FREE KINDLE FOR PC

FREE KINDLE FOR PC
So you can read my books

Sunday, May 28, 2017

WHAT YOU SEE IN THE DARK_ Memorial Day Thoughts



"For myself and thousands of other veterans across this country, Memorial Day 
is every day."
– Air Force Captain Joshua Carroll


Hemingway with Col. Charles 'Buck' Lanham in Germany, 1944,
during the fighting in Hürtgenwald, after which he became ill with pneumonia.


“Death is the mother of beauty. Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers.”
― Wallace Stevens


No American writer is more associated with writing about war in the early 20th century than Ernest Hemingway.

He experienced it firsthand, wrote dispatches from innumerable frontlines, and used war as a backdrop for many of his most memorable works.


“Throw away the light, the definitions, and say what you see in the dark.”
― Wallace Stevens


Researchers come to the Hemingway archives at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

primarily to examine Ernest Hemingway's original manuscripts and his correspondence with family, friends, and fellow writers.

One object on display is far more consequential:

a piece of shrapnel from the battlefield where Hemingway was wounded during World War I.

Had the enemy mortar attack been more successful that fateful night, the world may never have known one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Conversely, had Hemingway not been injured in that attack, he not may have fallen in love with his Red Cross nurse,

a romance that served as the genesis of A Farewell to Arms, one of the century's most read war novels.

Hemingway kept the piece of shrapnel, along with a small handful of other "charms" including a ring set with a bullet fragment, in a small leather change purse.

Similarly he held his war experience close to his heart and demonstrated throughout his life

a keen interest in war and its effects on those who live through it.


War leaves no survivor untouched.



Data compiled from diaries and letters will affirm the presence of psychological disorders in soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

From this body of evidence,

it is clear that soldiers of the American Civil War did indeed suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological disorders.

Until the 20th century little was known about the emotional effects of war on soldiers

and it wasn't until soldiers were studied psychologically that we began to understand what had happened to them.





The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. 
-William Havard

It was due to soldiers of the Vietnam war that the disorder was discovered, yet their symptoms had been synonymous with war veterans from hundreds of years before.

Veterans of war find it hard to be the same, emotionally, ever again.

Some may say that their inability to form close bonds with loved ones is due to the experience of near death and the fear that they will leave someone behind.

The emotional effects of war on soldiers very often hinders their future achievements too as they find it impossible to imagine or plan.


“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
G.K. Chesterton



Who are you remembering today?
That’s the question for Memorial Day,
the day set aside each spring to honor
the men and woman killed in our nation’s wars ...

Men and women who wanted
to see their loved ones again

But wanted them kept safe even more.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The STRANGE BIRTH of WONDER WOMAN


You may think the honor of being on the first cover of Ms. Magazine went to Wonder Woman.

Like many treasured beliefs, this one is wrong.

That honor went to the many-armed Hindu goddess Kali,

 holding a frying pan, a typewriter, a mirror, and other tools of the hyper-multitasking modern woman. 

Wonder Woman graced the SECOND issue's cover.


William Moulton Marston

the inventor of Wonder Woman, believed women were superior to men and should run the world—

and would do so in, oh, about a thousand years.

Hey, his heart was in the right place.  Ah, or was it?


{William Moulton Marston testing his lie detector in a 1922 photo}


He was an American psychologist, lawyer, inventor, and comic book writer who created the character Wonder Woman.

Marston had a great deal of help from his wife, Elizabeth Holloway 

(we have her to thank for “Suffering Sappho,” “Great Hera,” and other Amazonian expostulations), 

as well as from his former student Olive Byrne

with whom he and Holloway lived in a permanent ménage à trois that produced four children,
two from each woman. 

Olive Byrne was the niece of Margaret Sanger

whose youthful brand of romantic, socialist-pacifist feminism was formative for Marston. 

Strange, huh?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Imagine A World Without STAR WARS


NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS
Now Imagine This Scene Without Music.
If You Can't, Turn Down The Sound

Makes quite a difference, doesn't it?



On this day in 1977, STAR WARS opened.  

And no studio executive ever gave 100% of the merchandising rights 

to a film-maker to work cheaply ever again!


The incredible success of Star Wars:

It received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales 

and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide

began with an extensive, coordinated marketing push 

by Lucas and his studio, 20th Century Fox, months before the movie’s release date.

 “It wasn’t like a movie opening,” actress Carrie Fisher, who played rebel leader Princess Leia, 

later told Time magazine. “It was like an earthquake.” 


Also on this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus one month into the Civil War.

Imagine if Trump did the same, citing the increasing war terrorists are waging against us. 

When we rescind the rule of law for whatever reason, 

we tumble rudderless in our actions 

and end up with blood feuds that end in senseless tragedies like Manchester.


I have not mentioned the cowardly slaughter at Manchester earlier, 

for I believe that Social Media can unintentionally aid terrorists by fanning the flames of fear for them.

 
On this day in 1895, poor Oscar Wilde is sent to prison for indecency.   

I "corrected" this travesty of justice in my two historical fantasies, 

DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE and THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT 

Both of which also deal with mummies, ancient Egypt, and awakened evil.  



Lastly (Hibbs forced me to include this)

On this day in 1975, the Grizzly Bear is classified as a threatened species!


What Does Today's Date 
Bring To Mind In Your Life?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

THUS DOES LIFE REPAY



It is said that I am born of stardust and the sea ...

And that is true ... as far as it goes ... which is not nearly far enough.

For the realm of my birth is not even of your dimension whose air would be death for you to breathe.

I allow mortals to call me Meilori Shinseen

for that is as close as your vocal chords can come to my true name.

You quicksilver humans flicker and are gone like inconsequential fire-flies in the night.

I have left so many pieces of myself with each passing eon that I feel hollow inside. 

Heat-caressed deserts soon become ice fields.  

Chasms fill and bristle with green forests.  

Everything seems so very transitory.

Nothing remains for long.  I am afraid to touch things now.  

They might be but smoke, and my hand will go right on through them, touching ... 

what?  

The God at whom you mortals now scoff .

Or would I touch the nothing that my life has become?

I look back at the long vista of my life, hinting of fire and violet -- 

the winds of its passing mourning the grieving skies above me. 

My blue-frosted footsteps standing out like frozen music ...

 A music which thawed when first I met my Samuel in what you foolishly call Ancient Egypt.

My sister's treachery took him from me then.  But now he is returned to me.

And I, who have given cause for icy fear to so many, now feel it myself,

for I sense death reaching out to snatch him from me again.

Thus does Life repay those who take her too lightly.


Buy the Kindle version for $2.99
and 
get the audible audio for only $1.99



I listened to this tune over and over during the sleepless nights

while I recovered from my burns after my home 
went up in flames


Monday, May 22, 2017

The JIMMY BUFFET of Ancient Greece



Or

How The Mind Assigns Meaning 
To Words


Do you think Insect Lady garners the same meaning from the words she is reading 

as you would if you read the same thing?


Of course not.


She would filter them through her own way of thinking and past experiences ---

which I would not rather dwell upon too long, thank you very much!

Midnight just swatted me for inflicting that picture on him in the first place.


 I imagine you are familiar with Diogenes the Cynic ...

because “cynic” meant “dog-like,” and he had a habit of basking naked on the lawn 

while his fellow philosophers talked on the porch. 

While they debated the mysteries of the cosmos, Diogenes preferred to soak up some rays.

Which is why some have called him the Jimmy Buffet of Ancient Greece -- 

hence the title of my post.


Once upon a time on that porch, Plato pontificated:

“Man is defined as a hairless, featherless, two-legged animal!” 

Whereupon Diogenes leaped up from the lawn, dashed off to the marketplace, 

and burst back onto the porch carrying a plucked chicken, shouting --

“Behold: I give you... Man!”

 Now, you know why they called him a cynic. 


You also get a hint at why you say something so clearly and yet are misunderstood so thoroughly.


We don’t really perceive separate objects at all - 

we perceive our nervous systems’ responses to a boundless flow 

of electromagnetic waves and biochemical reactions.


 For instance, if you hear purring and feel fur rubbing against your leg, 

your brain tells you that your cat is by your feet  ...

until you look down and see one of Insect Lady's fuzzy children trying to get your attention!


Our initial impressions spring from our past experiences and associations ...

but like with Insect Lady's spider child, life insists on being surprising.


Words don't mean what they mean ...

but mean what the listeners 
believe they mean.


Say Republican unknowingly to a Democrat and you will not get the response you intended.


Two people may understand what the word cat denotes. 

 However, one person may have grown up around cats and learned to enjoy their company. 

The other, however, may have been attacked by a cat when young, 

and so s/he associates the word cat with very unpleasant emotions and judgements. 

So, the meaning of the word cat (in terms of it's associations) is different for each of those people.

So, when you say "I'm bringing my cat to your house", one person may be pleased and react positively, 

while another may become angry and yell at you that you certainly are NOT going to bring the cat!


 Understanding that connotative meanings differ from one person to another may help you 

in writing your novels with the idea that clarity of language 

is lost in the mists of your reader's past experiences and current worldview.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Just Because I Like This Tune

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE IN YOUR NOVEL?


The first sentence 
 (the 2nd most important sentence in your book) 
gets the reader to buy & read your book.


The last sentence makes them glad 
they did.

Take the BEN HUR remake.  

Everyone, even the ones who enjoyed the first of the film, were turned off by the ending.



What a great last line will do:


1.) Refers back to a theme that runs throughout the book.  Double bonus points if it mirrors the first line.

2.) Breathes a spirit of victory (even in defeat) or hope.

3.) Reveals the purpose of the novel and/or meaning of the title.

A good last line will give finality, 

yet with a sense of continuing into another story that those who survived the novel will continue living their lives.


GREAT LAST LINES:


"So that, in the end, there was no end."
    - Patrick White, The Tree of Man (1955)


"But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."
   -  A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)


"He waited for someone to tell him who to be next."
 - Brian Evenson, The Open Curtain (2006) 


"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably  diffusive: 

for the growing good of the wortld is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; 

and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been 

is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
   - George Elliot, Middlemarch (1871-72)


"He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance."
   - Mary Shelly, Frankenstein (1818)


"It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world."
   - Don DeLillo, The Names (1982)


"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
   - F. Scott Fitzgerald,  The Great Gatsby (1925)


"Everything had gone right with me since he died, but how I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry."
   - Graham Greene, The Quiet American (1956)



WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LAST LINES?

Friday, May 19, 2017

The MIDNIGHT HOUR



Sssh! Food Guy is sleeping.

The big wuss. So he has a itty bitty cold. 


I thought his fever of 102 degrees made a warm pillow of his forehead for me.

He whined so much about going to work for one little day 


that I left a wedge of cheese for him on his pillow. 

And did he appreciate my joke of giving him cheese with his whine?

No, he did not.

Does he appreciate me curling up on his chest for added weight resistance as he huffs through his sit-up's?

No, he does not.

Does he appreciate my feline criticism as I paw at the keys as he types?

Of course not. My words would be magical. 


His words just lay there like stale tuna, as pretty as road-kill and about as tasty.

And all those literary ghosts who insist on ruining our sleep? What's up with that?

Ernest Heminway. 


Raymond Chandler. 

Mark Twain, well I like him ... 

he knows where I like my ears scratched. 

Still he insists on calling me Bambino!


But if that Frost guy shows up again, droning on about which road to pick, I'll pick one for him all right ...

 the one that leads to the door!

And so help me if Dr. Seuss dares to show his ghostly face, I'll barf up a furball in his green eggs and ham!

If you out there wonder where Food Guy gets all the great ideas, look no further than this Midnight Marauder. 


The lousy ones, of course, are all his.
***
Another mindless movie Food Guy will probably see and ... sigh ... enjoy:



But she does have pretty legs for a human!