Without a Voice

After catching a bad upper respiratory infection (aka the common cold) I developed a severe case of laryngitis. This is not the scratchy throat and sound like a frog kind of affliction, this is total loss of voice – I cannot even grunt! I’ve been like this since last Sunday and while my husband is pretty much overjoyed, my doctor says I need to rest my larynx. Believe it or not even whispering puts a strain on the voicebox I have been unable to speak for the better part of a week and it’s been very frustrating.

An almost full week of silence got me thinking of women who are denied the opportunity to voice themselves. Some of the female characters I’ve included in my books have been denied the right to speak for themselves for one reason or another. In Bartlett’s Rule Paige was denied the right to say “No” when an ex-boyfriend viciously attacked her; In A Chaunce of Riches Samantha was blackmailed into silence about who she really loved; and in Hyphema Seudah was raised a Muslim Pakistani woman in a place where some women are still forced to hide behind veils and are not allowed to talk for fear of offending the men.

Although the things I’ve been able to do have been seriously curtailed without having a voice, I’ve been lucky to have friends and family who have been patient and willing to interpret hand signals, read hastily scribbled notes and crane to listen to a few whispered words. My silence has lasted a week and I have reasonable expectation of once again being able to talk for myself, hopefully soon. But what of those women who live lifetimes without the ability to say what is on their minds, to voice their feelings, to be heard and be allowed to matter.

This past week has given me a mere glimpse into their frustration. It is difficult to tell folks your needs when you can’t speak. In the United States the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, recognizing women’s right to vote on August 26, 1920. There has been progress worldwide over the right of women to have voices about family, religion, politics and health. But there are still lands and social situations where women are not afforded the right to have a say. This is a subject that should concerns us all; when human rights are denied to any person(s) it is an affront to us all.

Read up on women’s issues at these sites:

http://www.now.org/ National Organization for Women (NOW)

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ Womenwatch: A United Nations project

http://www.wedo.org/ Women’s Environment and Development Organization

http://www.hrw.org/home Human Rights Watch

This is me…

It was a rainy day in April 1945 when my parents got married. A few years later, my sister was born; four-plus more years and several attempts later, my parents conceded that they weren’t destined to have another child. So, they blew the money they had saved for a new baby on a new (used) car and a vacation in the Catskills. That’s where I began…

I was raised in apartment 2D in the Bronx – our move to apartment 2G (in the same building) when I was eleven was a monumental change in my life as my parents moved off the sofabed in the livingroom into a bedroom of their own. My sister and I helped paint our new livingroom with one-inch wide paintbrushes – nothing was impossible.

Growing up was always an adventure for me, especially with an imagination as active as mine was. I remember three strangers to our neighborhood that mysteriously disappeared into the basement of the building next door on an almost daily basis. One day, a daring friend and I crept down after them to observe what they were doing. They had clips and wires coming out of the building’s telephone junction box! Convinced that we had discovered some huge international espionage plot, we were giddy with excitement. When they turned in our direction, we ran, frightened for our very lives. That was the last time we ever saw them.

As if I needed any encouragement into the world of make-believe, I studied Theatre Arts and Drama at the High School of Art and Design, Fordham University and the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. After some humble, probably annoying, pleading, I managed a nondescript and all too short walk-on in the movie “Plaza Suite” starring Walter Matthau and Maureen Stapleton (How many degrees to Kevin Bacon?). I appeared (very far off) off-off Broadway and did a summer stint as a lighting technician at the Lake Placid Center for Performing Arts. I also worked my way through college as an undercover retail fraud investigator.

My parents believed in mandatory community service although the choice of what we did was up to us. My sister was a Candy Striper at the local hospital, I joined the New York City Auxiliary Police at our local precinct – my dad was the Auxiliary Police Captain. That’s where I met my husband, at least REALLY met him. We had gone to the same high school (he studied photography) but my only vague memory of him was when he, in the guise of a by-the-book hall monitor, tried to prevent me from going to the backstage area to work on an upcoming play. True, it was between class periods and I didn’t have a hall pass, but the theatre students were used to making their own rules. Anyway, back to the Auxiliary Police… I thought he was an egomaniac snob, he didn’t care for me much either.

We kept getting assigned together as patrol partners and even though we built a terrific reputation as partners and seemed to communicate almost telepathically, I complained to our superiors. The Patrol Sergeant, the Lieutenant and the Captain (MY dad) kept pointing the finger at each other for the decision making process that kept throwing us together. A year and a half later, we had our first date; two weeks after that, we were engaged. He kidnapped me and refused to bring me home until I said yes, I figured I’d ask my father to beat him up. But when I told my parents that Mark had proposed, my dad clasped his hands together and said “Thank God!”

We settled in the suburbs less than an hour northwest of the city and began our family. Shortly after the birth of our daughter, I pursued a free-lance writing career and worked out of a home office. As a teen-ager I had written a few articles for a weekly Bronx newspaper and had since dabbled in poetry and pieces of prose just for the fun of it. After our son joined the picture, I managed to convince a few more rags to print my articles. This was about the time I had a weekly column as “Bonzo, the Ape” and shared profound thoughts on life. Since then, I’ve written more commonly as myself, sometimes conducting interviews (and trust me, you wouldn’t believe the things people sometimes tell you about themselves!), covering Grand Opening events, researching new trends and fashions, writing advertorials and business profiles, and just about anything else that will sell. I also spent a few summers teaching Creative Writing to kids in a local program.

Both my husband and I joined our local ambulance corps as volunteers and went on to become New York State Emergency Medical Technicians. I’ve helped to deliver babies, did CPR during codes, pulled people out of car wrecks, splinted broken bones, monitored the vitals of drug overdoses, stopped bleeding, and held patients’ hands enroute to the hospital. Both of our kids have followed us into the E.M.S. community and, often, dinner conversation at our table is not for the weak of stomach. Many of our friends are also involved with the local emergency services, medical and fire, and it isn’t unusual to have a festive holiday party empty out as soon as a pager goes off. The stories we swap are never boring.

My daughter and my son have justified every gray hair I’ve gotten. They’ve kept me on my toes, made me laugh, made me shake my head and cry, shared their dreams with me, allowed me to boast about them, and have each become a vital part of my inner circle of close friends. I’ve done the gamut of class mother, Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout mom, school parents’ association, and advisor in various youth groups. My favorite age has always been whatever age they were at the time. I love it when we hang out together or they invite me to go someplace with them and their friends. Both of our “kids” are terrific adults and I love following their various adventures.

I’ve always played a favorite game I call “What if?” whenever I see something unexpected, do something new, or hear about some adventure. I mentally place fictional characters into the setting and then I ask myself what if THIS happens, or THAT? By staying involved in my community, active with my family, reading avidly and even surfing on the Internet, I get a lot of fuel for my overactive imagination.

That means a lot of stories – please, join me

Who is looking at my blog? (hello world!)
United States
United Kingdom
South Korea

Hello out there…

My Blog visitors come from all over the world
مرحبا شكرا لزيارتكم.
Hallo Vielen Dank für die Einstellung durch.
Bonjour Merci d’être passé par.
Ciao grazie per l’arresto vicino.
Salamat sa paghinto sa pamamagitan ng.
สวัสดี ขอ ขอบคุณ สำหรับ การ หยุด โดย.
Hello. Thank you for stopping by.

Num Perc. Country Name

294 65.77% United States United States

45 10.07% Jordan Jordan

15 3.36% United Kingdom United Kingdom

15 3.36% Canada Canada

8 1.79% Germany Germany

8 1.79% Unknown

7 1.57% Malaysia Malaysia

6 1.34% India India

5 1.12% Indonesia Indonesia

5 1.12% France France

4 0.89% Turkey Turkey

4 0.89% Belgium Belgium

3 0.67% Finland Finland

3 0.67% Egypt Egypt

3 0.67% Singapore Singapore

2 0.45% Cyprus Cyprus

2 0.45% Italy Italy

2 0.45% Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

2 0.45% Philippines Philippines

1 0.22% Cambodia Cambodia

1 0.22% Guam Guam

1 0.22% Australia Australia

1 0.22% Netherlands Netherlands

1 0.22% Norway Norway

1 0.22% Fiji Fiji

1 0.22% Pakistan Pakistan

1 0.22% Cote D’ivoire Cote D'ivoire

1 0.22% Mongolia Mongolia

1 0.22% Thailand Thailand

1 0.22% Venezuela Venezuela

1 0.22% Chile Chile

1 0.22% Ecuador Ecuador

1 0.22% Poland Poland

Hello Canada!

38,024 sales ranking (on Amazon-Canada)

Courage of the Heart
Chelle Cordero Vanilla Heart Publishing 2009-01
Paperback 316 pages ISBN: 9781935407188 ASIN: 193540718X
List: CDN$ 18.41 Amazon: CDN$ 18.41 Discount: None Availability: 2 to 4 weeks
All offers: 7 from CDN$ 16.13 (6 new from CDN$ 16.13, 1 used from CDN$ 33.29)Kimberlee WilliamsManaging EditorVanilla Heart Publishinghttp://www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com/

I am always amazed when I see international interest in me or in my books. So when I got this notice from my publisher tonight – woo-hoo!

This blog gets visitors from all over the world, here are some of the most recent locations – so a great big shout out to everyone!

United States – Canada – Germany – United Kingdom – Netherlands – France – Czech Republic – Indonesia – Colombia – Hungary – Thailand – United Arab Emirates – Sweden – Morocco – Australia – Malaysia – Italy – Egypt – Greece – Turkey – Hong Kong – Viet Nam – Israel – Singapore – Denmark – Spain – Argentina – Ireland – Switzerland – Iran, Islamic Republic Of – Saudi Arabia – Brazil – Kenya – Mexico – Slovenia – Portugal – Bulgaria – Belgium – Finland – Chile – Taiwan

When you come right down to it, we live in a shrinking world where we can reach out across oceans, continents and miles – and we are neighbors.

It’s a small world after all.

The Blog That Goes Around the World

Guess who has been visiting my blog? People from around the world! I pasted recent visitor stats below; nearly 19% of my visitors are outside of the U.S…

I am hoping all of these visits are from people who are interested in reading a Chelle Cordero story – Well, I’ve got great news for you.

If you were holding off because you were worried about shipping… (drumroll please)…

Bartlett’s Rule is now available as an E-Book!!!! (just click here)

If you are one of those people who wants a real PRINTED book in their hands, you can order those here:

Perc. Country Name
81.01% United States
6.18% Canada
4.58% Unknown –
2.06% Argentina
1.83% Australia
0.92% United Kingdom
0.69% Israel
0.46% Belgium
0.23% Spain
0.23% Cote D’ivoire
0.23% Netherlands
0.23% Sweden
0.23% Taiwan
0.23% Puerto Rico
0.23% France
0.23% Serbia
0.23% Germany
0.23% South Africa

Thanks EVERYONE – Happy Reading!