Saturday, September 13, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I'm usually very careful about what I share publicly that has to do with my family, but one thing I'm not shy about is my daughter's Type 1 Diabetes. I have four beautiful girls who I would do absolutely anything for, so being given the diagnosis that my youngest (then 7) had an auto-immune disease that I couldn't "fix" devastated me. That was in 2011. Now that we've lived with it for over four years, we're kind of getting a handle on things. Kind of. There are still bad days. There are still times when she doesn't feel like pricking her finger again, when she doesn't even want to eat because she'll have to check her blood and take insulin, when she is sick to death of counting carbohydrates.
And who can blame her? All I want for my children is to live a loving, productive, normal life. Or as normal as I can make it for them while they still live in my home. But this is one monster I can't slay, and it kills me to admit that such exists. I pray for the advances we've seen in just the past four years to keep on going at light speed. I don't want her to have to become an adult with type 1. Why? For one thing, there are many other health complications that go along with this disease as a person ages. This isn't the type of diabetes that can be controlled by diet and exercise alone. Her pancreas doesn't produce insulin the way it should, and at this time there's no way to correct that. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The organization I've chosen to support for this journey is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. When we were first given the diagnosis it was the only one I knew existed. I now know there are others, but JDRF has been so good to us. Every event I attend, which happens at least twice a year, is full of information about the advances in research and ways they are trying to help type 1 diabetics live a more normal life. This foundation has a walk every year, where about 80% of the proceeds go directly to research. From my own personal research, that's a phenomenal number. There are too many non-profits with a lot of overhead who can't claim such a large amount actually goes to where it's intended and desperately needed.
I know there are a lot of very valid charities out there. I know there is a lot of need and we can't possibly fill it all. However, all I'm asking for is $1. If everyone who reads this post pitches in just that much to sponsor our walking team, we'll be that much closer to our $500 goal. What can our one team do? In the past four years since our diagnosis, the artificial pancreas has gone from experimental to a reality. A drug called "smart insulin" was created and will soon be in human clinical trials, along with a procedure called encapsulation that will theoretically allow a T1D live without the disease for up to a year. I want these things to become a reality for my daughter. I don't ever want her to be afraid of intimacy as an adult because her abdomen is bruised from her injection sites. I don't want her to be afraid to eat because of her blood glucose levels. Just like everything else, these advances require funding.
You can help by donation to our team here. Thank you for reading this.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Are you ready for author Veronica R. Calisto's upcoming urban fantasy, A Griffin Scorned? The first in her Extranormal series, the story unfolds around the clandestine world of griffins that even the other extranormal creatures believe are myth. How will they react, especially when they discover they can’t deceive her?
No one can lie around a griffin.
Victoria—never Vikki—Drayton walked in on her boyfriend with another woman. In her house. In her bed. Rather than eviscerate the fetid maggot spit as she so wanted, she kept it classy. After kicking him out with a warning to never return, she thrashed whatever he deigned to leave behind, and flew off in search of something a tad less cannibalistic to sink her beak into.Instead of the brown bear she was hoping for, she found some men escorting a chained man none-so-gently toward the nearest cliff. Sweeping in to beat up the louts channeled some of her anger. Saving Mallory Stone—tall, rich, dragon, and so gorgeous he had to be gay—was a bonus, even if she had to reveal the existence of griffins and some of their idiosyncrasies in the process. Mal showed up on her doorstep a few days later begging a favor; his brother has disappeared and he needs her help. Who better than a griffin to claw to the truth of the matter?
Veronica R. Calisto is the author of many books, some of which she is willing to let others read. When she isn’t writing, she is thinking about writing, a.k.a. plugging away at her day jobs, whose mundanities makes her name plants things like Cleoplantra and forces her mind to squeak out words like mundanities. Most of the time she can be found in Colorado lavishing on a nest built of books while she listens and sings (loudly) to music which may or may not be playing outside her own head.
Veronica can be found around the web at the following links:
It didn’t really matter what the
other men were doing, the chains linking his ankles, wrists, and ring around
his neck said the red-haired man was less than excited to be involved. He
seemed too clean-cut for his walk in shackles up a skinny mountain path in the
middle of the night to be a common occurrence.
The softness of his palms was
noticeable even as I dodged from one tree to the next. It gave away as much as
the rest of him did. The fear in the man’s eyes spoke volumes. His jeans
worshipped his legs without vacuum sealing and leaving nothing to the
imagination, like the ridiculous skinny-jeans did. The satiny blue shirt may
have been clean before his captors got their grubby hands on it.
The men around him apparently didn’t care. They didn’t speak to him. Didn’t even look at him much, except to prod him with an elbow or well-placed foot when he wasn’t moving fast enough for them. When he tripped, the barrels of several guns pointed his way motivated him to crawl back to his feet. The sight nearly pulled a soft growl from Victoria. She clamped down on her reaction before the sound escaped. It wouldn’t do to spook these wannabe mercenaries. Not before she knew exactly what was going on.
Despite their pockets-a-plenty
outfits, the eight men were obviously not well-suited for this minor tip-toe
into the mountains. Their black hiking boots smelled all but new, same as their
matching black uniforms. Something in the clunky way they moved hinted that
they had Kevlar vests on underneath their shirts--black ones, more than likely.
Wheezing, gasping breaths signaled their vulnerability to every living creature
in the trees around them. Even the students in the college on the other side of
the mountain's peak would scoff at the display of unfitness, then offer to
spark up a communal bowl. Boulder, Colorado, where hippies abounded.If they weren’t in such a large,
armed group, every single one of them would have been picked off by something. And
quickly. That was the problem, though. The group and the guns. The chained man
was taller than the lot of them. He could break free if he only had one escort.
One unarmed escort. And he had no chains binding him.
Victoria itched to pounce on the lot
of them, but she held back. He may have done something worthy of this kind of
treatment. A court of law was the right way to deal with disputes, even when it
involved extranormals. The courts weren't always the best or fastest method,
granted. That didn’t mean one could hop up and make their own justice.
Though, after what she walked in on
tonight, she understood how someone could snap. She barely managed to keep her anger
from overtaking her senses. How lucky for this captive man that she had
controlled herself and tore out of her home instead. His predicament could have
gone unwitnessed while she basked in squishing the squirming, sniveling sack of
louse manure also known as her ex-boyfriend, instead of simply kicking him out.The beautiful seed of anger warmed
her to the tips of her bare toes, propelling her from tree to tree along the
path as she mirrored their progress. Where did the men think they were going,
anyway? An ATV couldn’t negotiate the tiny trail, but this was an awful lot of
effort to move away from civilization.
A scramble up an aspen revealed one
of the scenic overlooks the Flatiron Range was known for. None of the men
looked her way when she dropped back to the ground, knocking a few branches
down in the process. Of course they wouldn’t. She was as quiet as could be.
Spying on men who had clearly gone out of their way to hide in the mountains
required silence and camouflage, but their inexperience meant she didn’t need
to over exert her ability. With all the noise they made, even on the well-trodden
path, she didn’t need to do much extra to hide herself. They didn’t exactly have
her senses, and the idiots weren’t looking for potential observers. Still,
directing energy to remaining silent kept her from losing hold of her temper.
She wanted to be absolutely certain attacking the man's captors was a good
idea.One of the eight men tripped their
captive and laughed as he tried to catch himself. Another one of them kicked
him in the backside when he struggled to get up. Victoria bit her lower lip
before a growl escaped. Good people didn’t kick others when they’re down. Not
unless they had a good reason.
“You guys have the money he owed you.
I don’t even want to know the details of why he owed it.” The chained man pulled
himself halfway upright. One of the black-clad men pressing a gun barrel to his
shoulder pushed the chained man the rest of the way up. “Can’t we just call it
even?”That sparked it. Those were not the
words of someone who deserved this kind of treatment.
With a breath, Victoria dashed from
the trees and tackled the last two people in the group. She didn’t bother
keeping them quiet. Dodging in and out of their attempts to hit or grab her
took most of her concentration. Her camouflage commandeered the remainder. The
shadows of the trees did most of the work; she used what was already available.
She made sure to shift constantly. Not
sticking to one pattern. Moving in ways a normal person shouldn’t be able to
do. Always, always, punching and kicking the captors in their most sensitive
A shot to the groin was predictable,
especially when coming from a woman. These men didn’t know what they fought,
but men tended to guard their privates dearly. And their uniforms may have come
complete with cups. No one ever thought to cover the fragile sides of their
knees, or protect their skinny clavicles. Their skinny, breakable clavicles. A
simple peck to the collar bone with her pinched fingers brought the tallest
attacker to a knee.One punch to a man's kidney
confirmed they wore bullet-proof vests. It would make her work a little harder
to hurt them, but she would manage. Unfortunately for them, the vest's
specifications didn’t cover the wrath of an angry woman, let alone an angry
griffin. Kevlar was virtually useless against knives and blunt forces. Who
needed knives when belligerence bubbled over? And these men had offered
themselves up to help her work through some of her aggression. So obliging. She
would have to make sure to thank them. Possibly with a jab to the throat.
A smile curved her lips as she
dropped one man—the one who had kicked the captive—with a solid kick to the
stomach. Victoria was too busy punching the next two attackers to make certain
he stayed down. Someone caught her left thigh with lucky fist. She caught it,
mashed it into his own face, then road him down with a kick in the gut. His
groans of pain were so tasty. Such a feast here.
The man who grabbed her hair
received a head-butt.
The click of a trigger sounded just
before the first rapport. Victoria dropped, kicked a couple of knees in, and
then danced out of the circle. It didn’t matter if they aimed to scare her or
catch her with a lucky shot. She certainly couldn’t count on fortune to keep
her unscathed. They would hit her eventually, or wise up and threaten the man
she was kind-of-sort-of trying to protect. Then there was the whole issue of
the fired shots drawing more men from wherever these scumbags had oozed. Her
anger could only handle so much before things got really ugly.
A Griffin Scorned releases on August 26, 2014 via Just Ink PressTM, but you can Pre-Order the book now.
Meet the characters! Interview here.
Meet the author! Interview here.