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Happy Nurse Week 2016

Written by Ken Murphy

Happy Nurse Week to all the nurse out there. It is the time we celebrate some of the most special people in the world.

For those who don’t know, May 6th is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. In honor of her life and contributions to our profession, this day is always the start of Nurse Week.

I am proud to say that I have been a nurse for almost 37 years. For some those I’ve cared for, I was the first person they saw; for others, the last. I’ve been fortunate enough to care for patients in so many different areas of practice, from ICUs and the ER in large metropolitan hospitals, to a clinic in a small town that only had a doctor for one afternoon each month.

Nursing is truly a work of heart. I see this everyday in the people I work with. You all worked hard to gain the knowledge and skills to care for those in need. But you also bring something you can’t learn: your heart. So often people describe a “good nurse” by the way he reached out to them, not the expertise with which she applied a bandage. Your heart is the greatest gift you give to those in your care.

Today, and always, thank you for all that you do.

Nurse Week Heart 2016

A Day Long Awaited

Written by Ken Murphy

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that refusing to grant licenses violates the Constitution, requiring all 50 States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Within minutes of the press release, Emma Foulkes and Petrina Bloodworth of Atlanta received the first marriage license for a gay couple in Fulton County (Georgia). I wish them many more years of happiness and wedded bliss. Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced, President Obama gave a briefing in which he stated “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” He went on to say “There is so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.”

On a personal note; I shed a few tears of joy as I watched the coverage on CNN this morning. Happy that, the union I have shared with my husband for almost 21 years is finally legal in our home state. It’s kind of funny, when Andy and I got married last August, people asked me if I felt different after we were married. I have said that I did feel different, but it was difficult to express exactly how it felt different into words. After all, our license was merely a piece of paper, a document. A document our state did not recognize. Today all that changed. I do feel differently. Today, my commitment to my husband is legal in Georgia and throughout these United States.

Flag and Rings

Contest

Written by Ken Murphy

Atlanta Hearts Logo

One year ago this week, Stubborn Heart, my first novel, was published. This week also marks one month since the release of Sharing Heart, the sequel to Stubborn Heart. Both books have been very well received, and readers have left some pretty awesome reviews. I think it’s time for a celebration.

What better way to celebrate than a giveaway? So, let’s have a contest. A lot of you know me, so you know I won’t make it too difficult. I want you to send me an email message. In this message, I want you to tell me about your favorite hobby. I don’t care if it’s reading, baking, playing softball, basket weaving, or running naked around your complex at three in the morning. Of course, if you do run naked around your complex at three in the morning, I may require photographic validation that this activity indeed, takes place. Just kidding. Maybe.  Seriously, tell me about your favorite hobby. What got you started doing it? What do you enjoy about it? Why do you keep doing it? Tell me whatever you want that gives me a little insight into you, and why this hobby is important to you.

This contest plays into one of my favorite hobbies, getting to know people. So, that’s what I’m getting out of this. I get to find out one little factoid about you. And what do you get in return? Nothing. Well, unless you’re the winner. I’ll give one lucky person an autographed paperback copy of Stubborn Heart and Sharing Heart. That’s right, both books, signed by me. And it won’t cost you one penny. I’ll even throw in the postage.

Now for the boring little details…

First, I’m sending out this contest via multiple social media feeds. So to make certain I get your entry, do not submit as a reply to this post. That includes to my website, where you’re reading this. I’m having a problem with spam, and I haven’t figured out a way around it. Until I do, I don’t allow comments to my posts.

Send me your contest entry as a separate email message to kenmurphywrites@comcast.net.

The contest ends on Sunday, May 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm (EST), and I will choose one winner from the entries received.  I will notify the winner by email on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Hugs,

Ken

The Butler (Moving Toward Equality)

Written by Ken Murphy

Last night, I finally watched The Butler. Yeah, I know… I’m a little behind on the movies. It was a very good movie. Of course I like Forest Whitaker in all of his movies I’ve seen. The Butler is a great reminder of an ugly time in our country. The struggle of African-Americans to achieve the same freedoms and rights enjoyed by their White counterparts was bloody and painful. I remember seeing the violence on television as a young child. But to me, it seemed like another world, completely alien to everything I knew.

I grew up in a small town in South Georgia during the sixties. While I’m certain a great deal went on that I wasn’t aware of, desegregation was pretty much a non-issue. They closed the school where I attended first grade right after the school year ended. I went to second grade in a brand new building; to a class in which about fifty percent of the children were black. There were no protests, no police enforcement, nothing. It was just the start of a new day. My best friend that year was Terry. He had the darkest skin, and the biggest heart, I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, he and his family moved away the next summer and we lost touch with one another. It’s too bad the transition in the rest of the country did not go so easily. Did the community leaders in Thomasville desegregate the schools because they wanted to? Probably not. They did it because the Federal Government said they had to. Now, no thinking person questions that it was the right thing to do.

I brought this up because, as I said, The Butler is a poignant reminder of how ugly hate can be. And I think we need that reminder.  Our Great Nation still has a lot of people who believe it’s acceptable to treat others differently based solely on their sex, skin color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Of course, few people are dumb enough to come right out and say “Jane doesn’t deserve the same pay because she’s a woman” or “Joe should be treated differently because he’s black.” Society has decreed that while you might think it, you cannot say it aloud, or act upon it. I know it still goes on, but the perpetrators of hate have to be a bit more subtle.

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Community do not enjoy the same “protections.” Our struggle for equal rights is still somewhat in its infancy. Or maybe our movement is a toddler or a preschooler. Even so, we have a long way to go. I am encouraged by the seventeen states that have legalized same-sex marriage (as well as the District of Columbia). But we have 33 states that ban Gay Marriage. Several of those states have pending court cases to overturn those bans. Still, the fight is far from over.

This week, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill protecting individuals who refuse to serve same-sex couples based on the notion of protecting religious freedom. The bill is nothing more than state-legislated hate. I was happy to hear Senate President Wagle say “…my members don’t condone discrimination.” I hope that the Nation’s reaction to the bill will ensure that it dies quickly.

I like to think of myself as an optimist with open eyes. I realize we have a long way to go before all people are treated as equal without regard to sex, race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any of the other wonderful things that make us different, not better or worse than anyone else, just different. I think we are making progress. There will always be haters. However, as more people stand up to these haters, they lose their ability to negatively influence and impact others.

I am heartened by the persistent and constant presence of the LGBT Community in the media. Good and bad. The good coverage helps people to understand that, even though I am different from you, we have more things in common than we have differences. As for the bad coverage?  Well, Kansas is a good example of how quickly people can change their tune. I would not presume to speak for Senator Wagle, but I wonder if she’d have been quite so quick to speak out if the rest of the country hadn’t reacted so negatively to the House passing the bill that would allow same-sex couples to be denied service.  Whether she intended to or not, she labelled the bill for what it is: legislated discrimination. Likewise, many of the ultra-conservative people who spend their time preaching hate are losing their followers. The absurdity of their discourses is obvious to most people.

I am convinced most people want to do the right thing. Yes, I know. But I did say that I’m an optimist. Very few people are truly haters for the sake of hating. People fear what they don’t understand.  The more we talk about our issues, the more people think about them. And we need people thinking. It should be obvious to any thinking person that nothing I say or do impacts the sanctity of your marriage. Denying me the right to marry the person I love does not elevate the status or meaning of your relationship, it simply discriminates against me.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Written by Ken Murphy

Hey Y’all!

<spoken in my best Paula Deen voice>

It is only a couple of days until Thanksgiving. And although I’m not a fan of the cold front that has moved through Atlanta, I do realize the chilly temperature ranks pretty small in the grand scheme of things. This is especially true when I stop to count the many blessings in my life over the last year.

My first novel, Stubborn Heart, was published in April. It’s hard to believe that was seven months ago, yet sometimes it seems like forever.  Sales have been good, and I continue to see new reviews pop up on Amazon and Goodreads. The reader feedback has been such a positive affirmation, since I sometimes still have trouble believing people want to read my work. I am thrilled that Dreamspinner Press has agreed to publish Sharing Heart, the sequel to Stubborn Heart.

Last month, I self-published Pick Up, a short story about a happily coupled man who goes out in search of a little excitement. It’s a fun, steamy little story that I had a blast writing. The whole self-pubbing thing was a new experience. I learned a great deal. If I decide to self-publish more works, there are definitely a few things I’ll do differently, but it was fun trying something new.

On a personal note, Andy and I celebrated out nineteenth anniversary in August. I could not ask for a more supportive partner. He has been right there beside me every step of the way through job changes, graduate school, and now writing. And of course all the personal stuff along the way. Relationships are a give and take thing, but I’m sure he gives far more than he takes.

The last thing I want to mention is you. That’s right, you. The wonderful person who took a few minutes out of their busy day to read my ramblings. I really appreciate you. No matter whether you are family, friend, fan, or a little of all three, you are important to me. You are part of a magnificent network of people that nurtures and inspires me. My life would be lacking if you weren’t part of it. So, during this holiday season, and always, I am thankful for you.

Hugs and best wishes,

Ken

Pick Up

Written by Ken Murphy

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My new short story Pick Up is now available on Amazon, and it has a great five star review. Purchase link is below.

Chaz Henderson has an itch to scratch. His partner, Michael is not home, so Chaz decides he needs an evening out on the town. And there’s never a shortage of available and agreeable men in Atlanta. Imagine his surprise when he wanders into a neighborhood bar and stumbles upon a cowboy.

http://www.amazon.com/Pick-Up-ebook/dp/B00G3NV91W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382804010&sr=1-1&keywords=pick+up+ken+murphy

 

Stubborn Heart

Written by Ken Murphy

Stubborn Heart by Ken Murphy
After breaking up with his cheating boyfriend, Mark Smith keeps life simple: his nursing career and a place of his own, but no dating. He’s steering clear of romance and the heartbreak that goes with it. After losing both parents and having all his relationships fail, he figures happily ever after is a myth.

When Dr. Trevor Hayes crosses Mark’s path at the hospital, he falls hard for Mark. The attraction is clearly mutual, and Trevor is determined to parlay that attraction into a relationship. Mark is just as determined to avoid exactly that.

But Trevor chips away at Mark’s resistance, and facing hardship and sorrow together brings them closer. Still, Mark can’t shake his belief that their romance is temporary—until he’s unexpectedly faced with the danger that he might lose Trevor for good. Mark must choose between guarding his heart and giving it completely, the risk he swore never to take again.

ISBN-13: 978-1-62380-474-9
Pages: 224
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
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