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Thursday, February 22, 2018

HAVE FUN IN HELL, B----H


Teen Vogue's Lauren Duca tweeted yesterday at the news of Billy Graham's death:

"The big news is that Billy Graham was still alive  this whole time.  Anyway, have fun in Hell, B----h."

She later replied to comments at her remarks:

"'Respecting the dead' only applies to people who weren't evil people of shit while they were living, thanks."

Really?
  
During a 1953 

(Yes, a time when the voice of compassion in race relations was all but mute)

rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 

Graham tore down the ropes that organizers had erected to separate the audience into racial sections. 

He recounted in his memoirs that he told two ushers 

to leave the barriers down "or you can go on and have the revival without me."


He later warned a white audience, 

"we have been proud and thought we were better than any other race, any other people. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to stumble into hell because of our pride."



Billy Graham is now being criticized for leaving children in his wake damaged by his absences 

which resulted in divorce,  drinking, and drugs --

similar things were written after the death of John Adams about his children.

It is easy to disparage a man after he is no longer alive to defend himself.


He is now said to have damaged the LGBTQ community with his legacy.


Sigh


Rev. Graham was a product of his times and spoke from his interpretation of the Bible.


Do we truly expect people of decades ago to have the same mind-set as we possess?

How unrealistic is that?


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LAUREN DUCA'S REMARKS?

Friday, February 16, 2018

WEP: STARDUST




{988 words|}

The old woman looked at the cup of pills.  "I used to be famous once."

The stone-faced nurse gruffed, "Everyone here used to be famous."

The nurse shook the tiny cup.  "Rita, take your damn pills.  They'll make you think clearer."

Rita pouted, "I don't want to remember.  I want to forget."

Another old woman, her hair so white it looked platinum, kneeled stiffly beside her.

"Honey, I know bad things happened. But I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go; things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right;

you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  

Rita sighed, "Better, Marilyn? Men fell in love with Gilda, but they woke up with me."

The nurse frowned, "We need you to remember where you stashed those millions you got from Aly Khan."

Rita snorted, "You're out of luck, sister. Everyone thinks that because I was married to him, I'm rich. I'm not. I never got a dime from Aly or any of my husbands."

The nurse turned to Marilyn.  "I guess you don't recall what you did with your diary."

The faux platinum hair bobbed once.  "I do.  I burned it."

The nurse said, "That's what I get for being nice to you."

Marilyn smiled sadly, “If you're gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.”  

The nurse tugged both women roughly to their feet.  "Then, it's off to the showers for you."

Rita ripped her arm away.  "This isn't Columbia. No one tells me what to do."

Marilyn patted her friend's arm.  "Your bruises still haven't healed from last time."

"You know no one ever comes back from the showers."

Marilyn became all eyes.  "I know.  We didn't have anything when we got here.  Now, we have each other."

Those eyes welled with tears.  "Maybe dying with a sister won't be so bad as dying alone."

Rita whispered, "We all die alone."

Marilyn reached down.  "Not if we hold hands."

The nurse rolled her eyes, pushing them towards the open door.  "Puh-lease!"

Rita squeezed Marilyn's hand.  "You know, dogs never bit me.  Only humans."

She turned.  "Basically, I'm a gentle person.  But I am attracted to mean personalities.  You sure we haven't dated?"

The nurse shoved Rita so hard that she would have fallen if Marilyn hadn't held her upright. 

Rita bunched up her fist.  Marilyn knew it never ended well when her sister punched the staff so she tried to distract her as they walked down the long hallway.


"Orson seemed like such a fun, brilliant man.  Why did you two split up?"

Rita shrugged, "I couldn't take his genius anymore."

With those words, the two elderly friends were at a strange door with sealed hinges.

"Strip!" snapped the nurse.

Marilyn hesitantly did as she was told.  "I never did this for free before."

Rita saw how frightened her friend was.  She nodded to the shriveled husk of the body for which millions once lusted.

"Old age -- that's when a woman takes vitamins A through G and still looks like H."

"Don't whine," said the nurse.  "You had everything."

"No.  I had too much."

Marilyn squeezed Rita's hand.  "Life has so much pain.  Maybe there's value in it."

The nurse opened the metal door with a hiss and shoved the two old women into the dark interior.


"Pray if you believe in that nonsense."
The door shut and sealed behind them.

Marilyn said, "I don't pray,"

She added, "I don't want to bore God."

For the first time, Marilyn didn't care if she bored Him.  'Oh, make it quick!"

The mists were icy.  Rita thought of her sister's prayer,.  "Spin around and breathe it in.  That has to kill us fast.  Don't give that bitch the satisfaction of hearing you cry out."

But except for tingling skin, nothing happened.  The mists thinned, the door opened, and the nurse's jaw dropped.

"Y-You're still alive? Of course, it would work for you two."

It was a quick shove/walk down the hall.  Marilyn and Rita slept in the same cot, holding hands.

Towards midnight, Marilyn whispered, "I think that nurse truly hates us."

The weight of a body pressed down on their cot,  "It's a sign of your worth sometimes, if you're hated by the right people.”  

Rita popped straight up.  "Bette!  You're all ...."
But Bette wasn't all right.  Half her face was young again.  The other was still wrinkled.

Bette sighed, "Not all right.  Guess I shouldn't have turned away from the mist.  Better off than Joan who died of a heart attack."

The old actress shivered.  "As soon as she did, she just mushed into sparkling stardust. It was a poetic end for that dame."

Marilyn took her by the arms.  "We have to get you out of here!"

"Half right.  You have to get out before they start those damn tests.  You must be the right type.  You already look younger."

Rita said, "We won't leave you."

Bette sighed, "Arguing will just cost us precious time.  I made preparations just in case one of their showers worked."

She dangled car keys.  "To Queen Bitch's car.  I even have clothes for the two of you."

Bette smiled wide.  "And I took her money."

Rita frowned, "But where do we go?"

Marilyn smiled wider than Bette.  "To Las Vegas.  They pay star impersonators a fortune."


Headline to VARIETY DAILY:

MARILYN M. AND RITA H. WOWS WITH THEIR STAR IMPERSONATIONS


Headline to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER:

Hal B. Wallis' film, TWO FOR TROUBLE, starring the famous Las Vegas impersonators, sets box office records.


Headline to THE NATIONAL INQUIRER:

Limo for the stars of TWO FOR TROUBLE, found crashed into tree in Las Vegas desert.  No bodies found ... only what appeared to be sparkling stardust on the front seat.

And Rita could dance!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WHY AUTHORS SHOULD LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS


DID YOU KNOW AUDIOBOOKS CAN IMPROVE YOUR WRITING?


A) NO SKIMMING ALLOWED


     C'mon, admit it: you skim over the "boring parts" as you read print.  It's instinctive by now.

     But skimming robs you of the power and purpose of the words you skim!


B) AUDIO LETS YOU CATCH THE PACE, THE FLOW OF THE WORDS


     The sounds of the words will bleed into your own writing.  You will begin to "see" words as images.

     It will limit your use of HE SAID/SHE SAID in every line of dialogue.

     Don't tell me those words are invisible to readers -- only to you as you block them out as you write.

     You'll discover new ways to add pauses to the spoken lines.


C)  YOU'LL HEAR THE WORDS AS YOU WRITE THEM


     Maybe in your voice.  Maybe in the voice of your favorite narrators.

     It will spotlight "kinks" in your paragraphs.

     The audio's will create a Theater of the Mind letting you see words as images.


D) YOU'LL "READ" MORE


     Stephen King stresses that the more you read the deeper your perspective will be in your books.



     You'll read in places you couldn't with a print book: in bed, exercising, gardening, commuting.

     You'll discover favorite narrators and seek out books they narrate no matter the genre and 

your literary horizons will expand, enriching your prose, breathing new ides into your future novels.


E) YOU'LL LEARN


     AUDIBLE has its DEAL OF THE DAY:

     I got Arthur C Clarke's 2001 for $2!  The intro was by Clarke himself, detailing the unique way he wrote the book.

     I got BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S read by Michael C Hall of DEXTER fame (great narrator) for $2!

     Craig Johnson of LONGMIRE fame detailed at the end of one of his books the origin of his hero and how he writes.  Great lessons.


F) YOUR OWN AUTHOR READINGS WILL IMPROVE FROM LISTENING TO PROFESSIONALS.


G) YOUR VOCABULARY WILL IMPROVE

     You'll learn new words from their use in context of the action of the novels.  

     You'll repeat crutch words less as you insert the new words into your prose.


OH, BEFORE I FORGET WHY ALL THIS TALK ON AUDIOBOOKS!
I'VE GOT An AFFORDABLE ONE!

 
ONLY $3.99!

There are dragons in all of our lives. 
Sometimes the dragons are real. 
Learn about the two dragons in young Samuel Clemens's life.

It is the Barbary Coast of San Francisco in 1851. 
An undead Texas Ranger,Samuel McCord, 
is there to find the murderer of the publisher of the San Francisco Herald.

 Sixteen-year-old Sammy Clemens is there to secure his first job 
 as cub reporter to the same newspaper.

Neither McCord nor Sammy know they are there for much more: love, revenge, mystery, and a terrible encounter with two dragons: one two-legged, the other all too real.

Since McCord's blood brother 
is Lakota

here is John Two Hawks with lyrics

THE WINGED BUFFALO


My latest project: a Young at Heart fantasy


The Age Undreamed

Before History was born,

Myth went unseen, for it was busy being lived.

Though now none still live who remember.


Wondrous creatures roamed that new born world.

But none so unique as Hoopah, the winged buffalo

 One dewy morning, the Great Mystery reached out into the filaments of miracle

shaped out of them one sparkling Handful, blew upon it, and flung it out into the skies,

casting a tiny winged buffalo to soar the four corners of the winds in happy bewilderment.

The Lakota who first saw him gasped, 

"Tatanka-kinya!"

Which is to say "flying buffalo" and that is as much a real name as if they called you "two legged."


 The Turquoise Woman -

She, whose thoughts are the colors of the Northern Lights, thought that silly.

Instead she named him, Hoopah, or Wings. 


And watched him bemused 

as Hoopah flew to Asgard to Olympus to Avalon to the dragon lairs of far-off Chin,

and other fabled realms,

leaving legends and laughter in his wake.


I am currently writing the chapter:

No Zeus Is Good Zeus.

I doubt whether anyone will be tempted to buy this small volume,

but I am having fun writing it.

Have you ever written
a book just
because it tickled you
to do so? 
 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

MARDI GRAS BLUES


I've come to dread Mardi Gras.

Blasphemous words here in
 South West Louisiana for sure!


Billed as the biggest free party on Earth, 
Mardi Gras is known worldwide.

  Colorful costumes. Spectacular parades. 
Elegant pageants. Masked balls. 

 People dancing in the streets to rhythmic, intoxicating music. 

All with an air of carefree abandon. As the music reverberates, alcohol flows. 

Wildly elaborate floats glide down the street, with frenzied masqueraders onboard. 

Crowds of onlookers shout encouragement. 

 This may come as a surprise, 
but Mardi Gras long predates Christianity. 

 The earliest record comes from ancient times, 

when tribes celebrated a fertility festival that welcomed the arrival of spring, a time of renewal of life. 

The Romans called this pagan festival Lupercalia in honor of “Lupercus,” the Roman god of fertility. 

Lupercalia was a drunken orgy of merrymaking 

held each February in Rome, after which participants fasted for 40 days. 

Am I a party-pooper?

No, I am a rare blood courier, 

and I see the bloody toll the partying and alcohol-fueled driving and anger takes on my community.

Countless times today I was delayed and detoured on stat runs 

to make way for the parades and for drunken people staggering to line up hours in advance of the parades.

When a patient is bleeding to death, 

and a drunken woman staggers off the sidewalk directly in my van's path, I sigh.

The parades all seem to be routed directly in front of the hospitals.

Waiting for a traffic light to change, 

I watched the crowds on the sidewalk as a grandmother bumped and ground like  ...

an  exotic dancer.  

I was impressed with her limberness, 

saddened by her two young, perplexed grandsons watching her, a bottle held tightly in her fist.


Laissez le bon temps roulez! 

Roughly translated, it means: “let the good times rule.” 

The French saying comes alive during Mardi Gras.

Surely,  Mardi Gras must be good for the economy, right?

Tell that to the short-staffed nurses 

(since many of their co-workers call in sick with the Mardi Gras Flu

as they struggle in the E.R.'s and the I.C.U's dealing with the aftermath of those good times.

The jobs that support Mardi Gras in particular 

and tourism in general tend to be service industry positions that oftentimes do not pay high wages.

In fact, frequently the wages are so low 

that employees have to work multiple jobs to keep the lights on and the cupboards from going bare.

My supervisor long since stopped taking his young daughters to the parades 

since one was knocked down to the sidewalk by an adult lunging to catch cheap beads --

and his other daughter had her ankle mangled by a stomping foot of a drunken reveler. 

Mardi Gras 
has become a sad term to me.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

YOU ARE THE PROBLEM_IWSG post



"It's going to be all right, 
isn't it?

How many times have you heard this question asked in a movie?

The usual answer is a comforting lie.

The questioner knows it is a lie and hears that things are NOT going to be the same.

There is going to be a new NORMAL.





But whether that new NORMAL is good or bad depends on how well we craft it.

CRAFT



As writers we craft our stories, our novels.  

Things slapped together usually look ... and read ... like they were.


Over the past 2 years print book sales have been going up while Indie ebook sales have declined 12%!

How are your sales doing?

Probably not as well as they were.


John Locke and Amanda Hocking shot to the best selling eBook lists by being innovative.

Others have tried to do the same by copying their methods.

But their methods worked because they were innovative pioneers.

They looked at the existing conditions and saw new possibilities to grow.

But you can no longer tweet or Facebook your way to fame



Amazon is no longer your helpful partner.

At first, they needed content.  
Now, they have a glut of it.


Independent and self-published authors put out more books monthly than the trade houses do.

So eBooks clog the search engine results.

Worse, eBooks are immortal.

Every month there are more and more eBooks.  A tidal wave of books with fewer eyes split across more books.

That is why eBook sales are declining.


What to do?

The skies had not changed when the Wright Brothers found a way to soar in them.

It was the same sky that Leonardo longed to soar in.  

They looked at what they had and made use of it.


We must do the same.

Take Instagram

With it, you can connect with a fan base following ... create word of mouth.

1.) BUSINESS YOUR ACCOUNT 

2.) LINK YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT TO YOUR AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE

3.) MILESTONE YOUR JOURNEY

4.) TALK MORE ABOUT YOUR FANS, THEIR INTERESTS  THAN YOUR BOOKS.

5.) REVIEW BOOKS YOU THINK YOUR FANS MAY ENJOY.

6.) MAKE A VIRTUAL RECOMMENDED  SHELF OF YOUR ACCOUNT

7.) MAKE YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS FUN


DO NOT JUST THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX ...

THINK ABOVE THE HORIZON

The Internet is a global world of endless possibilities.

You are creative or you would not be a writer.  

There are ways to draw attention to your book that no one else has thought of.  

Someone will think of it.

BE THAT SOMEONE

The wheel was obvious  
AFTER  
it was discovered.