Category Archives: Domestic Violence


Nanowrimo is here!

What?‘ you say– ‘how is that pronounced and is it something really really small… and give me a definition, please.

No, this nano doesn’t mean something tiny. Quite the opposite. It’s national novel writing month, during which people who sign on, aspire to produce anything over 50,000 words of a narrative between a minute after midnight on November 1 and midnight of November 30th. That comes out to approximately 1,667 words a day.

Now you notice I wrote “a narrative”. That can be complicated. I started on the novel I thought I’d write on the first day and made about 980 words. Guess what? Wrong novel. That wasn’t the one I was ready to write. So on day two, I erased my word count and began again, hitting something over 3,000 words on that second day. It’s a good sign I could start running like that, but as all nanowrimo folk know, it’s no guarantee. Yesterday I had other things to do, but still managed over 3,000 words in the roughly four hours I had for writing. Today it’s 10:50AM and I’ve only created 228 words. Aaargh!

Wish me luck, please. My working title is Living with the Enemy and here’s the synopsis and my patch cover.

What does a twelve year old girl in So Cal want? To belong to the right group, have a safe home, feel accepted. Wynn has one of these taken from her when her parents split, and the other two threatened when she’s farmed out part-time to the wrong people. Staying week-nights at Juniper’s house isn’t on her list of reasonable choices. That family eats weird food, reads too many books, plus, they don’t have cable.

 You have to avoid differences in sixth grade, you need to have the right sandwich bread in your lunch, the correct brand of sneakers, watch the popular shows. Wynn knows that, even if Juniper’s parents don’t. Then the TV screen at school on a Tuesday morning shows smoke pluming from two towers in New York on September eleventh. The United States of America has been invaded, our tolerance for differences will never be the same.

Behind the warm cookies and fat black cat at Juniper’s house lie secrets. Hidden visitors move in the hallway, doors and windows open and close to conceal something… or someone? Why does Juniper’s mother work late on a computer whose screen displays elaborate non-American words– and why does she change that screen every time Wynn happens to come in? Is Wynn living with terrorists planning the next attack? For the kids at school there are sides to choose and dramas to feed, with consequences they cannot even imagine. For the girl who can’t go home, there’s no way out of this dark puzzle, except through. One step at a time.

our gate 893




Filed under blog, cats, counseling, Domestic Violence, experiences, homework, school,, science, writing

Chapter Nine is up but here’s also something on Domestic Violence Counseling class

Here’s the next chapter of A Stranger’s Blood at this link–  Chapter Nine

But in the meantime, why am I so late in putting this chapter out– well, errors happen, but I have a better reason. I just finished completing my certificate (a forty-hour class,) in Domestic Violence counseling, so that I now have met the “requirements of a “domestic violence counselor” pursuant to evidence code 1037.1 (a) (1).”

Why did I chase down this course? Well I have tutored a number of students and listened to a few families, and so I have had a little awareness of some situations that worried me. Then a family of a past student I tutored (is that a tutee?) asked me for advice about an abusive relationship their teenager had entered, bad enough that the police had been involved. I felt like an idiot. My first violent response was clearly totally inappropriate and destructive, so I figured that since I hate being ignorant, the solution was to call the Domestic Violence hotline and learn. But the hotline wasn’t enough and I ended up at this fascinating course.

Any of you who may be interested in doing so as well, will find similar courses available where you are. I was fascinated to learn that among other details a person who wants to get information on options may call even from another country (if they are sure that their abuser does not have the ability to track their calls.) Domestic Violence counseling has evolved into a far less judgmental approach than I had realized and I was struck by how much there was offered in resources to those who may be in a dangerous or simply difficult situation. Options, but not direction, support but no pushing. The individual who calls is in charge of what he or she chooses to take and decides to reject. Every situation is different, with complex interplay between risks and losses. The fact that the greatest danger to a client is after they have left the situation, shocked me. I had not thought. Now it makes sense.

I am stuffed with information right now but will restrain myself and only add that on average it takes seven attempts for a person to be able to successfully leave a negative or threatening intimate situation. Do, please, even if you are the least affected person on the planet, find out what you can about this issue– it is surprising and troubling how widespread the problem is, and how it crosses all lines of identity, education and income.


Filed under A Stranger's Blood, blog, counseling, Domestic Violence, education, free novel, social and anti