Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IWSG, Hurricane Update, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!


This month's question is:What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?
I went the self-publishing route because the older I get the harder it becomes to have the patience to go the traditional route. 

Hurricane Update - One Year Later
Unless there is something news-worthy, this will be my last hurricane update post. 

My sister has a new stove! She christened it by making a "proper stove top pot of coffee." 

Tomorrow, the 6th, marks one year since St. John, St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands were blasted to smithereens by the worst hurricane in living memory. I remember clearly being on the phone with my sister at the height of the storm. She was hunkered down in a bathroom when she told me in her calm, steady voice, "We lost the porch roof." I was on the National Hurricane Center site trying to figure out where the eye was and how much longer she was going to have endure the howling wind. Together we figured out they had gone through a calm probably a portion of the eye and were now experiencing the back half of the winds, the worst winds. Another 2 or 3 hours we figured...

I won't go into the anxiety I felt or show pictures. You can see plenty of them HERE.

Suffice to say, you just can't put good people down. For my sister and me our main concern was for our tenants and rental property on St. John. Overnight our income disappeared. Our anchor renter, a restaurant called Morgan's Mango, had suffered a devastating kitchen fire in 2015. Our tenants, Carlos and Maria, with help from my sister and me, were able to rebuild the kitchen and get back up and running. Then Irma hit.

For a while is was questionable if they'd be able to rebuild, particularly since their home had also been destroyed by the storm.

Before and after Irma
That's when Kenny Chesney, and his Love for Love City Foundation, stepped in, giving the money needed to rebuild the restaurant.
Kenny loves eating at Morgan's Mango and he may love Carlos and Maria almost as much as my sister and me.
Here he is hugging Carlos not long after the storm.

Without Kenny's help I'm not sure where we'd be.
Carlos and Maria hanging the new sign.

Morgan's Mango today.



Among the few things to survive both the fire and the hurricanes were these 2 platinum records that Kenny had given to Carols and Maria sometime before the fire. 
They have been ensconced, warps and all, in this collage.
Morgan's Mango is back up and running. And though rents still aren't back to what they were before the storm, we believe in the silver lining, and we thank Kenny Chesney for his hard work and generosity.

In other news: 

Former President Clinton has visited St. John twice this year to see how things are progressing. He, along with Expedia and Michael Bloomberg, have announced solar projects for both St. John and St. Thomas. Story HERE.


The death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria now stands at 2,975 which far exceeds that of Hurricane Katrina at 1,833. Story HERE. This, of course, has not been a leading news story.

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for my sister Erva, my husband Stan, Kenny Chesney, and the people of the Virgin Islands. Live long and prosper.

What are you thankful for? What publishing path are you considering or have taken?

28 comments:

  1. Wow, that's an incredible story. Glad the restaurant is back up and running!

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  2. Oh my, what a horrible experience to go through, but of course there were many blessings to follow. My stress levels rose as I read this. I only went through a week of no electricity during a major ice storm in 2007, Missouri, USA, heating only with a drafty fireplace that ate wood like a kid with candy and cooking over the open flame. I remember the first time that I could get out of my house and found an open place to order coffee. You would have thought it was the most important thing in the world to me. Glad things are moving forward after the hurricane.

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    1. I can empathize with you T. Powell. A year later my sister is still without electricity. And after the storm, it was 3 weeks before she could get out of her house because of all the debris piled 6 and 7 feet on her driveway. But everyday, it's getting a little better. And for this, I'm grateful.

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  3. The new restaurant is beautiful! Just gorgeous. I'm glad they were able to rebuild with help.

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    1. It is beautiful! And the food is most excellent.

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  4. Wow. What an awful experience that was. How wonderful that there are people out there who still help and care. The restaurant is amazing!

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  5. Love, love, love this story. Giving people rock! One year ago, we were preparing for the storm too, hunkering down. We didn't get hit nearly as bad, but I remember all the feelings around it, especially since I was expecting any day. I hope the people of the islands are all making as much of a recovery as your sister and friends.

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    1. They do indeed rock. Expecting a baby when a storm is coming must have been pretty stressful. In the islands recovery is slow, but every day is a bit better. People can only move forward.

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  6. What a blessing Kenny stepped in to help. The place looks awesome now.

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    1. Yes, we were truly blessed to have Kenny step up to the plate.

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  7. Such a difficult year for you Bish, but it's great to see how your beautiful island is coming back.

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    1. Yes, it's been difficult and now it's time to breathe and to allow myself to breathe into something new.

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  8. What a heart-warming story! Thank you for sharing that. I hope to visit Morgan's Mango someday.

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    1. I hope you get to visit Morgan's Mango too. Their food is REALLY good!

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  9. Such an experience. You and your sister survived such destruction. What a generous kind man, Kenny Chesney, to rebuild a precious building.

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  10. There are angels among us. And Kenny Chesney was certainly one for the people of St. John, especially for you, your sister, and Carlos and Maria. Thanks for sharing all you have about the people affected by those devastating storms.

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  11. As we watch 5 new storms forming near the African coast we hope and pray they play themselves out in the ocean before doing any more such devastating damage. It takes a long time to recover from such devastation, and I'm thrilled to see you and your sister making such a successful journey. Bless those that give!

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  12. The fact you were able to be on the phone with your sister during that storm is amazing. One year later. Wow. So much growth needed to happen and things are getting back to normal.

    Kenny Chesney is a beautiful person.

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  13. Oh,Bish...This story is such a wonderful one to read after last year's awful storms. So glad your sister is going well, and hooray for your restaurant...and for Kenny!

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  14. Morgan's Mango looks like a very cool place. Glad they got back up and running.

    I'm getting old, crotchety, and impatient. If I manage to finish writing something I might think going the self-publishing route, but I'd rather not. Maybe it would be better though.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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  15. Morgan's Mango looks awesome. So glad it was rebuilt. And love the name.

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  16. The restaurant looks so beautiful. I'm glad they were able to rebuild. Huzzahs to all that contributed.

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  17. Hi Bish - what a terrible year they've had ... but I'm so pleased help was at hand and life has progressed on. I'd love to visit Morgan's Mango - perhaps when I'm not dreaming - one day! It must have been terrifying being on the phone with your sister as the storm raged around them ...

    Kenny Chesney's platinum records look amazing and what a legacy to you and to Kenny for all his help ... here's to all your futures now - cheers Hilary

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  18. Morgan's Mango looks lovely rebuilt. I'm so glad there are so many kind people helping. I can imagine how worried you must have been for your sister during the hurricane.

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  19. Hi, Bish,

    What a long recovery... BUT thankfully the restaurant is back and your lives are normalizing. May it be a quiet and peaceful hurricane season for the islands and coastline this year. I had experienced many devastating hurricanes when I lived in Florida in the 90's and early 2000's. It was one of the reasons I moved north. I couldn't take it any more. Then I settled for Orlando a few years ago and A storm hit last year. THANKFULLY it was nothing, but it certainly could have been as devastating.

    Thank God there are so many special people in the world to help balance out all the horrors....

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