My Charlie


CHARLIE HEBDO is not a symbol of the Free Press. The weekly journal IS the Free Press.

It is more and more difficult to know what to believe – Why does my city’s newspaper put Presidential news on page 5 and Senate news on the front page? Is Fox News presenting the news or its own biased perspectives? Does the AP Wire omit stories of interest to under-developed nations and to religious minorities?

Do we have Freedom of the Press in the USA, or is the “news” so filtered through press releases, press secretaries, editors, and those in charge, that we hear what “They” want us to hear, learning what “They” want us to believe is fact.

The news I get on French news stations, in French newspapers, and on French radio is dramatically different than what I read in the New York Times and AOL news. The news from these sources has different slants; but more, the information itself is different. Huge stories are ignored by the American Press, and vice-versa. Is it because power behind the media promotes its own agenda and fortune?

I believe in Free Speech and a Free Press, based on the theory that if I hear it all, I will be able to make up my own mind, that if people in general hear it all, they can make informed choices. Despite our cynicism about the intelligence level of the general population, these two freedoms help us to rule ourselves, rather than to be tyrannized.

Yes, in the USA and in European countries, there are parameters around Free Speech and the Free Press. Inciting a group to riot is illegal, verbally or in print. Certain communications are considered treasonous. Threats of murder are against the law. It is illegal to mis-quote someone, or to spread untrue things which ruin someone’s character. Pornography has its limits too.

But I can stand on my corner and preach, or I can denounce all religions. I can explain my feminist views on Facebook, and condemn anti-abortion politicians in my essays. My government assures me I do not have to be afraid of speaking my mind, out loud or in print. Sometimes this promise is not kept, but it is a promise nonetheless. If I don’t like what someone is saying or writing, I can ignore it, sometimes as simply as “unfriending” a relative on Facebook. I don’t like what some people believe and say, but in line with Voltaire, I defend their right to believe it and speak about it.

CHARLIE HEBDO is not a magazine I read. It’s an unimportant weekly rag, and I am not a big follower of political cartoons. I don’t like sarcastic humor based on anger, which is only a millimeter different from effective satire. But I give CHARLIE HEBDO my respect – the journal is egalitarian with those it eviscerates. No one, no religion, no political party or system is exempt from its attacks. The cartoons span international topics and satirize their targets with precision.

Of course, the targets do not like what CHARLIE HEBDO publishes.  Would the Pope like a drawing of himself with his knickers down at his ankles while a choir boy licks his penis? This is a blasphemous image. But the point is, Freedom of the Press protects the right of CHARLIE HEBDO to publish such a cartoon. If the Pope is angry about the drawing or the “insinuation” in it, he has choices – but the one choice he does not have is to silence the cartoonist, not in a society which promises Freedom of the Press. Most certainly, no one has the right to silence another by murder.

“I am Charlie” means I believe in Free Speech and the Free Press even when I do not like what is said or is printed. It means you cannot kill me, you cannot kill my open mind, my fierce pride in my freedoms. The slogan means the spirit of freedom is immediately passed onto to others when a few die, and you cannot kill us all. But CHARLIE HEBDO does not “mean” anything. CHARLIE HEBDO is.  It does not need to be an important or sophisticated journal to be protected.  It exists, and therefore it illustrates our fundamental rights on its pages and by its presence. And ironically, CHARLIE HEBDO’s survival has been ensured by the horrific attack on it.

Share Pink with your Friends


Detective Frank “Pink” Bettman is at it again in COWTOWN CORPSE, the follow-up to COWTOWN CRIME.  

Pink’s tempted by beautiful bodies from city hall to dance halls, but in the end he keeps his eyes on the trail of five Texas killers.

Here’s are two easy links to all of my books, including COWTOWN CORPSE.

      Aussi disponible en France en anglais à


Share the Crime with your Facebook Friends

 Cowtown Crime cover

In COWTOWN CRIME, Detective Frank “Pink” Bettman, Head of Major Crimes, comes face to face with six corpses, some bloody, some decayed, all of ‘em needing Pink to figure out who-dun-it.  With his police pals and a Texas twang, he cracks the mysteries in COWTOWN CRIME.

Here’s are two easy links to all of my books, including COWTOWN CRIME.

      Aussi disponible en France en anglais à




Long Way Home coverTHE LONG WAY HOME is book-club women’s fiction about the first paternity suit filed in frontier Texas.  A father ends up in court, with a judgment as independent as the Wild West, affecting 4 generations of the Ware family.

If you haven’t read my work yet, all seven books are avaiable through Nook with Barnes & Noble, as well as on Amazon.  Curl up indoors on a cool evening, and start with THE LONG WAY HOME.

Here’s a sample from  THE LONG WAY HOME:

            D’Ross took a deep breath like he was going to jump feet first into a pond of cold water.  Then he said, “That’s when I took her on my horse and we… “   The heavy boy fluttered his meaty hand in the air.  “You know… we…”  There was the flutter again.  “Back in the woods.”

            Turkey listened to the gasps go through the room.  “Are you telling me, that Verna Ware, the very first time she ever met you, spent intimate time with you?  Is that what you are unable to say, when you do this?”  The lawyer fluttered his own hand in the air, a touch a drama he liked.

            D’Ross answered, “Yep.”  He was enjoying being the center of all the hub-bub and whispers.  “And Abe too.”

            Turkey spun around with his mouth open to look at the pretty young lady standing between her father and her brother at the back of the courtroom, and he asked, “Did you say Abe Finney also had relations with Verna Ware?  That same day?”

            Not a person in the jury was breathing, waiting for the paunchy young man to answer.  D’Ross started to smile and flutter his hand, thinking that would make everyone laugh again.   And then his body jerked right.  A loud crack sounded, filling the air with a roar and smoke, and D’Ross fell out of the witness chair.  The sound repeated, just as loud, louder, and everyone was jumping up or flattening out on the floor.


Find THE LONG WAY HOME on Amazon at this site:

Or at Barnes & Noble for NOOK here:


Please Share ! 100 and 5.3 Pounds

 100 and 5.3 Pounds.

My contemporary women’s fiction novel — I love it !

100  and 5.3

What happens when a Hollywood astrologer and an over-weight civil servant discover their daughter is pregnant?  It depends on the last will and testament of a famed New York painter.

In 100 and 3.5 Pounds, a family moves farther apart geographically while getting closer emotionally.  4 generations battle it out, calling 911, sharing a poodle, flying cross-country, and telling the hard truth, while they turn a bachelorette party into a baby shower, and assisted living becomes assisted suicide.



Not everyone likes poetry.  But if you do, or if you want to give it a try, take a look at my collection CHILDREN OF EVE.


The poems in CHILDREN OF EVE range from edgy to funny to angry, always sexy and beautiful.  One poem is in pentameter and the next is rap lyrics, and then the next is a haiku or a rant with word play.  It doesn’t matter if you know the form — you’ll get it, you’ll like it, you’ll understand.

Find CHILDREN OF EVE on Amazon or Barnes & Noble


No Friend of Mine

10363839_10203489719434250_8455966170842127776_nI’ve just “unfriended” a man from Facebook.

This is not typical for me.  Usually, I don’t care who reads/shares on FB.  But this man, according to his profile, is a pastor in a Christian faith.   He asserts he is a pacifist, but he owns guns and promises that he will shoot anyone if necessary.  He doesn’t explain what constitutes “necessary.”  Moreover, he makes racist comments about Michele Obama being in the White House, that soon she’ll paint it black, and we should be alert against her tactics.   His other posts follow these lines of thought.

A man who does not understand the definition of pacifist, a man who declares he is religious but the “thou shall not kill” commandant doesn’t apply to him, a man who spreads hate and fear about people different than himself solely because of skin color instead of asserting that all are “children of god,” this is a man I do not want to know, to listen to, or to be connected to in any way.

The downside of “unfriending” someone such as this Christian man, is that I might forget there are bigoted, small-minded, hate-filled egoists in the world.  I want to be alert to them, because they are dangerous.

It is clear why I am not a Christian, why I am not religious, why I refuse to be a believer or to practice any religion, not Buddhism or Islam or the Jewish faith or Paganism.  Okay, yes, I am a feminist and humanist.  But that’s another story.

The tenants of Christianity and of most religions include a god who is powerful enough to give and take life.   Most religions ask members to worship and serve the god with a pious nature.  The followers are to love each other, respect the power of god, accept their own powerlessness, with a clean and gentle life as the goal.

In Christianity, this goal is reinforced by the example of Jesus, whose life Christians are asked to imitate.  As with Jews, Christians have commandants to follow, including #6,  Thou Shall Not Kill.  There is also the religious proverb from Leviticus and the book of Mark: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.  As the story goes, based on his religious faith,  Jesus let others kill him, rather than using his power to save himself, trusting that God would take care of him and of the killers.

Yet, I just saw a post, from another “friend,” showing photos of a Christian Bible and a pistol, side by side, demanding that both of these be taught in the schools of the United States of America.

How bizarre.  This person is American, but does not believe in separation of church and state.  She says she is Christian but she advocates guns, keeping them in her home, along with the baby, cats, and dogs.   She is a mother, but advocates war and killing.

She also posted a rabid indictment of Obama, showing a photo of 4 severed heads next to an Islamic executioner.  Of course these assassinations are terrible, though to blame Obama is ridiculous.  It is the one who did the killing who is responsible.  The Facebook “friend” does not show corpses from the bombings by USA planes.  It would be more logical to blame Obama for these bodies.  She doesn’t mourn with mothers in other countries when war kills their children.

Of course, she calls herself a Christian, because like the vast majority of religious leaders and followers, she rationalizes her perspectives, validating them with the stamp of the Supreme Being, without taking the time or thought — and certainly not the insightful meditation — to recognize her mean-spirit, fear and hatred.  She is the Ku Klux Klan without the sheet, but with a gun.

However, I am sure she would explain herself as righteous.  There is no need for me to reply to the post showing the pistol and Bible.   The  irony and  absurdity of the post are so extreme, that if the woman doesn’t see the contradiction between these two ideas, explaining it to her will not help open her mind.  She, like many others, hears only her own voice.  And her voice comes from a small, closed mind.  She is a Christian, and sadly, she will teach her children to be Christians of the same regressive sort.

I have “unfriended” her also.  She deserves to live her life as she wants, but I don’t have to stain my days reading her sort of poison.   I won’t forget that such perspectives as hers exist, because living outside the tenants of one’s religion, and being proud of it, is not merely her modus operandi.  It can be a Christian thing, a Jewish thing, a Muslim things, and on and on and on, throughout history.  My words, even with proof, facts, quotations, and logic, my words are not powerful enough to spread light into dark minds.

I do not assert that I am free from hate and bigotry, or from the need to dominate, control, and avenge wrongs.  But I recognize these things in myself, and work against them, not for religious reasons, but because of my personal philosophy.   I like peace, kindness, and children.  I think humans are smart enough to avoid war and poverty.  I don’t know what I will do when killers come to my door or if my loved ones are threatened.  But I know I am not playing a video game.

This life requires consciousness rather than reaction.   I believe that humans have the capability to accept and understand one another, ultimately diminishing greed and hatred.  The best I can do is stay vigilant to my own behavior, thinking and acting in ways consistent with my philosophy.  Beyond that,  I hope together we will find unimagined solutions to our own aggression.