Monthly Archives: January 2016

…Mary Carol Moran voices what most reasonable people feel about religion and terrorism… a great piece…

…my dear friend, Mary Carol Moran writes a terrific blog on  http://basiconeness.blogspot.com (and for good measure, she has another blog at http://soulofattraction.blogspot.com …worth catching both of them)… here she lays out quietly and succinctly a thoughtful piece on sum’thing the vast majority of decent folks will appreciate… the rational view of the nonsense that sum’times masquerades as ‘religious justification for atrocity’...

mary

Existential Roots of Extremism
By Mary Moran Carol

Our Reptilian Brains Tend Toward Fundamentalism

For many years, I’ve felt that the growing voice of strident extremism has a single deep seated unconscious root. Our reptilian brains know that our habitat is destructing around us. We feel the heat, suffer through the augmented storms, wonder what’s coming next.

Add to that the instantaneous news of climate disasters everywhere on the planet. The reptilian part of our brains not only feels what we experience ourselves, but gets gut-punched by the tsunamis, the earthquakes, the super storms, the drought, the floods around the world.

When disaster happens, the natural response is to retract into what feels like safety. Clinging to absolutist beliefs isn’t that different from hiding in a cave from a thunderstorm.

Growth of Religious Extremism

Some Christians have become more entrenched. Supreme infallible truth has a growing appeal in times of uncertainty. Perhaps the people most in need of reassurance are the ones who shout the loudest. Or perhaps the shouters are those who seize the moment for personal gain, fanning fear instead of calming the flock.

A very few Christians have embraced terrorism. Robert Dear, Jr., claims to be a “warrior for the babies,” after a killing spree at a Planned Parenthood building in Colorado.

Some Muslims have also embraced extreme fundamentalism. A very few of those have embraced terrorism, most recently felt in the west in Paris and San Bernadino.

The vast majority of Christians, Muslims, and those of other or no religion, are horrified and repelled by the actions of these few killers.

Terrorism is Not Religious

I’ve read moving articles stressing that we must not conflate terrorism with religion. We must denounce as false all claims of a religious basis for acts of terror. Those who commit terrorist acts are killers, making up a convenient excuse for their barbarism.

This assertion is certainly true. All religions need to unite in denouncing all terrorism. Period.

There’s More

But I believe there’s more to the story. We need to understand why these killers have seized on religion as their excuse. We need to fathom the underlying angst, beyond even the practical considerations for example of drought in Syria.

I believe at its basest root, it is existential angst over the destruction of our natural world that drives Christians, Muslims, and those of many religions, toward the most black-and-white versions of belief.

Once you have noncriminal religious people shouting extremism, the zeitgeist is ripe for terrorists to rise up and use religion as their excuse.

Leaders Must Rise Above Angst and Self-Interest

Is it realistic to expect everyone to release their existential angst? No.

What is realistic is to expect leaders to rise above their own angst, and their own self-interest, and to embrace that their role in an uncertain world is to calm rather than to incite.

Many are doing this already. Many more are needed. The voices of moderation, embracing, and unity need to become louder than those for divisiveness.

We need today’s Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lincoln to start shouting. We need religious and political leaders who are as brave and outspoken as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama.

And we need a media that gives them airtime and focus.

The Long Long Long Term Solution

I believe that when we begin to see effective action toward coping with climate change, we will begin to see the demise of terrorism.

Everyone needs to believe that their home is secure. Physiological and safety needs are the base levels of Maslov’s heirarchy. Nothing will get better until we feel safe.

We know in our guts that the world isn’t going to go back to the planet we knew. We need also to know in our guts that the new world will be a place that we can live in security and peace.

Your Thoughts

As always, Mary looks forward to reading your thoughts in her blog comments columns. Go join in! She wishes yeez a joyous day!

… thanks for this, Mary

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…authoress Kelly Modulon (doncha just LUV that name!)… has sum’thing to tell yeez…

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…here’s an interesting post from another of my scribbling friends from Australia…. Kelly Modulon gives yeez a wee peek at her debut novel, Being Norah… enjoy…

 

Hi all! My name is Kelly Modulon, author of women’s fiction novel Being Norah, published through Satalyte Publishing in 2015.

What do I love most about writing?

Everyone has a story that consumes them for a lifetime. Reading other peoples’ stories helps us to better understand our own and makes us better people all round improving our emotional intelligence and enabling our ability to stand in the shoes of another. Reading each other, hearing each other, may just be what saves this world and keeps us going.

Storytelling, be it fiction or fantasy, is an art and a gift. To entertain, to enlighten, to inspire, to provoke or simply to escape. What a wonderful method of communication.

I have always been good with words… as long as I have a minute to think first.

On the spot I’m flustered, I flounder and usually manage to offend… at least someone. But give me a little time, some well simmered thoughts and a bit of calm and I have ‘a lovely turn of phrase’, to quote my mother.

Writing is a vent, a therapy, and a free-range open plain to exercise our emotions and creative needs. I have enjoyed its blank canvas like the open arms of a friend first with poetry, then with songwriting during my many years in music and now with great pride and a small tinge of surprise, I am a novelist.

Thanks to the keen eye of the team at Satalyte Publishing, (who can clearly smell a good author a mile away!), Being Norah was released in April 2015 as both a paperback and as an ebook.

Norah-MU4-2

Being Norah tells of one woman’s journey of personal acceptance as she fends off the interference of family and the somewhat limiting expectations she had put upon herself.

There are introspective inner dialogues that I think most women will relate to well and a smooth and comfortable romance that takes our dear Norah quite by surprise despite her best efforts to resist.

Being Norah is a novel about being happy with who you are…even if you aren’t quite sure who that is yet.

Never underestimate the possibilities that come with a pair of borrowed red high heels, a visiting cat and a passion for playing piano secretly in the dark.

There will be a second novel released by Satalyte Publishing by the middle of this year. I’m not giving anything away just yet but it is exciting and unusual…

Stand by!

Buying links :

AUS amzn.to/1Q1nQCg

UK amzn.to/1m4UcEh

US amzn.to/1JPnSRg

 

…thanks for sharing, m’Lady, Kelly… come back and visit again soon… see yeez all later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…a first!… a publisher’s Guest Post… from my pal Stephen Ormsby…

…ever wondered why a writer might think of becoming a publisher?… an author himself, Stephen Ormsby has his slant on it… an eye-opener…

satalyte

So Why Did I Become a Publisher?

Firstly, let me introduce myself. I’m Stephen Ormsby, and hail from Down Under. I own and run Satalyte Publishing with my graphic designer wife, Marieke. We have been in operation for just over two years, and have published some 36 titles. Some of our authors include Kevin J. Anderson, Jack Dann and a great bunch of Aussies that you should be reading.

So, now to the question: why become a publisher? I wrote a novel titled ‘Long Lost Song’, which I thought was a good story. A small press in America picked it up quickly, and, lo and behold, I was a published author. My second novel, a horror one this time titled ‘Pendant’, was also picked up as quickly.

I suddenly had two novels published, and was meeting lots of great people. One of those people was involved with Supanova, a pop culture convention that travels around Australia. They asked me if I would like to sell my books at their stall. Of course, I agreed.

But then, I found out how hard it was to get my own novels out to Australia. The small press were using CreateSpace, which does not have a printing facility in Australia, so it cost me more to get them shipped to me than printed.

Like a good 12 year old, I threw a hissy fit in a corner, and said ‘that’s it. I’m starting a publishing house. An Australian house for Australian authors.’ My wife turned to me, and replied, ‘that’s great. You do know that I’m pregnant.’ Somehow though, my publisher thought that meant that I would be self-publishing, and dropped my contracts immediately.

I do not regret it though. Since then I have met so many other great authors and readers. I am now arranging to have an international author at an Australian convention, and I get to talk to my favourite authors across the world. Who would give that up?

But the best bit about being a publisher? We make dreams come true. How often do you get to say that?

 

…there yeez have it, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, and ‘specially scribblers from Oz… give Stephen a call…

…and connect on any of these links :

Blog:  http://Satalyte.com.au

Twitter:  @SatalytePublish

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SatalytePublishing

…thanks, that man, Stephen,… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…my ‘shut-out-the-WURLD’ go-to place…

…born at the tail end of the of the 1940s, this ol’ Scots Jurassic is very much a child of the ’50s and ’60s... scholastic gadgetry such as pocket calculators, followed by desktop compoooters, and ultimately by the plague of  iPhones, iPads, iThis and iThat and iWhatevers were unknown learning tools… sliderules and logarithm charts, abundant with algebraic components, sines, cosines, tangents, vectors and quadrolililililililiograms kept active what little grey cells we possessed back then…

 

rool

…fast forward to the modern day, and the curse/blessing of nano-technology and insta-communication offers up the WUNDERS-of-the-WURLD-WIDE-WEB… this wee Caledonian scribbler, rooted firmly in days of yore, consistently railed defiantly against each successive wave of new-fangled ‘stuff’ as the ‘50s and ‘60s yielded grudgingly to the ’70’s, ’80’s, and beyond… employing old-fashioned mental arithmetic and owning a staunch supply of academy-level vocabulary, the Google route for Master Gallacher was a ‘no-go’ area… throughout my career as a Financial Master of the Universe, I consistently eschewed the use of Master Gates’ and Master Jobs’ inventions, relying instead on ‘my people’ to do whatever was necessary in that direction… comes then the switch in vocation from the denizens of the Murky Money Markets to a lowly, striving quill-scraper… the next wannabe Nobel Literary Prize collector (so long as they remember to send me the fare to attend the ceremony, Mabel)… and presto, hey!… the need to be involved in the SOSYAL NETWURKS as an Author demands participation in the very virtual vertiginous universe that I shunned for so long… one thingy led to another thingy…

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…along comes the blogging aspect… the melding with the fabulous global writing diaspora… countless like-minded brothers and sisters of the scrivener’s art… and d’yeez know what?… I’m LUVVIN IT!… finally, I’ve found a hideaway that permits me to indulge my whims and fancies in prose and poetry… my ‘shut-out-the-WURLD’ go-to place… mind yeez, I still whip out the ol’ sliderule to check the number of reviews and the Amazon royalties… sum’things never die… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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…the conundrum of an Author’s earnings… what price a Kindle eBook?…

…how long is a piece of string?… how deep is the universe?… as an outsider, how does Kanye West observe humanity?… puzzles more simply solved, p’raps, than the vexatious issue of what an Author gets paid for her/his  labours on the eBook circuit… granted the ease-of-click-a-download-button and the close-to-commoditisation-of-eBooks has driven down the levels at which normally sensible people will pay for a book… I say ‘normally sensible people’, ‘coz, for most other products available online, there is not such an outrageous expectation of ‘flooring’ of prices for stuff from the Web… apart from the initial phenomenon several years ago, when a mere handful of titles were pushed out at 99 cents or 99 pence and ramped up a million sales, these were the absurd ‘black swan syndrome’ exceptions to the ROOL… the overwhelming majority of titles do not enjoy such download volumes… I’ve seen it recorded sum’where, that 99% of authors don’t ever reach 500 sales for a title… consider that for a wee minute… granted there is a fair amount of substandard writing being offered as a consequence of the ease at which a book can be made public through the Great God Amazon, but equally, there are also vast numbers of excellent scribblers out there… writers who invest up to a year and more of their lives crafting, word-sculpting, toiling to produce their manuscripts…  and yet, a proportion of the readers market (and yeez have all seen this) still complain that an eBook is overpriced at, say three pounds, or four dollars or whatever… the same cost that  would hardly buy a single decent coffee or a coupla doughnuts… by trial and error over these past years, my own sense of the ‘sweet spot’ at which the Kindle market seems to have settled on as a ‘fair’ price is USD 3.99 or its Sterling equivalent of around Stg 2.75… I’d be interested to learn what other folks think? …see yeez later .. LUV YEEZ!… here’s my current Jack Calder crime thriller masterpieces , each at the nailed price of USD 3.99

 

 

Cover for Violin Man

THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

UK   amzn.to/1KjvUwh

USA amzn.to/1OVFIlu

VWB cover

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

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USA amzn.to/1npi3zM

front view SP

SAVAGE PAYBACK

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…catch a few more Champions Awards…

champions-awards

…in a world that seems to rush around at an even faster pace than ever, I’d like to take a few moments to have yeez consider how important it is to acknowledge publicly the many wunnerful folks who populate Blog Land… there are already gazillions of splendid Awards, recognising the goodness of so many of our fellow scribblers and readers… supporters all in their own way, worthy of a thousand special ‘thank you’ nods… the intent of these CHAMPIONS AWARDS is to differentiate those fine people who go that extra special mile for others… my fervent hope is that this will circulate and ‘viralise’ (new WURD, Mabel, settle down) and trigger your own CHAMPIONS AWARDS for those you know deserve it :

My next nominees (round of applause, thank you) for these CHAMPIONS AWARDS are :

Colleen Chesebro      http://silverthreading.com

Christophe Fischer    http://www.christophfischerbooks.com

K.S.Beth                      ididnthavemyglasseson.com

Alhanda                      @alhanda

Barbara Spencer       www.barbaraspencer.co.uk

Recipients, if you choose to accept and wish to propagate the CHAMPIONS AWARDS, please do the following:

  1. Post this Award Sticker on your blog, with the hashtag #CHAMPIONSAWARDS
  2. Acknowledge the sponsor of your Awards.
  3. Choose at least five of your own nominees and advise them accordingly, attaching these 5 guidelines.
  4. Keep it simple… no need for explanations for the Awards… we know how great these folks are.
  5. You are free to give out these Awards as frequently as you wish.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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… how much of a Writer’s real life experience goes into their fiction?… Authoress pal, Dori Ann Dupre shows yeez…

…Guest Blogs are such a fabulous source of great gems… my terrific pal, Authoress, Dori Ann Dupre shares this piece with yeez today… well worth the read… and p’raps another read after that… enjoy:

Writing Real in Fiction

Dori Ann Dupré, Novelist

When I told an established novelist, screenplay writer and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of my intention to finish my first novel, he asked me when I came up with my story. I told him that I had the idea for my book at least twenty or more years ago, but every time I started it, I would just give up and throw it away. He asked me why. I explained that I wasn’t quite sure but, at the time, I never felt like it was coming out right.

His response to that stuck with me: “Sometimes you need to live a little more, have more life experience behind you, to make it all come out in the right way.”

He was 55 years old when he wrote his first novel. I was 44.

 

dori

 

My novel, Scout’s Honor, is not a memoir. As interesting as my life has been thus far, it hasn’t been quite that interesting. That’s why I enjoy writing fiction. I can make it as interesting as I want. I think memoirs, while probably painful writing in many instances (I mean, who wants to read a happy memoir?), certainly have their place in our hearts and book clubs and on our bookshelves. But fiction writing is a unique way to write real life experiences into an alternate universe altogether.

When I completed my first manuscript and started sending it out to agents and publishers, I was 44 years old with a wealth of life experience already behind me (I had to grow up a lot faster than most of my Gen Xers). But I’m also still young enough to have a wealth of life experience ahead of me…waiting out there…yet to live.

I’m wiser but not yet wise.

I started writing Scout’s Honor in my head when I was in my early twenties. I’d write it down on paper in a notebook. There were a few specific youthful observations that fed into my idea for the story. I can even recall telling a supervisor, while in the Army, to be on the lookout for my book someday. But I don’t think that this particular book could have been written without the past twenty years also lived. I suppose I had to go through more of grown up life in order for it to be written exactly how I wanted to tell this particular story.

I needed to experience more of “real” life: death, heart break, grief, love, suffering, inexplicable pain, joy, personal success, personal failure, and all the highs and lows that come with a twenty-year marriage and raising two daughters into adulthood. I think that fiction writers do what memoir writers do: take the wealth of emotions and observations that come from real life experiences, and instead of putting them all into a true story, push them out into a fictional one…creating something almost as real as a memoir itself.

My debut launches on April 14th, 2016 with French Press Bookworks, a Pen Name Publishing imprint. I write about regular (fictional) people in North Carolina, contemporary stories about life, love and loss. My hope is that anyone who reads my work will be touched by the characters and their personal triumphs and tragedies and will be able to identify with them in some way.

Scout’s Honor begins in August of 1983 and ends in the modern day. A full description of this coming of age and tale of self-discovery can be found on my website along with two other projects I have in the works. And if you would like to see my (kick-ass) official book trailer, it is now live on YouTube and my website and all over my social media.

Lastly, I write a new blog called Finding Dori. It is for novice authors and writers just getting their work out there to the public, shooting it out into the void of the modern exchange…and fumbling along (like me) trying to figure it all out without giving up and sitting down for a good cry or temper tantrum. I hope that my blog will help others also getting started, just as the Master Jurassic Scots Scribbler from Glesga has helped so many others out there (or as Seumas would say, “oot there”) get started on their “wee” journeys.

Thank you Seumas Gallacher for this opportunity to share my work with your astoundingly vast and diverse audience through a guest post on your blog. And even if it generates absolutely no interest whatsoever in my own personal writing endeavors and my baby novel, at least I will be able to say that I’ve seen my beautiful book cover displayed next to a super nice guy in a kilt.

Coming April 14th, 2016

French Press Bookworks

www.FrenchPressBookworks.com

Dori Ann Dupré

www.DoriAnnDupre.com

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and my blog, Finding Dori

For the Book Trailer, click here

Happy writing, y’all…

-Dori

…and many thanks to yerself, m”Lady, Dori… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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