S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Non-Verbal Vibrations

Did you know that research shows that 70 to 90 percent of human communication is non-verbal. This is not a big shocker.  In fact, this is why it is often difficult to communicate via text or computer chat because you cannot fully connect with another person until you are able to look them in the eyes or at the very least, listen to the inflection in their tone.

According to the latest research by Elle magazine, you can tell what a person thinks of you and/or how they feel about you, by observing these ten body movements:


1. Posture

Leaning back with his arms crossed in front of him means he is not interested in the conversation.

2. Smile

A faux-happy smile ends at the lips, while a genuine one will make the corners of his eyes crinkle into crow's feet, which, according to experts, is one of the hardest things to fake.

3. Nose movement

Flared nostrils indicate increased heart rate, which could mean he's angry, sexually aroused-or both!

4. Feet

A body points toward where it wants to be going-so if his feet face you, he's all yours. But if they are angled toward the door, he's mentally on his way out.

5. Hands

Palms up on top of the table is a sign of relaxed, open interest-but hidden under the table is a sign of discomfort.  Either he's hiding something, or very nervous.  
Who sits at the table with their palms up?  Unless they are meditating at the table, this is a weird position!

6. Chin

People often stroke their chin during the decision-making process, so he's probably pondering something.

7. Arms

We naturally reach toward things we like, so an arm around you or a hand touching you are very good signs, while arms clasped behind the back signal, "Don't come any closer."

8. Legs

If his legs are splayed out, he's confident and trying to claim his territory. If they are crossed, notice which leg is on top: a leading leg pointing toward you means he's trying to get closer, but legs crossed the other way are a subconscious play for space.

9. Eyes

Looking toward the ears indicates that someone is remembering a sound, while looking up and to the left means someone is remembering something. Narrowing eyes is a sign of anger.

We constantly hear that liars avert their eyes, but actually the opposite is true. Because they know that eye contact is important, liars will often stare you down to overcompensate.

10. Sitting still

Rubbing the neck, or touching the eyes, earlobes, nose, or lower face are all soothing gestures, which probably mean that your date is uncomfortable.

Now, if you can analyze all of these things while talking with someone and still pay attention to the conversation….well, you’re a better woman than I.  J

Good luck!  ~


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hide Your High

Have you read the story about children in Colorado getting sick because they are “accidentally” consuming food items made with marijuana?  As a Coloradoan, I smirked when I read it.  If you haven’t seen the story, you can read it HERE.

Now, I don’t find it at all amusing that children have gotten sick and even gone to the hospital.  That is tragic and sad, though let me note that all of the children hospitalized have recovered in full and have been released. 

Medicinal marijuana comes in many forms, one of which is gummy candies.  Already, one can understand why this is appealing to a child.  My children scarf down gummy bears like there’s no tomorrow….however, my gummy bears aren’t laced with marijuana. Thus, the responsibility for the children getting sick is on the parents, not the government who approved the use of medicinal marijuana in eighteen states and Washington, DC.   If you are a parent with a prescription for medicinal marijuana, it is your responsibility to treat it as any other prescription drug and “Keep it out of reach of children.”

We want to blame, blame, blame when bad things happen, but sometimes we have to accept the fact that those things happen because of our own error or stupidity and not because of some law that does or does not exist.  Everything cannot be everyone else’s fault. 

If you're using medicinal marijuana than it is your job to hide your high.~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Injustice on the Border

I was reading the story about a woman crossing the Mexico border, returning to the United States after attending her aunt’s funeral.  She was stopped at the border where authorities found twelve pounds of marijuana under the seat of her car.  (Almost six kilos was stashed in her vehicle.  You can read the full story HERE.)

Her husband, family and friends are all claiming she was framed.  Even the authorities are stating that one person could not load that much marijuana in a vehicle without being noticed.  According to police, she has no history of drug use and they believe it is most likely that she has been framed. 

Despite this, she sits in a Mexican jail right now.  An American citizen, the mother of seven children, no prior record, no criminal history…. all rights revoked until further investigation.  What is wrong with the system?  When did we become guilty until proven innocent?

This saddens me because it could happen to anyone.  Any American citizen could be targeted and framed and in an instant have their life destroyed by a stranger.  It isn’t right.  It isn’t fair.  It is injustice and it must be stopped.

This woman should not be sitting in a Mexican jail until her innocence can be proven.  She should be at home with her family, possibly hiring an attorney, and free until such time that she is proven guilty.  This is not a crime of murder or violence.  She is not a danger to society.  Let the woman go home to her husband and children while authorities work out the details, analyze surveillance feed and find out what really happened at the border.
Two wrongs don't make a right. ~


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crabby Cancer Tour

It’s almost June, which happens to be my birthday month.  Yes, I’m a cancer which explains why I suffer from the occasional bouts of crabbiness.  We crabs can be quite crusty on the outside but have a warm, succulent interior goodness.  J

As I kick off my summer book club tour, I’m offering a special promotion to any and all book club members that host me and my novels.  Summer spots are filling up fast, so hurry and schedule your book club for the Crabby Cancer Tour by emailing me at:

In the subject line type:  Crabby Cancer Tour

In the email please tell me:

1.      How many people are in your book club?

2.      Where you are located.  (i.e. City/State)

3.      Available dates

4.      Which books you are interested in reading

5.      What sets your book club apart from every other book club?  (i.e., Previous answers I’ve received have been:  “We love wine!”   “We are Radical Women!”)

 Upon receiving your email, I will send you the details of the Crabby CancerTour promotion.

Book signings can be stuffy and boring, which is why I have opted to tour with as many book clubs as my schedule will allow.  After all, there is nothing more rewarding than meeting new faces that quickly become new friends.  ~

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


People are so unique.  I look around and it is amazing to me how every single person is different…uniquely their own entity, with no one else on the planet exactly like them.  Even identical twins are not the same.  Their exterior appearance may be similar but their social, emotional, mental and psychological capabilities are inimitable. Think about it… no one thinks exactly like you.  No one sees the world through your eyes except you.  How wondrous it makes life when we realize our matchlessness.  

Sidebar:  I love the word “wondrous”… it’s like wonderful and fabulous all rolled into one.  J

Every person possesses a make-up or design that goes far beyond basic genetics.  Sure, their DNA makes them unique, but on top of that is life experience, the ups and downs of every day, the scars, the joys, the wounds, the lessons, the feeling of living that each of us experiences in our own way.  It’s the roller coaster of life, and though we are all strapped into the same ride, our expectations, anticipations and overall view of the ride gives us individual distinction.

Some people are energized by crowds, while others are overwhelmed.  Some people feel at-home in front of an audience, while others stutter and tremble with fear.  Some people are comfortable walking around naked, while others would die of humiliation if anyone saw them unclothed.  Some people are witty, while others struggle to get the punch-line out.  The point is we all have little quirks that make us who we are, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of being different or not being “main-stream.”  For, what is main-stream anyway?  What determines normal? 

A better question is:  Why do so many people want to be “normal?” 

If normal means dressing, talking and acting like everyone else...then I’ll pass.  If main-stream means conforming to underlying rules and regulations which stifle uniqueness…I’ll pass.  To me, normal is boring and life is too short to be bored.  Life is too precious to piss it away with all of the things you think you “should” be doing and none of the things in which you desire to engage.  If you spend your whole life trying to stifle who you are so that you can fit in and become someone you think others think you’re supposed be...you’re wasting time and you’re hurting yourself. 

No one else can be you better than you.  If you’re so busy trying to be someone else, who will be you?   Instead of looking at others and comparing yourself to the qualities they have and you believe you lack, tweak your perspective and compare your differences and how the fact that you are different makes both of you special.  It is our differences that enable us to create a magical existence.  It is our differences that enable us to see beauty in so many forms.  It is our differences that make us matchless.

Embrace your matchlessness and enjoy the you that you were made to be. ~ 



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer Writing Contest

Vanilla Heart Publishing is offering a 2013 summer contest and the winner gets their book published.   If you're a writer who has been seeking a publisher, this is a wonderful opportunity to submit your work. 

Visit the website today for submission guidelines.  Just click on the picture below.

Or, you can copy and paste the following link into your browser:
Good luck!  :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

God Can Take It

I often think about what my children will remember about me long after I am gone.  Not so much what they will recall about me personally, but what life lessons I will have been able to impart.  One of my main goals as a mom is to teach them that it’s okay on occasion to be angry with God.   Just as we sometimes get angry with people that we love, it doesn’t mean we stop loving them; and God is no different.  I never want my children to be afraid of God, as if He is sitting up there, watching their every move, just waiting for them to make a mistake so He can outpour His wrath.  That is such a misconception.  I want my kids to know that God is a Father, and like most fathers, He wants the very best for His children.  He wants them to love Him and trust Him and talk to Him.  He wants them to know that He’ll never leave them, nor forsake them… He’ll never turn His back when they’ve made a poor choice.  I want my kids to know that God forgives them each and every time they blow it; and not only forgives them, but helps them dust themselves off and scramble back to their feet when they fall down. 

Life isn’t fair…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  Bad things can and do happen to very good people and it is natural, in those circumstances, to question why God allowed it to occur.  I’ve had my share of broken moments, where I have been screaming at the Lord, like an angry child… His angry child.  Through it all, He’s never stopped loving me and I’ve never stopped loving Him.  I trust Him because I believe in Him and He’s only ever shown Himself faithful and loving, even in my darkest hours.  I can’t explain why terrible things happen, but I know that when they happen, I am never alone.

It’s okay to be angry with God, He can take it.  It’s okay to question what is written in the Bible and what others say about Him.  In fact, it’s good to question.  Questioning is a form of seeking and seeking will bring understanding of the truth.  I want my children to never render themselves spoon-fed without researching and studying the Word of God for themselves.  I want them to know that God’s love is not conditional…that they can do nothing to earn it and nothing to lose it.  He is eternal and so is His love for us.

Life is a mystery and everything can change in the blink of an eye; but it isn’t a mystery to God and He doesn’t blink or miss a thing so there is no reason to live in fear.  I want my kids to realize that God is bigger than everything and He’s a good one to have on their side.  We will endure hardship but He causes all things to work together for good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28)… that’s a promise to which I cling and I hope my children will as well.  ~

Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Abyss of Indifference

Love comes in many shapes, sizes and colors but it never comes in the form of hate.
Hate comes in many shapes, sizes and colors as well, and it never stems from a heart filled with love. 
The opposite of hate is love, but the opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference. 
Love is the most powerful tool in the world.
Hate is the most destructive weapon.
They say there is a fine line between the two, but it isn't a line at all; it's an abyss of indifference and it will leave the soul completely void.  ~ 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.  The best cure for depression is action.  It doesn’t matter so much what you do as long as you do something.  Go outside.  Go anywhere.  Play with a pet if you have one.  Hold them, squeeze them, give them some love and you’d be amazed how much it uplifts your soul.   Interact with people.  Smile at strangers, for when you see their face light up by your silent greeting, it will ignite something inside of you and you’ll begin to feel better too.  Compliment another person and see how good it makes you feel to make them feel good. 

Life gets clouded with all of the big things…careers, money, family, stress…but it’s the little things that matter most.  The little things are truly what can make or break you in a moment.

Life is a gift that we get to unwrap every day.  As we open our eyes each morning, a new day awaits us and we can make it anything we want it to be.  We don't have to let depression conquer us.  We don't have to allow sadness or loneliness to steal our joy.  We can fight it.  I'm not saying it's easy, but it's a battle worth the energy to fight.  So, don’t wait to make life special… today is special.  Wear that favorite outfit.  Burn those candles you’ve been saving.  Eat from the good china.  Pull out the sexiest lingerie you own.  Open the expensive bottle of wine.  Don’t lie around hoping for a special occasion…create that special time now.  We live once.  Make it wonderful! ~

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No Sex For You

Have you heard about Mayor Hashimoto justifying military sex slaves?  If not, read the Associated Press article from Tokyo:   HERE

Word of warning, this blog will be a bit blunt.  Apparently, Mayor Hashimoto said that, “The Japanese military's forced prostitution of Asian women before and during World War II was necessary to ‘maintain discipline’ in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle.”  He went on to say, "For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That's clear to anyone."

I’m sorry, Mr. Hashimoto, but it’s not clear to me.

Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from the Korean Peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels.

Those of you who know me or read my blog regularly know that I am pro-sex. I think sex is a wonderful thing and should be enjoyed, shared and indulged in by consenting adults in a loving relationship.  Suffice to say, I think the world would be a happier place if everyone got laid more regularly.  However, sex should never be forced or coerced.  Period.  There are no ifs, ands, or buts to that statement.  There are no extenuating circumstances in which that rule can or should be broken.  I don’t care if it is wartime and the men have blue balls.  The men can relieve themselves, which is what should have been happening in the trenches instead of enslaving women to do it for them.

And please don’t tell me that providing women to the soldiers cut down on rape and assault.  To that, I say bullshit.  A better plan would have been to make daily masturbation mandatory for every male soldier.  Mandatory masturbation would have certainly allowed the soldiers to obtain the rest that they required.

Shame on you, Mr. Hashimoto, for justifying the poor decisions of your previous leaders. You chauvinistic  asshole!  You've given the word "dickhead" a new meaning in my book and that's saying a lot.  Slavery cannot be justified in any sense of the word, not sexually or otherwise.  If you truly believe what you have publically spoken, then I pity you... for you have pissed off an entire planetary population of women.  You bettter institute the mandatory masturbation plan for yourself, because I doubt you'll be getting any action from any female ever again. 
Hashimoto:  No Sex For You  ~



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Man Goes Batty with Bulldozer

Flipping through the news stories topping Yahoo headlines today, I noticed one that read:  Man Bulldozers Neighbor’s Home 

It caught my attention so I read on.  It appears that a man was upset because a fence blocked him from easily being able to move his logging equipment in and out of his property, so he wanted to have the fence removed.  Evidentially, there was a dispute over the fence because several neighbors did not want it removed.  Thus, he took his bulldozer and bulldozed the fence, three homes, a boat and a variety of other items not belonging to him.  This is not the part of the story I found amusing.  It is sad and tragic and I am thankful that in this rampage, no one was physically hurt or killed.

What struck me as comical is the comment from the man’s brother, who told reporters, “I think he snapped.”

You THINK he snapped?!  I mean, did we have to stop and think about whether he was of sound mind when he bulldozed not one, not two, but three homes? 

I’m not one to cast judgment.  I, being part Serbian and part German, have quite a temper of my own.  I can understand what it feels like to “lose it” or “snap” momentarily.  I’ve chucked a deodorant bottle across the room, put a hole in a wall, broken a glass door from slamming it too hard, and bunny-footed the passenger side door of a black, Hyundai Scoupe.  I’ve thrown a punch or two in my lifetime, broken a beer bottle over a guy’s head, thrown a chair at my boss and kicked a man in the nuts as hard as I could.  I get it.  People do stupid things out of anger and I’ve done my share.  So, I can understand bulldozing down the fence.  It was a source of contention and he wanted to destroy it.  Hell, if I were there I’d have probably helped him take the fence down.

But… when he took to the homes and the boat, he obviously crossed the sanity line.

I feel sorry for the neighbors who had their home and personal belongings destroyed and I feel sorry for the bulldozing man as well.  Anger is a powerful weapon and one that leads us all to actions and words we most assuredly regret afterwards. 

What can we learn from this bizarre bulldozing news bite?  Treat your neighbors with kindness and be considerate of their needs.  Compromise when you can and sacrifice to help one another…because everyone has the ability to “snap” and you don’t want to wake up with a bulldozer in your living room.  ~

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Don't Want to Go Off On A Rant Here, But...

In the words of Dennis Miller, “I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but …”

  Mean people suck and let me tell you why.  Arrogance.  The meanest people are the ones that proclaim to be nice and actually believe that they are.  They are the people that believe that they have a right to speak into your life because they are so arrogant that they believe their perception of your reality is correct. They believe that they and they alone hold a truth you lack and therefore it is their responsibility to inform you of this so-called relevancy.  They are the ones who drip outwardly with sweet verbal expressions but whose words are inwardly laced with condemnation, judgment, arrogance, contempt and elitism; all masked by a misguided appropriation of a Divine agenda they swear to possess but have not a clue. They have taken the Word of God and mixed it with their own ideas of God, thereby distorting the very truth from within.  These people attack those that do not live according to their standards.   They stand with hate signs while proclaiming love and I ask you, could there by more irony than this?   Muslim terrorists blow people up in the name of God.  Radical Christians tear people down in the name of God.  Both proclaim to possess God’s agenda and both are sorely mistaken.  God’s agenda is love.  It has always been love.  From Genesis to Revelations it speaks of love.  Love one another, for if you do it will be impossible for you to be mean.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never error, explode in anger or say something hurtful by mistake… but it means that even your mistakes will be made from a heart that was simply trying to love and not to attack, blow up or tear down.  Mean-spirited people are not the hostile ones you see throwing their hands in the air or venting frustration… those are just frustrated folks.  Mean-spirited people are the ones that live under the pretense of spirituality and purity and yet their hearts are filled with arrogance.  Arrogance…the root of all evil.  Arrogance…the root of a mean-spirit.  Arrogance…the cause of destruction.  Arrogance…distorter of the truth.  Arrogance…deliverer of death. 

God loves all of us equally.  There are no levels of His love.  Most importantly, He loves us because of who He is, not because of anything we do, did or didn’t do. 

So, to all of the mean people….stop sucking...shut the hell up…and let’s just all enjoy this wonderful gift of life we’ve been given.  ~

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Mystery

Looking for a last minute Mother's Day gift?  How about giving her the gift of mystery and suspense?  S.R.Claridge novels are available in all downloadable formats from Smashwords.  It's immediate.  It's easy.  And Mom is sure to love it!

Start her out with a romantic suspense, like No Easy Way.  Or start her on the Mafia thrill-ride of the Just Call Me Angel series.  If it's political cult action she craves, House of Lies will keep her on the edge of her seat.  Or Petals of Blood is sure to wet her whistle and make her long for more.  Whichever you choose, or choose them all, you're sure to make this Mother's Day great!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Mom Rocks!

There are many wonderful moms in the world, but I think I was blessed with one of the very best.  I could fill up hundreds of pages with examples of how great she is, but for the sake of space and time I will sum up.

My mom has never been “preachy” and yet has a deeper faith and a more genuine love for the Lord than anyone I know.  She’s not judgmental or condemning and she's never arrogant.  In fact, there have been many times in my life when, though I know she disagreed with me, she listened without argument and stood by me without wavering.  In my darkest hours, she was there; loving me through, praying with me and helping me learn to forgive myself.  She has traveled the country to be by my side at the drop of a hat. 
She hasn’t only been there in the dark times…but in the fun times too.  She has been a source of comedy and has a smile that can brighten any room.  She’s gotten her arm stuck in a trash compactor, been treed by a German Shepherd and helped me drag a five hundred pound dead llama across a field in the St. Louis July heat.  How many women can say that?   She has taught me many little secrets to get through life, such as:  Never wear sweatpants because anything with an expandable waist will allow you, too comfortably, to expand your waist.  Always get up, put on your make-up and do your hair, especially when you are feeling blue.  Slow down.  Never give in to a spirit of fear.  It's not about religion, it's about relationship.  Always pray, it's the most powerful tool and weapon we possess. There are countless others, but these are just a few of my favorites. 

My mom can sing, dance, play the piano, bake pies better than anyone on the planet and you will not find a more giving soul; but don’t piss her off because she can also shoot better than Annie Oakley.  J  
She's a writer (having written the published book entitled, The Forgotten Covenant) and a teacher, an excellet editor, a fabulous party planner and the best listener you'll ever find.  She sews, gardens, creates, enlightens, nurtures, uplifts and encourages.  She is truly like none other and she's married to pretty awesome guy, too.  (But I'll tell you more about him on Father's Day.)

She opens her home to anyone and her heart to all.  She has been my rock, my best friend, and my prayer warrior.  What’s more, she is a wonderful grandmother to my kids.  She’s smart, beautiful, silly, playful, energetic and fun.  She’s my mom…and I don’t know how I got so lucky…but I’m thankful every day to have her in my life.    I love you Mom!  ~

Friday, May 10, 2013

Severed Ties

There comes a time in life when you realize there is nothing more than can be said.  You’ve tried all that there is to try.  You’ve studied, prayed, researched, talked, listened, questioned, visited, pursued, reached, loved, held on and now, the only thing left is to let go.  You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.  You can’t help someone who won’t admit to their own addiction.  Only God can.

As I look back at the past several years of my life, I’ve been far from perfect.  I’ve said things out of anger, spoken when I should have been quiet and been reactionary when I should have first allowed time to curtail my emotion.  But… my mistakes have never been mean-spirited or with deliberate malice or meant as an action of hate.  My mistakes have been made with good intent and out of love, even desperation, but never, never out of premeditated hatefulness.

Today, upon seeing an action of deliberate passive aggressive hatefulness toward me and my family and several friends, I have realized that it is time for me to let go.  It isn’t that I will cease to love, but that I will cease to allow this person to have any reign in my life.  It is no longer worth the pain.  I cannot change the drug addict and I refuse to neither hand her the needles nor watch her shoot up nor pretend that I don’t see what she is doing to herself and others.  That pretense causes me pain. 

And you know what… since no one else is going to look after me and care that it causes me pain, I am.  I may stand alone, but I am standing.  I am standing against this addiction.  I am standing against the elitism, the arrogance and the mean-spirited passive aggression.  It is not okay and I’m not going to pretend that it is.

I am done with this person in my life. May God shed light upon the truth and save her and her family from the destruction of her behavior… that is my prayer.  That is my hope.  But, it is no longer something I will watch or have touch my life in any manner.  All ties are severed.  ~


Thursday, May 9, 2013

To be Loved

I received the sweetest love note from a stranger on Facebook and I just have to share it:

“I saw something in your face, something that made my heart pause to read you, something that tickles in the heart, could it be love at first sight? Maybe we could find that out,lol.

I'm talking about faith here when feelings are so powerful it's as if some force beyond your control is guiding you to someone who can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams.”

I obviously wrote back and told him I was married, but I also thanked him for the lovely note, which came at a time when I desperately needed an emotional boost.  Sometimes it’s the words of a stranger that carry you through.  Sometimes the people closest to you are too close to see what you’re feeling and it takes someone standing far off to realize that your heart is in need of attention.

Sometimes we get so busy with our schedules and activities and deadlines and meetings that we stop noticing people.  We see bodies but not faces.  We hear words but cease to sense the heart behind the words.  Life becomes a blur of responsibilities and something inside just dies.  We stop noticing.  We become too busy to feel.  Overwrought with exhaustion, life literally passes by and we don’t even know all that has been sacrificed.

We all have needs.  Whether male or female, we all have an innate desire to feel wanted, pursued, craved, accepted, nurtured, and loved.  We all need to feel like we are a priority in someone’s life…like what we feel matters and matters enough that they’d stop the world if they could to heal your soul.  Isn’t that the magic we all seek?  

To be loved in a way that transcends logic… to be loved senselessly...to be loved entirely.  ~     



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Every-Day People with Great Stories

I am currently working on a suspense story about a forty year old woman who finds herself overwhelmed by the prospect that her life is half over.  With her children now in college, her wonderfully warm home has become an empty nest…a place where her big-shot attorney husband comes only to sleep, shower and change his clothes.  She’s lonely.  For eighteen years her life has revolved around her children, their interests, their activities, and their dreams.  Somewhere along the line she lost herself in them and now that they are gone, she wonders if life is even worth living.  Her lavish home in an upscale neighborhood feels like nothing more than a million dollar shroud of loneliness.  Her hopes and dreams have all but been forgotten until an old friend reminds her of a passion once pursued, now lying dormant, but still very much a part of her heart.

If you are in this age group and have felt this empty nest syndrome…I would love to hear your story.  How did you handle it?  How is your life different today?  Email me at:  AuthorSRClaridge@gmail.com

Behind every great novel are the great stories of every-day people. ~

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


My dad bought VIP tickets for my mom, me and my two children to see Disney’s Mary Poppins in Denver on Sunday.  First, let me say that this show was off-the-charts incredible!  The talent was phenomenal, as one would expect from Disney.  The set design was magnificent and kept the crowd amazed.  The overall production was above excellent.  We enjoyed every single moment, leaping to our feet at the end to give a well-deserved standing ovation.  All that to say this:  if you have the opportunity to see this show in a city near you, go.   It is well worth the time and money spent.

While we were there a funny thing happened.  The usher took our tickets and led us to our seats, third row from the orchestra pit.  At which time, my mother informed him that we had VIP tickets, which meant the kids were to receive a special gift.  The usher must have been new because he didn’t recognize that our tickets were the designated color for VIP status; thus, he instructed my mom to go to the box office and get some sort of voucher that would prove we had paid for the VIP upgrade.  Off she went. 

The usher then turned and said, “You’d be surprised how many people try to fake their VIP-ness.”

“Their VIP-ness,” he said in front of my ten year old and twelve year old, who somehow managed to contain their laughter until we got home.  You see, at ten and twelve the word “penis” is comical.  Hell, I’m forty-two and the word still provokes a comedic response in me.

So, as we were getting ready to go to bed that night, my son says, “We learned something very important tonight.”

My daughter and I pause and look to him, as if something deep and meaningful is about to come forth.

He grins and says, “Never fake your VIP-ness.”  We all laughed until it hurt.  And that’s how inside, family jokes are born.  ~



Monday, May 6, 2013

The Nagging Pays Off

This weekend I had a very proud parenting moment.  I have been fortunate to have many proud parenting moments, but I don’t always take the time to write about them.  Instead, they stay quietly woven into my heart where they will remain forever treasured.

The proud parenting moment to which I am referring involved my son and the good choices he made.  As a mom, I often feel that I nag and nag and nag and wonder if my words ever really sink in and if the message is heard.  This weekend I learned that my nagging has not been in vain.  My message has been received, processed and put into positive action…and I got to secretly witness it.  Here’s what happened:  My son was playing with some friends, one of which was using extremely foul language and making some inappropriate remarks.  I was about to say something, when my son told him if he didn’t stop cursing and saying bad things that he was going to have to leave.  I stood shocked.   Later, while the boys were playing Xbox, the same child told my son he was terrible at the game and called him a loser.  I was ready to charge into the room, demanding he apologize…but there was no need.  My son calmly paused the game, looked at the other kid and said, “If you say one more bad thing about me, you’re going home.” 

I tell you, I was gleeful at how well he handled the situation.  He didn’t yell, say anything derogatory back or retaliate in any way.  He simply and politely stood up for himself. 

I am SOOOOOOOOOOoooo proud of him and happy to know my nagging pays off.  J



Friday, May 3, 2013

Mars Madness

Have you seen the story about people applying for a one-way ticket to Mars?  If not, click HERE to read it. 

Now, I have to ask myself, isn’t a one-way ticket to Mars similar in theory to volunteering to be a Kamikaze pilot or a suicide bomber or going on death row?  I mean, a “one-way” ticket implies that these people are never coming back. 

There are other matters of which we should be concerned:

Is there any type of medical facility up there in case of an emergency?  What is the plumbing system like and what happens if a toilet clogs? 

What do they do for fun?  Undeniably they will get bored and if they are of opposite gender, most likely, eventually have sex…so what happens if a woman gets pregnant on Mars?  Is there a doctor who can deliver the child?

If a baby is born up there do they have citizenship on Earth as well, or do they need some type of visa to visit Earth?  Also, of which Earth country would they hold citizenship? 

What happens when someone dies?  Are they buried on Mars or is their body thrust out into space?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to try and set up a colony on the moon first?  It is closer and we could probably get people back to Earth if the need arose?

I’m going on record saying this is a very bad idea.  ~




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big Idiot Gone Off Track

I am a heterosexual, Caucasian woman, married to a heterosexual, Caucasian man.  We have friends of all shapes and sizes. Some are Caucasian, African American, Asian, Mexican and Indian, some are heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, some Christian, some are Jewish, some are religious and some are not.  The point is our friendships are based on each individual person and not on color, race, religion, sexual preference or affiliation to any particular group.

That being said, I want to share what happened to me the other day.  I was speaking with a woman I had just met and she was asking me questions about where my children take lessons, on which teams they play, etc.  It was a typical mom-to-mom type of discussion.  At least, it started out that way…

When I mentioned one of the affiliations we have, her expression changed.  It was as if her emotions flat-lined and a disapproving glare filled her eyes.  She leaned in closer to me and whispered.  “Doesn’t it bother you to have your children exposed to a homosexual lifestyle?  Don’t you feel that’s setting a bad example for them?”

All I could do was step back in shock.  I was utterly amazed at the bigotry that faced me.  We were in public so making a big scene wasn’t an option.  I smiled politely and said, “No, these particular people are not only my friends, but they are a wonderful influence on me and my children.”  I excused myself and left; but it got me thinking…

I remember years ago when a very close friend of mine was told that she couldn’t work with a church youth group because of her sexual orientation.  I was livid then, and I’m still livid now.  This woman is one of the godliest people I know.  She’s unpretentious, she’s honest, she’s open and trustworthy.  I consider her to be one of my most reliable prayer warriors.  In fact, on 9/11 when for seven long minutes I didn’t know if my husband was on one of the United flights out of Boston, she was the first phone call I made.   I love her to death and the pastor who denied her the ability to work in the youth group made a terrible mistake.  There would have been no greater influence on those teenage lives than this woman.

Bigotry comes in many packages, but is most commonly wrapped up with a big, bright bow of religious righteousness.  What the bigot doesn’t understand is that there is nothing righteous in the condemnation or judgment of others. 

Jesus said to love others.  He didn’t say to love them only if they fit into your close-minded box of what you deem is right or good.  He simply said to love one another.  And here’s a statement that should get the right-wing religious panties in a wad:  Jesus didn’t say to try to change others.  He said only to love them.  Some religious people become arrogant about their ability to befriend a homosexual, as if the very fact that they are embracing what they consider to be a “sinner” makes them godlier.  In reality, their arrogance makes them less godly.

People…we are equal in God’s eyes.  Color, religion, race, sexual orientation…none of it matters.  We’re equal.  We all have our challenges and we all face our own demons.  Life is difficult enough without judging one another on top of it. 
What is a Bigot?  Big. Idiot. Gone. Off. Track.

I think we need to stop grouping people together and start looking at individual hearts.  ALL homosexuals aren’t bad influences any more than ALL heterosexuals are good influences.  Truth be told, I’d rather have my kids exposed to a loving relationship between two people of the same sex than a violent, hateful relationship between two people of the opposite sex.  Which one better teaches them the meaning of love and commitment?

Choose who will be in your life based on the connection you feel on the inside, not on the exterior pre-judgments of a religious society that has ironically condemned, degraded and abused more people throughout history than any other group.  

Love God.  Love others. It’s really that simple.  ~