’s domestic violence and pre-school programs as well as programs
sponsored by the Girl Scouts.

Bethany MainesThe Pacific Northwest has a higher percentage of Multiple
Sclerosis than any other spot in the nation and they don’t really know
why.  MS causes deterioration of the connections between the body and the
brain and there is no cure. I can count at least five people I know
personally who have MS or have died from MS and that is at least five too
many.  If you would like to donate or help in some way the National
Multiple Sclerosis Society is a great organization that is BBB accredited and
is dedicated to curing MS and helping those have MS live better

Julie Mulhern I worked for ten years for a not-for-profit
that helped individuals and families manage the challenges posed by serious or
chronic illness. It remains a cause dear to my heart.

Linda RodriguezI’ve been a member of Amnesty International for many
years. What they do for political prisoners around the world is tremendously
important work. I have long had a recurring donation going to Doctors Without
Borders because their work in the locations where violence and war are
devastating people is critical. I also have long had a recurring donation that
goes to the American Indian College Fund, which provides funding for tribal
colleges and Haskell Indian Nations University, the only four-year university
for Native Americans. Ironically, my son now teaches at Haskell Indian Nations
University, but my involvement with the American Indian College fund goes back
to his grade school days. I have a recurring donation that goes to the ACLU,
who are doing yeoman’s duty at this time in this country as it has become,
defending our Constitution and our law against all of the attacks which are being
waged against our kind of liberal democracy. And there are others, but those
are the ones I’ve been involved with for a long time.

Health Wagon operates in West Virginia and serves people without health or
dental or vision care. Mostly run by volunteers, THW manages its money and
resources in an amazingly frugal way. One day I hope to join them on site—in
addition to supporting them with $$.

Cathy Perkins – While my husband and I have offered financial support for numerous charities over the years, my volunteer time has gone to The Sexual Assault Center. The agency recently extended their services to all crime victims but the mission remains one of support and healing. In today’s political environment with the constant attacks on women’s rights, I find it vital to stand up and give back and encourage everyone to pick your passion and support it.

Clicking Our Heels – Summer Flowers

Clicking Our
Heels – Summer Flowers

It’s summer
and the flowers are blooming. We all have different favorites – and some of us
even have a reason behind our choices.

Lynn McPherson – I like
lilies–all sorts. They bloom every year and produce big, colorful
flowers–can’t beat that!

– Black-eyed
susans because they make me smile.

Bethany MainesHydrangas.  No particular
reason.  I just love their giant poofs of color and their ability to
change color if you adjust the soil pH.

Kay Kendall – To survive in
Houston’s summer heat, a plant has to be tough. Of those types that can take
it, my favorite is the zinnia. Its flowers attract butterflies and
are excellent for cutting. Zinnias come in shades of red, orange,
pink, yellow, and white and bloom from spring through fall.

– Birds
of paradise (not sure if they are a summer flower) have a special place for me,
as well as starburst lilies. 

Ann Love
– I’m
not much of a flower person – especially since the smell causes me headaches.
But I do like the look of them all.

H. Goldstein
– Yellow Roses and Daisies because I like the contrast of the
power of the rose

and the delicacy of the daisy.

Penz Sheluk
– Lilacs
because I love the smell. Lupines by the side of the road at our camp on Lake
Superior because they thrive despite the harshness of the winters there.

– I
love the pop of bright red geraniums.

Cathy Perkins – I have to pick just one? I love flowers, but one of my current gardening challenges is the deer eat everything. So I’ve decided I absolutely love lavender. Although the deer are also leaving the day lilies alone. 
Shari Randall – I’m very partial to lilacs.
There was a giant, old lilac in my childhood home’s backyard, so big that there
was a space inside it just big enough for a few friends to fit inside. It was
the secret clubhouse for me and my neighborhood pals. The scent always brings
me back.

Linda Rodriguez I
love peonies and the plain old ditch lilies that all of the fancy daylilies
come from. I’m a huge flower lover so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. There
is also Rose of Sharon, the American hibiscus, that hummingbirds love, and
naked ladies, the American Amaryllis. I suppose I could just go on and on, but
I’ll stop there.

Mary Lee Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey) –   My
all time favorite flower is the Bird of Paradise but I’ve not been able grow
them here in the Midwest. These exotic flowers are bright orange and blue
and I love the contrast of the colors and the elegance of the plant. 


Clicking Our Heels: animal Lover? Our Pets Over the Years

Clicking Our Heels – Animal lover? Our Pets Over the Years.
Monthly Clicking Our Heels Giveaway:

To enter for a chance to win the first three books of the Sparkle Abbey series or AB Plum’s The Boy Nobody Wanted (2 winners will be selected this month) comment below on the blog. Good luck and happy reading!
— winner will be announced next Wednesday on The Stiletto Gang Facebook page

Paula Gail Benson – Yes, I grew up with dogs and cats, all of them dear to me. My
and work and travel keep me from having pets now, but I miss them.

Judy Penz Sheluk – I love animals. As far as pets, I’ve had 5 dogs: a Golden mix
as a kid, and four Golden Retrievers as an adult. My current Golden, Leroy
Jethro “Gibbs” is three.

J.M. Phillippe – I am definitely an animal lover. My cat Oscar (who passed away
last year) was always the first to hear about all my plots and ideas. I think
writers do better when they have an animal to talk things out to.

Debra H. Goldstein – After having had guppies and gold fish, my first serious pets
were three turtles who I named Turk, Durk, and Lurk. Lord Silver Mist (Misty),
a toy poodle and Casey (a bichon fries) won my heart and ruled the roost later.

Bethany Maines – I do love animals, but I’ve only had 2 dogs in my life. When I
was a kid we had Chips, the Chocolate Lab. And now we have Kato the Rottweiler
mix. Kato is such an adorable guy and such a big mama’s boy that I don’t know
what I will do when it’s time to say goodbye. I think that’s why I haven’t had
more pets – I’m afraid to sign up for the heartbreak.

Kay Kendall – I’m wildly allergic to cats, although I have survived living
with a few during my early

married years. As I’ve aged, my allergies have
worsened so bye-bye kitty cats. I was raised with dogs and find them more
congenial anyway. I was horse crazy as a kid but couldn’t have a horse because
I was allergic to their danger and hay. For the last two decades my husband and
I have rescued abandoned house rabbits. Turs out I am also allergic to them too
so gradually he has taken over their care. Bottom line, to me my house would
not be home unless there was one dog and at least one bunny in it.

Cathy P. Perkins – I’ve always had dogs – love their antics, their unconditional
love, and their simple joy in life.

Juliana Aragon Flatula – I love all animals but especially cats and dogs. I’ve had
several pets and they live to be old pets and that is the saddest part of being
a pet parent when you have to let them go.

Julie Mulhern – I love dogs and horses and have been fortunately to have both
in my life. I am currently catering to the needs of a Weimaraner who takes all
that is provided for him as his due.

Dru Ann Love – I love animals, but allergies dictate that I can’t have one in
my home. We grew up with cats though.

AB Plum – My parents gave me my first dog at age 18 months. Losing a
birthday-cocker spaniel gave me a story for my first university Creative
Writing class (Too maudlin for the
prof and earned me a C).

TK Thorne – Animals have always been part of my life – dogs, in particular,
but also cats and horses,

at one time parakeets and fish. I really can’t
imagine living without a dog. I believe dogs co-evolved with humans and that we
affected each other. Without dogs in our development, we might be different
(and worse – yes, really) creatures.

Shari Randall – When I was a little girl my family had three pets. We had a
parakeet named Herbie – yes, he was named after we saw the movie, Herbie the
Love Bug. After Herbie died in the middle of dinner one night, a neighborhood
friend gave us an all black kitten my sister named, unimaginatively, John. John
must have been a martyred king in another life – he suffered regally and
without complaint three littles girls who loved to dress him up like a doll. Our
last pet was a rescue mutt named Teddy, a high energy Weimaraner mix. He was a
little too high energy for my mom, however, and went to live on a farm. I love
cats especially, but my children have allergies, so we haven’t had any pets in

Linda Rodriguez – I have had dogs and cats for most of my life, always rescue
animals since I have been out on my own. When I was a small child, I also had
rabbits, a mynah bird, an ocelot, and a Komodo dragon as pets, because my
father was into exotic animals. The mynah bird and ocelot were fine, but the
Komodo dragon was vicious. I still have a soft spot for him, though, because
I’m an inveterate animal lover.