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Strange Magic

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Love-in-Moments

by C.L. Steele, author

Using a cookie-cutter in the center of the white bread, I raised the cut-out heart to adorn his PB&J. Serving his favorite lunch, I spied as he ate the crustless middle and guzzled a glass of ice cold milk. Several times he slid the remaining triangle sections in parallel horizontal planes across the amethyst plate. He called his moving art, a purple heartbeat.

Ba-Bump, Ba-Bump,” he mused.

I chuckled. He giggled at my amusement. Our eyes danced.

Aligning the triangular pieces, he pulled them a few inches apart. He announced he’d left me a secret message, which I could eat, if and only if, I could figure it out.

“Broken heart?” I guessed.

“No,” he shook his head, curls flying, his face in glee.

“A road through your heart?” I guessed, thinking, yet another place for his cars to expedite.

“No,” he smirked with a snicker and eye-roll.

He flicked a pointed index finger in front of his bare boy chest.

“Last chance,” he said.

“Hmmm,” I murmured. “But I’m hungry,” I teased with a wink.

He crossed his arms and lifted a defiant chin. “Nope, gotta earn it,” he said.

My final guess. “Open heart?”

“I like that one,” he said, “but wrong!” He roared his best Mr. Competitive guffaw, his youth could manage.

My head tilted, curious to know. “What is it?” I asked.

“Think letters,” he clued. “See, the top is an “M” and the bottom’s a “V“; together they say, My Valentine.”

In a flash, he picked up the “V” and with passion gobbled the letter down. With wild abandon, he headed out the door to play calling to me as he crossed the threshold.

“I’ll leave the “M” for you, mom.”

I smiled.

The screen door banged. A streak resembling my boy ran across the verdant lawn and jumped over the sun colored sprinkler. His joy shrieked in my ears, reverberating throughout our home. My cheeks filled with a blissful ache of love captured in the moment.

A momentary flash of the female form mimicking these letters led me to wonder if one day my son might have this same Valentine thought about a cherished woman.

I pinched either side of the crust, accordioning the childhood mushiness between my finger and thumb.  Roasted sweetness met my deep inhale. I raised the inverted “M” with its double-curved, secret gift of love to my lips. No food was ever as satisfying, each bite cherished. Momma’s soul pierced, tears rimmed my eyes. He’d humbled and bound my heart to his once again, by making me his first valentine. The fact Valentine’s Day was six months away, proved this moment, this future memory, beloved beyond measure.

Song Link

Remember you can purchase Chasing Magic through Amazon. It would make a great gift.

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Time After Time

 

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Yesterday, I settled into my folding chair at my desk. The morning sun poured through the windows, a warm cup of coffee to my left, while my fingers flew across the keyboard. I ate when I was hungry and took care of functions, but my mind continued to crank on the story. You could almost hear the gears turning in my head. All at once the story flow stopped.  I pulled my fingers from the black keys and rubbed their cold knuckles. My eyes shifted from the illuminated computer screen and met total darkness. I fumbled my way to a light switch. The light revealed a kitchen clock with hands which stated I’d been working for over twelve hours. I stretched and wondered if I’d gone through a wormhole or slid into a portal. My heart pumped steady, my eyes fresh, a smile ached my cheeks. How could time have slipped away so fast and I not notice?

My body was absorbed by something stronger than time. Time had surrendered to passion. 

Time is relative. Einstein proved that time is a manmade concept. The universe works in relation to a fixed point. How fast time is, is relative to your point in space to another point in space.  People in space, age slower in relation to say someone at sea level here on Earth. Time for all its steadiness and consistency, changes.

I have always been out of sync with time. It is difficult for me as I refer mainly to my internal time. That clock within, which if you pay attention, paces you. The collective connections, the invisible ties we feel with others, the threads of the universe, pull and push us by using our instincts, our emotions, our needs. I had moments when actions seemed to happen in slow motion, or so rapid I was left dazed. Those moments occurred within the same steady ticks of clocks, but appeared and caused actions much different due to the perceived speed, the relativity of the time, they happened within.

So, how did time slip away without me noticing? Well, time remained the same, but my need and instinct of it disappeared because I unconsciously, universally led perhaps, needed the time to adjust to my new thoughts or align myself with my new future. I had made an emotional quantum jump. Time moved on I changed my frequency to a higher level. Time ticked, but I jumped.

Dictionary
quan·tum jump
noun
  1. PHYSICS
    an abrupt transition of an electron, atom, or molecule from one quantum state to another, with the absorption or emission of a quantum.
    2.
    a huge, often sudden, increase or change in something.
    “the quantum jump in Jamie’s grades this semester are extremely encouraging”

Recommended Song: Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

Recommended Movie Trailer: Time After Time HG Wells

 

 

Sunday Starters

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Often people ask why I write what I write. It comes from within. I don’t block it or analyze it or try to change it. I let it flow. It runs its own course.  My rough draft is a raw draft. It often gives me the guts of the story, the feel, the theme, a direction.

Next, I go through and fill it with pretty fireworks. Vocabulary, smilies, metaphors, change the direction, rewrite the hook a million times, deepen it with onion layers, in short, add color. I rather enjoy the fireworks show. Purple prose and I have a torrid affair going on; one that must stop.

After the color comes the taking away. Good writers cut. I’m still learning to run with scissors.  I look for errors, rework longer sentences into tighter sentences, remove scenes or rearrange them. Sending the work off to betas and a developmental editor is the nerve-racking part of the edit/take way step.

Finally, I revise. I look at their comments and sometimes I start over. Sometimes I start in the middle and sometimes I just spruce. Recently, I revised a piece that I am now shopping. I can’t share the whole piece, but here is an excerpt.

Artificial by CL Steele (copyright 2017)

Overture – Year: 2033

Time and again, Joseph said, “When I can get my androids to move as gracefully and quietly as you, I’ll have accomplished the impossible.”

As he worked, he drummed his fingers, and my body moved to the rhythm, shoulders and arms popping to his contemplation. Our typical call and response. The Joffrey School of Ballet hadn’t taught me popping, that was learned on the dance floors of New York City clubs. I knew he preferred my sujet, even wanted prima status for me.

Joseph rolled his eyes and laughed.

I lifted an eyebrow, winked, and smiled. If he was going to annoy me with drumming, I’d find a way to pull him from his thoughts.

“Do you ever stop moving, Misty?” he asked.

“Do you ever stop thinking?” I answered.

“S’pose ya got a point, each to their talents.”

“Help me. You rinse and load the dishwasher, I’ll get the calamari fritti on the table and warm the breadsticks.”

“What do I get for my efforts?” he asked.

I loved the feel of his hands on my hips, pulling me to him. I pushed back against him, teasing as I slid the breadsticks from the oven, being careful to protect my long strand of pearls as I held them against my little black dress.

“Yea, yea, later,” I said.

The home automation system announced a car in the driveway. The hologram of Ian and Cynthia appeared in the center of the kitchen, confirming their arrival.

“Thank you, Alexa. Play dinner playlist,” I said.

Mozart’s “Overture” filled the upscale townhouse. It would be followed by Bach’s “Adagios,” Tchaikovsky’s “Finale,” and my new favorite, “Gymnopèdie No. 1” by Satie. I smiled, kissed the man I loved, and walked toward the foyer.

I turned with an Isadora Duncan flare and smiled. “Splash some cold water on those ‘dishes’, and hide the pans in the dishwasher. I’ll get the door now, and you later.”

I admired the Pollock hanging in the great room as I waited for our friends to ascend the steps. The Moon Woman was a perfect touch of warm colors for the room. Pollock’s stick-woman, highlighted in the center of the painting, with her woman-like lines—knee bent, ready to leap with grace, pulled all my loves together in one perfect rectangular gift from Joseph.

You can see it is a playful futuristic sci-fi that ponders if artificial life can overcome death. Indeed if love can be artificial. I’ve changed the ending many times on this, you will have to read it to find out. Again, I am currently shopping for a publication for this under 7K word short story.

Two of my shorts have been selected out of hundreds for publishing. Here are their excerpts both will be available in the fall through Literary Journals. I’ll keep you posted.

Unheard Scream

CL Steele

“I can do this. I can, Mom. C’mon, believe in me?”

“Don’t give me those puppy dog eyes.”

“Hey kid, those eyes are money. You just keep using them.”

Leeann’s eyes darted from her son to the agent. He leaned forward in his chair his arms wide on the glass and chrome desk cradling the contract his right hand tapping the black and white deal with a pen. Her dark eyes narrowed as she faced the man in a Tom Petty t-shirt, both sizing him up and shooting a warning. He put the black pen on the agreement and pushed it across the glass. Across the meeting of minds. Across the gulf between them–toward her. Leaning back, shoulders askew rocking in his office chair he said, “Look, opportunity comes once. This kid has a great look, good sound, and a hell of a growl the girls are gonna go wild for.”

The twenty something assistant with red hair and short plaid skirt raised her eyebrow, her half-cocked smile giving Leeann’s son, Jake, a come get me look.

“I know you’re worried about him being fourteen, but I take good care of my rock stars. I’m invested in him too. He’s got a year to prove himself. November one of next year, if he’s met the stipulations, showed up, worked hard —we extend the contract. If not, he’s done. I just need your Mommy Hancock and his dreams come true.”

Picking up the pen, she held it above the signature line, cutting the air with a few half formed letters. Every momma tiger stripe screamed, NO. Her mouth puckered into a frown. She leaned back.

“Please mom,” Jake said, his hazel eyes gripping her heart as she looked at him. Her eyes studied the room. She swallowed hard and scrawled her name.

This psychological horror occurs on Halloween. The characters lives are wrapped in a song by Bon Jovi called “I’ll Be There For You”. However,  they are anything but there for each other.

Finished

Lingering near death, I’d grown threadbare, a damaged plastic sack swirling in the wind, devoid of use. Indeed, I’d become a problematic mechanism demanding repurposing. I expected death, even welcomed death; although I’d not expected death to be a woman.

Death floated through the wall of my hospice room. Her white hair was swept into a French-Twist secured with a diamond comb, which aggrandized her black sequined gown pooling at the floor, as she glided to a hovering stop. I shuttered, but just then Death’s appearance evoked the reverence of a starry night-sky over a darkened ocean. Fear turned to wonderment.

Deaths elongated arms reached toward me. I was inexplicitly drawn to her. Her hourglass figure, her chic neckline accenting alluring breasts leading to a graceful neck and a face delicate with inviting color. Death’s features and empathizing eyes held my trance. How could death look so beautiful, so desirable? I pondered. Of course … how else would we surrender all we know for the unknown so willingly, unless seduced to do so?

It was the intrigue of her that piqued my curiosity and lessened my defenses. I’d almost forgotten why I was holding on to life.  

“No, I can’t die today,” I whispered. A veiled smile overcame death. Gracefully, she took a seat.

Why does life need death? This 1500 word story gives us one possible explanation. It will be out this spring in the Literary Journal Blood Puddles.

Finally, I have two WIPs.

One is a take on Alice in Wonderland through two songs – one is by Alice Chains the other by Looking Glass. Her our main character is Brandy who is in search of Alice. The tale is about that place between Wonderland where everything is curious and fun and Enchantment. You know the place, it is called hell, where nothing is known and all is doubt. It is where all love comes to die or survive. Poor Brandy, made of glass, just may not make it. But then Alice shows up 10 feet tall.

The second WIP is based on Rocket Man the song by Elton John and Swine and Pearl and the book by the great Ray Bradbury. It is about Badriyyah Marka, a daughter of African immigrants, born in the United States in 2030. She becomes the first woman to walk on the moon. The press, unable to pronounce her name, dub her Luna, the girl on the moon. But that is only her history. In this short, her husband, Torch is the Rocket Man in space. The tale is how she and her daughter Andromeda save him and rather than torn by loss, conquer loss to change the future of mankind.

I’m hoping to submit both of these by Valentines. Lots of work to do.

 

 

WARNING 18 AND OVER SECTION – INTRODUCING A NEW FRIEND AND SHE WRITES EROTICA. EXCERPTS AND PICTURES. DO NOT ENTER IF YOU FIND OFFENSIVE OR DON’T WANT TO KNOW. TANGLED SPIDER WEBS KEEP ME OUT OF EROTICA BUT MY FRIEND IS TRYING TO CONVINCE ME THAT I SHOULD GIVE IT A TRY. LET ME KNOW IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEE MORE EROTICA FROM ME BY TYPING MORE OR CLASSIC YOU IN THE COMMENTS. Enjoy.

 

 

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M. Lisa Cove is a close personal friend (Click link to like her page). We met at a writing workshop and I have promised her a write up on my blog. I hesitate only in that this is a sticky spider web for some. So, again, if this is a problem for you. Go no further. If it is your cup of tea, let me know and I’ll feature her and a few others more often. I really need your guidance here so more or no stay classic you in the comments, please.

M. Lisa has just gotten started in the field. I helped her set up her brand spanking new FB page. Her first erotic novel of short stories titled “69 Short and Sexy Tales” will be out on Amazon in time for Valentines.  Yes, 69 short stories about what keeps the world spinning. Here is an excerpt”

Firefly Night

Linda sprawled on the chaise, in the dark of his backyard, breathing in the musky smoke of the firepit. Drinking the last of her rum and coke, she felt the vibrations of his guitar playing wash over her. How Marcus had captured her, she didn’t know, but she had to admit she was taken with everything about him. She smiled at him. He smiled back. Her bent left leg moved to the sultry slow rhythm he played, opening and closing against her straightened right leg. She stretched slow and easy pondering the dark ink sky with its glow from the distant city lights. With a contented sigh she pulled herself out of this luxury and sauntered to the table where the bottles stood waiting to be consumed. She poured him a bourbon and her a glass of wine. Hips swaying as she walked toward him, her left brow raised in the question she knew he would not turn down, she smirked as he abruptly ended his song and placed the guitar aside. She handed him the whisky. They both took long drinks. Butterflies met her and she briefly closed her eyes. She wondered as she stood before him if they should take this further?

Yes, came the answer as his hand brushed against her outer thigh. She straddled him placing her legs through the arms of the lawn chair. He took their drinks and set them aside. Squeezing her thighs to get closer to him, she removed his glasses and set them on the table near the drinks. He smiled that wicked crooked smile he had and she felt the corners of her mouth turn up as she poured lust from her seductive eyes. She was giving him every indication of something new.

Gently she kissed his forehead, then eyelids, cheekbones. Soft kisses met his lips, which soon gave way to parted lips. She took his tongue into her mouth and played at biting his lip. His hands dropped from her waist to grip her hips that were slowly rocking against his growing hardness. He allowed her to remove his shirt and smiled as it fell to the ground. As she removed her shirt, his hands grabbed at her ass. As her bra fell to the grass, he slid his hands up her waist and cupped both breast.

“Neighbors,” he whispered.

Rolling her eyes, she left the comfort of his lap moving past the firepit, the low light highlighting her hourglass form. Retrieving a blanket, she swirled it around herself holding it lose and low as she wiggled out of her tight daisy dukes. With a laugh and a crinkle of her nose she flashed him as she walked by the fire. His laugh and grin forced her to do it again. She winked and stared at his shorts. By the time she had gotten within arm’s reach the shorts were being kicked off and she enjoyed the view of his cock. She straddled him again the blanket covering them. He took one, than the other of her breasts, into his mouth, sucking, nibbling. His soft moans exciting her to wetness.

Pulling at his nipples, she caressed him.

“Turn around,” he said.

She stood and turned feeling him grab her hips and guide her onto him. He grabbed the blanket as her weakened hands began to drop. He pulled the comforter over the front of them.

“Lean back, enjoy the stars.”

She did and wrapped her legs around the outside of his leaving herself exposed to his gifted guitar strumming hand. Fireflies lit the night but she didn’t notice them for long as her eyes closed in surrender. She moaned, just as the neighbor turned off the porch light and she and Marcus both held back soft, hushed laughter.

“More?” she questioned.

“Mas,” he answered.

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Working for a Living

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https://open.spotify.com/track/6gJdDnF2TzfA1WPMXuCa3x?si=uKgf4ogsT_G1hvmaJFXiDQ

Working for the man every night and day.

Rolling on the River

One of my many projects is being a contributing author and researcher to Scribblers Writing Organization. In their newsletter, I provide a Publishing House List of Open Submissions. Starting next month I will be providing weekly articles on the craft of writing for new authors.  I hope you will subscribe. Here are some links:

Subscribe to receive updates and new publications opportunities.

C.L. Steele, Author

J Snow, editor

In association with Scribblers Writing Organization

 

Published Works by C.L. Steele :

Sort Story – “Which Shoes?” in Chasing Magic Anthology Two sisters find magical worlds and discover their importance in the sisterhood.

Creative Essay –  “Our Place In Time” in Once Upon a Wednesday Anthology Reflections on the Women’s Movement after 2016 Election

Chasing Magic: A CWPH Fantasy Anthology by [Callender, Laura, Haraway, Britt, King, M.W., Holmes, Heather, Linsmeier, Amanda, Smh, E.R., More, W.S., Darqueling, Phoebe, Gohier, Jeremy]  Once Upon a Wednesday (Authors' Tale Book 1) by [Berryman, Cayce, King, M.W., Burton, Crystal MM, Smith, Tyronica, Snow, Lana, Smo, E.R., Happerger, Richard, Steele, CL, Deese, A.M., Greene, Melody, Pewitt, Jack A. , Crawford, Kyle, O'Neil, J.C., Beilman, Terra, Garg, Ekta R. ]

 

Works coming soon:

“Finished” A unique look on why life needs Death.  Spring of 2018- Blood Puddles: Silent Screams in Liquid Darkness Literary Horror Journal

Completed Works:

“Unheard Scream” – Flawed characters end in tragedy on Halloween when they all promise to be there for each other, but are not. Based on Bon Jovi song “I’ll Be There For You”

“Artificial” – Future Sci-Fi – Is robotics the answer to life after death? Joseph, a robotics engineer convinces his wife, a ballerina, to be his guinea pig. Artifical intelligence, robotic android body, but can love be artificial?

I continue to work on two novels and a long list of short stories. I’m hoping to share some exciting news next week. Stay tuned, there is much more on the horizon.

A Little Help From My Friends

Looking for a new read? Try these books from some of my favorite authors, who I’m fortunate enough to call friends and mentors. J.M. Ames, and Josh Darling.

Mirrors & Thorns: An OWS Ink Dark Fairy Tales Anthology by [Allen, J.K., Black, Kerry E.B., Bledsoe, C.L., Palmer, Lucy, Overby, Stacy, Dickerson, T.S., Ahern, Edward, Bernard, Melanie Noell, Scott, S.L., Ames, J.M., Nour, Sarah, Stansbury, Paul, Taylor, Cassidy, Strickland, J. Lee]

J.M. Ames, Author

Product Details

Josh Darling, Author/Editor

 

The Heart Knows What It Wants

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Through Glass

by
Anonymous

Observed through glass

Colors of you came to me

Sacred stained glass

Enveloped me

showing me

Telling me

moving my soul.

More than a reflection

A prism of light.

I dizzied with wonder

Overwhelmed,

a newness never known

Love held me

inside colorful fluttering wings

Spying through

to mystic future visions

Rhythm of drums, conversation

For a moment, a queen.

Green ego, guiding me

to my grave.

A red space deep within

holds the remains

Spectrum’s subtle light

Shall illuminate my days,

warm my nights.

Butterflies migrate

stained-glass cracks

this side of glass unprepared, hazed.

shards of colored words and glass

Placed high upon a shelf

Embrace denied, Thoughts stare, Remember, In silence, I love you.

 

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Monday Motivation!

Making a list. Amazing how a list motivates. I made a list of all the not quite finished stories. It was a long list. Next, I numbered them. The ones closest to finished got the top priority of one. Most of those were completed needing editing/rewrites. A two fell to those stuck in development. Those needing a better beginning or ending or reworking of sentences. While a three went to those that are outlined, or maybe not much more than ideas. Finally, I linked them to my calendar.

Tomorrow, I buy Google home so that all I have to do is come to my desk and ask for my calendar and today’s assignment to be brought up on my desktop. Really looking forward to that. As a writer of future, it is high time that I start using the tech to help me.

Let me know how you organize your writing or if this idea helps you. Organization is not my strong suit, but we all have to find a way. Show me the way. How do you organize your writing? Or do you even want to? I know I do.

Time After Time

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Bare 

Spring buds fragrant like momma’s homemade pies

Summer leaves green as twinkling Irish eyes

Fall glory, falling, twirling in mercy and grace

Winter leaves gone away,

trunk-en structures rise from snow

Cinnamon sticks bathed in light.

Rough bark, knotted and scared,

Each tree exposed.

Each unique.

Each authentic.

Each their own story.

Time after time. That is how life goes on. Clicks, ticks, tocks. I’ve always been a little out of sync with time. Time is life – both are fragile. It’s important to live, truly live. Grow the tree from the nourished ground.  Drink in knowledge, get scared, scared, get sacred. Take chances, have no regrets. Change, grow strong, be your own strength. Live for you. Look at nature, daily changes over billions of years or simple seasons. Time after time. You are the leader of your life. Have doubts, questions? Well, welcome to the club. Don’t freeze. The answer is always that small still voice within. Listen, you will hear it. When you do, follow.

 

 

 

 

Support Research for CAPS

Antiphospholipid Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Last updated

Antiphospholipid syndrome is an immune disorder in which abnormal antibodies are linked to abnormal blood clots in veins and arteries. It mostly affects the legs, but clots may also form in the kidneys, lungs and other organs.

Complications in pregnancy include recurring miscarriages and preterm births.

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is also known as Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, Hughes syndrome, or sticky blood.

The abnormal antibodies attack fats that contain phosphorous, known as phospholipids. Heart valve abnormalities are common in people with APS, and up to one in three cases of stroke under the age of 50 years may be due to it.

In the legs, APS can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If a clot develops in the brain, there is a serious risk of stroke.

There is no cure for APS, but, current treatments can significantly reduce the risk of developing blood clots.

It affects women three to five more often than men.

What is antiphospholipid syndrome?

APS is an autoimmune condition in which the person’s immune system produces antibodies called antiphospholipid antibodies.

[blood clotting]

Antiphospholipid syndrome affects blood consistency.

These are abnormal antibodies that attack proteins and fats in the blood, and specifically phospholipids.

The fats and proteins that are attacked are thought to be important in maintaining blood consistency.

The blood becomes sticky, significantly increasing the risk of developing blood clots.

There are two main types of APS:

  • Primary antiphospholipid syndrome: It is not linked to any other disease or condition but develops in isolation
  • Secondary antiphospholipid syndrome: It develops along with another autoimmune disorder, such as lupus

According to the APS Foundation of America, between 1 and 5 percent percent of people in the United States are thought to have APS. It is responsible for 15 to 20 percent of all cases of DVT and pulmonary embolism, or blood clots on the lung.

Symptoms tend to appear between the ages of 20 and 50 years, but sometimes they develop during childhood.

Most people with APS who receive treatment can lead normal, healthy lives, but, rarely, a person with the syndrome will continue to develop clots.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of antiphospholipid syndrome depend mainly on where the clots travel to, and where they form.

A clot or embolus, which is a traveling clot, can result in:

  • DVT: A clot forms in one of the large veins, usually in the arm or leg, and it partially or completely blocks circulation. If a DVT blood clot moves into the lungs, a life-threatening condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE) can result.
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE): An embolus, or traveling clot, appears in one part of the body, circulates throughout the body, and then blocks blood flowing through a vessel in another part of the body. In PE, an embolus blocks an artery that feeds the lungs.
  • Complications of pregnancy: These include recurring miscarriages, preterm delivery, and preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Ischemic stroke: A blood clot interrupts blood flow to a part of the brain, cutting off the supply of oxygen and glucose. Brain cell death and brain damage can results. Around 75 percent of all stroke cases are ischemic.

Other signs and symptoms that are less common include:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Dementia and seizures, if a clot blocks blood flow to parts of the brain
  • Livedo reticularis, a lace-like purplish rash on the knees and wrists

Around 30 percent of people with APS have heart valve abnormalities. In many cases, the mitral valve thickens, or develops extra mass, causing blood to leak back into one of the heart’s chambers. Some patients may have problems with the aortic valve.

Levels of platelets can drop. Platelets are the blood cells that are needed for normal clotting. This can lead to episodes of bleeding, for examples nosebleeds, or bleeding gums. Some people may experience bleeding into the skin, causing small red spots to appear.

In very rare cases, a person may develop:

Risk factors and causes

Genetics factors appear to affect the likelihood of having APS. If a family member has the syndrome, the individual will have a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Other risk factors include:

  • Lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, or another autoimmune disorder
  • Hepatitis C, syphiliscytomegalovirus (CMV), the parvovirus B19 and some other infections
  • Some medications, including hydralazine, used to treat hypertension, and some anti-epileptic drugs

Some people have the antibodies but do not develop signs or symptoms. However, certain triggers can cause the condition to develop in these people.

Triggers include:

Young and middle-aged women are more likely to develop APS, but it can affect either gender and at any age.

Causes

Blood clotting prevents people from bleeding too much after, for example, an injury. Phospholipids are cell membrane substances that play a role in the blood-clotting process.

[a blood clot]

A blood clot can be life-threatening.

People with antiphospholipid syndrome produce antibodies that attack either the phospholipids or the blood proteins that bind to the phospholipids.

The immune system produces antibodies that destroy germs and toxins in the body. An autoimmune disorder causes the antibodies to attack good cells by mistakes.

A person with APS will produce abnormal antiphospholipid antibodies that mistakenly attack phospholipids.

This can increase the risk of developing blood clots.

Why autoimmune disorders happen is unclear, and it is also unclear why some people with abnormal antibodies never develop symptoms.

A combination of genetic and environmental factors appears to be involved.

Diagnosis and treatment

A doctor will test for antiphospholipid syndrome if the patient has at least one episode of thrombosis or a pregnancy loss.

A blood test will show whether a person has abnormal antibodies.

Sometimes harmless antiphospholipid antibodies may develop for limited periods, because of an infection or some medication, so a second test will be needed to confirm the result.

If blood tests reveal abnormal antibodies, the doctor will assess the patient’s medical history to determine whether previous symptoms may have been caused by antiphospholipid syndrome.

Treatment

A doctor will usually prescribe medication to thin the blood, to reduce the chance of clotting. The patient will normally need this medication for the rest of their life.

Possible combinations include aspirin with warfarin, or Coumadin, or possibly heparin. If warfarin does not work, the dose may be increased or heparin may be added.

The clotting action of anticoagulants can sometimes lead to a hemorrhage, or excessive bleeding.

Patients should seek medical help at once if they experience:

  • Blood in feces, urine, or vomit
  • Coughing up blood
  • Nosebleeds lasting longer than 10 minutes
  • Severe bruising

Patients who experience thrombosis will normally need to take heparin and warfarin. When the thrombosis clears, they will continue with warfarin.

Treatment in pregnancy

A woman with a diagnosis with APS should plan for pregnancy from before conception. Treatment will start at the beginning of pregnancy and finish after delivery.

[blood test]

It is important to monitor the blood, especially during pregnancy.

In an unplanned pregnancy, the effectiveness of treatment may be reduced as it will not begin until several weeks after conception.

Treatment will normally be aspirin, heparin, or both, depending on previous clots of pregnancy complications. Warfarin can cause birth defects, and it is not used during pregnancy.

If the patient does not respond to this treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin infusions and corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be prescribed.

If, by the third trimester, there are no problems, the heparin treatment may stop, but the aspirin treatment may have to continue until the end of the pregnancy.

Regular blood tests will need to continue to ensure the blood can still clot enough to stop bleeding if the patient bruises or cuts herself.

Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome

Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS) is a type of “thrombotic storm,” in which multiple clots suddenly form. It affects a small minority of patients with APS, progressively damaging several organs.

Blood clots abruptly develop all over the body, resulting in multiple organ failure. Why it happens is unclear.

Symptoms vary, depending on which organs are affected, but they include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Edema, or swelling, in the ankles, feet, or hands
  • Fits, or seizures
  • Progressive breathlessness
  • Tiredness
  • Coma
  • Death

Symptoms tend to appear suddenly and get worse rapidly.

CAPS is a medical emergency and the patient will need intensive care as soon as possible, so that the body’s functions can be maintained while high-dose anticoagulants are administered.

Research suggests that around 46 percent of patients with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome do not survive the initial event, and there is a risk of a repeat event at some time, even with medical care.

Prevention and diet

A patient with APS needs to take all possible measures to lower the risk of developing blood clots.

This includes:

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy bodyweight
  • Remaining physically active

It is important to follow a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and low fat and sugar. The APS Foundation of American advises people with APS to:

  • Maintain the same diet as before diagnosis, unless the doctor instructs otherwise
  • Avoid “bingeing” and crash diets
  • Limit intake of foods that are rich in vitamin K to one serving a day, for example, one cup of raw, or half a cup of cooked spinach, turnip greens, cucumber peel, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green scallion, cabbage, and mustard greens.
  • Avoid parsley, kale, seaweed, and green tea

People who use warfarin need to maintain a stable intake of vitamin K. Patients should not make any dietary changes or use any supplements of new medications without first consulting their physician.

 

 

 

 

 

A Rainbow in the Dark

A while back, I was lost. So lost, that I stopped feeling. Now, for me, that is almost impossible. I consider myself an empath, a sensitive, and intuitive if you will. But one day, I melted into a green chair and then froze. I didn’t do much of anything. No one seemed to notice much. Until one day a rainbow showed up in my darkness.

The rainbow tickled my funny bone, showed me acceptance, asked me questions and well, completely changed my life. Nothing big, just small little raindrops of kindness a little at a time. Persistence. I wasn’t alone in the darkness, I had a rainbow to remind me of my light and demonstrated to me how to put color back in my life.

Living a blue life was okay–until rainbow showed me green, and red, and bright yellow. This spectrum, this fractured light, welcomed me to feel the grassy ground beneath my bare hippy feet, accept love, and showed me it was okay to glow like the sun. It was okay to unlock the dark box and step out. Not only okay, but preferred. The more I did the more me I became. Until once upon a Wednesday, I was happy. Breathing. Loving. Filled up and able to pour out on others again. That rainbow in the dark saved me, brought me back from an abyss I had gotten lost inside.

Some of you will think, yeah, sentimental mumble jumble. Rainbows don’t exist in darkness. But, you’d be wrong. They do. And if you reach out a hand, you can be a rainbow too.

What Are Moonbows?

Moonbows or lunar rainbows are rare natural atmospheric phenomena that occur when the Moon’s light is reflected and refracted off water droplets in the air.

Illustration image

Faint moonbow seen over Yosemite Falls

©iStockphoto.com/Yenwen Lu

Moonbows are similar to rainbows, but they are created by moonlight instead of direct sunlight.

Rarer Than Rainbows

Moonbows are rarer than rainbows because a variety of weather and astronomical conditions have to be just right for them to be created.

  1. The Moon has to be very low in the sky – no more than 42 degrees from the horizon.
  2. The Moon phase has to be a Full Moon or nearly full.
  3. The sky must be very dark for a moonbow to be observed – any bright light can obscure it.
  4. Water droplets must be present in the air in the opposite direction of the moon.

Moonbows occur on the opposite side of the Moon and tend to look white to the human eye. This is because their colors are not bright enough to be perceived by the receptors in the human eye. It is possible, however, to view the colors in a moonbow using long exposure photography.

Locations

Moonbows are more frequent in some locations around the world. Most of these locations tend to have waterfalls, which create layers of mist in the air. Some of these locations are the Yosemite National Park in California and Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky, U.S.; Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Waimea in Hawaii, U.S.

Topics: AstronomyMoonAtmospheric Phenomena

Source:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1218065064964921?view=permalink&id=1338875846217175&notif_id=1516158278349279&notif_t=group_post_mention&ref=notif

 

Lucie in the Sky with Diamonds

A new year, a new day, a notebook filled with dreams, and events, and tradgedies. Today I am adding another page for the first time in ten months. You see one week after I started this blog, I found my husband lying semi-conscious on the granite floor of our kitchen. As I write, from the breakfast nook I can look over to the salt and pepper granite floor where I discovered him that thunder and lightning pre-dawn morning. He lay in small space between the coffee bar and the hexagon work island. My gasp was sharp, but the calmness surprised me. The prognosis was pulmonary embolism. Later it became worse.

Time is a creature that never rests. Death is a stalker in our home. We don’t know when but we hear the ticking of the bomb. We try to go through as though everything is normal. But it is far from it. Only our routine remains. Everything else has vastly changed. We deal. We play the cards given us, as best we can. Sometimes the strategies we choose work and we win, and sometimes we get out played. But the point is we play. You see dealing with pain and loss is tricky. Putting your head in the sand, makes things easier for some. A security blanket of protection in a world of denial allows a certain freedom. If you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist. But sometimes, you face the facts. You try bravery. You embrace the pain. Stare into the abyss, fall in and let it teach you how to survive.  It’s a see-saw more than a constant. Choices aren’t always black and white, like salt and pepper granite floors choices can be hard. Change is overwhelming at times.

One choice I had to make was my career. Off to a good start with two acceptances in January and February things came to a halt in March. However in July, I became a contributing author and researcher for Blood Puddles, a literary horror journal. It is a learning curve I have enjoyed. I have also had a few rejections. Near misses, I was told. Disappointing, except for the fact that I feel my writing has improved. My new editor likes my unique voice and style, likening me to some greats like Carver, Bukowski and Victoria Erickson. Not sure of the high praise, but I am sure that the advice and guidance on my work is helping me understand the process better and to “bleed on the keyboard.”

I’m making the work more meaningful. I am grateful for this. You will be seeing my new tag line from this thought. It is “Writers, they say things.” I have completed serveral stories and have a huge backlog of ideas. I need to use my time and focus to continue with building inventory and begin submitting. Good news is my short story “Finished” has been accepted for publication. I learned of it this month and it will be out this spring. Other things on the to do list are to restructure my files, social media pages and website. Yep, lots to do. But the group is nearly 500 members and I need to care for them.

What I am most proud of is the number of professional and fellow writers which have been kind about my work. The feedback has been positive and that has lifted my hopes and increased my drive to do more. Thus, finally getting back to the blog. I hope to write once a week and hope you will enjoy the read and the path with me. One such author suprised me today. I shared a rejected work with her to get feedback on improvement and she blogged about me, much to my surprise. Here is what Lucie Guerre had to say:

” … I read a short story by one of my author friends, and her attention to detail was just fabulous. The story is not published yet, but every so often, I would just let out a little sigh and wish I had a physical copy of her story because I would underscore sentences that just rang as visceral truths to me, whether it was “the silence eating my mind–shredding my guts” or “the endless water torture of days”, I was simply blown away.”  via Just Musing — Inside the World of Lucie Guerre

Thank you Lucie in the sky for your diamond heart and kindness. I am grateful for this last then months. I have changed more in the last few months than I have in decades. The darkness life brings is powerful, as powerful as the light. Embracing both has brought me closer toward balance. I don’t know what the future brings, but I know that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way. I have learned to March forward.

Be you. Be grateful. Be reading!

C.L. Steele, Author

Writers, they say things.

Flying

Doesn’t everyone want to fly? Yes, it can be scary, but we all want to know what it feels like to reach that great dream, right? Today, my feet leave good solid dirt and head upward, onward. New adventures await. I also know trouble is out there. The thing is I also know that I have overcome so many problems that problems have become my friend. I now call them opportunities or temporary obstacles to make sure I’m on the right jet stream. So hello. Hope we meet along the way on a regular basis. I’m going to need flying friends. We all do.