Personal reflections

Musings about music and inspiration

Hello everyone in the blogosphere,
It’s time for another trip down creation lane. This time, I’m going to explain how my muse and the music I listen to can inspire my writing. Let me set the scene for you.
I either lie in bed or relax in a recliner or lounge chair. Soft instrumental music playing on my computer or my phone. I feel myself mentally floating on the wings of the music, and it takes me to faraway places, where I can fly free as a bird.
The music shifts, and I begin to sway with the rhythm or the jazz piece. The breeze is blowing in my hair, and all I can do is ride the ocean waves. As that piece comes to a stop, I come back down to earth, still lying in my bed or chair.
I gracefully rise from my relaxed position and turn off the music, pick up my singing bowl or thumb piano and play the tune or rhythm in my head. After my little jam session, I sit down at my computer and write this post. I love musing like this, because this is when my creative juices start flowing, and I can really let my mind wander.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my posts.
Sometimes these musings happen as I described in the scene above, and sometimes I mentally go into that relaxed mode, floating on the wings of the music in my head. Does this ever happen to you? If so, what scenes come to mind? How do this musing moments, or daydreams inspire you. I’d love to read your feedback in the comments.
Happy musing and writing.
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Disability rights advocacy

Guide dog discrimination in Athens Georgia

This evening, at the ?Georgia Square Mall in Athens, GA, My husband Michael Barnes and I, along with a couple of friends were taking care of some personal business, when Michael was approached by a security guard by the name of G. Keene. Keen asked whether Michael’s dog was a service dog.
“Yes.” Michael said.
“Well, your dog needs to wear a vest,” Keene replied.
Michael pointed out to Keene that his guide dog wasn’t required to wear a vest, because as any guide dog user, or establishment will, now, that the harness is identification enough. Michael got his black lab guide dog named Indie, from Pilot dogs Inc., located in Columbus, OH.
Keene continued to argue with Michael, and our friend and driver Pete Nichols, stood up for Michael, and Keene threatened to call the police and escort both Pete and Michael from the Mall.
When Michael left the mall, and became very irate, he said “Blind Power!”, and others followed suit. After this scene, Keene left him and us alone.
This is not the first time my husband has been bothered by management or security because of his guide dog. This type of incident has happened more than five times at the same mall by the same security guards. He had a recent incident at Kroger on Alps Road, where the manager supposedly banned him from coming into the store, because the lady running the self-checkout machines was scared of Indie. However, we have been back in the same Kroger, and the same manager has said hello to Michael, and said nothing about Indie at all.
He’s not the only one who has been accosted by managers of businesses about a guide dog. I have had a similar problem myself when I had a black lab/golden mix named Star, from Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, FL. My x-husband I along with my in0laws were at Ryan’s in Canton, GA. David Carter was the manager of that particular store. He and his assistant manager were trying to say that we needed identity tags for our dogs, which isn’t true. We were seated at the back of the restaurant, and when we showed Carter the laws and our ID cards, he wanted to start a stink. We went somewhere else to eat, after getting our money back, and I found the phone number of the Ryan’s corporate office and put in a complaint. We received a return call introducing us to the district manager, who “educated” Carter. I believe that he was fired.
I had a friend who was refused a room at the Ramada Inn because they thought her dog was a pet, and not a service dog. She sued the hotel for noncompliance of the ADA.
There are countless incidents of people not complying with ADA laws where dog guides are concerned. If you are a business owner who has denied a blind person access because of a service dog, I suggest that you do your homework and google the guide dog laws in your state. If you are a guide dog handler and have been denied access, contact the owner of the company, the security company who runs security, or even the news media to make a formal complaint. If you know of attorneys who handle discrimination cases, please feel free to share links to these sources in the comments below, so that other people who are harassed because of their service animals can have a point of contact. This is one of many disability rights that need to be advocated for. Please educate your local law enforcement, so you don’t run into the same problems that I and others have run into in the past.
Thanks and happy reading.

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Author spotlight: Sandra W. Burch

Sandra W. Burch is an award-winning poet and the author of the Seaside Series. Her work has appeared in over a dozen venues, including Piker Press, Torrid Literature Journal, Best New Poems, Room magazine and Page & Spine. She is an editor with Revival Waves Publishing. You can visit her at http://www.sandrawburch.yolasite.com and connect with her on social media @sandib966 on Twitter.

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