Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Formatter

Oh, dear, the end is in sight. Tomorrow I send Ascension of Peary to the book formatter. He will build the ebook and the CreateSpace book for me, I will review them. If they work, I can upload the ebook immediately. The CreateSpace book will have to wait for the cover artist to format it for the number of pages in the print book. In any event, they won’t be available for sale until 9/18, although once they’re accepted, they will be available for pre-sale. I’m very nervous and edgy, though I suppose this is reasonably normal.

There is some good news on another front. I have started two other books in the world I created for Ascension of Peary. One is moving better than the other, and I presented the first chapter to my writers workshop this past Wednesday. I was stunned by the number of positive reviews I got, with some raves, and most saying they wanted to read more. Some said it was the best I’ve written yet, which suggests that Stephen King is correct when he says you have to write a million words before you can call yourself a writer. I figure that’s about where I am now in my fiction writing.

Goodness knows, I’ve written plenty of words in a legal context over the course of my career. I may have to subtract all the legal words from the fiction words to get the true number of how many words I’ve written. All that legal stuff was anti-writing.

What’s Obama doing in the arctic?

I voted for Barack Obama twice, and I’ve generally been supportive of his attempts to create health care for all and his efforts at improving the lives of Dreamers. He talks a good game on other issues but I’m not so sure. First is today’s decision to allow Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic. He has spent some political capital in chivvying climate deniers, and yet he approves prospective drilling that won’t come online for years.By the time Shell has done its bit to destroy a fracile ecology, the need for oil should be substantially reduced.

What else has he done wrong? Can you say drones? We seem to have made the choice that preserves a few American lives at the expense of thousands of nonAmerican lives. Now I can’t blame only Obama for this. It’s a practice that was fully developed by the insane war in Iraq following 9/11. We lost a lot of people there, measured in the thousands, while Iraq lost people in the hundred thousands. We’ve just changed the orders of magnitude of the deaths. But when we kill wedding parties and little children, and say “Oops!” it’s not acceptable.

Finally there’s TPP. What on earth is Obama thinking? After the economic woes in this country after Clinton started this treaty idiocy, why would Obama go to bat for a corporate driven, employee trashing, trade balance busting, environment destroying, treaty negotiated predominately by corporate shills? This is not the man who promised us hope and change. This is a man who is showing that he is as bought and paid for as any politician in Washington.

I have to applaud one thing he has done recently. The Iran nuclear agreement is the only hope for lasting freedom from nuclear war in the middle east. It is, moreover, evidence that diplomacy can work. Gasp! We treated with other nations without banging the drums of war or acting like spoiled children who don’t get their way. We got something measurable in exchange. As the right wing moans that we didn’t get everything, I have one cautionary response.Grow up! We do not rule the world, nor should we. Iran is what it is today in large measure because of our ignorant support for many years of the Shah. We should get out of the business of telling other countries how they should rule themselves. We should certainly get out of the business of supporting autocratic rulers who hold their people down. But we should maintain a dialogue with everyone we can, because humanity’s best nature is compassion. We can understand if we try. And we can stop a headlong rush to nuclear bombs by Iran by talking.

Bernie Sanders and the dream of a politician

Do you dream of a politician that talks about the things that you think are important, like the climate, the economy, Social Security, civil rights, the horrendous income and wealth inequality in this country? Do you hate negative ads and the cult of personality that so often accompanies a presidential election? Are you tired of politicians telling you there is “no political will” to do what needs to be done?

There is a political revolution beginning, and we can all climb on board. Imagine that dream politician speaking of the issues you care about, refusing to engage in the silliness between candidates that was so evident in the Republican debates a week ago. No sniping, no badmouthing with lies and innuendos. No temper tantrums and false offense. Just the facts and the issues.

As a Vermonter, I am proud to support Bernie Sanders in his campaign for the democratic nomination for president. He is my dream candidate. I may disagree with him on one or two points, but in the main he is speaking my language, my hopes and dreams. He is not playing the games of politicians past, with jostling and nitpicking to differentiate himself from others. He simply and forthrightly talks about issues, not personalities, he proposes specific solutions along with how to pay for them, and he tells us we can win if we rise together. This is a revolution I happily have joined. Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians always addressed the issues?

The Winners of the Annual #BloggersBash Awards Are…

Some of my blogging friends are winners. But these are all blogs we ought to check out!

Sacha Black

So here we are, it’s results time. If any of the winners/those who place want to display the award on their sites, drop me an email and I will send you the logo.

But first, I wanted to share with you the speech I made earlier today at the first Annual Bloggers Bash:

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The writing saga continues

As I said in my last post, I’ve been writing a new story in two versions from the perspective of the two major characters. It is the origin story for griffins on the world I created in Ascension of Peary (more about that below). I took the first chapter from each version into my writers workshop with the hope that my friends could help me decide which version to pursue. They, of course, gave me the answer that I didn’t expect. They suggested that I combine them into one with separate chapters for each character. That’s what I’ve been doing today, and it was going smoothly until I hit a chapter that should be labeled both. I guess I have some rewriting to do.

Also in the last post, I was bemoaning the fact that I had five WIPs and no inspiration on any of them. I thought at the time it was the sequel to Ascension of Peary, but it appears that the griffin story is drawing my imagination. The baby griffins are awfully cute. The story involves their rescue by two twelve year olds and a few adults and their assistance in solving a double missing person case. It’s not coming quite as easily as Peary, but at least it’s moving.

Speaking of Peary, it is still at the editor, and the first feedback I’ve gotten is that it is going more slowly than she expected based on the sample I sent her. Apparently she has some concerns about word usage and language. I suspect part of it is my tendency to use words not in general parlance. I have a larger vocabulary than many people, and certainly larger than most mid-grade and YA readers. As my workshop mates have said before, it tends to take one out of the story to have to run to the dictionary three times on a page. If that is all, I can fix it. What she doesn’t know is that I’ve already fixed it once for the same issue on the advice of my beta reader. I even changed some words after that in my final read-through before I sent it on to the editor. Oh, dear. What have I let myself in for?