Posted in Health, reviews, Teen

My thoughts on “Breaking Bad”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you today! I’m back talking about one of my favorite TV shows, “Breaking Bad.” Last night was the season finale and I must say it was awesome!

I have to admit when I first started watching the show I thought it was going to be one that glorified drug use. I was a little skeptical about whether I was going to enjoy it or not.

Photo from http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/breaking-bad/breaking-bad-the-final-seasons-most-apocalyptic-moments/

“Breaking Bad” is the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer. He needs big money to pay for his cancer treatments, so he starts manufacturing Meth. Since he’s a chemistry teacher, he knows about chemical reactions, which means he knows how to cook it. His product ends up being 99% pure. With that kind of purity, his product becomes a hot commodity in the drug world.

In the beginning, Walt is just a “nice guy” who has been screwed over. He has been screwed over by his former business partners and by the insurance company that won’t cover his cancer treatment. Walt is a victim. We identify with him and want him to win. We want him to win even when he turns into Heisenberg. The reason for that is because we’ve all been victimized in some way and we want to seek revenge on our tormentors. When Walt transforms into Heisenberg, he becomes victorious, beating the bullies of society. So, even though he’s a bad dude, we still like him. This is a story of what can happen when horrible circumstances force people to make choices they wouldn’t normally make.

This show is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. It depicts the story of Walter White’s transformation from mild-mannered high school teacher to drug king pin. It’s the story of the destruction of his family.

I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what the drug trade is really like. There’s nothing glamorous about it. It’s violent and scary. Drugs destroy families and lives.  If the DEA doesn’t catch you, your competition will kill you.

It’s a tragic tale. Walt has to say good-bye to his family and disappear. In the end, he has no one. I don’t  want to spoil the ending for anyone who had to DVR the show last night, so that’s all I’m going to say about the end.

I know this show is violent, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be a bad idea for high school students to watch it. It shows the unglamorous side of meth addiction, the sores, the repetitive behavior, and the rotted teeth in all their glory.

It also depicts a realistic portrayal of what a Meth dealer’s life is like. The constant war over territory, the constant anxiety about being caught, and the lies that have to be told to protect your cover. It’s an incredibly stressful situation.

“Breaking Bad” does illustrate the “big bucks” that a drug dealer can make. However, it doesn’t glorify it. It depicts the difficulty a dealer faces when he needs to get the money laundered and what does happen when the DEA catches a dealer. All that money he made goes straight to the government not his family. The show illustrates that the drug trade is a no win situation for anyone, whether you’re a user or a pusher. Everyone loses in the long run.

So there you have it. I will miss this show. It was quite an education and I would recommend getting the DVDs and watching the show with your teens. It’s an excellent way to educate them about the realities of both drug use and the drug trade.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I’d love to hear from you so if you’d like to leave a comment about your thoughts on the show, please do! I’d love to read them!

 

I’d like to thank Television without Pity.com for the use of this photo. For more pictures click the link below:

http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/breaking-bad/breaking-bad-the-final-seasons-most-apocalyptic-moments/

 

 

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Posted in Emblazon, Teen

September’s Tween Meme for the Emblazoners!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! It’s the fourth Wednesday of the month and you know what that means, it’s Tween Meme Day!

Today I decided to write about one of my favorite books of all time. The author is Harper Lee, and the title of the book is, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

To Kill a Mockingbird

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

I have always loved this story. It has captured the turbulent era beautifully and it’s told from a child’s point of view. The first time I read it, I identified with Scout. She reminded me of myself at a young age. I was kind of a tomboy. I would recommend this book to tweens and teens alike. It illustrates a great lesson regarding discrimination.

Discrimination is still prevalent in our society today. It has taken the form of bullying in our schools and on social media. It’s unfortunate. However, if we can get Tweens and Teens to understand the consequences of this kind of behavior maybe we can eliminate it all together. I believe reading these kinds of books empower our children to become critical thinkers. That way when they’re confronted with negative behavior like this they’ll be able to stand up for themselves.

This book is also a great history lesson as well.  It takes place in a Southern town during the Civil Rights movement. It reflects the crisis of those times. It’s great to see how far we’ve come as a nation, but we still have a ways to go.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I’d love to read your thoughts on it, so leave a comment. If you have any books you’d like to recommend, put that in the comment section as well. I’d love to check them out.

Don’t forget to check out what the other Emblazon authors are doing too! Click the link to find out! http://emblazoners.com/tween-the-weekends/

Posted in Health, Teen

The Drug of Choice among Students Today

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today after a couple of weeks of  Blog Hops and Giveaways. It’s good to be back chatting with you!

I was at a Writer’s Group meeting last Saturday. Here’s their  website. http://grandrapidsregionwritersgroup.blogspot.com/

We meet the second Saturday of every month and during lunch, I chatted with a teacher about my Coming of Age Novel I’m writing. While we talked, the conversation turned to the new drug of choice in schools these days.

I was shocked when I learned it was heroin. I was under the impression the drugs of choice among high school and college students were either alcohol or marijuana.

Of course, my next thought was…why heroin? I don’t know about you, but just hearing the name scares me. I’ve heard it’s highly addictive and the withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. Theories as to why are listed below and I got the information from this article:

: http://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/drug-abuse-addiction/heroin-use-back-on-the-rise/

1)    Today’s heroin is purer than that of the past, allowing users to easily hide their habit as they can snort or smoke it rather than inject the drug;

2)    It delivers much of the same effects as legal painkillers, such as Oxycotin;

3)    Is much cheaper – as little as $5 a high

This explains some of it, but when I was a teen (many moons ago) 🙂 heroin was scary. I wouldn’t touch the stuff. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, heroin has lost its stigma. Teens are taking it even though they know about the addictive properties of the drug. In addition, many who go through the withdrawal symptoms and get clean end up going back on it.

Of course, this didn’t make sense to me. So I did some further research and found this article:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/alphabet-kids/201006/heroin-use-among-suburban-teens-grows-because-its-no-big-deal

According to this article, being a junkie is no big deal. Heroin seems to have made its way up the social hierarchy. It used to be a drug associated with poverty and homelessness. Now teens are seeing its use growing among their peer group.

It’s that old mentality of if my friend thinks it’s okay, then it must be. Couple that with the overwhelming need to fit in and you’ve got a lethal combination. Heroin isn’t scary anymore.

Unfortunately, heroin use is on the rise across the nation. These are not isolated incidents in New York or Chicago. I’ve found articles about it in states like Indiana and Texas as wells as New York and Illinois.

We’ve all heard the teen years are filled with risk taking behaviors. This article certainly supports that claim:  http://www.soberliving.com/blog/why-is-teenage-drug-abuse-on-the-rise

It states, teens have a sense of entitlement and invulnerability that makes them take more risks. Couple that with the fact heroin is much easier to get than alcohol and again you’ve got a lethal combination.

So, what can you do if you suspect your teen has an addiction? You can all this number: 1-866-323-5609. They will be able to help you. Here’s their website: http://www.soberliving.com/

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my article. I’d love to read your thoughts on the subject, so please leave a comment.

Related articles:

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/ive-got-psychologist-gary-cole-here-and-hes-talking-about-dealing-with-teen-addiction/

Posted in Guest Author, promotion, Teen

Please Welcome Sharon Ledwith as she shares her Time Travel Series with us!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve got fellow author and great friend Sharon Ledwith here today and she’s sharing her Time travel series with us, and also  giving us a little history lesson on Atlantis! So, without further ado…take it away Sharon!

Atlantis101…

No lost continent has a more powerful hold on our imagination than Atlantis. In fact, each generation has felt the need to search for the truth of its roots. Presumably, Atlantis was a flourishing island empire located in the present-day Azores. Or do the remains of this mystical place lurk deep under Antarctica’s ice cap? There’s also the possibility that remnants of this advanced civilization are buried under the marshes of Spain. Whatever the truth is, theories abound, and stories about Atlantis still flourish to this day. So much has been written about this legendary country that it was hard to lock down the information I needed to create my middle-grade/young adult time travel series. It was a challenge for sure, but I managed to find a handful of resources that allowed me to craft a master plan for the book series.

The oldest and fullest surviving account of the great island’s rise and fall was provided by the Greek philosopher Plato, who lived from about 428 to 348 BCE. In his seventies, Plato composed two dialogues (the way he wrote out his philosophy) called Timaeus and Critias based on information passed down by word of mouth through his relatives, and a Greek statesman named Solon, about the lost continent. It was gleaning through Plato’s numerous descriptions about Atlantis that I knew I had collected enough information to form a blueprint of what this mysterious place would look like for me and my readers.

Through Plato’s story of Atlantis, I gained an incredible amount of data on the people, their appearance and lifestyles, what was important to them, the architecture, their influences, the way they used and manipulated energy, and even about the final destruction. Too much information filled my head, until I sorted out what I could use to form the basis of my first story, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis and the prequel of the series, Legend of the Timekeepers.

I’ve always had an insatiable interest in this mysterious country. In fact I, like Plato, believe that Atlantis did exist. How about you? I’d love to hear your comments!

Author Info:

SHLE-0014Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

 

 

 

Here are Sharon’s books!

tltkataoa-500

Tagline/blurb for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

legendofthetimekeepers-200Tagline/blurb for Legend of the Timekeepers:

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis Buy Links:

MUSA PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀ SMASHWORDS ׀ KOBO

Legend of the Timekeepers Buy Links:

MUSA PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀ SMASHWORDS

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Connect with Sharon on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Thanks so much Sharon for sharing your new release with us! I’ve definitely got it on my TBR pile! 🙂

Posted in Guest Author

Please Welcome Wendy Knight as she shares her New Release with Us!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve got fellow Astraea Press author Wendy Knight  here today and she’s sharing an excerpt from her new novel with us! It’s titled, “Feudlings in Flames” It sounds like an awesome read and I’ve got it on my TBR Pile! 🙂

So, without further Ado…take it away, Wendy!

InFlames_200x300Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend’s kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari’s best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can’t very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other

Here’s the Excerpt!

            “No no, Hunter, it curves this way.” Ari stood back, watching with a frown, and then jumped back in. “Imagine in your mind what you want the spell to do. Tie your emotions to your spells.”

          Shane watched her guide Hunter and tried again on his own. “Close, Shane, but like this,” Ari reached out, holding his hand as she led him through the motion. He felt the flames racing through his blood react to her touch and sparks flew from his fingers, igniting the spell. It hung, burning, in the air, a bright blue curlicue thing. “Perfect,” she whispered, still holding on to his hand.

“Maybe, but does it work?” Tristan’s voice was flat and uninterested, but Shane could hear the animosity running under the words.

“We don’t have any targets set out. He can’t test it.” Ari shook her head, and still holding Shane’s hand, made a quick swiping motion through the spell, dissipating it.         “Try again.” She let go of his hand and stepped back, watching expectantly.

Shane tried, once, twice, and three times. He couldn’t get it quite right, but neither could Hunter, which made him feel better, and Tristan wasn’t even trying.

“It’s okay if you can’t do it, Shane. There are a lot of other powerful spells she uses that will be much easier for you to master,” Will said.

Ari vehemently shook her head. “No. He can do it. Just give him a minute!”

Shane kept his attention focused on the spell in front of him, but he couldn’t stop his grin.

Ari believed in him.

He burned the spell into the air again, trying to replicate the one Ari had drawn, but it fizzled into a mass of smoke. The spell had to ignite to actually do anything. He groaned in frustration, tipping his head sideways to look at Ari. “What am I doing wrong?”

She bit her lip, studying him for several seconds. “When you did it the first time, what were you thinking?”

Shane paused, dropping his hand that was still poised in the air. “Umm… I was thinking we were gonna die and I had seen you throw that spell so I knew it was possible. It just happened.”

Wendy Knight PhotoAuthor Bio

Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Links:

Twitter: @wjk8099

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight

Blog: www.writethroughthenoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009940.Wendy_Knight

Buy Links:

Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=27682185

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Feudlings-in-Flames-ebook/dp/B00EY5DALS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1378194244&sr=8-4&keywords=Feudlings+in+Flames

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/feudlings-in-flames-wendy-knight/1116814623?ean=2940148467472

Thanks for stopping by Wendy and sharing your new release with us! 🙂

Posted in Teen

What’s up with “Twerking” anyway?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. We’re back from vacation and the kids are back to school. I’m diligently working on my Coming of Age Young Adult Novel. I must say I’m enjoying this one and I’m very excited about it. I enjoyed writing the Super Spies books, but it was time for some new characters. It has been refreshing to say the least.

Anyway, I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about Miley Cyrus and her behavior during the MTV awards. Everyone is outraged about it, especially about her “twerking.” Of course, I had no clue what “twerking” was, so I had to do a little research. 🙂 After I found out what it was, I decided it was one of those things I didn’t really need to know. It’s a dance and a very suggestive one at that. It’s my understanding that this is the dance Miley performed on stage in front of millions of people. I didn’t see it, so I can only repeat what I’ve heard.

Miley is getting a lot of grief over this performance. My take? It’s a marketing ploy, one that worked for Madonna, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga. They made it big with this type of outrageous behavior and Miley is just following their example. She wants to make it big too.

The problem with that is, that Miley isn’t the only one that follows their examples. Tweens and teens do too. Now that Hannah Montana, er…Miley Cyrus is doing it, young girls are sure to follow, and that my friends, is where problems start.

Teens seem to be crying for attention and affirmation from their peers. What better way than to act like Miley Cyrus? Heck she’s paid to act that way.

“Paid?” The public asks aghast. “By who?”

By every single person who buys a Miley Cyrus CD, poster, tape, or downloads her songs on their ipod. We are paying Miley Cyrus to act that way. That’s right. If you really want to take a stand against this kind of “twerking” behavior, don’t buy her stuff. Send her a message. Believe me when her sales drop to an all-time low. We (the public) will receive an apology and she’ll change her ways. Then maybe our teens won’t think acting that way is so cool. 🙂

However, sometimes when parents openly boycott a celebrity, teens immediately want to know what all the fuss is about, and we all know teens can be defiant don’t we?

So, what’s the answer? On this one, I don’t know. My best guess is if you have a good relationship with your teen, and explain to her why “twerking” isn’t really cool she’ll listen. Again, it all boils down to developing a good relationship through those early years. Building a trust with your child so she knows she can come to you with questions. That way she won’t fall for Miley Cyrus’ marketing ploys. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I’d love to read your thoughts. So, leave a comment and share them with me! 🙂