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Away…a Critique of the Show.

Is there life on MARS?

Away

Netflix released a new show that is billed as a Sci-Fi.

Spoiler Alert…I talk about events that happen in this show and offer advice for a season 2.  Binge watch it like I did before you read this unless you are not going to, then enjoy it.

I usually don’t watch TV, much less binge watch a program.  As a writer, I have a few things to say about this program.

I want to start with a shout out to Talitha Bateman.  Your acting is what made me continue to watch the show.  When I write an emotional scene, often, I will include the ‘strings of snot,’ as we have all been there. Those are as important as tears.  They make it real.  Not only were you visually believable, but for 19 years old, I look forward to seeing what else you show up in.  Don’t lose your soul while you live in the lights.

Some of your acting was a little over the top.  In the scenes in the hospital, when it is mentioned that you are too comfortable, that scene was unbelievable and jarred me out of the story.

Whoever told you to eat with your mouth open is wrong.  It is a total distraction, stop it. If you do that in your real life, go to charm school.  As an actress, you can ill afford bad habits.

Hillary Swank…I was lukewarm about her performance.  There were times she sold me, and times she fell flat.  I think NASA training would have had her emotions totally in check.  The model of Patrick Stewart on Next Generation.  If you need a female model, pick Janeway from Voyager.  Shit happens. As a leader, you have to deal with it.  Emotions are not part of the package in that role.

If you were to indeed fall apart on the moon before leaving on a three-year mission, any competent ‘GROUND’ would have scrubbed the mission.  In my opinion, this show made women look weak, and I know plenty who could be a Katherine Janeway.

Josh Charles… I had totally empathy for him as a character.  He needs to make better progress with his health in Season II. 

His daughter and his wife are the focal points at this juncture. His brokenness is established and turning in to a distraction.

Felicia Patti was adorable, and her part was believable.  I would love to see her more active in Season 2 if there is indeed a season 2.  I would look for other roles quickly, so you are not typecast in that role when your name is mentioned. 

Monique Gabriela Again loved her acting.  While supporting cast, she sold me.   

I have nothing negative to say regarding the other actors.  The ones I mentioned carried the show.

There might be too many characters or POV’s to deal with, which are a distraction. I felt like we were doing a lot of head-hopping.

There were way too many flashbacks ‘information dumps’ slowing the pacing of this show to a crawl.  NASA would never miss something like RAM’s health issues, which made the attempted airlock and subsequent corona viruses PPE hot zone Epstein Barr BS hit too close to home, not allowing us to have that fantasy we all try to have when watching a show or reading a book.

Mark Ivanir was fun, but, again…the daughter drama was just over the top and took away from the story.  From ‘she is not qualified to, I am blind is a stretch.’  The puppet show was amusing, and the character of Misha was likable. I would rather see more of his culture than all of this lost my wife and now I am too broken to be anything but a lowly cosmonaut See, that doesn’t work even in writing.

I have severe issues with him cheating on the eye exam.  The concept of space blindness coming on that quickly seems very contrived. I would think their strict training would have him fess up that he was having issues.  The thousands of bolts and parts made this scene too long and unbelievable.

Drilling a hole through the side of the ship was unbelievable.  Knowing that was a possibility they could have had something to put over the hole with them and ready just in case. If NASA engineers told them where to drill, how could they not hit the water?  Sorry, that is poor writing and lack of technical expertise on the writer’s part.  As soon as the drill punctured the metal, they would have heard the hiss. 

The message of Climate Change was there, but not to the point where it took away from the show itself.  The concept of all of the countries working together was good until you had the Chinese pulling strings for propaganda. 

Who would agree to that?  Why would they agree to that?  It makes zero sense.

If the purpose of a mission to Mars is to bring the world together in a Cumbia moment, just possibly, we should have developed a relationship with the entire crew that they had when they landed before they took off.  Yes, that removes some conflict, but…the conflict on the ship takes away from the believability of the show.

Instead of drilling a hole, have a micrometeorite punch a hole.

Have them fly through a dense area of them damaging things like the solar panels, limiting the power they can use.

The tension on earth, behind the scenes is one thing. Tension and BS with the crew, not so sure NASA would send up a team that might stab each other in the back if given the opportunity.

Everything that went wrong was predictable, and as a writer, I was looking for it.  The only twist, the only thing that I did not expect was the Midnight Mass.  That was refreshing and made me like Isaac.  Whoever came up with that idea.  Good Job!

As a writer, I know what I would do to make a season 2 but, it would change the film from a soap opera into science fiction.

We are Not Alone

When they get to the Pegasus, show evidence that someone or something got to it before them and took most of what they need to survive, leaving, of course, the parts necessary to convert urine into water.  Give them just enough to survive while they wait for the second supply ship.

During this time, they must figure out who or what else is living on MARS.

They must wait for the secondary supply ship because if they leave right now, they will die on the return trip.

This lack of supplies forces them to deal with the natives, and they don’t have guns.  They will have to invent a weapon to protect the ship from the Martian marauders who are looking for more food.

Flesh out the relationship between Emma and Ram while working the same magic on earth between Josh and Monique.

I love the idea of him as broken and her with a special needs daughter that needs a sister, friend, and father figure.  Emma and the crew thought they were going to die and had a fling, making it impossible for them to get back together when they return to earth.  Yes, it is a trope but, you already have us going down this road.  We already want them to hook up.  Emma needs to change the way she feels about Josh. 

His daughter and her boyfriend can further the conflict by having her get on the bike and race for a prize.  This forces her dad to deal with her as an adult and not a child.  Monique assist him with this process and he is amenable because of some strange messages from Emma regarding Ram.  She talks about him in just about every email.

Possibly some bacteria gets into their food or water, which messes with their brains…a little.  I was thinking the water in the skin of the ship came from the moon…How about a moon virus, or bacteria, from that water which they drank?

Think about it, life on the moon too…

Remember, this is science fiction. All of these complicated subplots need to be sprinkled and not flooded on the screen. Focus on the Martians and protecting the ship while you sprinkle.  Maybe they have to track the Martians down to retrieve something they need to make the ship work.  Force them in the lion’s den.

Bring in more science and some tense moments with the Martians, whatever they are.  I would make them underground creatures that only come out at night…  They might look like giant spiders … Spiders that think and act as a collective. Maybe and have a taste for human blood.  There was plasma on the supply ship, and now they are vampires…LOL

Seriously, they could be creatures that act as a collective like honeybees or ants.

Ok, that is my two cents worth.

If you have watched it I would love your take.

Much Love -TW

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What day is it?

Is this just another day with a Y at the end?

Do you find yourself asking this?

As we come up to another holiday weekend one wonders what is going to be different?

Maybe we don’t spend so much time in front of the computer?

Can we close the lid on the laptop and then what? Read another book or perhaps find some other mindless show on a streaming service?

While some find an oasis in their back yard many don.t have such a place. I cant help but wonder what the long term social effects, of this lost year will manifest as.

Employers are learning that employees can telecommute.

If employees are under house arrest ‘so to speak’ they tend to put in longer hours just because.

Now that the world is paranoid about a virus so small it takes an electron microscope to see it, how do we use that to ‘our’ advantage?

You had best know that people in power are looking into this. Every new technology is first looked at in the way of, how can I weaponize it. the same is true of events such as this pandemic.

I firmly believe that the media is using fear of the unknown to socially modify the fabric of society around the globe, but to what end?

The other day I was writing a letter to a freind and I used the term ‘China Virus.’

My grammar checker berated me for using such a hateful caustic bigoted term.

WTF?

The thing came from China. There is no argument about it. Those are the facts.

Who programmed or modified the code to look for such terminology?

I have many friends from China, I don’t hate the Chinese people.

I want to know who in their right mind thinks it wise to make a bad virus worse?

Did you know they have genetically modified mosquitoes? It is true, they have modified the mosquito to render the female sterile.

On the surface this sounds like a good idea but, what else have they done we don’t know about?

In Japan they are working with the embryo of Sheep human hybrids.

That sounds like a BAAAAAAD idea.

You know that somewhere in some back room there is a hybrid talking sheep.

What might this day with a Y at the end bring in the future?

Was this virus designed to kill off the old and sickly?

Was the HIV virus created to remove gay people from the earth in some post Hitler Genocide attempt?

Was Ebola constructed to do away with over population of people who are starving?

What else in cooking in petri dishes around the world in nondescript buildings ?

No, I don’t trust any government. Power corrupts. I am also a science fiction writer among other things, so my cynicism allows me to construct wild fantasies that today are just not that wild.

Stay Safe, Stay healthy and Enjoy the weekend!

Much Love -TW

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Groundhog Day

Are people really that stupid? Yes Virginia, some are.

The ignorance out there abounds to levels that never cease to amaze me.  I needed to run a few errands.  Truthfully I needed to get out of the house. 

Either people are scared as in petrified or just plain stupid.  I am in my car, windows up, at a red light.  The person next to me honks her horn and then points to the mask on her face. 

She then points her crooked finger at me and then her face.

What do you do with that?

I thought about rolling my window down and give the appearance of a sneeze, but that lunatic might have produced a gun.  Her windows were up too.

I wear a mask when it is appropriate, but I find myself not going out as often as I would.  During this entire pandemic, I have only purchased gasoline once, and that was just to put some fresh gas in the tank as gas can get stale.

What are you doing this weekend?

For me, it is almost just another day with a Y at the end.

When Bill Murry played a role in Groundhog Day, little did we all know we would get to do it for real.  For some of you who have the rioters and looters burning your town down in those peaceful protests, you might want to consider carefully the people who let that happen.  No, it wasn’t the current president.  Local law is not controlled at the federal level.  That is your mayor or Governor, not Trump.

As for me, I have several projects I am working on to stay busy.  I was looking at the 1933 film King Kong.  If you follow me at all, you know that I love to paint old movie stars. 

I am focusing on Fay Wray this month.  She was known as the Queen of Scream.  If I paint her, should I also paint Kong?  Just a thought.

Stay tuned for details as I put brush to canvass.

Much Love -TW

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What are the odds?

Will it work?

As a forensic technologist, I get some strange requests.  Not long ago, a guy sends me some zip disks that he needed the files on them.  I happen to have one that would read them, put them on a flash drive, and he was a happy camper.

Now there is probably a story I could write about what I found on his zip disks but damned if client information is protected.  They could have been the directions to where Hoffa if buried or perhaps who shot Kennedy.

We will never know as the information goes with me to the grave, or in my case, forgetfulness.

This beast came in today.

Many of you are reading this have no idea what this is, but I had one in its heyday!  Crossing my fingers, I plugged it into my variable power supply. I wanted to bring the voltage up on the caps slowly.

The magic smoke came out of at least one resistor before I ever got past to 60 volts.

The cost well outweighs the effort necessary to bring this dinosaur back to life.  I could, but why?

The odds are high; the hard drive is seized.  Most probably, I would be replacing multiple capacitors in the power supplies of not only the PC but the monitor.

Finding parts for this beast would be more of a challenge than fixing it.

I know of a museum that collects things like this.  I think the next time I travel that way, I will take it with me.

Fun fact, this device, or one like it, was used as a protocol analyzer.  Back in the day, I carried one like this all over the country.  That thing would let you see the datagram from the preamble on.  When I first saw it, the fellow operating it told it to me like this. (this is what whetted my appetite in forensics btw.)

The topology or network architecture of the day was token-ring. 

This machine still has a token-ring card in it.  Token-ring was named after its architecture.  One token or ‘train car’ goes around the track… The track is the series of wires, MAU’s and devices.  Once a data packet ‘token’ was sent out, the token would go to every active device and ask ‘is this for you?’

Terribly inefficient and expensive. Each NIC (network interface card) carried a license from IBM, which was not cheap.

This device could tell me not only who the conductor was but the color of his or her underpants—metaphorically speaking.  Without details of the OSI model and technical stuff that would cause you to leave, this was the bomb.

As I lifted it on the bench a little while ago, all those memories of carrying it through the airports came back.  This was known at the Compaq luggable, and we called it the singer sewing machine because of the size and shape.

From the Osborn to the Kaypro and then this, we were moving on up.

Truthfully I hoped I would see a C:\   I wanted to type DIR and see what would happen or was it DIR *.* ??

That trip down memory lane stopped with the smoke, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Writers, there are stories in that box.  What secrets does it hold?  What is on that hard drive?  Who owned it?

Yes, I have to get back to my story on The Three Hundred, but work comes before play, and I needed to get in touch with you.

Have a story to share…Use the comments. 

Much Love -TW

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Saturday WVD 234

WVD. Wuhan Virus Day. How many days have you been living with the threat of this virus?

Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having my life disrupted for this long.

“Give it two weeks of lock down to flatten the curve.”

For those of you who drive, think of that morbid sense of curiosity when you pass an accident where the cars or perhaps other form of transportation is a tangled mess of metal.

Without thinking your foot comes off the accelerator even though you have been complaining about everyone in front of you slowing to look.

That is how I feel seeking your response to this next question.

What are you being told about the virus?

Our media has blamed it all on Trump. It is as if he was in his basement with his 1950 chemistry set from ACME playing evil genius. Mixing a little of this chemical with some of that until things began to bubble. When a vapor spilled out of the vile everything it touched wrinkled as if the atoms themselves were being ripped apart. The covalent bonds somehow warped around his sinister action.

It is of course an election year. There are some who don’t want so see him get another four years.

Where did the virus come from?

How did it get in to your part of the world?

How are you doing with it?

In yesterdays blog I spoke about looking at this time as a way to lift each other up. There is huge wisdom in helping each other in times of crises. I believe this is the quintessential definition of ‘crises.’

I think the reason the virus is so problematic is there is no end in sight. In this country the media has used the virus as a cudgel to batter the president. Dividing our country along ideological lines is straight out of Joseph Goebbles play book when he was the propaganda minister for Hitler.

One of the largest issues I see is few have any idea who Joseph was or what he did.

The novel I am writing on this blog The Three Hundred take place right after everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Check it out, the first ten thousand words are there for you to read and comment on.

Much Love -TW

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Where are they are Mars?

Are you all reading the first two acts of The Three Hundred ?

With story structure, we have many different things to consider.  In a short story, you have limited words to work with, which translates to limited plot devices, characters as well as the structure itself.  If we write a novel of 60 to 100 thousand words, then what?

More characters, more twists, and turns, and the structure changes.

The Three Hundred currently is 10K words and, there are more in the pipeline.    Sitting on Mars, we have a small crew investigating the infamous face on Mars.

What is it?

Back in the dark ages…1976, Viking 1 snapped a picture of a fantastic sight.  There on the surface in an area of Mars known as Cydonia was proof positive that there was life on Mars! 

Maybe not.

Taking a picture of a rock formation that appeared to have two eyes, nose and mouth, NASA released the image to the public to drum up interests in NASA and Mars.  It worked.  It worked a little too well as the rags that live on the shelves by the checkouts in stores, showed the face and tantalizing teases.

Writers like yours truly, use it as fodder for stories, and why not?

If you were standing on mars close to the two-mile-long structure, dare I say it, you would not recognize it as anything other than rocks.

For the purpose of this story, there is a rectangular opening. What are the odds of a perfectly rectangular opening on and edifice that looks like a large human face?

If and when we ever do get to Mars, I am confident that someone will snap a picture of it from ground level. Until then we can enjoy The Three hundred and other sci-fi fantasies

One of the craziest scams I saw recently was someone selling an acre of Mars for $12.  Much like the star registry, someone came up with selling land on another planet.

Can you just imagine some rich Texas oil tycoon buys Mars in total, finds a way to go there to discover that life is on Mars, and they are all larger than life spiders?

I am giving away a much better product, a fantasy of Mars, and all you have to do is to hit that follow button and read on when the next act drops.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

As always, I welcome your feedback, comments, and a friendly Hello.  We are all in this COVID Pandemic together. Why not find something bad like this virus to bring us together as a people, instead of divide us like so many in the media want to do?

Much Love -TW

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The Business of Writing

Is writing a story enough?

I spend more time on the mechanics of writing than I do the business.

“TW, I just want to write a book and let someone else do the business part, I am a ‘creative.'”

Can anyone of you tell me what is wrong with that statement?  I bet many of you can, especially if you have followed me for any length of time.

Children tell stories.  Have you ever listened to your kids having a sleepover under the guise of making toll house cookies? (Come on, we all want to know who are kids’ friends are.) I digress, storytelling is a small part of the equation.

Stories revolve around ideas.  We all have ideas; when we can put them on paper in a way where others want to read them is where the rubber meets the road.

  1. Writing the story
  2. Editing the story
  3. Creating the tagline and logline
  4. Selling the story

If those four parts are not daunting enough, there are dozens of other steps you must take.  The business of writing is not for the faint of heart.

The four generalized bullet points are the tip of the iceberg. Let’s say your strengths are story structure.  Maybe you and Robert McKee were roommates in college. One of the things I see writers do is offer up their unique talent as a service to other writers.

If they are Save the Cat, Blake Snyder Credible, that service will not be cheap.  If they are not, you might be wasting your money.  Be advised this ‘business’ is rife with predators.

One of the aphorisms I live by is, ‘don’t quit your day job.’

I own a company that has little to do with writing.  If it involved writing I would not have the passion for it that I do.  Writing would be a job and not a hobby.

The trick will be if I reach my destination, how will I keep the passion as it will turn into a job.

Where do you draw the line between the business of writing and keeping it as a hobby?

My background is probably not one that you would find familiar in a crowd of people.

Currently, I am a forensic data miner.  Those idiots that send out phishing scams and attempt to extort money from people, I go after them.  Since my own site has been attacked, I chuckle when they try it; and then I begin to do my thing.  Those people need to be held accountable.

So why write?

The business of writing is another puzzle.

What started as storytelling, was just the outside layer of the onion.

Like Metadata often leads me to my quarry, peeling the onion back, we find yet another layer.   Sometimes it is like those Babushka dolls, instead of representing fertility it is more like the next waypoint toward my goal or destination.

If you start out with a ‘story,’ and your end goal is re-occurring revenue from a best-seller, you had best have a damned good GPS.  The road is fraught with peril, thieves, misfortune and challenges.   I have taken it on as I take on everything in life, as a puzzle.

Many, including me, have tried to shortcut the path by doing that which has already been done.  When 50 shades hit the stores I ignored it.  Not my cup of tea.  I did the same with Vampire stories.  As ELJames and Stephenie Meyer were making the big bucks, I could no longer afford to ignore them.

Writing similar stories of the erotic variety, while fun to write, ‘tell a story,’ they were no longer unique.

So, here is the advice part of this blog post.

Write that which you are passionate about. Don’t try and write the next Harry Potter, it has been done to death.  Once you write your story, get into a writing group where they critique each other’s work.  Make the story the best it can be and then you self-publish it. 

Yes, save yourself the months of trying to capture an agent’s attention with your first story.  Self-publish it and learn the rest of the business.

Mark Corker of Smashwords tells new authors that most will make about $10 the first year.  Ouch!  There is a harsh reality.  I can craft a book a month; most people take years.  While my stories sell, they do not sell with the alacrity that I would like them to have.

Having written over 24 million words in different novels, I have learned a few things.

Your first novel will probably suck; just like a vampire, it will suck big time.  Let your sales be your guide.

Feedback from people who spent $3 on your book is invaluable if they are convincing and objective.

Once you face the harsh realities of this world, figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are.

My strengths are I have many ideas, and I write very fast.  I love to solve puzzles, and am self-disciplined when it comes to sitting at the keyboard.

The puzzle aspect of this ‘business’ is I don’t have thin skin, and if someone tells me that something sucks, I can take the criticism and consider where the sucky part came from and fix it.

Currently, I am giving away a novel five thousand words at a time.   If you follow me, you know it is science fiction.  Why?

FEEDBACK!

Once the novel is finished and I have received feedback, I will re-write it and self-publish on Smashwords and Amazon.  Now, many I know would not do that.  They think that one novel will be their life’s work.

Friends, you cannot be a one-trick pony in this business.  I can write five thousand words with a glass of Merlot.

Short stories are a different story structure but an excellent way to improve your writing skills.

Currently, I am re-writing one of my novels‘ Voices from the Past.’

Not only can the story use some help but, the cover, like most of my covers, need help.  There is a science to cover design I recently just learned.  I am an artist so I designed them artistically.  Lots of Expletives later I now have to go back and redo just about every stinking cover.

While my GPS missed a waypoint, I will continue, and I hope that you do as well.

Use this time of few distractions to work on that which you love.  Turn off the news, limit Netflix, and find time with you and your keyboard.

I spend very little time on social media as it is pissing my life down the toilette, just like the noise from the mainstream media trashing the president or his opponent.  Follow the facts, not the noise. Turn off the sound and don’t let 2020 be a wasted year.

If writing is a passion, then dammit do it!

Seize the day!

Much love -TW

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Happy ‘Hump Day’

What does Hump day say to you?

As a writer of naughtiness on occasion, I have mixed feelings about the words ‘hump day.’

In the spirit of total transparency, I have issues with the appropriation of many words and colloquiums. 

I rather like the term gay as happy.  Now, if you were to say ‘I feel so gay,’  people would look at you strangely and might say, good for you for coming out.  

Imagine you are at a social event, and you are feeling rather ‘gay.’  You see your man friend drinking a girly drink with that skewer of pineapple and maraschino cherry.  Not wanting your friends to think him effeminate, you go and steal it playfully.  You then look at him with a cat-like grin, tell him ‘ha, I got your cherry.’

How might that conversation go?

While hump day is the reaching of the precipice of the week, and then the egress down the other side, how many of us think something very different?  That is one reason I think Wednesday night church service is a bad idea.  At the end of hump day, I don’t want to be thinking about Jesus on the cross.

***

If you are a regular, you no doubt have read the second act of The Three Hundred.

I was reading it over last night and found more typos than I usually allow but, I left them for this reason.

When you write something, don’t be so hard on yourself.  My mistakes occur because I think much faster than I can get the ideas down on paper.  In one sentence, there is ‘door something and door’ again. One tip I usually use is to read it aloud.  Printing is also an excellent way to catch errors.

I will go back and correct it soon.

I started ACT III, and I hit a stumbling block.

Here is a question for you who follow me.  Should I have them find living Martians or …should I have them find evidence of Martians?

I told you when I started, I was offering you the chance to have input, there It is.

Say something in the comments below.

Until then, my lovelies, stay safe, sane, and remember it is Hump day.  Make sure your loved ones know you are thinking of them.

Much Love -TW

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Stopping to get water from the Martian ice, they did not expect to find this.

The Three Hundred ACT II

© TWScott 2020

Family

Dave headed back down the hall, passing different people who all seemed to be on a mission.  Nobody stopped to acknowledge him, which seemed rather strange.  The lights were out in his quarters, and there was a lump under the bedding.  Sam turned over with the sounds of him undressing.

“You did come back.”

The warmth under the covers was comforting while snuggling up to her.  Hours passed before there was a buzz at the door.

“Damnit!”

Tossing his robe on, he opened the door to find a young lady standing there.  Her English was broken but understandable.  “Bill, he ah sent me down here to remind you of your address to the crew.”

“What address is she talking about?” Sam asked, looking at the short blond-headed woman.

“It is right here on the schedule, 1400, address to the crew.  You are the captain, ya?”

David looked at her nodding his head.  The door shut with her still standing in the room.  “Where are your clothes?”

David looked at Sam and then back at this person.  “Excuse me, who are you?”

“Oh, begging pardon, I am Helga.  I am your assistant, butler, and go-to person.  I am also your …other.”

David was not sure what she meant, but he assumed it was a language thing.

“Oh, well I need to shower and dress, I will be along in about twenty minutes.”  The blue eyes pierced his soul as she did not waver or turn to leave.  Her short curly hair reminded him of a poodle his mother once had.

Helga left the bedroom as her short skirt left little to the imagination. She headed into the bathroom, turning on the shower, she returned.  “The water is perfect if you don’t mind.” She said, reaching for his robe.

Before he could object, she had his robe in hand while turning to reach for a hanger.  Spinning around, she looked at him, “Go; time is …fleeting.”

Sam thought it funny until Helga pulled the sheets off the bed.  “You too, miss, go help him get clean.”

Helga was unmindful to the nudity, which took Samantha aback.  Heading into the bathroom, David was somewhat surprised to see her joining him. “Do we have a keeper,” she asked?

Shaking his head, he passed her the soap.  David stepped out of the shower, and before he knew it, Helga was there with a warm towel.  That part of the treatment he liked.  Sam stepped out of the shower to see her drying him off and became jealous.  She wanted to say something when part of her ‘programming’ kicked in.  The feeling left as soon as it came up.  Helga turned to see her dripping water on the floor.  Pulling out a warm towel, she wrapped it around her before taking another to dry her hair.

“Sir…you need to hurry..” she said as she dried Samantha while setting her in a chair by the mirror.

David turned around, leaving the two heading for the closet. 

Helga watched to see that he was close to dressed before taking a brush to his hair. “Go, we will catch up with you.”

David hit the door, taking one last look at the two.  Samantha did not mind the pampering or her familiarity with either of them.

“What did you mean by, other?”

Helga looked at her in the mirror. She was rolling her hair on the brush while drying it.  She then took the time to explain it to her in detail.

The door to the main auditorium opened where David was on stage.

“Bill, why didn’t I know about this?”

“As our team makes it through the education process, they suddenly have a purpose.  Helga, who I believe you have met, is assigned to you and Sam.”

“Assigned?”

“The Ularins have different ways of structuring families, people, and social situations.  You might have noticed that we have a high ratio of women to men on this tub.”

“I hadn’t noticed, why is that?”

“I don’t want to spook you, but if the human race is to survive, we need babies.  Why do you think this ship is so large and there are so few of us?”

“Are you fu…kidding me?”

“Nope, the aftereffects of that virus have not been negated.  Samantha and others are going to be working on that.  Helga, well, she is to make sure you or Sam are not lonely or become depressed.”

David shook his head, thinking he was in some dream that he could not share with anyone.  “Tell me this, was this their choice?”

“Over thirty percent of these girls came from the red light district in different countries.  They are working girls.  Since they are healthy and have an aptitude for certain things, the Ularins grabbed them.  Yes, they are thrilled to be here, and for your edification, they were given the choice of who they wanted to serve.  There was contention for you and Sam, so they might be some sharing.”

“Oh my goodness, what will Sam think of this?”

“You, me, and everyone here has had a little tweaking of our brains; her programming will come to terms with it rather quickly, as will yours.”

“Programming, have we gone from slaves of the politicians and damned billionaires to slaves of the Ularins?”

“No, think of this as the ARC and David, we will probably never see the Ularins again.  This is our shot.”

“What is your role?”

“I am thankful that you and I were friends, I might have still been in the Congo when things happened.  Like always, you and I complement each other.  I have been given a little more of the game plan because I am detail-oriented.”

David shook his head, thinking about what Sam was surely thinking.

The background sounds in the room dropped down to dull roar as Sam and Helga walked on the stage.

Sam stood beside him, wrapping her arm around his.  David glanced at her, and she just smiled. Helga took her place directly behind the two.  She was, among other things, their manager.

Bill tapped the microphone causing the room to become still.  Sam looked at David and then said. “I will start this.”

David’s nostrils flared as he watched her step forward.

By now, you all know as much as any of us.  The world we grew up on will be uninhabitable for at least ten years.  The release of nuclear bombs has triggered multiple volcanic eruptions, including the supervolcano under Yellowstone.  As you can see on the monitor, the Earth is shrouded in clouds and particulate matter, which will block the sun from reaching the ground.  If we are right, the Earth will enter an ice age after the firestorms from all of the explosions.

After the particulate matter settles, there is the radiation that was released.  If anything survives at all, it might be sea life.

As you all have experienced by now, our history sucks.  Incredibly, this race of beings sought to save any of us from ourselves.  Those of us on this ship represent .0000009 percent of the Earth’s population, rounded up.   David and I just discovered a few moments ago that our lives would never be as they were.  Our customs and mores must be malleable.  From what I am told, there have been no serious objections.  Visit me if you have any issues, and I will see if I can fix them.

We have three months’ worth of supplies before this ship coast in the vacuum of space until we all either starve, run out of oxygen, or, we all pitch in using whatever talents we have and make this work.

It appears that I am to be a doctor.  If any of you were trained in medical procedures, I would like you to meet with me in room 259, after our captain dismisses us.

David approached the podium.  “Nice speech.”

“I wanted you to have some time to clear your head and get some thoughts together, did it work?”

He smiled and chuckled as he made his way to the podium.  Passing by the short blond in the blue ruffled dress, he glanced at her again, smiled, and turned his attention to the crowd.

I don’t think I can stress the importance of this mission any more succinctly than Sam just did.  I would like to add that we are all one rather large family.  Each of us has a job, at least one task to perform.  I would like to meet with you in the conference center if your education includes anything related to space, physics, Astro-physics, or particle physics.

“Bill, do you want to say anything?”

Yes, thanks.  While the two groups of people that David and Sam want to speak with head that way now, the rest of you stay here, I want to meet you and get an idea of what you all do.

Several people headed off following Sam.  David wondered why so many but let it go—leading many to the conference center, around fifty people more women than men followed him.

Bill stayed there with around two hundred people.

“You may have noticed we are chugging along right now because we don’t know where to go.  In this room there are pieces of the puzzle we must learn.  Once we all meet, I hope we can give David, the captain, some input as to a plan.  Any questions?” Bill asked

“Ya, I am to take care of the water.  There is lots of it on comets, asteroids, and the poles of Mars.  I would suggest we head to the red planet first.”

“Are we low on water?”

“Nine, but that large glass top up there is for farming and recreation.  Many of us are farmers, and we need to get things planted if we intend to have fruits and vegetables.”

“How many farmers here?”  

Over a hundred people raised their hands.

“Would you folks go up to the garden area, inventory what we have and what we need.  Peter, I have you down as our water person, are there others?”

Over two dozen raised their hands.  Bill learned they were trained on different systems on the ship

Red Mud

Bill met with the engineers that made the ship work. When he talked with David, they developed a plan.

They were learning that the ship was capable of faster than light travel.  That was an exciting proposition.  How much faster was the question?  The question about why a star system 300 light-years away puzzled them.

David returned to his room to find Sam and Helga sitting on the couch, talking.  “Ladies, I have been distracted by this most of the day.  How is this supposed to work?”

“We were debating those very questions.  It would seem that many of the couples and men on this ship are having similar conversations.  Helga has offered it up this way.  We have a spare room which I know you were thinking was your office.  We can make it a bedroom for her.”

Helga looked at the two of them.  That is not what she wanted.  She was looking for acceptance.

“That is not what you had in mind, is it?”

“No, I will if that is what you want, but I would rather be part of your unit.”

“Unit?”

“She means a family unit. She would be one of us.  You commented on the size of this bed, now we know why.”

“Sammy, what do you think about all this?”

“David, she not only pleases you, but she pleases me.  We please each other.”

“Bill was telling me about this, and I just about choked on my coffee.”

“You don’t want that?” Sam asked.

“I didn’t say that.  I have loved you since we were kids, and I don’t know how this all works.”

“Well, if we will permit it, that shower is more than large enough for three of us.  Not only can she dry you off, but she can scrub you too, and you can scrub her and so on.”

“When I was in college, a group of us got drunk on cheap wine.  When the bottle was empty, we all ended up in one large pile of flesh on the bed.  Sam, do you remember that?”

Helga was listening to them.  She realized that they were talking themselves into the relationship.  As they spoke, she began to undress.  The conversation stopped as both of them were now watching this blond vixen.  Not only had she been in the red light district, but she had worked on stage.  All of those talents were in use by the time she landed on the bed with them.  Kissing Samantha first, and then David, the pile of flesh was repeated without the Ripple.

Similar scenes played out throughout the ship. The Ularins had picked the ratio of more women than men for a reason.  They needed to get past their first taboo and start the process of creating their replacements. 

As shifts went on and others came off, the demeanor of the crew was much better every hour they were together. 

Setting a course for the red planet, Bill and David watched the screen as Mars became larger than life.

“I used to see this through my telescope, never in my life did I think I would be this close.”

“So we just stick a straw into the snow and suck up water,” David asked?

“No, there are smaller ships in the launch bay that have water tanks on board.  We thought we would keep this water separate from our potable water, just in case.”

“In case?”

“The planet is dead.  Anything that was once alive is dead because there is no atmosphere or magnetic shield to protect it from cosmic radiation.”

“Bill, if this is so, why not just add to our water?”

“Theoretically, it should be dead.  We still don’t want to take any chances.”

Bill headed off to speak with the team that was going to acquire the water.  Running biological scans of the water was part of the plan.

They were staring at the planet below them. David could see where water had once been.  Mars was once alive; he knew it.  Orbiting over the South Pole, the team left the ship heading to the surface.  David thought about taking one of the trips to the surface when Helga stopped him.

He and Sam had been talking when she came out of the bathroom, dripping wet. “You are not going down there.” She said.  Sam got up getting a towel to cover her, and return the favor.

“I am the captain, why can’t I go?”

“You are the captain, which is why you can’t go.  Let the women do this.”

“You mean the crew is all women?”

“Yes, we are expendable.”

“Nobody is expendable!”

Sam interjected, “she is right, there are more of us than men.  We need to be pragmatic about this and David; you are not leaving this ship until we reach wherever we are going.”

“Who is the captain?”

Helga pushed him back on the bed, landing on top of him.  “You are when we let you.”  Stopping his talking any further by kissing him, Sam watched and was suddenly very aroused by her actions.  Her milk-white skin was almost too perfect.

***

With all the crew back on board, they had acquired tens of thousands of gallons of water from mars.  Detecting Nothing in it that was harmful, they begin to farm.

The area topside was under a glass dome made in such a way that the lower the light available, the more it would reflect light to the surface.  It was a special glass that was tougher than steel, impervious to meteorites, and very transparent.

David went up to look at the farm.  Rows of different plants were growing.  Many of the farmers took turns caring for the plants.  They were forced to play the role of the honey bee, which would require the hundred or so farmers to manage it.

The warmth under the dome caused many to wear little, while playing farmer.  David and Sam went to walk through a part of the farm set up as a garden.  They noticed many topless ladies and a few men who were also just wearing pants.

“Do we have a ship of nudists?”

“If they are happy, do you care?”

“No, are they playing in the water over there?”

A girl went running by as another was chasing her with the hose. “I think so.”

“This is still Martian water, right?”

“There is Nothing in it.  We have tested it; I think some these guys have drunk from that hose.”

David shook his head.  “My gut tells me that it is a bad idea.  Doctor, I want you to check anyone who has drunk this water.”

“David, you are a little paranoid.”

The light from above cast just enough of a shadow to give him contrast of the soil.

“Sammy, that dirt has a red ting to it, why?”

The smile left her face as she looked down to see what he was talking about. “Shit!”

David yelled at all who could hear until he got their attention.

“The doctors are going to be checking each of you.  It would seem that the Martian water does have something going on with it.”

Soil samples were quickly analyzed to find that something was growing beside their plants.  A bacteria of an unknown kind was in the water and now contaminated their entire farm. 

When people began to have strange growths on their skin, the entire medical staff went into action.

Martians

“How many are infected, Skipper?”

“Bill, dammit, I knew better.  I knew it was a bad idea, and now we have alien fungus or something infecting the entire farm and all of the farmers.”

“Are they quarantined?”

“I have them restricted to the section of the ship closest to the farm.”

“We can’t set it on fire, what do we do?”

“Nothing yet, I have them tending to the plants as if there were Nothing wrong.  The fungus on the farmers is Nothing more than a minor irritant at this point.  The botanist is looking in on the farm.  The scientists are examining the water.  We need to know what we are dealing with before we react.”

“What about the people who drank the water?”

“Don’t know.  Sam thinks their stomach acid might save them.  She has applied a weak version hydrochloric acid to some fungus on one of the farmers, and it seems to have killed it.”

“We should have radiated that water before we brought it on board.”

“If we survive this, we will have other challenges.”

The medical crew applied fungicide to the growths on the farmers.  After a few days, the fungi seemed to vanish.  The botanist kept up with the farm and noticed the plants were growing much better than before.  Examining the root system under a microscope, they were surprised to see fungi that appeared to be very much like mycorrhizal fungi.

“Wait, you are telling me this is similar to what we had on earth?”

“Other than the part where it is growing on the dirt, pretty much.  It seems to have made the dirt work better, allowing a better root system for the plants.”

“Sam, what do you think?”

“I think we should sterilize that water and not worry about the plants.  It appears that the farmers were infected by playing in the water.”

Bill listened in on the conversation while thinking about what could have happened.  They could ill afford any more screw-ups.

Orbiting the planet, one of the science officers had been scanning the surface.  Finding a structure under the surface, she alerted the crew.

“What kind of structure?”

“There is a subterranean structure close to this thing that looks like a face.”

“Do you realize how many people have postulated about what this is?”

“Skipper, we have a chance to see what it is.  What do you think?”

“Everything we do risk the success of our mission.  Still, if there is a structure and that thing is not an aberration of wind-blown stone, it would be kind of cool to know for sure.  How is our fuel holding out?”

“We have well over 90 percent of it left.  This thing must get two million miles to the gallon.” Bill joked.

“Why don’t you handle the team for the surface? I need to work with the scientist to see if we can locate a source of fuel.”

“Skipper, should I go with them?”

“Do you want to?”

Bill smiled for the first time since this adventure started.  “Tell the Amazons that I said it was ok.”

He laughed as he left the board room.  David knew that they could die at any moment.  They were babes in the woods.  Mars was in their back yard. This adventure was probably a once in a lifetime chance to learn about the planet.

David met with the scientist as they pontificated about dark matter.  The ‘teacher’ had told them much, but it did not allude to where they might find it.  He sat in the board room as several of them other prattled on about different theories.

Flipping through photographs of different images captured by stellar photography, he could not help but stare at the Andromeda galaxy.

One picture after another caused David’s attention to fade.  A scientist realized that David was not paying attention to them.

“Are we boring you,” One of them asked?

“Pete, tell me, what holds these galaxies together like this?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are the arms twisted like that all on one plane?”

“We think gravity from a black hole, why?”

David talked to them for several minutes about black holes and such when it hit him.  “What if dark matter is holding things together?”

“Between the arms?”

“Yes, what if a black hole is nothing more than an abundance of dark matter?”

“We think a black hole is a tear in space.”

“How would that create gravity?”

“We can solve this question quickly enough; there is an instrument on this ship that detects black holes.”

David looked at him.  “Do you suppose that could be like a GPS for the gas station?”

“Maybe, it is a hell of a risk.”

“What about a small black hole, don’t they have those?”

“If you are right, we have several tanks full of the stuff of black holes.”

“When Bill and the team get back, locate a small black hole, and let’s see what happens.  Also, while we are waiting, why not see if there is other equipment on board for, I don’t know, collecting things like black hole material.”

The team left the board room to explore the ship, while Bill and his team were making their way to the surface.

***

Turbulence buffeted the ship as it made its way through the thin Martian atmosphere.  Dust devils the size of mountains on Earth tracked the grounds under them.  Vectoring around one of the more giant vortices, Bill set down close to the monolithic edifice.  Once they were all in atmospherically controlled outfits, they became the first humans to step on Mars.

There were no cameras, no fancy words that would go down in the history books.  He did not even have a flag to hammer into the soil.

Those gathering the water never left the ship.  Had Dave been more protective, this visit might not have happened.

Pointing to what looked like a rectangular opening to something, the four-headed in that direction. 

They had never been off on another planet before.  The ‘teacher’ had briefed them on proper procedures for off-world travel.  Still, even with the education, they did not anticipate the lightness in their steps or the fact that they could see the wind moving sand and dust around, if they opened their visor, they would die instantly.

As civilian citizens learning about barometric pressure meant little to them.  Bill knew that there was so low pressure, it would be as if they were in a vacuum.

Standing at the base of the monolith, it was clear this was made by some form of intelligence.

“I guess this answers the question about life on Mars.”

Turning on lights on their suits, they entered the room.  Equipment, as they had never imagined, lined the walls inside.  The floor was covered with piles of red dirt that had blown in from eons of the door open door.

Recording what they were looking at, the team examined the intricacy of the gauges, knobs, and so forth. 

“I wonder how old this stuff is?”  A team member asked.

“It looks dead as a doornail, but just the same don’t touch anything,” Bill said.

“Look, there is a door over there.  If my scans are correct, that leads to a hidden chamber.”

“By the size of the doors, whoever was here must have been about ten feet tall.”

Bill walked over to the door in the back of the room.  Buttons by the door were the only way he could see of entering or opening the door.  Touching a button, the lights came on in the room.

Their heart rate jumped as they heard the door behind them closing.

“Shit!” Bill said.

“Hang on Bill, this is probably a way to keep the air pressure from the outside, effecting that beyond that door.”

They heard sounds of wind whistling.  Soon there were vortices of sorts blowing dust and sand about at first clouding the air around them.  Bill noticed the air clearing as a filtration system had activated cleaning all the sand and dirt from the room.  Looking at a gauge on his suit, he saw the pressure was adjusting closer to what they were accustomed to on Earth.

One of the team members pulled out an instrument monitoring the actual air in the room. 

“What is it doing, Dana?”

“Oxygen content is rising.  If it were to continue, this would be breathable.”

“What about pathogens?”

“Sir, this planet is sterilized dead.  That fungus we picked up is only there because there is water.  Anyway, I am finding Nothing organic.”

“Something is producing oxygen.”

“Not just that, sir,” Jane said.

“What.”

“Detecting trace amounts of humidity, something is allowing water to survive here.”

Calling the ship, there was no answer.

The equipment around them began glowing.  Panels lite up as monitors sprang to life.

“If a little green man pops out that door….”

“We have no weapons, so let’s hope if they do, they are friendly,” Bill said.

***

“David, I am not getting any signal from the biometrics of the team.”

Speaking to his science officer, David asked. “Do you have any readings on where they are?”

“There ship is close to that monolith.  They reported there was an opening, and they were going to investigate.”

“Keep trying to raise them.”

David went off to find Sam.  Heading to the galley he found many but not her.  His quarters were next on his list.  Opening the door, he saw her, with Helga.

They were engaged in pillow talk when he entered the room.  Glancing at him, the soulful look from Sam was met with the analytical mind of Helga.

“You’re not expected for another three hours,” Helga stated.

“These are my quarters, that is my bed, and that is my…Samantha.”

Sam jumped out of bed, grabbing a robe. “What is going on with you?”

Looking down at the floor, he shook his head.  “Some things are going on, and I wanted to talk them over with you.”

Pulling him to the bed, Helga scooted over so he could sit.

“David, Helga is our…too.  We can label her if you like, but she loves you as much as she loves me.”

“You’re right, Helga, this is still new to me.”

Helga looked at him, crawling up beside him.  Placing her warm body next to his, her face was now within inches of his. “I understand more than you know.” Kissing him, he forgot why he came looking in the first place.  His mind was soon drifting to these two had to offer before Sam stopped them.

“I sense there is more on your mind than an afternoon …nap..”

Sitting back up, Helga was once again planted at his left side.  His arm around her waist was more than a distraction.  Her warmth and supple skin made it hard for him to concentrate.

Standing, she sat next to Sam while he looked at them.

“Bill and his crew our out of contact with us.  Biometrics is reporting a loss of signal with their suits.   I am worried, and I wanted your opinion.”

“David, I would love to walk on Mars.  Why don’t we see if we can land the ship close to them so we can send out search parties?”

“This ship is the size of a small city.  It makes an aircraft carrier seem like a yacht.  You want me to land it on the planet?”

“It was on the moon; it was under our ocean for a time, let’s see if there is enough flat surface around there where we can put down.”

“When was it under our ocean?”

“The Ularins were examining our sea life.  I got a full lesson from one of my medical courses.”

“You have been rather subdued Helga, what do you think?”

“My mind was thinking of other things, and you interrupted that.  What I know about this ship, it will take hours to get it ready to land.  Why not tell the crew to get it ready, and then you take a nap before we have dinner.”

Samantha smiled, tossing the robe on the chair, sitting back down with Helga.

“Yes, why don’t you do that?”

Helga was worse than being drunk.  Every time he was around her, it was as if he turned into a college kid who just got the keys to his parent’s car.

He smiled at the two of them.  “I will be back in a jiff, keep your motors running.”

Featured

Truth

There is no your truth, or my truth, there is only ‘The Truth.’

Reading your blogs, many of you are philosophers. You folks are having thoughts on current events that provide for a healthy debate. 

Could Bloggers be replacements for journalists?

Looking at a story through the lens of the media, often the story is colored with opinion, not fact.  The media creates stories based on belief and a smattering of the facts on both sides of the aisle.  They have an agenda.

Ms. Harris was interviewed on late-night TV by a comedian who called her out on the primary debate. Leading up to and during the debate, she called Joe racists, and accused him of pedophilia, and said that the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct was credible, and she believed her.

During the interview, he asked her how she could be the running mate of a man that was that flawed.

Laughing hysterically, she responded, ‘that was a debate.’

In her mind, the truth has no place in politics.  The media fawned over her performance, calling her a rising star. 

You say whatever you think your audience wants to hear.  You do whatever it takes to win.  I find that disturbing on so many levels.

What I believe and have seen a history of, politicians will say or do whatever it takes to sway public opinion.  The problem is this. 

We have the 1rst amendment.   The press are to keep the rich and powerful in check.  China, for instance, if their journalist wrote an unflattering story of Xi Jinping, they would disappear forever.  In the US, that is not supposed to be the way it is.

For those of you who think that all of the people who had dirt on the Clintons, died of suicide, you probably also think Epstein hung himself.   

Her answer sets a dangerous precedence.  She is not even trying to hide the fact that she is a pathological liar.  

Since we know this about her, we have no clue what she really stands for. 

***

I have some good news.

The second ACT of The Three hundred is in editing.    Stay tuned to see what happens as our intrepid survivors of the earth are now out in space, on a ship the size of a small city.

ACT III started about 3 this morning.  Was there life on Mars?

Hit that follow button if you haven’t already.

Stay safe, calm and cool.  We will get through it, and come out the other side a lot wiser and stronger.

Cheers -TW

Featured

Greetings and Happy Monday

Writing is Cathartic, have you tried it?

I know many of you are like me.  The days are blending, and your routine is looking rather bleak. Following events from around the globe, you can see that we are not alone.

The aphorism ‘Keep calm and carry on’ is probably sage advice.  You and I have something in common that might keep our sanity intact longer than most.  We write.

Writing is cathartic.  When people grieve, they tend to hold it all in and go through all the stages of grief.

For those of you who have never heard of the stages of grief they are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

You might be telling yourself, nobody I know has died, TW what is this talk about grief and grieving?

The world as you and I knew it changed around March.  For many, it was before March.  Many of us saw our freedoms, livelihood and yes friends and family disappear.  I think part of the issues with the riots are; some people are in the ANGER stage.  The problem is, they are being lied to by the media. Misleading the public is what they do best.  Their motive is their bank account.  Leaving earth-shattering stories on the cutting room floor, to paint certain politicians as abhorrent is their daily tasks.

The past several months I have lost two close friends that I could not even attend their funerals. 

We have all lost our freedoms, and now we see what tyrannical governments look like.  Some of you, in other countries, already know this.    Of course, the media is blaming everything on the president as this is an election year. 

I am working on the rest of the second act of The Three Hundred.

When not dealing with customers, I write.

I also have been reading some of your blogs.  These weeks shout out goes to https://dirtyscifibuddha.com/

Does the donate button work?

If you have not checked out that site, I will encourage you to follow the link.

Stay safe, stay sane, and if you want to know how to do the primal scream, well, I have no idea.  Someone posted a video of a woodchuck standing by the Grand Canyon screaming, but I am confident it was all photoshop and PC magic.

We will get through this and be stronger for it.  Be wary if the media start selling you a song and dance about migrating bats from China carrying COVID 19.  Some politicians will sell their souls for a Klondike Bar.

China knows they screwed up, and most probably will be making deals with heads of state to let this die on the vine. As long as their bank account reflects your pain and misery, ie Hunter Biden walking away with a Billion from China for access to the VP, no telling who is going to get rich for your suffering.

I have already seen stories about bats.  Just wait.  Propaganda from outfits like Yahoo, Time, and even Amazon’s Alexa flashing up little stories to breed an ounce of doubt.

All I am saying is don’t buy the bullshit. 

Much Love -TW

Featured

Three Hundred Update

Now we learn that the face on Mars is not just our mind playing tricks.

This is a quick note to let you know that act II is well under way. At present, a small contingent of the ship has left for the surface of Mars.

While getting water from the polar caps, they found that upon closer inspection the FACE on Mars appears to have subterranean structures.

They have been stuck there for two days while I dream up what they will find.

Is this important to the story? Yes

Is it critical, not sure.

What will they find? You will have to follow me and wait like the rest of us to discover the true story on the face on MARS.

I hope you all had a perfectly splendid weekend and that your Monday is not too objectionable.

Much Love -TW

Featured

The Three Hundred

David never suspected that the Ularins targeted him to save the human race.

Blinding White Light

The white orb in the distance is all that was left of home.  Once a thriving population of over three billion people, it was a cold dead rock.  The beacon alerting wayfaring travelers to steer clear of this world was set on automatic. 

Powered by the radiation emitted from the globe, the message would repeat until such a time there was insufficient radiation to fuel it. The message created in all known languages warned of the extreme radiation hazard.

“We set the last of the beacons, what now?”

“We have enough supplies for three months give or take. Did the Ularins leave us anything in the database regarding habitable planets?”

“They wiped all of the information except one-star system.”

“Where is it?”

“300 light-years in that direction,” Bill said, pointing to a small blue dot.

“The binary sun?”

“It is nothing like we are used to.  Two blue stars locked into a death spiral.  Why that star system and not one like ours is anyone’s guess.”

“That is in the handle of the big dipper, isn’t it?”

“Yep.”

“We are looking at an image three hundred years old, for all we know it has collided and is already a supernova.”

“They selected us and brought us to this ship; they must have had a plan,” Bill said.

“They gave us a puzzle and a fighting chance.  We have two hundred and ninety-eight other souls on board; let’s hope one of them has some ideas.”

Bill turned to leave as David sat there looking at the planet, which was no longer blue.  Passing outside the orbit of the moon, the earth appeared much like Venus.  A white dot against the ebony backdrop of nothingness.

The old base on the moon was now vacant, as the last of the Ularins headed out on their next mission.

***

Years before, David had been an advocate for humanitarian groups to eradicate the diseases where the plague had popped up.  There were hot spots created by mass migrations of people who had no food.  Much like the locust that gave them a reason to migrate, they traveled in packs overwhelming ‘civilized society.’ Destroying infrastructure, taking what they wanted before burning it to the ground, they murdered the people who were there before them..

His part of the military focused on finding those responsible and stopping them by any means possible.  Finding the blackened remains of towns, David threw up the first time he saw what was left behind.

Pregnant women had been tortured, their breasts cut off, and babies cut from them only to be eaten.

Young women were taken and raped, men were killed, and children either became slaves or were eaten.  Finding children and babies on spits over what was an open fire shocked them profoundly.  David and his group were disgusted by these animals.  They sought to wipe them from the face of the earth. Society had been pushed to the brink. Those that were pushed, de-evolved into the savages they came from eons ago.  His anger was causing him to de-evolve too.

Lawlessness broke out in every country, and the government ceased to be effective.  Killing its own people by the tens of thousands only sparked outrage by civilized society.  A civil war between the people and the government pitted father against son.

David left the military when his tour was up.  He did not like where it was headed. The fabric of the military broke down when they were forced to use missiles, tanks, and other weapons of war in the suburbs where they grew up.

Turning their weapons on their respective governments, society stopped.

A virus created to eliminate the old and sickly was set loose on humanity. The elite held the formula for the vaccine and kept it a secret.  The virus would remove millions without one bullet fired.  The single strand of RNA, like most unstable viruses, evolved.  The vaccine designed to protect the elite failed.

This virus was a genetic doomsday device.  Created to be thousands of times more infectious than its closest related cousin, it was unstoppable. 

Turning the body’s defenses against itself, those who caught it died a most horrific death.  Much like fish removed from the water and left on the beach to gasp for breath, this was the fate of billions of people, young and old alike.

The earth was languishing in pestilence. Millions were dying every day.  Large fires to eliminate the bodies that were once a weekly occurrence, turned daily.  Massive fires never ceased to reduce the bodies and try to control the plague. Some countries hauled the remains up to active volcanoes, where the earth could devour its own.

The odor of burning human remains only magnified the stench of rotting flesh.  No pocket full of posies would fix this.

What were once a proud people, were now piles of porcelain teeth, titanium knees, and hips, with the occasional golden nugget that was once the pride of someone’s mouth.

The Ularins had been watching from the moon.  Listening to our broadcasts, they had seen it all before.  An intergalactic police force, they waited patiently to see if the humans would evolve.

With the death of so many, so too was the end of any infrastructure to supply food.  Those that would survive would need to be the ‘master race.’

Pulling pages from Joseph Goebbels’s life, the media became the propaganda machine controlling the people through fear, emotional triggers, and hunger. There were still megalomaniacs in the world who believed that some form of equilibrium would occur, and they could swoop in and offer them a solution.

The virus had other ideas.  Science had reached its zenith and fell short of its ability to sustain itself. Those who worked to cure the effects of the illness succumbed to it.

The media let the phrase slip out, ‘A man who does not benefit the world by his life does so by his death.’

Re-writing ancient text to include this aphorism into dogma, had a minimal effect.  Many who had never cracked the sacred book before, had little idea what was original and what had been added as a control mechanism.  History had been erased by those who felt they knew better.

Those that read the text and committed suicide to aid the rest were too few to be of any use. 

Extolling the virtues of abortions through the media, were also too little too late.

Little did those who tried to limit man’s population know that they would need babies.  While supply and demand for resources should equal out, the virus had other plans.

Gang warfare became a nightly occurrence as city after city was torched by the ‘have nots.’ Politicians hoping to capitalize on their votes, lost control and soon became victims of the mob.

As resources became harder to come by, the average age of those that needed to die went down from 70, to 60, and then to 50.

The virus was tweaked again and released on to the world stage.  Younger megalomaniacs took over the development of the virus, the war efforts, and the propaganda.

Children were slaves and forced to work in the fields.  If they wanted to live, they worked from sun up to sundown.

The media dutifully told the world what was wrong, and whose fault it was. Of course, what they were preaching was whatever the elites told them to say.  Government controlled fact-checkers quickly debunked clandestine videos of the truth.

Slavery by non-disabled people was praised as patriotic, even when it meant bringing most of the food to the ivory towers of the gods.

The Ularins paid attention from their base 250,000 miles above the earth. Scouting missions were a constant as even certain media would release reports of UFOs by independent journalists.  The mainstream media used those reports as distractions. 

***

David had worked hard teaching people how to farm.  People who had grown up in front of computer screens were thrust back into an agrarian culture.  He had grown up in Iowa and knew all about Farming.

With the death of the internet, social media lost its control over the masses.  Radio and TV were next to come under assault from the lack of power.

When Samantha, his old neighbor, heard what David was up to, she contacted him via radio, using solar panels and batteries for power.  Traveling home, the two were once again on the same farm. 

He listened from the porch as he heard her inside with pots and pans on the top of the old potbelly stove.  The aroma of cornbread and roasted chicken filled the air.  Sitting on the porch of his parent’s house, the stars were more vivid than he had ever seen them.  Samantha was inside, trying to keep from burning their dinner.

Once the government fell, those who still had weapons put an end to the roving gangs.  It was not only the criminals that did not turn in their guns; it was also the farmers, the people who did not live in the city, and those who knew history.

What the virus did not kill, they did.  It was kill, or be killed. Those that knew how to survive bit their lips and defended what was theirs. 

With no lawyers, judges, or politicians left, the society which survived the plague, and the riots were polite.  It was not uncommon to ride into town and see people with stretched out necks, swinging in the breezes. The law of the six-gun returned overnight. The gang bangers did not know how to react when people fought back. 

The silent majority was silent no more. 

Coyotes from the river sent out their lonely calls. David made sure his livestock was safely in the barn.  Not unlike the roving gangs, the varmints were hungry too and were much more cunning.  David had set traps, as coyotes are nothing more than dogs that are not tame.  Dog meat is edible.

While David was looking up that stars, he had little clue that someone was looking down at him.

***

The roving gangs that were still alive brought their unique diseases with them.  Setting up radio links, the farmers knew their movements.  Assaulting them on their own grounds, there were more piles of bodies that needed to be discarded.

You either provided for the common good, or you died.  Goebbels would be proud.

The population of the planet went from billions to millions to thousands.  The remoteness of the clans halted the spread of the virus.  If they controlled the gangs, the virus would stay at bay.

The rich and powerful became the hunted. People learned the truth about the media, the lies, and what governments had done to them.  Those who were filthy rich became worm food.  Even on their private islands, they were sought out and destroyed for their treachery.  The list of billionaires who played god became the worlds most wanted.  There was not a safe place for them to hide. They had betrayed everyone, even their servants.

Part of the original design of the virus was to sterilize women.  Anti-abortion groups made it too hard to get the population under control.  The designers of the virus had the virus attack the endocrine system, among other things causing the hormones that generally control the fertility process, to stop working. 

New births plummeted before the virus mutated, eventually taking out those who were vaccinated against it.

Distancing on a massive scale would stop the spread but ensure that if they ever traveled too far from their clan, there was mutually assured destruction. Each group had their unique genetic version of the virus.  Their herd immunity only protected them.  They thought that was their answer until the biting insects infected the animals that occupied the skies, and even the livestock.

Another reason for the extreme distance requirement is the virus was airborne.  In order not to panic the masses, the governments of the world did not share that information, using draconian methods to control the spread instead.  If the virus spread, they blamed the population and not the fact that it was airborne.  They missed the mosquito as a carrier. Nobody suspected it until a researcher discovered it while researching other pathogens that seem to be mutating and traveling.

Since it could only be seen under an electron microscope, the researcher that discovered it disappeared before she had time to announce her findings, so the gods thought.

A release from a hand written note made it an underground radio station that informed the public much to the chagrin of the government.  To control the masses they needed to control the flow of information.

This bit of data turned citizen against citizen, which was another distraction from the truth.  There were reasons that the gods did not wear PPE.  They knew it was worthless.

Sterilized and separated, radio from a primitive time allowed some to communicate.  Creating energy from wind, solar, and biofuel, gave some lights, but few knew how to utilize feces as a form of fuel. Even fewer knew how to farm.  These electrical devices had a finite life span. There were no more factories.  If they could not make it, grow it, or steal it, they did not have it.

The gradual demise of the animal called man was in the works.  Those who stayed in the city did not last long.  That is where the gangs stayed until all of the resources had been depleted.  Rats soon were the only living creatures that inhabited the skyscrapers, where the gods used to live.  They carried their own version of destruction.  The bubonic plague followed the rats into the streets, alleys, and gutters where the dead and dying laid, waiting to become food for the vermin.

The gods were massacred by the very people they sought to control.  When the lights went out, and money was no longer useful, their own guards turned on them.  Some gods were tossed off the roof of the 32nd floor for an audience who craved blood.  Anger filled their hearts. After there was no more gods to destroy, they turned on each other.  The streets ran red, attracting more rats to the feeding frenzy.

History was replete with this very behavior, but of course, the history books had been destroyed. They had been labeled as racist, homophobic, and sexist. The gods knew that an ignorant society was much easier to control than one who was educated.  They had learned this from the days before the civil war when it was illegal to teach a slave to read.  The politicians who promoted that law remembered it, and used it without mercy.

A select few gods had their fingers on the buttons of a nuclear arsenal.  If they were going to go, they were taking the rest with them. 

***

With the ability to adapt, very much like a chameleon, the Ularins found the cure for the virus. Inoculated themselves before embarking on their missions, they cured and disinfected all those subjects that were under consideration before abducting them.  From their ship in orbit, the Ularins watched as once brightly lit areas of the globe went dark, they knew the end was near.  From their base on the moon, the noise of the once-bustling world diminished.  That noise is what drew them to this part of the galaxy.  As the radio emissions slowly faded, TV signals were broadcast at diminished power levels, with far fewer signals detected.

Artificial satellites went silent, piquing the curiosity of the Ularins.  Some of the satellites lost their geosynchronous orbit, raining down on the planet below in a spectacle of fireballs.  With the chaos on the streets, nobody even noticed when the international space station lost altitude, breaching the earth’s atmosphere at over 17,000 miles an hour.  Had people been alive on board, they might have been able to warn the people below that there was incoming.  Sadly the occupants had perished from starvation, as there was nobody to send supplies to them.

The fireball lit up the night sky over Siberia before exploding with the force of an atomic blast.  A few in the northern parts of Alaska felt the shockwave but had no idea what caused it.

Sporadic low power communications interested the Ularins, who soon had targets of places to visit.

The time to harvest was near. Their job was clear, find the best and the brightest of the population, and remove them before the extinction event.   They had already found the first two, they needed three hundred total.

Stars

David sat in the control center as people from different countries were educated on the ship’s systems.  The Ularins had developed a virtual teaching tool, much like some of the video games that were produced.  Unlike the video games which used the body’s senses, this tool went right into the neural pathways of the brain, creating synapses and neural pathways as needed.

The humans were unaware that their animalistic instincts for fight or flight were being modified.  Those lower lizard brain functions were responsible for the carnage of that world throughout its troubled history.

Downloading every bit of the earth’s history, the humans were also taught it in painstaking detail. 

The Ularins allowed them to see, feel, smell, and taste the entire history of their world.  From Hitler to the Rape of NanJing, they experienced all of it.  When Vlad the Impaler was part of the lesson, many were shocked beyond belief.  This was the price these three hundred people must pay for their salvation. This was their lineage, their history.  The evil people that they hailed from were responsible for the horrific deaths of millions, and these three hundred saw it all.  The end of the lesson was the creation of the virus and the evil atrocities that greedy people perform for power.

The failure of the education system was directly to blame for the massacres throughout human history.  While the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result, if they didn’t know history, they could not begin to comprehend why ideologies like socialism would never work. 

David was still ruminating over some history. The PTSD caused by the lesson was healed before the lesson terminated.  The memories would never leave.

Samantha could tell he was deep in thought.    Being healed did not stop one from thinking about what they learned. This method of teaching allowed one to experience all of it with all of your senses.  There was not shutting your eyes or plugging your ears.  The three hundred were to complete their education before being allowed to pilot an intergalactic spaceship.

They realized how evil the gods were.  Their right to vote was never so important to them after they learned why.  They and people like them put some of those gods in their ivory towers.

The importance of their vote never occurred to many, as they were all lost in their little worlds.  That was not their fault.

They were damned sure going to know how this happened. The Ularins would make sure they understood why their race was now on the verge of extinction. They would know why their world was at the beginning of a nuclear winter.

Samantha appeared, breaking David’s trance.

“Are you coming to bed?”

“I don’t know, look where we are.”

“Dave, ever since they took us off the farm, you have had little sleep. You need to rest to stay healthy.”

Dave allowed her to take his hand, leading him off the central control room floor.  Bill took over as she led him away, down the main corridor toward their quarters.

Sitting on the bed, he watched as the moon was much closer. “Look, you can see where their base was.”

Sam looked at the crater, and what was left of the edifice, they lived in.  Removing her clothes, she cleared her throat.  Dave turned around to see that sleep was not forefront in her mind.

Hours later, he awoke with her in his arm.  They were past the moon, headed out of the solar system, or so he thought.

“Can’t sleep?”

Dave looked over at her brushing her auburn hair from her face.  “I slept.”

“Three hours is not much sleep.”

“Why did they pick us?”

“Are we going to have that conversation again?”

“Sam, they put us in charge of three hundred lives.  These are all that is left of the race known as humans.  Surely there are better-qualified people on board to lead us.”

“I think your humility has something to do with why we are in charge.  Are you worried about the supplies and how we are going to survive?”

“That is part of it, we are out here in space, passing by the moon with only this small minuscule part of billions of stars mapped out for us.  Why there?  We are leaving our home in the dust as it were.”

David knew he could go where he wanted, but for some reason, the Ularins had only mapped out this particular region of space.  They did not tell them why.  It was like breadcrumbs in space, leading them to a binary star system. 

The crew was going through the education campaign that was more like indoctrination. The computer downloaded their memories and then added to them.  These would be the brightest and best of the human race.

David and Sam had gone through it first before the others were aboard.  The image of the white flashes from the planet below them still played in his mind.  Someone, several others had thought there could be a winner with nukes.  David did not know that the minuteman defense system was set to automatic.  When an incoming target was confirmed, the system responded in kind.

“I think we can go back and learn more if we need more information.” She said.

“How do you know that?”

“Dave, they made me a kind of doctor.  As we proceed, I have to go back and learn more.  That thing creates these pathways between the hemispheres of our brains. The more pathways the more we can learn.”

“I don’t want another history lesson.”

“We come from pretty shitty people.  They wanted us to know that.  We are capable of great things too, we have to choose.  We can dream wonderful things or we can dream evil things.  Now that we understand the evil, I don’t think anyone who goes through that would pick it.”

“I hope not, I would hate to have a psychopath on board.”

“They will not allow a mentally disturbed person to inhabit this ship.”

“What does that mean?”

“If they are defective we will jettison their body in to space. That teacher is also judge and jury.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“You do now, hope the Ularins picked wisely.”

The beeping sound from the door buzzer brought him back to the present.  Pulling the sheet up over Sam, he dawned a robe and went to the door.

“Bill wants to see you; he thinks he has an idea.”

“Give me ten minutes; I will meet him in the conference center.”

Sam turned over to see him tossing the robe on a chair.  “No time for an encore performance?”

The chuckle caught her by surprise.  “I don’t remember you ever being this amorous on the farm.”

“We were not safe on the farm.  I had to cook as a cavewoman might cook.  No, I was not in the mood.”

“We are in space, we have a limited amount of supplies, and I am still waiting on the crew to be educated before I can plan anything.”

“Do you want to kill my mood?”

Turning to face the bed, he laughed, “no, I have a lot on my mind.”

“I know, once you are on task I don’t stand a chance.”

Jumping back on the bed landing on top of her, they were now facing each other. “I have loved you since we were kids.  We may not have haylofts or swimming holes, but we have a huge ship that even with the others on board, it is like we are the only ones here.”

Brushing his blond hair back away from his eyes, she kissed him again.  “There is an area on the ship that is made for Farming.  I would bet the Ularins got the seeds for such things.”

“Farming takes water. I need to go see Bill; when I am finished I will come back here.”

“Promise?”

Kissing her, he headed to the bathroom to dress and leave before he was distracted once again.

Bill was looking at some charts he pulled up when Dave walked in.

Handing him coffee Dave was wide eyed.  “Where did you get this?”

“One of our crew is now a chef.  She always liked cooking but after her ‘education’ she learned how to use the equipment in the kitchen.  Programming it for humans, out comes coffee.”

“Does this solve our supply problem?”

“Yes and no.  This device uses the same energy that our engines use.  We have to find dark matter, and we have less than three months to do it.”

“Perfect, we have to locate and figure out how to get a theoretical compound within three months, or we all die.  Do I understand that correctly?”

“It is not theoretical; we have storage tanks full of it.  We need to learn how to handle it and more about it so we can speculate about where it might be.”

“That wasn’t in my education, was it in yours?”

“No, presumably, someone on this ship will be a physicist.”

“I hope they turn up fast, the sooner I know where to head, the quicker we can get that part of the puzzle behind us.”

“Our tanks are full, think about that skipper.”

“Shit, that means we make regular trips to the gas station.”

“Bingo, I am betting this stuff is more abundant than we think.”

***

Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  This is where you come in. 

Years ago, I was working on writing more judiciously.  When twitter was more restrictive than it is now, I wrote several chapters of The Saga of the Starduster in tweets.  Stream of consciousness. 

This story you just read is, act one, of a stream of conscious session with the keyboard.

This blog is un-edited and a rough draft.

 If you want an act two, tell me.

If you have an idea for act two, let’s hear it.

What I would like from you is this, do whatever it is you do to reblog or copy or share or what have you.

Since the COVID virus, sales of my novels have cratered.  Now I realize that people are hurting, and that is one reason I am going to create this story on my blog for my followers.

If you can do anything to drive traffic this way, I would appreciate it greatly.  I can even make that little heart sign with my own two little hands.

As a business owner, I am not eligible for unemployment insurance.  I have been frugal with my money, and book sales have assisted in the past.  Too many more months of this, and I don’t know where we will be.  Maybe the Ularins will come to get us.  J

Much love -TW

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Writers, Authors and You

Buried in her work as a professor, Donna creates a ‘new normal’ after her husband dies unexpectedly.

As long as we are breathing, we can keep learning.  One of my favorite novels that I wrote in 2017 sells on Amazon and other e-retailers. 

The novel Diamond Joe is a romance, and there is a subplot, but that is where it stops being an ordinary book.

The logline or tease is something like:

Buried in her work as a professor, Donna creates a ‘new normal’ after her husband dies unexpectedly.  Hiring a horse trainer, Donna’s world turns upside down. When Samantha plays to one of her wildest fantasies, forbidden love captivates both of them.  Accepting Sam’s love was only the beginning of the social disaster awaiting them.

As you can tell by the tease, the novel, among other things, deals with same-sex marriage.

“Woo TW, that is a bridge too far!  I don’t want to waste my time reading about gay people!”

Now, in truth, there are those that I know that frowned when I told them the book had two lovers who were women.  Why?  Why can’t they be the typical trope with the damaged billionaire who has a private helicopter, who likes to beat women?

If you have read my novels, you know I don’t do typical.  Firstly I write stream of consciousness.  After the first draft is on paper, I look at it for structure and continuity.   I make sure that the elements that make up a good story are there.

This story starts as a Hallmark Trope.  When you open the first page, you are introduced to our protagonist in a setting as a jockey on a horse that she trained.

Then, stuff happens.  Our other main character has survived the stuff.  She teaches at a university and is content to teach the kids Journalism. 

Now we meet a man (a student) who finds her attractive and she; a lonely widow thinks that quarterback want-to-be is rather hot.  He is. He is the stuff of wet dreams.   Dane likes her, but he wants to argue with her as he thinks her opinions are draconian.

Chemistry develops.  Dane has a problem.  He needs money to go on Spring break, and his best friend has a problem in that he needs the story of going with his roommate and not a girl who he is in hopes of spending time with. 

His girlfriend’s roommate also needs to be convinced, and she is not genuinely interested.

Pushing Dane and the girlfriend’s roommate together, another connection is made. With an offer to go out to his professor’s house under the guise of earning money performing handyman work, he feels like she wants something else.

The first of many dilemmas occur when Dane must decide what to do.

When Dane’s old neighbor is called to see if she would be interested in training his professor’s racehorse, his professor begins to have strange thoughts.

Without giving too much of the book away, I had one of my beta readers who is a solid Christian read it.

At first, she fussed at me about the word’ fuck.’ “Sorry, the characters said it.”

It was not until she got a third of the way into the novel did she get past the ‘gay’ issue.

When she finished the novel, she told me not to change a thing; she loved it and wanted a signed copy.  There were many other flowery comments made by just her but…. I will let you tell me.

Some of the other feedback was that it needed more conflict.  I needed to add some tension.

Ladies and Gentlemen.  This is Revision 5 of this book.  I spent the last month re-writing every chapter, adding a little more showing, and less telling.

If you look at the tweets which I am sending out, you will notice that I have #Hallmark in the hashtags.

This book would make an excellent movie for Hallmark or even Netflix.  I purposefully wrote it as YA or PG-13.  I also use a lot of dialogue, unlike most novels.

When they write the screenplay, they can change whatever they need to make it G and still keep the story very entertaining.

Hallmark is getting with the times and will start producing movies with same-sex couples.  If that turns your stomach, I am sorry.  While I am not gay, I have many friends who are, and from them, I have learned plenty.

I go into this in my book as they have to confront this issue head-on.

God knew what we, you, and I were going to do before we were born.  He was not caught by surprise when you or I did something terrible.  When he allows people who are gay to be born, he knows everything they will ever say or do and allows it.

We are not to judge.

This novel takes us down this road, as well as down the path of horseracing.  Again if you read my blogs and you are a reader of my stories, you know that I research everything. Sometimes it is to a fault.

If the novel is of interest to you, please click on the link and get yourself a copy.  The paper copies make more money for everyone but me.

I realize that people like to own physical books, and…if you desire, I can send out signed copies of the book for $25.00.  I am like you, I collect signed copies of books from just about any author I have met over the years.  I do that as a way to honor them.

Oh, one thing I hear often is ‘if more people read this, there would be a lot less hate in the world.’

Can you imagine a story such as this being impactful on society in a positive way?  As we live in a world of ideologues pushing identity everything to divide us, wouldn’t it be lovely if someone would do something to bring us together? 

Stay Safe, Sane, and remember to be kind to those that you love.

Much love -TW

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We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Know Where Don’t Know When…

When the Music Stops

One of my favorite pass times is traveling out to small towns throughout the world, hunting Antique Malls or small antique stores.  Before I tell you why, let’s discuss what those are.

One town not too far from me is Gladewater, Texas.  Gladewater, which is also close to Canton, is known for its abundance of antique malls.  If you travel to the old downtown part of Gladewater, you will see that the place was transformed for tourists.  Yes, there are locals but, the town’s economy depends upon people like me poking through stuff that might ‘charm’ me.

I mention Canton as it is famous for the First Monday sale.  Much of the town turns up to market’ stuff.’

The buildings have been re-purposed after the ‘death of the town.‘ Big box stores wiped out the mom and pop shops.  If you go into these ‘malls’, you will see that the edifice has been divided up into areas dedicated to rental property.

The owners of the building or perhaps the lessee has divided the total square footage of the building and subleased it out to individuals or perhaps small businesses for retail purposes.  As part of the leasing agreement, the store staffs the building, and they act as the person’s agent and collect funds for goods and or services.

No viable place of the building is off-limits.  Even the bathrooms are rented out to vendors.  One building I was in, the attic had been stuffed chock o block full of stuff.

In a typical non-COVID environment, this works out well for the tenants. It will be interesting in a macabre sort of way to see who survives.   Many of the tenants of those buildings are paying a lot of money to store their junk, in the hopes that someone will buy it.  In reality, what they are doing is converting their loved one’s treasures into liquid assets, for the person who leased or owns the building.

I have lost count of the day’s since ‘normal’ left town.  This much I do know for sure, the automobile insurance companies are making a killing.  I am getting months to the gallon, or the liter if that is your standard of measurement.

That ends the pragmatic part of this blog.  Now, let’s get on to why I search for antiques.

As a writer, I am always on the hunt for stories or fodder.  Sorting through the buttons, jewels, and other things, they become much like a time capsule. 

The styles that were in decades ago are now not only gaudy, but some are societally incorrect.

Societal norms notwithstanding, what charmed us back then and now?

Chinchilla

Mink coats, hats and so on. 

Things made from ivory.

Lamps with dangly things on them.  Glass cabinets loaded with pins, tchotchkes, and other sparkling things.  As you go from cabinet to cabinet, it is all different, but all the same.  Much like rocks in the river, they are entirely different, but all the same.

In the end, that is about the value they possess.  We value gold for its monetary equivalence, but we wear it, why?  Could it be we wear it to show the world we can spend perfectly good cash on a status symbol?

There is a chain of islands by Bermuda that are owned by people like Johnny Depp, who is a whopping 57 years old.  Why?  Why would you want your own island unless you were ‘Epstein like’ and did not want the cops showing up at any given moment unannounced?  What laws are there on your private island?  Is it lord of the flies or possibly a land looking for a volleyball to anthropomorphize as a companion?  What about owning an island charms someone? Do you suppose they value their privacy so much they have to buy an island?

I wrote a novel called Schadenfreude that takes place on such an island right after Epstein did not hang himself.  I digress.

As we age, our friends either leave us, or we leave them.  The things that charmed us are not loaded into a U-Haul trailer, (self-moving rental) and pulled behind the hearse.  Before the last bar of Amazing Grace or perhaps the bugler playing Taps, our friends or family are already wondering what to do with our’ stuff.’

Recently I acquired boxes of ‘stuff’ that charmed my best friend.  On an old phone was only one song.  Charging the phone, I was amazed to hear it.

I am the last of such a group of friends who spent countless hours together when not with family.  The laughter still echoes in my mind as I think back on all of those silly conversations. The long nights where too much wine was poured, where we talked until sunrise.  Those times we compared notes about our families, poking holes in the air with our fingers saying, ‘By God, that is what I need to change.’

Of course, we never did. The next year those same conversations reoccurred until one by one, there were fewer of us to have them.

There were nights where we listened to music, extolling the virtues of real composers: Glenn Miller, Arty Shaw, and singers like Vera Lynn.  No, I am not that old, but I was born way too late.  I am convinced I have an old soul.

‘Please say hello to the friends we both know…’  That song echoes through my heart and tugs at it each time I hear it.

Now it is you, my dearest of friends who must say hello to the friends we both know, as I am the last one here.

While the stuff that charms you might entertain you for a few moments, it is friends and family who provide the reasons to live.  If you need convincing, go check out those antique malls.  Walk the aisles one by one and try to imagine the person who owned it.

As their stuff sits in an old building collecting dust, and revenue for the building owner, try to imagine it as it once was.  An old hat with a feather in it.  A purse with more spangles than cloth.  Yes, that mink stole or perhaps that dress that belonged to a ‘flapper.’ Can you hear the music of the roaring ’20s?

Both the Victrola and the typewriter were made in 1920.  Yes, they both work very nicely. See what we can do if we try.

I am still on the hunt for some Vera Lynn Records.  I peruse antique malls and garage sales searching for 78’s. 

Someday, someone will have to wonder what to do with my’ stuff,’ as I say ‘hello.’

Carpe Diem

Much Love -TW

Featured

Frankenstein Lives

Is Frankenstein Alive

Many possess this obsequious desire to believe whatever they hear or see on the news.  Usually, it is written to play to your emotions. That is how we writers reel you into our stories.  That is also how the media controls the narrative, in this case, to divide the herd.

The bottom line is, someone is controlling them to create a narrative to divide us, have us at each other’s throats and feed us lies laden with hate, innuendo, and prevarications of the most hideous of kinds.

America is not systemically racist. Don’t believe it.  People from all over the globe want to come here because of who we are.

Yesterday some Catholics were praying by a statue of a saint to protect it from demolition.  Demolition from a government or other church-affiliated organization??? No, it was the hey hey ho ho, these statues got to-go, crowd. The self-appointed fascist, being funded by some billionaire with more money than sense.

There are anarchists among us who are taking advantage of the attack on the police to commit atrocities in the name of social justice.  Three men in their thirties viciously attacked a man in his late sixties or seventies.  Some photographers, instead of protecting the guy, took pictures for their fifteen minutes of fame. 

Someone hade scribbled KKK on the cement.  This gave the allusion that BIM was justified in assault and battery on older people.  Frail white people who can barely stand in a stiff wind.  The guy had a cane to walk.  Really? 

Were the chalk letters KKK really on the cement, or were they placed there by the wizardry of the person who took the photo?  Did BLM write the letters along with other things to curry favor with the media?

Violence is only the answer when it is the last resort (defense), case in point.

A middle-aged couple was sitting in their back yard when they heard a ruckus outside.  The same BLM crowd had smashed through an iron gate and was on private property.  As the man told them they were trespassing, a horde of protestors ‘anarchist’ threatened to kill their dog, and then to murder them, and burn their house down.

With this event, the two produced guns and told them to leave or else.  His wife produced a chrome 25 Cal that a pimp would be embarrassed to carry, but he produced an AR-15.

In this case, the AR-15 did what it was designed to do, look menacing.

While the BLM group had guns and were pointing them at the man and his wife, they wisely decided they would loose, and retreated.  Here is the problem.

The same Anarchist news sources reported it this way.

Two white people held guns on peaceful protestors who were passing by on a public street.  This is proof that white nationalism is alive and well in this country. 

They went on further to suggest that charges were going to be pressed against the homeowners for violating the rights of the innocent protesters.  They violated their 1rst amendment.  Nope, no correction to the story, even after all the facts came out.

Twitter sprang to life on how Fox news had brainwashed more people into brandishing guns on innocent peaceful protestors.

The problem with the narrative is this.  Those two who were defending their property are staunch Democrats.  They are both, in fact, lawyers who take cases from people of color who cannot otherwise afford lawyers. They pride themselves on giving those down trodden a voice. I wonder how much longer they will be registered, Democrats.  I wonder if their mission statement will change?

The interesting thing is, if you google one of these stories, you will see headlines that are 180 degrees from each other. 

When we write novels, we are told to write to our audience.  Journalism is not that way.  Objectivity is their number one priority.  Nope, they are writing to their audience.

How can you justify three younger men assaulting one old white guy?  Read, and you will see, they will make a case that mob violence is not only justified but necessary, to send a message to all the hateful white folks who oppress black people, even to this day!  How dare you be white with your white privilege? You should apologize and kiss my foot for daring to be white.

Never mind that millions of whites voted for Obama. 

I wonder how they think they are going to ingratiate themselves with the world when the media shows the burning buildings and the dead people, both black and white, perpetrated by the rioters.  It is interesting how the narrative changes with the news channel.

I believe that CNN and MSNBC could make the case that we just misunderstood Jeffrey Dahmer. 

This satire is a little dark…fyi  …

Jeffrey was, in fact, an advocate for saving the world from overpopulation of graveyards, by eating people, thus recycling them.  ‘Everyone knows’ that greenhouse gases come from graveyards.  Dead people make up (some bullshit number) percent of the greenhouse gases which as you know will stop the earth from spinning unless we eat dead people.  An overwhelming number of highly paid scientists have told us in order to save the planet we must start eating our dead.  We simply cannot burn them as that too adds to the gasses that kill polar bears. 

Mr Dahmer was ahead of his time.  The national association of Green House Gasses will be commemorating a statue in his honor by the prison where he was murdered by a religious zealot.

His murderer came from a family of morticians and were afraid that Jeffrey was on to something.  In order to hide the truth that what he was pushing would destroy their business, they sent in a man to silence him.  Jeffrey did not hang himself.  We have no proof of that but, those that knew him said he was a happy guy, full of live and was ready to demonstrate some new recipes after the next prison uprising.

Then they further could paint the funeral business as a bad thing, and how corrupt it is.  They could actually build a case that eating your relatives honors them, much like the cavemen did. Can’t you see George Stephanopolis doing under cover reporting on the real cost of a funeral, and how they take advantage of the grieving?

***

Journalism in this country is dead, as dead as Mr. Dahmer.

They have no shame and zero morality. Maybe they could find some of their contributors to come up with recipe books on how to cook humans.  Anderson could carry it as a special on the weekends. 

See, that is what happens to writers, they get carried away. 

If there is another civil war in this country, it will not be the north against the south or west against the east, it will be the haves, and the have nots.  Once these anarchist erase history, they will come for the haves.  Before this happens they will come after your guns.  They cannot have you violating the rights of the anarchist after all.  If they take your guns you should order some bricks, rocks and glass bottles and gasoline, and rags.  You see how well that works against your kids driving tanks to quell the uprising in different countries, right?

History is replete with examples.  Those who ignore history or don’t think it is important, will also ignore Venezuela, Brazil and a host of other countries as they vote for socialism. 

Take the Soma, it is good for you….PFFFT

Wouldn’t it suck if we had to get Putin to come rescue the US from Antifa or worse, Shiff and Shumer?

Too bad we cannot find the funders of these groups and toss them in jail.  They are Frankenstein, and the rioters are their monsters.

The media is setting the stage for one hell of an event, which they will happily report on as either a peaceful protest which accidently set cars and houses and other buildings on fire, or White Nazis assaulting innocent church-going victims who were having tea parties with disabled children from the school for the deaf and blind.  Pick your reality.  VOX or FOX.

Why wait, write the stories now so you can get the scoop when it finally happens.  Facts certainly don’t matter, since it is all fiction anyway.

They hate our current president so much they don’t care if what they are creating destroys the country.  When their guests call the silent majority loathsome and stupid, or the New York Times calls them Crude, it promotes animus on the left and it might cause some of the silent majority to question themselves?    Is the orange man that bad?  Do you really want to destroy the entire country to get the orange man out of office? We know the answer.   The real question is, is the left so brain washed that they can get behind a man who most probably wears Depends and most certainly has trouble forming coherent thoughts?  Is that the best they can do? They should have promoted Tulsi Gabbert.

Care to guess why they didn’t?  Yep, she would not be controlled like a puppet.  Biden is perfect as he is an empty vessel. They just need to tie ropes to his hands and feet and put tape over his mouth, it will be fine.

People go to Washington to sell their souls to the highest bidder. Why in the hell do you think a person will spend 19 million dollars of his or her own money to run for office, which pays $150K a year?

I ask a friend that the other day and she said…’ they are patriotic,’  

Hold your hand up if you believe that one.

Big business buys these people to get what they want.  The orange man is disrupting their cash flow, and that includes the cartels.  It is no wonder why the media is fake.  When you incorporate wealth with power, the aphrodisiac is overwhelming.

Every time Trump donates his pay check it sends a powerful message to the corrupt, he is not for sale.  Folks, the richest counties in the country are all around DC.  What does that tell you about the power brokers in this country?

We were in endless wars to award contracts to different military needs to fight the enemy.

The enemy, our enemy, is in the swamp.  #termlimits

The anarchists are poking the bear, and the bear is the silent majority who have about had it.  If DC does not pull its head out of its collective ass, the majority will have no option but to ‘fix the problem.’

I would start by voting them all out, every stinking one of them. They obviously are cowards and value the election results more than the safety and wellbeing of the American people.   

What if all this dissentions is staged to force their hands, to turn the election in the favor of puppets and Pelosi?  Could all this noise about turning DC in to a state be to force the GOP to stand up for something?

I wrote a book a while ago called Presidential Assassins.  I think I might be ready to write a sequel.  If you watch the news, which I try not to, you can’t make this up.

As the death toll from the virus goes over half a million worldwide, one has to wonder if this is a distraction, to take attention off China.  Are they funding Antifa?  Is the bedlam in our streets a proxy war from China?

Hang in there people; I have a feeling that good things are around the corner.  

Azlan is on the move.

Much Love -TW

Featured

Why Write?

Skinny Dipping on an Alien world was probably not their best idea.

Greetings to you fellow bloggers, readers, writers and friends.

There are days I feel like that ‘primal scream’ is going to come out when I least expect it.  If you know anything about the Myers Briggs model, I am what they call an INFJ  … I need people like fish need water.  I am a social creature.

While the business has slowed way down, I have used my time wisely.  I make a point to spend at least fifteen minutes a day in the sunshine.  I talk with friends and family on the phone and now video chat so you can see another face.  I stopped watching most of the news as most of it is just ‘el Toro de caca.’ {shit of the bull}. 

In the US, where I am currently, the media used to have value.  We would read the paper because it provided something of value.  I stopped taking it because most of the stories are creations of a biased journalist (using that word loosely) spun, not to report the news, but to make it.

In some countries, the news is so flagrantly created by a fiction writer, that it might as well start with ‘once upon a time.’  That is why you can discard it; it has no value.

I can say with almost certainty that all of you who read this have more in common than not.  If we were all in one room, we would agree with each other on almost everything.  Using a Venn diagram, if we put all of our wants and needs in different circles and allowed the ones in common to overlap, we would learn no matter your race, religion, gender, or country of origin, we would have more in common than not.  They, the purveyors of politics and power, create strife, hate, and racial tension to keep us divided, so they can control us using our emotions.  It is merely social engineering to control the herds.

Why control us? Power and greed. If you are convinced to vote for the devil, they will spend a fortune to get your vote so they can then be bought or sell their vote to big business like insurance companies, big pharma or other chemical companies. They make the laws that you must follow and they control what a business can and cannot do.

If the business wants to make more money they simply buy off someone on the committee. That is why someone will spend 19 million dollars of their own money for a job that pays $150K a year.

You would do best to ignore the news, turn it off and don’t read or watch it.  If a station like CNN has to pay every airport in the world to only have their station on, you know that is absolute brainwashing.

They are bought and paid for as well. The rich and powerful control what you read, hear and see. Even social media is bought and paid for, censoring your tweets, post on Facebook and alike.

The only thing missing in this day and age is Soma.  Yes, the blue pill that makes you a mental midget.  Oh, but wait, there is more. 

If you elect the most corrupt among the candidates, they will legalize pot, which will do what??? C’mon think.  SOMA….  Kill some more brain cells so you will be compliant. Yes they are screwing you but you wont care… Isn’t that nice?

Yes, there is a fringe element in all societies that would not fit into your Venn diagram at all.  Those are the ones that need to grow as a human and stop with the ‘poor me’ mentality. They hang on to wounds from hundreds of years ago because it relieves them of the responsibility to grow up.

Why do we write?

Let’s change that to why do people read what we write?  We provide something of value to them.  Whether it is an academic paper or a novel about wizardry, there is something of value in it for them, a reward for the reader.

As fiction writers, we make promises.  We then must keep them.  We mention a wand or perhaps a villain in an early part of the novel, and then we must do something with it.  That is the payoff.  We reward our readers and encourage them to keep reading.

I think one of the best compliments I ever received is an e-mail I got from someone reading Saga of the Starduster.

They were upset because they started reading it before bedtime on a Sunday night.  They had to turn the next page and the next.  Before they were aware of it, the time had passed by while they were in my world.  They ended up sleeping in on Monday after calling in sick… LOL 

They were rewarded to the point of shooting themselves in the foot, but, it was a compliment to me, your humble author.

If you are like me, locked down… not up… but sheltering in place, take time for yourself.  Learn yoga, find a park with few folks in it, and walk.  Use the time to talk with relatives and friends who are also ‘flattening the curve.’

Speaking of the curve, the outbreak two weeks to the day of the riots is not from opening up the country.  The media is lying to you once again to protect their inept, feckless, fiction writing, journalist.  The spread of the virus through the mobs is why we are experiencing this.  You will notice that even the news makes it seem more general like, the outbreak in Georgia instead of Atlanta specific, which is where the riots were.  Technically correct, it is Yellow Journalism.

Ok, I am off to do what I do, which will take all of about an hour and then I will be back to creating my latest novel. 

The story is about a witch coming into her own.  All the things that happen to her as she grows into her powers.

To keep this novel from being too ‘tropey’, my writing has to be ever so much cleverer than in the past.   Stay tuned for more on release dates.  Follow @authortwscott and, of course, follow me here on WordPress. 

Thanks as always, and have a blessed day.

Much Love -TW

Featured

XM Radio Is it worth it?

We are sorry for the longer than expected hold time.  All of our operators are busy, but your call will be answered in the order it was received.

There was a time when HP had the worst customer service.  I am beginning to think XM has surpassed them.  Over a year ago, I noticed that I was driving very little.  My insurance is a total waste of money as the car sits there unless I go pick up groceries, and by pick up, they bring them to my vehicle pre-ordered.

With COVID, I have used less than 8 gallons since New Year’s Eve.

Satellite Radio was my way of keeping up with the news from one of the major stations. 

Last April 2019 (before COVID) I called to cancel, and of course, I went through the usual song and dance, and then they put you with a ‘retention specialist.’

Here is this great deal, blah blah blah.  Instead of $438 a year, you can have it for $99 for each radio plus fees, taxes, and other charges that are non-specified.  ‘A recording artist fee..?’

I acquiesced.  Going through my statement later, I found out that they charged me the full amount anyway.  Pfft…Next year I cancel.

The time of year comes amid COVID.  Nope, call and get put on hold for much too long, so I write them a letter.  That was weeks ago.

Today I get another bill in the mail for $438 plus late charges.  Umm, no, I wrote you a letter asking you to cancel the services.  The agent cannot deal with that; she can only cancel the service after the song and dance about the special price and pausing my subscription until July.  Hello, it is June.  WTF?

What part of ‘the car is not going anywhere?’ does she not get?

I am assuming they are going to send me some bill for services not used even after I sent them a letter to terminate my service.  Do I fight it?  Do I pay them and talk about how crappy they are on every blog I can find? 

Here is the deal…There are too many streaming services out there, which my car stereo can incorporate through the cell phone.  From Iheart radio, Amazon Prime, and Pandora.  I am sure there are others, not to mention iTunes and how about the regular broadcast.  Why XM?  Why pay some exorbitant price for a service that gives you non-commercial commercials?  What is this fee for the recording artist?  Do they see any money from that collected bit of extortion?  

I would be willing to pay a nominal fee for such a service but, when it is this damned hard to kill it, why go through the grief?

Your mileage might vary, but I think my cable company is going to be my next one to scrutinize.  There are more options to TV than you might imagine.

Stay tuned for more details.

Much Love -TW

Featured

A sliver of Sunshine

Does God know what is going on?

Hello Dear friends, followers, and fellow authors.

You might have noticed that I have not posted in a while.  It is not for lack of writing or trying; it is a lack of the right message.  

Each and every post was a condemnation of world leaders, politicians, self-appointed demigods shaming the rest of the world, and then the minions, using violence (terrorism) to make their mark on the world. 

Anger was and still is the underlying issue, not with them, with me.

I cannot change them.  I can only point the way. I am talking about the rioters and looters, and Anarchist.

They choose to be ignorant, showing the world that they are more comfortable as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals than thinking people or part of the race known as ‘humankind.’ They reject their gifts from God to do the Devil’s bidding.

Those animals drag the rest of us down by serving up this vile soup that they create with their misdeeds.  We come to the table and partake of it, usurping their anger and poison, affecting our families and us. 

Politics is all about pointing out what is wrong in the world and then pointing the finger at who did it to us.  The current political operatives could not stomach that unemployment for every group was at the lowest in recorded history, so they went about destroying it.  The economy of this country was the best it has ever been, so they killed it too.  Then they pointed the finger at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, telling you it was his fault.  They even took it one step further.  A noted New York Times opinion writer said that people who support this president are ‘crude.’ 

That was not enough.  They take the misdeeds of a cop arresting a person of color, who is high on meth at the time and try to blame that on the current president as well.  They even call him a coward when those that handle him take him to the bunker while they quell the crowd outside.  That is the job of the secret service.  Had they not taken him to the bunker, it would have been a dereliction of their duty not just to the president but to you the American People.

Who in his administration leaked that to the press?

The media is not only an accomplice but the ringleader, now asking you to pay the legal fees for their minions. 

Reject those requests.  Don’t give them a nickel.  We should not encourage bad behavior, and that goes for the media, the elected folks, and yes, the cops too.

Immaturity is not an excuse for burning down the country, killing and causing the death of many, by blocking emergency vehicles from getting to a fire that you started.  Innocent children were burned alive by their actions.  The compliant media, of course, barely mentions it.  Had I not heard it on a scanner app, I might never have known about it.

Yes, George Floyd had a lengthy criminal history, including pointing a gun at a pregnant woman’s belly while robbing her, looking for drugs.  He was high on drugs at the time of his arrest.  That will come out well after the dust settles, and the lives of countless people are ruined.  No, he did not deserve to die on the streets, and yes, the cops went too far.  George fell victim to the drugs, as countless others have done before him, and will after him. He made some poor choices.

All I am saying is the country does not have all the facts.  They have been cherry-picked to insight the mob. The media is so corrupt; it is inconceivable that they have not been torched by the righteous.  Not calling for it, merely stating a fact. They are the enemy.

Instead of disbanding the police, just possibly, we should dismantle the media.  When they are no longer fair and balanced, they become an enemy of the people.  We should seek out those demigods and de-thrown them.  Third world countries have demigods, not the USA.  People from all over the globe strive to come here because their countries have fallen to them. 

When Stalin said the sharpest weapon in his arsenal was the printed word, he was right.

If you think our cops are corrupt, check out some other countries.  The Unions are probably the reason that corrupt cops have not been put behind bars before this.

The media is not your friend, look for the evidence of what is going on, check the facts with actual numbers, and not hired guns who peddle lies for a living.  Smooth-talking sycophants, kissing up to the demigods while screwing you in the process.

Hate is a poison that you take in the hope it will affect someone else.  Stop taking the poison.

I don’t believe in vigilante justice.  The mob is usually always wrong, ask Jesus.

I think for myself, I don’t need nihilistic narcissists to guide my life on this earth or keep me from shining a light on those who seek to destroy it.   

After these many months of abnormal, I am seeking a new normal.  I lift all this to the real God, meditate, spend time in nature away from everyone, and I don’t have the TV on at all. 

At the very end of Poltergeist the movie, you might remember the family has left the house and has moved into a motel on the second floor.  The very last thing we see is the TV coming through the door, left in the walkway next to the rail and in the misty rain.

I love the symbolism of the Evil coming into their lives through the TV.  It is true, how many of your friends have said something like, “I don’t know how I would have survived this without the TV?”

I am not suggesting you take your 110-inch flat screen and toss it out. I am suggesting that just possibly cutting the cable, the dish or whatever, might be a movement that we could start.  Sending a message to the demigods at Comcast, Time Warner, and the Rest, we made you, and we can disassemble you.

Were you aware that CNN pays every airport in the world to only have their channel on all of the TV’s in the terminals? Every flying customer sits hours waiting on a flight, being fed poison.

The elite gated community folks in California who are so out of touch with you and me, tweet their venom as if they too were gods, expecting you to fall in line like nice little sheeple.

Can you live without streaming TV?  Can you imagine your life without screens?  I think we need a twelve-step program to de-program the masses. We are addicted to smart stuff, which is the antithesis of smart.

When we used to go out to eat, you might notice that many families would be sitting in excellent restaurants, and most of them were glued to their phones.  Perhaps this virus has called some attention to this.  Maybe we are more addicted to screens telling us what to think and how to act. 

Burning down people’s business is good, and fighting against those that loot you is racists. If you object to people coming into your house and killing you or your family and taking your stuff, you are a racist.  By the way, give us some money so we can get our minions out of jail! Oh, and let’s get rid of all the prisons, they are racist.

How brainwashed must you be to stomach that crap?

Twitter, there is another one just possibly you might remove yourself from.  The streams of hate on Twitter are incredible.  Instead of Twitter and Facebook and YouTube telling you what to believe, how about you pick up a good book, and set down those things that piss you off.

There are now activists who are suggesting that you go through your library and remove individual books and burn them or delete them from your e-collections.  WTF?

Opinions are fine.  They are not fact.  Rose McGowan or Bette Midler can speak with their other gated community activist and tweet out their vitriol and then order their slaves to bring them some wine, or perhaps some $16 dollar a pint designer ice cream and huff as they complain about the taste of the designer ice cream is just not as good as it once was, while you and I struggle to put milk on the table for our kids, while standing in lines six feet apart with our masks on, hoping we can buy toilette paper.

Those demigods don’t have a clue.  They are the ‘let them eat cake folks.’ Many of you follow them on twitter as if they are your friend.  You feel like you know them.  Trust me, the higher they climb, the less attached to reality they are.  I am afraid that also goes for the 30-year-old Taylor Swift, who is worth over 400 million dollars.  Do you think she worries about milk or toilette paper? Do you genuinely believe that she has anything in common with you or me?

They will cry out to defund the police while hiring many of them as their personal bodyguards.

I used to be skeptical of organized religion. I still am.  When I see mega-churches, I won’t set foot in them because it becomes more about the Narcissist behind the podium, wearing the robe. 

When they own 13 million dollar aircraft to ‘spread the good news.’  I take issue with that.  They are just another demigod at that point, and have nothing in common with you or I.

Before COVID, I was in Tennessee. The park I was touring had historical places of interest, which I like for many reasons.  One of the sites of interest was an old church. 

I was alone as few stopped to see an old wooden church in the woods.  Kids had scribbled graffiti here and there, and the old bible left on the podium had pages missing.

I stood there behind the podium and, for a minute, was transported back in time.  The church was full of people, people of color.  They were as real as anything. 

Women were dressed in their Sunday best, and children were squirming on the wooden pews.  Flies were buzzing around, streaking through the shafts of sunlight, entering through the open windows. An older man was snoring in the back, as his wife tried to pretend she did not notice him.  The choir rang out with ‘I need the every hour.’

The old organ played as if it were new, and I heard every word.  I had to make a point to come home and look up that hymn, as churches today usually don’t sing the old stuff.

For a minute, I was comforted in a blanket of love.  The ghosts of years ago were there.  I was reminded that this is not it.  This ‘stuff’ that poisons us is not it.  Those horrible electronic portals into hell have channel selectors, choose wisely. Job had to choose, and that story is there for a purpose.

As the music stopped, the organ, organist and the choir vanished.  The echoes of the music, and the people singing stopped ringing as those in the pews before me disappeared as well.  The sounds of creaking pews, and floor boards and even the scents of perfume all vaporized. 

The church was once again the shell of a building, with dust particles, sparkling like small diamonds in the streaks of light through the windows. Just outside was a cemetery and I suspect the home of those ghosts.  I hope to meet them again someday, and repay their kindness.

You don’t need to find that old wooden church to be in the moment.  Go outside and still your mind.  There is a sliver of sunlight waiting for you to open your eyes and seek it out.  Even those knuckle-draggers, are children of God, they just need to grow up. That includes those that are leading us down the road to hell.  They are here to provide a contrast for you.  Without the dark, how would you recognize the light? What will you choose?

God turns good from Evil, the message is there, and you just have to seek it out and be willing to accept the truth.

Much love -TW

Featured

Stay Safe

Watching the news, I worry for you.

Listening to the radio, I pray for you.

I have been where you are at, I know what you are feeling.

Many of you are being used.

Heaven protect you through these times, as evil creeps across the land.

Darkness will take over the souls of many who think, Hate is something other than a poison you ingest, to affect your brother.

Some of you will pass a threshold that coming back from might be impossible.

Think before you act, before you speak, and before you raise a hand against your brother or sister. The Devil is lying to you, and laughing at your actions.

Don’t let the actions of one bad apple destroy your soul. The Devil wins if you do.

Much Love -TW

Featured

Flash Point

The video made me sick. What the hell is wrong with a cop that will do that?

 

Researching facts for a novel I am working on, WWI was the topic.  Back in school many years ago, I remember having to memorize facts about the different wars.

The history of 2020 thus far could not have been dreamt up.  As a writer, I don’t think I could come up with all of the ‘sparks’ that we have around us.  The kindling is ready and at flashpoint.

In just the last few months, weeks really, a virus either created in or let loose from, a lab in China has been more deadly than many wars throughout history.  The lasting effects of this .001um size bomb will change the world forever.

Tyrants with delusions of grandeur are now pretending they know what is best for their people, citing science as the reasoning.  If you understand science, as I happen to, you would realize that science is not even on the table.  It is about power.

We see this egocentric behavior in all walks of life.  Unfortunately, we see it not only in our government but in our police force.  The execution that we all watched on TV triggered my emotions.  I was sickened by what I saw.  We don’t know the facts; we only know what we saw.

In time the ‘system’ will prevail as that cop is not a politician, and more than likely has no one in power to run cover for him, unlike those ‘servants’ in DC and other government agencies who sit in their ivory towers.

There is a real danger in dealing with the mental health of a society when you enforce draconian measures like the Communistic regime in China.  One of the ways we punish prisoners is by locking them in a cell.  Many become suicidal.

We don’t have the facts on COVID 19.  We know that decisions were made on very flawed models, and we have a press that is doing everything in its power to stoke the flames of racial hatred while peddling a narrative written by the government of China.

Social media is equally infected with political biases, with many self-appointed propaganda czars peddling a false narrative, again doing the bidding of our friends in China.

The incident in Minnesota is not a racial issue.  When I saw the tape, I, as a white person, wanted to pick up a sign ‘Black Lives Matter’ and walk with them.    Again we don’t know all the facts.  We know that once a perp is handcuffed, the fight is over, you put them in the car and bring them to a holding facility where their case is adjudicated in a fair system.  That clearly did not happen.

Three groups of people are on the streets of Minneapolis tonight.

You have protestors who are making the point known that everyone deserves equal application of the law.

You have those who are opportunists who are looting businesses because the police are busy dealing with the third group, professional agitators who are creating anarchy.

You can watch the news, and you can easily identify who is who.  Burning buildings, cars, and what have you while taking their pictures flashing gang signs are those who don’t care about civil rights, the aggrieved, or your feelings.  They are there to promote anarchy and to be seen by other gang members.

There is a fourth group I didn’t mention.  They are those trying to reign in the most egregious perpetrators. They need to do so without increasing tensions.

 

The cop that killed him needs to answer for his actions.  Those cops that stood around and watched need to be held accountable for their inactions.  Those people who sat there for six or eight minutes filming it need to be held to account as well. Why didn’t you call 911 or ask the cops standing around to help him?

We don’t know all the facts, but we do know that those who have been in lockdown that came out for this ‘riot’ most probably had a lot of pent up anxiety, and this action by the police force was the spark.

Whose cars did you burn up?

Whose business did you destroy?

Whose houses are you breaking in to and shooting through their walls?

Why are you terrorizing your own neighbors?”

What you are calling for is mob justice and my friends that went away with the law of the six gun.  Unless you want that back, I would think hard on your next actions.   The spark you strike might start a war that you cannot win.

I would also like to call out CNN and MSNBC for their horrendous activity.   They are not journalists; they are propagandist sewing the seeds of hate, fanning the flames of anarchy by spewing poison.

They must hate this country, or they are being paid to act irresponsibly.  Peace and calm are what we need.  Destroying the town by using race-baiters like Al Sharpton is cheap, loathsome, and stupid.  People will get hurt, they could be killed, and CNN and those like them will then blame someone else.

If your emotions are triggered, you are being manipulated.   It is that simple.

 

Stay safe, stay away from the area if you are there, and remember that hate is a poison that you take in hopes it will affect someone else.

Those riotors were hardly social distancing, and the virus is real.   How many will get sick, and how many more will die because they were stirred up by the media?

A protest is peaceful, burning buildings, looting, and injuring people are criminal activities no matter what sparked it.

-Best

 

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COVID -19.  My take on the mask and what I am doing to stay safe.

Greetings to you, my usual followers; and thanks for being there.  For you who just hit that magic follow button, I am grateful.

Tonight I want to dispel the myths of the mask.

What is a mask going to do for you, regarding Covid-19?

  • Peace of mind
  • Blunt the distance your water droplets travel away from you.

Notice I did not say the virus, I said water droplets which might contain the virus.

 

Shocked?

Here is the reason; The Science is,  The virus is  .005 um in size.  You can only see it with an electron microscope.

Your surgical mask blocks contaminate as small as .1um. In case you’re math-challenged, the pores in your mask look like wide-open doors to the virus. .005um is orders of magnitude smaller than .1um.

You can test if the mask is working, or if you have it on correctly by the following.  Spray some Isoamyl acetate close to the person with the mask.  If they smell bananas, it is a failure.

You don’t have that, use this.  Smoke is .04 to 4 Um  Light a match.

No matches, Perfume, another ‘ester’ not unlike Isoamyl acetate is .3 um.  Can you smell it?  It is a fail.

As you can tell from the ‘science,’ you need some serious PPE to protect yourself.  Surgical and N95 mask both block a percentage of particles to  0.1um.  They have several layers that would have the virus weaving in and around the fibers, unlike a bandana.

The face shield, along with the N95 mask, properly worn, will protect most, from picking up the virus.  Those that know better don’t tell you this, because they need the ‘good ppe” to be available to the medical professionals.  Most civilians would probably not wear the mask properly anyway, and if there are any air gaps, it is a waste of a mask.

Another thing about these respirators, the N95, is you need to be medically fit to wear one of these things.  They restrict the flow of oxygen (air), so breathing can be a bit of a challenge.

There is a dark side to this whole thing, which I am not sure about.  It is this. Let’s say you are asymptomatic, and you are positive.  Instead of shedding this virus through respiration, you are re-inhaling it.  As the virus multiplies, which it does like rabbits, you are adding more of the virus into your system.  For all of the press briefings and all the hysteria, I cannot believe why the good folks that are paid to keep us safe, have not told us these things.

Let me tell you what I am doing.  Firstly, I am getting outside as much as possible.  I have worked in the garden, spent time in the pool, and walked the neighborhood.  I have even spent some time laying in the sun, although no more than about ten minutes a side and not during the hottest parts of the day.  Well before noon, or after five…

Here is something else I am doing, and I wish I had stock in the company.  I have ozone generators.  Why, and what do they do?

Ozone is well known to inactivate viruses that are on surfaces.  I spend a lot of time in my office.  When I leave it in the evening, I turn on the generator and let it run.  By morning that half of the house has been flooded with ozone.  Any virus or bacteria is most assuredly worse for wear.  Now, I could take that one step further and put it in the bedroom during the day, which I have done on occasion.

You can run these things in bathrooms or other areas like the kitchen at night.

Your mileage may vary, and ozone is an irritant. Don’t run it when you are in the room with it.  Ozone can and will most of the time cause mild irritation to your sinuses. Don’t be in the same place with it, and air out the room you have sanitized before you occupy it.  I have no idea if breathing ozone would have any effect on the virus in your body.  I would think the irritating effects of the ozone, would just add to your misery.  Since the virus would be in a damp warm area I seriously doubt it would have any effect, other than to make you more miserable.

I am just telling you what I am doing to minimize my risk of exposure. Don’t come after me if you follow what I am doing and get sick.  That is your disclaimer.  My blogs are for entertainment only…LOL  Yes, there are litigious people out there that would go after the tooth fairy if they knew an activist judge who got cheated as a kid.

Ozone generators are available on Amazon.  They have been sold for eons through different manufactures of expensive air filters.  I used to have one of those fancy air filters.  The fan motor went out, and I could not find a replacement.

I have a theory about this whole thing, which I will also share.  See what you think.  This virus is a very hyped-up version of the coronavirus, which exists in many forms.  This one is more contagious than the others, and like the flu, there are different strains.  Some strains tend not to be so severe,  and some appear to be doing other damage than just to the respiratory system. ‘your lungs.’ It is a single strand of RNA, which, if I remember my biology, makes it less stable.

I have doubts that they will create a vaccine for it, certainly not by this fall.  We ‘the human race’ have become where we are by taking risks.  When you get in your car, crawl in the shower, or even eat your dinner, you are taking risks.  4000 Americans die each year from choking on their food.

I think sooner or later everyone will be exposed to it, and will either get very sick and die, or they won’t.  The older you are or, the more comorbidities that you have, change your odds as to how you will fair.  Weigh your risks versus living your life.

I am not advocating throw all caution to the wind, but what I am saying is this, If you have to work to support your family, you might have to make some tough choices.

I realize that is a sobering thought, and I hate to leave you with that note.  We can watch the southern hemisphere and see how they do through their fall and winter.  We can hope that greed motivates companies to create a vaccine or, at the very least, therapeutics that decrease your odds of needing a ventilator.

Yes, I meant greed.  There are very few companies that are so altruistic that they are only motivated by the selfless act of spending millions on saving millions of people.  Big Pharma does not work that way.

I am also convinced without capitalism (greed) we would still be living in caves.

Wash your hands, social distance, and use common sense.

If you like what I have written, hit that follow button and tell me hello. Many of you have over the years, and I feel like I know some of you through your blogs.

Till Next Time…

Much love, Stay Safe…-TW

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World Building 101

Using more than vision is a must!

I am taking a break from the world of the virus to talk about our world.  No, not the one with the virus, the one that we have in our minds.

I critique a fair amount of writing for peers, friends, and yes, even some family members.  A CP or critique partner is a two-way street and is invaluable to a writer.

One of the things I see most often is a flat world.  What do I mean by that?

I think examples go far beyond talking about them, much like showing instead of telling.  I am going to world build for you.  The first example is flat….

David followed the carnage throughout his realm. It was easy to tell where they had been by the sacked villages in their wake.  From the burned out buildings to toppled statues, whoever was doing this had complete disdain for the locals.

In this paragraph, we are introduced to David.  Who he is or his relevance to the story is anyone’s guess.  We can assume he is after the people doing this to the locals, but again we don’t know.  I do give you a clue to the hate by the toppled statues.  Burning their villages is one thing, but toppling statues shows us that there was more than purpose to the destruction.

Ok, let’s try again; this time, let’s show a little bit more.

Sir David left the castle in response to news from his realm.  Invaders had moved in from the West, showing total contempt for him, his kingdom, and his kind.

The scents of the pines were quickly replaced by the acrid stench of burnt wood, animals, and people alike.  The skies turned dark, the closer he came to the first village.  Once the pride of his kingdom, not one structure was left.  Even the sculpture, honoring his mother the Queen, lay in ruins with the head, smashed into a fine powder.  Charred remains of his people smoldered in piles of ashes of what used to be their homes.  Viewing the ruins through angry prisms of tears, he pressed on.

You will notice that both paragraphs relay the same information about the scene.  Except now in the second one, we learn who David is, who that statue was of, why it was so meaningful, and we learn more of the hate of David’s mother.  We still don’t know who the enemy is or why they hate his mother, but, we would turn the page to find out.

When world-building, you are a god.  This is your world.  You have the divine power to create as you see fit and destroy as you will.  If you want readers to be interested in your writings, remember to use as many of the senses as you can.

In painting, if you look carefully, you will see that white is not white.  If I am painting a lady in a white blouse or dress, you will find multiple colors in the fabric.  If it is a warm shadow, there will be warm colors, and conversely, a cold shadow will have more violets blues and so on.  Not only will there be many different colors but many different values.

When I write, I try to grab the reader by the …yes that.  I want to draw the reader in so they can smell the burnt flesh, or perhaps the aroma of the rose.

Much like the art, I paint my paintings and scenes with the same passion, and that means I use composition.  In a painting, I seek to draw the eye of the beholder in toward the center and have their eyes go more or less in circles as they see all that is.  How do we do that with our words?

We paint with our words.  All of the values and colors must be represented by our words.

Here is a trick that you might wish to use.  In your mind, when you are writing, you have an idea of what the scene looks like.  Many, even some of the great authors, do not do this justice.  Here is the trick.  By the way, if you want more of these hints, tips or tricks, hit that follow button.

The trick is to go out on Pixabay or just google a scene like you are trying to write and post it where you can see it.  Now, as you world build, paint that scene with words. Don’t forget the temperature, time of day, and for God’s sake, add smell or scent or odor in the painting.

One of the most powerful senses we have is the power of smell.  Unlike a painting, with my words, I can incorporate smell.  The sense of smell is one hell of a kick in the memory department.  If I mention the scent of toll house cookies in the oven, the odds are good you will dredge up some memory, hopefully, a happy one involving toll house cookies.  You might even remember eating the raw dough when your mother told you no.

If I mention biting into a lemon with the bittersweet taste, your saliva glands will more than likely respond, just by the mere mention of it.

When we write erotica or racy things, yes, in both men and women, things respond not only anatomically, but in your brain, chemicals are released.  That is what we are going for in our art, whether it be words or oils.

When you world-build or tell your stories, trigger those reactions that you want in your reader, so they become part of the story.  We wish to have them feel empathy toward your David.  Have them ride along with him experiencing all the disgust and scorn that he does.    Just maybe your David is riding on a dragon.  Maybe your David can shoot fire from his fingertips.  It is your world.  You are the God of your universe.

One last bit of advice I would leave you with during this blog entry is this.

Enjoy what you are doing.  Live in this world that you are creating.  Feel the cold air on your cheeks as you take flight on your magical beast.  See the forest below you, and notice the smoke in the distance.  Plan your strategy for taking on the vermin that dare to come into your realm.

Yes, I just made all this stuff up in about ten minutes or so.  I write about one novel every three months, give or take, and that includes holding down a full-time job.

Currently, I am 36K words into my newest novel, which is about a young lady who discovers through a vision that not only is she blessed with magical powers, but she is about to be forced into a confrontation with a government skunkworks program.  It would seem that the government is using genetically modified food to promote a unique genetic change in the minds of children to encourage telekinesis. They are unaware that what they are doing will turn an army of people lose on the world with powers the likes of which they have never imagined.  Bethany, my main character, is a witch that will soon be pressed in to service against a human-made evil.

The audience for this novel is the Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and the Spirited Away crowd, with a bit of Stranger Things added for spice.    I think the book will be about 80K words give or take, with options for more if the story takes off.

Follow me here for updates, as I work every day on this novel.  Unlike my other thirty-odd books on Amazon and Smashwords; I am going to attempt the Query process once again.  I will not make a job out of it, however.  Each letter takes no less than four hours, and that is at least a chapter in a new novel for me.  If, by chance, you are in this industry, and like the concept, save me the query process for a leg up on representing this novel.

Much love to you, my faithful followers.  BTW, I have taken the time to visit many of your blogs, I have commented on a few of them.  Hang in there world; things will get better.  –TW

 

 

 

 

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Breaking News!

Now is the time to think outside the box.

Ok, I am interrupting writing on my latest novel for a reason.  Do you ever learn something disturbing, and it sits in the back of your mind?  I do this consistently.  I will often awaken at three in the morning with a solution to whatever I learned that was troublesome.

Here is the problem.

Farmers are dumping tons of milk, destroying food, and might have to kill and destroy livestock as the supply chain is broken, due to the virus.  Give that some thought for a minute.

I am sure that some of them have found creative ways to gift some of that food, but I have an idea.

Why in the world don’t we use the National Guard to fill in where the supply chain is broken?

Tax dollars subsidize the farmers. Why not bring those food stuffs to the inner cities where non-working people could use them to feed the homeless?

With over 30 million unemployed people in this country, we need a little leadership from Washington.

If you agree with me, share this.

Let’s see if we can get the attention of those DC aristocrats who live in gated communities and high rise towers, to do something for the little people.

Any food that is destroyed because they fail to act is a travesty and a loss.  We need everyone to think outside the box during these times in our country, and for once, I would include the entire world.  If this is happening in the US, what about other countries?  Surely they have the same types of issues.

As far as the little elected and unelected tyrants who have tried to make names for themselves by putting people in jail for not wearing a mask, we will remember who you are, come election time.  Your fifteen minutes of fame will be your undoing.

I am going back to my latest novel.  I have an evil witch to find and destroy.

Much Love -TW

 

 

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Day 47

Should we give up on wearing clothes? Would zoom meetings be more interesting?

How has your life been affected?

What changes have you made to affect a positive effect on your life?

I joke about naturism but I did read a blog post about naturists getting together on zoom.  How would that work?  Why?  I thought the purpose of naturism was to be one with nature?  Is it something else?

Life goes on, my friends.  We do what we must to make ends meet.  Currently, I am pulling from savings to keep everyone happy, but that can only last so long.  Sadly there are many out there that cannot scrape together $500 if they needed to.

Today the blog is not about writing; it is about being human.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know that I am a humanist.  I love people.  With luck, one-day people will be my bread and butter.  By that, I mean studying that which we do, all end up as fodder for my novels.    Some of this stuff seems unreal that it could be made up.

Months ago, when this all started, I wrote a blog about mental health.  I knew that this much of a change in people’s lives would bring out or manifest aberrations in their personalities.

Did you see the video of the two police harassing a mum who lived in a mobile home?  Two officers banged on her door and spoke to her in a very demeaning manner.  They, in fact, talked to her as if she were stupid.  The story made the rounds on the media, and they made sure to tout the fact that she lived in a mobile home.  Not everyone can live in a gated community with $24K freezers filled with $16 a pint ice cream.

Whatever your station in life, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They did not need to be terse with her.  Her child plays with one of the neighbor’s children and has done so for some time.  This child cut across one of the neighbor’s lawns, and they called the police.  For real?

I was out getting the mail the other day, and my neighbor was walking their dog.  I stopped as usual to visit, but on this day, she stays a good ten feet away from me.  Her dog didn’t hesitate to get her belly scratched or give me a doggy kiss.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoid people?

A comedian was making fun of Biden.  We all know he is a little on the creepy side when it comes to women and their hair.  They said this social distancing is going to kill him.

Ok, I am a hugger.  Not any of those half-ass hugs either.  Again if you read my novels, you know that I preach about being there for the hug.  I get it.  For my neighbor who has also been in her house for 46 days, to stay ten feet away from me, is alien.

I have noticed that many are talking about how China is going to repay the world for their deception.   The more we learn about the lab, the virus escaped from, the worse it gets.  While many leaders of countries might feel like letting it slide under the rug with a few good old boy deals in cigar smoke-filled rooms, occur I don’t think all countries will deal with Xi Jinping in that manner.  I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin talking about this virus.  Somehow I don’t think he will settle for some Chinese made crap in exchange for the damage to his economy, not to mention the death and destruction in Russia.

The problems with this virus are many.  We don’t know what we don’t know.  All of the research was destroyed.  In a face-saving move, the propaganda has been prolific, but, somehow I think the chickens will come home to roost.  The WHO will need to clean up its organization, and China will need to find some way to make things right with the world.  How?  That is the question.

Please keep in mind I do not blame the Chinese people.  I know many, and I am very appreciative of their culture.

As of right now, 212 countries and territories have reported a total of 3,402,018 confirmed cases of the virus.  There are over 239,622 deaths because of this. The numbers are the highest in the United States because the US is doing the most testing.  1,131,492 cases with 65,776 deaths and counting.

This event is historical, and many of us writers should be documenting it.  Before history is changed to fit some narrative, I would encourage writers to tell their stories.  Blog about it if nothing else.

Once you put it on the internet, it will be somewhere for all eternity.

Much like these blogs, I could delete them, but trust me.  Somewhere in some vault along with 33K emails, will be these words.

Will yours be among them?

I did spend some time working in the garden today.  It was a sunny day.  You would never guess where the sun kissed me…

Much love, Stay safe.  We will get through this.  -TW

 

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Writing like a Boss

Are you taking some time to write?

How are you all doing?  The business has dropped way off.  Even the spam calls are down to a minimum.

I did get some interesting emails today.  Someone in Luxemburg is attempting to extort me for 2000 American Dollars.  Of course, I have to acquire bitcoins and send them to some account that is probably a hundred characters long in hexadecimal format.  I hope they hold their breaths.

The last person that did this was in South America, and they found him with my assistance.

You see, I am one of the few who could have found those 33K emails.

If pressed, I could probably walk up to them in a crowd, social distancing, of course. My trek would most likely bring me to China.

They have infected some businesses and using their computers to send out spam emails on naked contact forms.  I will probably just remove the contact forms, and make it more difficult for robots to bother me.  Everyone is using captcha’s, and they are working hard to defeat those as well.

Those spam extortion attempts are written like a fortune cookie in that some people will see some part of it as valid.  Some will pay them and get nothing in return as what they are threatening you with is a paper tiger.

This is why my IT friends that you never depend upon free antivirus; it is not worth what you pay for it.  So many idiots in the world with egos with no skin in the game tell their boss they can save them so much money using windows defender and nothing else.

Now, this company has all of its computers infected, sending out extortion demands all over the world. 92.223.89.5   Check out the IP for yourself. I wonder if Interpol would like to go after these guys.

What is even worse than the extortion demands are intellectual property.  If I were to do some white hat hacking on this IP address, I wonder how far I could get.  I won’t as it is illegal, and I never break the law, ever.   We wonder how intellectual property is obtained, one way is to have a stupid IT guy with an ego.

Some of my novels have forensic computing peppered in them, as that is what I did for eons, well since Al Gore invented the internet.  Pfft.

Anyway, since business is in the crapper, I have been doing some volunteer work.  I realize that those kinds of organizations could benefit from my talents, so at times I offer it up to them.   Other than that, I have been writing my latest novel.

Close to 20k words into a YA novel for supernatural activities.  I will be using a literary agent for this book, so wish me luck.

If you are a writer and not working, consider spending some time with your fingers dancing on the keyboard.  The world needs some poetry and some uplifting news.

Much love -TW

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“If you’re going to get stuffed, get stuffed by your friends.”

How about we don’t stuff anyone?

 

Years ago, too many to mention, I had a ‘friend’ tell me that once.  In my current work in progress, one of my characters is supposed to play the part of a used car salesman.  He denotes his distaste for them as they are all mostly dishonest.

Why am I writing to you about this rather than working on my novel?

This novel is about a young lady who discovers that she is a witch.  While learning her ways in the world of magic, all hell breaks loose.  There is a dark force attempting to convince all witches to be in their coven.  An undercurrent of government conspiracy is in the heart of the novel.  The conspiracy is yet to find its way to the screen.

As I was writing about a car salesman, I thought back on the day when a friend of mine was a used car salesperson.  If you saw Matilda with Danny DeVito as the unscrupulous dealer, that is what my friend was.  We soon parted ways as I don’t associate with dishonest people.

I was in the market for a car.  Instead of being honest with me as a friend, he tried to sell me an old Chevrolet that they had rolled the mileage back on.  When they invented reverse drills, it was an easy way to change the odometer.

From sawdust in the gearbox to super thick oil to keep it from smoking, they did it.

Taking my chances with a car from the paper; my friend was incensed with me for purchasing a car. In retrospect, the person that sold it to me had put super thin oil in the crankcase as the oil pump was going out.

He told me, and I quote, If you are going to get EFFED, you might as well get EFFED by a friend.

Is there truth in that?  What do you think?

I needed a roof after a terrible storm and elected to allow a person at my church to have their company put a roof on for me.  It cost more than those of the people around me, took over a year to get it right, and they put on cheap shingle instead of what I originally had. What’s worse is there were no drinks and no kiss afterward.  Not that I would want one, just saying, some pillow talk would have been sweet.

Speaking of shady, the same people that worked for the other fly by night companies are the ones that put my roof on too.  I got nothing for the extra thousands of dollars.

I used to travel a lot.  There is one state out of fifty that I have not been too, and that is Main.  In one state, I was talking with a person who was justifying effing his neighbor. He told me, and I quote, “I need to put cheerios on my table too.”

I shook my head and walked away from the deal.  If you cannot do business and treat your fellow person correctly, you should do something else.  There is no justification for effing your neighbor, and you certainly never do it with friends or family.

Arkansas, I swear you folks take the cake at times.  This one-man was talking to his friends at a local diner.  I listen to people as I get ideas for stories or characters.  This guy was bragging to his friends that his wife’s mother’s tractor needed a simple fix but, he convinced her it was not worth it to get a new one.  When pressed, he told them, she gave me the broken one, and when she dies, I will get the new one too and the land that goes with it.

Whenever I need an asshole in one of my novels, that guys face comes to mind.  I almost choked on my coffee when I heard that.

Life goes on.  How are you all doing?

Look for updates on my newest novel; I am going to try and find an agent with this one.  I have over 32 books out there published, so why not see if I can lure an agent into my lair.

This is a young adult, coming of age story of a witch.  What is cool about this story is I make a compelling case that anyone could do it.  We live in an escapist society, and with the current events, you can see why.  We escape through the TV, video games, and yes novels.

Why not write a fun novel that will engage the reader?  After taking hundreds of hours of writing courses instead of watching TV, I have pages of notes.  From Dan Brown to Judy Bloom…Wow, everyone had an opinion.

After I get this one polished and marketed, I will be going back to my published novels and making changes to the ones that are underperforming.  I love it when I get to a point, and you get that ‘ahaa’ moment.  You know the one where you say ‘shit, is that why?’

The original Ailani series I might go back and rewrite the whole trilogy and condense it into one novel.  It is a great story, but I think 350k words might be too much.

While I write and visit the cutting room floor, you all don’t forget to follow me here and, of course, on Twitter.

Much Love and Stay Safe -TW

 

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Drop Your Drawers

If you have read any of my racier novels, you might think of this as a prelude for some intimate moment.

That is not, however, what this is.  I know, I am sorry to disappoint you.  What this is about, is writing.  Let me take you back to a conversation of plotting vs. pansting.  (as in by the seat of.)

After taking a long hard look at Scrivener, I am thinking about purchasing it once again for my Macs.  I am a PC type person, but, programs like Vellum are only written for the MAC.  Vellum is the ‘cats ass’ when it comes to formatting your book.  You can either pay people to format your book, or, you can buy the program and do it yourself.

Vellum is very easy to use, which is the secret for Microsoft, and yes, the Mac OS as well.  Let’s contrast that with Scrivener.

I won’t give you a tutorial here on this blog about Scrivener, let’s just say it is not intuitive.  Is it worth it?

It is not the price for the software you have to consider; it is the learning curve.  Now add into the learning curve, is this the way you write?

As a Panster, I have resisted plotting any part of my novels.  I have a starting point, and I have an idea of where the ending place will be, and I kind of aim in that direction via a stream of consciousness.

Ok, so let’s drop our pants down to our undies and see where we go.

I would call on New Writers to get used to the idea of creating a logline first.  Let’s say you’re like me, laying there at night waiting for sleep to find you and this idea for a story is rolling around in your head.  What if?  is typically how it starts.

What if we had this guy that is digging around using a metal detector, and stumbles on to something that triggers his detector in a big way?  He is out in the country on land he recently purchased and built this metal detector from a kit.  He and his wife take off on Saturday for something to do as a husband and wife.  Ok, they have a metal detector, then what?

As they trace the arc of the signals returned to the device using little wooden markers, they discover that under their feet is a large metallic object.

While the reader is trying to guess what they found you, the writer is just writing it as if you are there with them, as the events unfold as it were.

What if you started your story with this?

A husband and wife spend the weekend looking for golden nuggets when strong signals send their metal detector into overdrive.  Moving a few boulders away from an outcropping buried by scrub brush, they find a metallic doorway with strange-looking controls by one side of it. Within moments they are inside an alien craft that was hidden by its occupants from centuries ago.

A good logline should be two sentences, not three, but 30 to 50 words or so is about right.

Let’s try again.

An undersea anomaly causing ships to sink brings the military and several different scientists in to solve the mystery.  As the secret unfolds, they discover an ancient alien civilization has been on Earth for hundreds of years, breeding with the indigenous people, creating those with god-like powers.

Ok, two lines 48 words.  This is a decent logline.  Now, as the writer, you take that logline and form an outline for your novel. Using something like Scrivener, you plot out your book, yes in your undies…ok not really.  You get the point.

Loglines are nothing more than a very brief tease to get the reader to open the book or buy tickets to the movie.  You, as the writer, can use them to keep you on target.

What might a tagline look like for this novel?

When the captain of a cruise liner barely escapes a disaster, he brings in the government, which discovers a city filled with aliens on the ocean floor.

These are all from my novel Ghost Signals of Colorado Springs.

If you are like me, sitting inside your house bouncing off the walls, take a trip to the stars in this futuristic adventure through time and space.  Please consider leaving a review on the site from which you purchased it.  Now, if you did not like it for some reason, please let me know here.  Feedback is critical for authors.

Much Love -TW

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Knee Jerk Stupidity

I am waiting for the release of the Body Condom.  I think back to the bubble boy when I read the news of the day.

Let’s talk about masks and why wearing them could make your chances greater of catching something.

First and foremost, most people only have a rudimentary understanding of how to wear one much less have a habit of practicing proper protocol when using one.  Case in point, I was in a store when a woman in front of me sneezed.  Instinctually, she pulled the mask down and sneezed into the open air and then put the mask back over her nose.  Had she thought about it, she would have realized that the purpose of the cover is to contain her water droplets, which may or may not contain an actual virus.

Touching the mask and her face to pull it down, she rubbed her nose, face, and mask, contaminating it with her gloved hands.  Whatever surface she touched, she now put up to her nose, on her mask, and what have you.  That is how and why wearing a mask can increase your odds of catching a virus.

Wearing a mask if you are not used to it, will increase your odds of touching your face.  Why?  You will have something on your skin, stimulating it or causing an unfamiliar sensation that out of habit will cause you to rub, touch, or otherwise adjust the covering.  (the virus does not care if nobody sees you do it…)

Hannity last night is a prime example of roaring stupidity as he went on about opening up sports stadiums, and how he would wear a mask.  Paraphrased, he would drink his beer through a straw and put his hot dog under the mask and bite it and chew it under the mask.

Unwittingly, he spoke to millions who will now think that is proper etiquette for wearing a mask.  No Sean, some people have the IQ of a house plant, and think that is exactly the right way to do it.

Now for you non-medical non-scientific geniuses out there, let’s talk about the virus itself. Yes, I am talking to you elected and non-elected officials trying to make a name for yourselves by having your fifteen minutes in front of a camera.  Know what the hell you are talking about if you get in front of a camera!

When you think of the virus, and any kind of face-covering, other than an N95 respirator; imagine a screen door on a submarine.  Yes, it is precisely that efficient.

The virus is so freaking small it takes an electron microscope to see it.   Most masks or other face coverings you expect the public to use would look like the grand canyon to a virus.  Yes, it would be like they were not wearing anything.

I saw a meme which said this…Thinking a mask will protect you against a virus is like thinking your undies will stop a fart.  It is very accurate.  Both solutions stink!

Stop pushing your stupid rules on the public, unless you can provide them with protection that works…Yes, that would be the N95 mask.  Not only would it be real PPE, but…it would be real education.

Social distancing and coughing or sneezing into your elbow are as best you are going to get until this thing is over, or you can provide the entire country with real PPE.

Even with the best education and equipment, if the reports are correct, this virus escaped from a level 4 laboratory in Wuhan that was staffed by people who know better.  What in the hell do you expect with a public that has no clue how to use any kind of PPE, and elected officials and other public figures spouting absolute nonsense?

Much Love- TW

 

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Day 31

I remember the first week, this is the fourth…Ughhh

 

I must confess I did not think I would see day 31, where nothing much has changed.  While the devastation has ravaged the countryside in larger cities and where warnings were not taken seriously, people I have known, are no longer with us.

It is not only difficult to keep a sense of humor during these times, but any sense of normalcy is just not going to happen.

If you are reading this blog from another country, I would be curious how you are faring and what your jobless situation looks like.  We went from the lowest jobless numbers in the history of the country to over 13% in four weeks.

Over 22 million out of work, worried about how they will pay the rent, put food on the table, etc.

I have been in that situation, and it is uncomfortable, to say the least.  In our country, we have predatory lenders who will swoop in with loans that would make Capone blush.

I warned about mental health weeks ago, and now they are taking that seriously.

Someone recommended that those that tested positive for the virus should be put on house arrest, complete with ankle monitors.  That my friends is fascism.

Those ANTIFA people should be freaking the hell out!

Since writing artistically is not happening, I am using this time to research, market, and yes…read.  Don’t let this time go to waste.  What we sell to companies is our time.  That is genuinely our stock in trade.  Yes, our talents make that time more valuable. Those heartbeats, and what you do with them is your unique “good” that you have to swap, sell, or donate.

If you follow me here, you know that I freely donate much as my way of saying thanks for following me.

Much Love, Stay Safe…-TW

 

 

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A Different World

Has the world changed forever?

The elusive commodity, also known as sleep finds me up before sunrise.  A cold front blew through yesterday, dropping the temperature from 82F to 39F or 27.78 C to 3.9C.

Steam from the coffee warms my nose as I hold the cup between my hands.  Walking outside, even the birds are still nestled in their homes. Not one is greeting me this morning.

No cars are on the streets, no planes in the air, and for a moment I imagine what our ancestors of not that long ago might have experienced on this very piece of ground.

My mind carries me back to when the streets were fields; trees might have lined them along with open streams that flowed from the lake, not too far north of here.

The tall grasses and wildflowers would have dew on them, and my ankles most certainly would have been damp from my morning journey back in time.  Perhaps I might have been ‘fetching’ some water or maybe milking a cow.

Back in my office, I open the window to let in the morning air, in spite of the artificial warmth from the night before.  Steam still rises from my cup, as the visions of yesterday vanish with the coo from the dove, announcing that the sun is on the rise.

What will this day bring?

Silence from the world we live in is golden but, I am ever mindful of why it is, as it is.  The world has changed, and it is no longer one that I recognize. I know of, or knew many that are no longer with us as the unseen marauders’ march across the landscape, sending many into whatever fate awaits them.  Their well-fought battle becomes numbers instead of people, and that disgusts me.  Those pompous talking heads will assign blame, not on the enemy, or those that released it upon the world but, on an army shooting blindly into the night, in hopes that some of the bullets find their mark.

The bell still tolls, and in the silence, I pause to think, what if?

E-mails from clients have all but stopped, and the phone which I have this love-hate relationship with is eerily silent.  From the ticking clock on the wall, and the sounds of my fingers dancing on the keyboard; it is only my thoughts of you, the readers of this epistle, that warm my heart.

A chill encircles my ankles.  Are they still damp from the morning dew of yesterday, or is it perhaps a reminder that I should probably close the window, and stay safe nestled in my self-made prison?

Sounds from a mechanical beast roar outside as the first shafts of sunlight filter inside, playing hopscotch on the well-worn tombs, waiting on me to awaken them.

More rumbling from a distant silver bird, hearken to a world that just maybe, might also be trying to survive the invisible assailants.

Stay Safe my friends.

Much Love -TW

 

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Will Carnival Survive; I hope so.

With the current situation it is going to take some persuasion to get people back on the boats and planes. Will you be one of them?

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Leaving winter behind, headed for Mexico.

While staring at the same four walls sitting for weeks,  stir crazy is an understatement. I have the pictures I took on my last cruise to keep me company.

In November, I sailed with Carnival to Mexio, Grand Caymen, and Jamaica.  In all sincerity, I have sailed on other cruise lines, and spent a bit more for ‘nice rooms’ and balcony’s. On one cruise, I even had a butler that came with the room.

I say that to moderate this next sentence; I wasn’t expecting much on the Caribbean cruise.  I have never heard anything good about Carnival, so I had low expectations.

It turns out that I never heard anything good because, I was not listening.

A cruise to me is a time when the cell phone does not work; you can have dinner with people who are not looking at their phones and doing things that you would typically not do.  In short, it is a reprieve from life, and allowing someone else to do the driving.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. That was not all that impressed me.

For those who have never traveled with Carnival, allow me to talk about the voyage.

Making my way through the embarkation process, I surrendered the luggage and was pointed in the direction of food.

First things first, we all head to the Lido deck and find that there is plenty of food of all kinds for your enjoyment.  If you follow my blog, you know I have a day job, and I write novels.  I am stressed a good bit of the time.  I sat there with my food in front of me, and I could feel the pressure leave, much like pushing that button on those Insta-Pots; the pressure was vanishing.

The time came that the cabin should be ready.

Outside the door is this little mailbox thing that held my door key and badge, that makes all things possible.

Keep in mind that I usually travel a little more upscale, so, again, I was expecting a small room with an unobstructed view.

The TV was on and in front of the bed.  I forget what was playing, but I suspect it was information from the ship’s crew, something about ‘muster.’

The bathrooms on ships amuse me as they are very efficient.  I am a little bit of a germ-a-phoebe.  This room was so clean and pristine; I quickly dismissed my trepidations regarding its cleanliness.

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The Balcony was my next stop after testing the bed.

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Let me advise you on that balcony door, it is heavy and makes a rather loud noise when you close it.  If you are like me and wish to dampen the sound by not allowing it to slam, be on the lookout where your fingers are.  My thumb was between the door and the frame.  Yep, that smarted, and much like someone with Turrets, I was probably less than polite.  Watch where your hands are.

The Balcony would be adequate for those of us with insomnia.  The sounds of the ocean ‘swishing’ beside the boat as it glides through the Gulf of Mexico were intoxicating.  Sunsets and Sun Rises are a treat on the sea too.  Stargazing was also great as this was during a meteor shower.  I sat out one night and counted many particles of space dust streaking through our night skies as if to punctuate the otherwise beauty of the night sky.

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Never got tired of sunsets or sunrises.

On to muster.

Just do it.  When you are sailing on any cruise ship, it is required by maritime law that you are briefed on where to go, and what to do, in the case of ‘disaster.’ When I say law, I mean, they will not start until they have accounted for every guest.  That means if you try to hide in your room or hot tub, they will track you down before they begin.  We waited close to an hour before they could account for everyone.  Don’t be the ninny that causes tens of hundreds of people to sit and wait, while they hunt you down.

Once everyone is accounted for, the talk is not much longer than what you hear every time your fly.

With that over, your vacation begins.

Once on the cruise, eating, relaxing, and socializing are the main events that you need to think about.  As your eating dessert, plan your next meal.  It is great!

I was super impressed with the Horizons Restaurant.  The staff were terrific, the food was delicious, and the nightly entertainment during your dinner brings happiness to the table and the entirety of the restaurant, as a collective.

Speaking of food, I did have a reservation at Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse.  You might be thinking to yourself, Why TW…all the food is free, why pay for it?

I was with a large party, and it was my birthday.  They were so lovely that I was not going to say anything when they overcooked my steak.  The waiter saw that it was not what he wrote down, and ask me about it after I had eaten some of it.  I told him it was ok, don’t worry about it.  His response was, “It is not ok with me. That is not what you ordered; you are going to get what you asked for.”

Another at my table had the same issue.  This guy bent over backward to make it right.  Not only were they super friendly folks and made sure that my dinner was pleasant and of the quality, it should be but, the chef made an appearance at my table and apologized profusely.

If an overcooked steak is the worst thing that happens, life is grand, right?

The night was magical, and in truth, I just made myself hungry reliving that memory.

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This group was awesome!

There are so many things to see and do while onboard; you will not be bored.  Seek out the smaller venues, as they change personnel from time to time.  From the piano bar to the IMAX Theater, you will notice that the time flies.

Piano player at piano bar
She was fun and had an excellent personality.

As a writer, I am always in need of new experiences.  I came up with an idea for a novel regarding cruise ships while on this last trip.  The idea was a little dystopian, which we are now living through.  Anyways, you will meet many different people, and if you are like me, you will get to know them, and some will remain in your life, as some have for me.

Last night I wrote about Character Arcs, guess what, you need to meet characters to write them.  On the island of Jamaica, I met two that will live with me years to come.  Miss Lola and her sidekick Dr. Lizard.

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Church in Jamiaca built in the 1700’s

They showed me parts of their island and their people that amazed me.

I understand that while in Grand Cayman, there is a place called Hell, and if I had known about it, and gone there, they would have stamped my passport, showing I visited Hell.

This being holey week, one must ask, is there a town called Heaven?

Why am I sharing a small part of my vacation with you?

Folks, we are currently experiencing a speedbump on the road of life.  You can either piss and moan about it, or you can make the best of it.  As a writer, I am doing my best to keep up with you folks, and learning new techniques for the craft of writing.

As soon as they find a way to mitigate the effects of this pandemic, I will return to my life, and yes, that means Cruises.  In the meantime, I will continue to work on novels, my craft, and keeping you folks entertained and, in some cases, informed.

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Ships full of oil just sitting in the Gulf. This was November.

Much Love -TW

 

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Negative Character Arcs

Hello people, it is I, your humble author reaching out to you once again.  Many of you are writers or authors, and I want to pay it forward.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know this about me already.

Character arcs are a considerable part of character development, which causes your readers to empathize with them.  Much like the big-eyed boy with the black rim glasses living under a staircase, we all loved him.  Why?  The author did a great job of growing him as well as the other characters around him.

One way we do this is with character arcs.  So, Negative arcs???

I get this question posed to me often.

If you first understand what a character arc is, you know that it is basically the growth or change a character makes during the story.

Your protagonist will probably believe some lie that possibly they learned sometime in their youth.  They have lived a lie, and somewhere in your story, their ‘truth’ is challenged.

A common lie is, they are not worthy of love.  Many go through their whole life because of their upbringing, believing that.  A little secret here, I was one of them.  Shhh, that is our secret, and a lie that I had to overcome.   Those horribly abused children you read about…That was me, and I would have loved the staircase vs. what I went through.

Anyway…

During the plot, they go through twists and turns and discover that their ‘truth’ is indeed false.  This can create a crisis for them, which is fun to write.  This would probably happen during the climax where they ‘shift’ their thinking.  Letting go of the lie and accepting the truth as their new mantra.  Because the lie and reality are probably apparent to your reader, they can empathize with your character, which will engender support for your writing style.

Yeah You!

What about a negative character arc?

There is the same lie, but the truth remains elusive and, the character now embraces their lie even more and spirals downward into less than proper behavior.  Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a negative character arc.

Had I not learned the truth, I dare say that drugs and alcohol might have been my undoing.  That would have been a negative arc.  Death can be part of a character’s negative arc.

In my novel, Presidential Assassins, Kelly’s arc is compelling.  Before going into the military, her stepfather met an untimely demise, after attempting to rape her.  While it appeared as an accident, this action put her on the radar of a group that works outside or above the law.

After her mother re-married…Kelly became a military brat, enlisting as soon as she could to get away from her parents.

She was a pilot in the air force, shot down and tortured by the enemy.  Kelly, unknown to her captures, is a real badass.  She learned as a military brat, at an early age that she had to be tough. When she saved a school friend from being raped by a gang of older boys, she came close to killing them.  Her friend brought her father back to the scene in the nick of time.  He stopped her from breaking their necks.  She had them all down, and now she was going to end their reign of terror, one at a time.

Realizing that he now had a debt to repay, he hatches a plan.  Taking the gangly redhead under his wing, teaching her his ways would benefit her.  As a master of martial arts, he teaches her discipline, among other things.  While some of her talents come from her heritage as a red-headed green-eyed Irish woman, the lethal talents were taught to her by this man.  She became a master.

Fast forward past the war and her time in the exchange program on an aircraft carrier, she finds a job as a reporter.

After an explosion in California, Kelly is sent to research who was responsible.  During her flight, the plane she is on is hijacked.  Guess who kills the hijackers and flies a shot up 737 back into Scottsdale during a storm.

This novel is so full of action you will not be able to put it down.

Kelly has what we call a ‘flat character arc,’ or possibly a slightly positive arc as she does adapt and change to the situations.  I say that because, in reality, she arcs positive, negative, and then just kind of flat because she is who she is.  She is dynamite with a temper to match.

I don’t care what your gender happens to be; you will fall in love with her.

There is a secret organization that controls world leaders, and she is recruited….That is about as much as I can tell you without spoiling it.

A flat character arc is one where the character does not change who they are.  Some examples of that would be Indiana Jones or James Bond. To a large extent, it is Kelly McGuire.

I will put a link to the book here, Presidential Assassins.

If you honor me by reading it, please let me know what you think of it.  This is an adult read. There are sexual situations, some violence, and people Die!

My friends, I hope that you are all safe, and staying inside, away from those who this virus could be fatal.  With 7.4 Billion people affected, and the world’s economy headed for the toilette, we will be talking about this in the history books for some time.

Much Love…Stay Safe…-TW

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Hello World, How are you?

Things to think about as we sit staring at the same four walls for weeks on end.

Yes, it is another day here in Texas. I am taking a break from my day job to tell you all hello.

The stories I hear are heartbreaking.  So many good people are succumbing to this plague that was unleashed upon humanity.

I am not going to preach about God or Christianity here.  I respect you all way too much to do that.  I will tell you that there is lots of useful information contained in the Bible.  A book that I find the most issues with is Leviticus.  Still not preaching, I was thinking about the advice of what not to eat.

Some of our friends around the globe eat things that ought not to be eaten.  I am speaking about the wet markets not only in China, but many countries have them.  Whether the market was an accelerant for the virus, created in some lab or it jumped from creature to human there, had they not had this living petri dish of dead and dying animals for sale, we would not be in this fix.

If you think Levitical law was God’s actual words, beautiful.  If you, like I, believe that man had a hand in writing this, fine.  Some of the things in there just make sense.  Take a look for yourself.

Many of you are probably way too young to know who Red Skelton was.  He was a comedian in a time that you could be funny without using four-letter words.  One of his signature lines was..(Pretending he was a child)  “If I do it, I get a whipping…..I do it.”

I am confident that in writing, it loses some of its zing but, he was brilliant, and…there is a lesson there.

Unlike many of my Christian friends, I also believe Darwin knew a thing or two.  If we did not have air travel, those that practice unsafe and unwise habits would just go away.  They die off, leaving the strongest, fittest, and yes, the smartest, left to live another day.

The virus would not have left Wuhan or the Chinese mainland for sure.

Since we have air travel, just possibly, this is an argument for a governing body that supersedes other governments, much like we have in the states.  The governor of the state is elected and can be overruled by the federal government if they act ‘stupidly.’  We have a few right now that need to be overridden and voted out when the next election rolls around.

The wet markets are a scourge and stupid.  Just possibly, we need some international norms to follow if you want to leave your country.

Harsh, I don’t think so.  When this plague is over, ask those who lost loved ones what they think.  Ask the millions of people who are staring at four walls how they feel.  Ask the milllions who are now out of work if they think that things need to change.  How about the small business or large business people who will never recover.  This virus has had an effect on 7.4 billion people!  Ask them how they feel about wet markets.

With international air travel happening all day and night, seven days a week, practices like wet markets and biological manipulations of viruses must be stopped.

You who live in those countries are not who I am addressing.  The leaders of all of the nations are who I am speaking to.

Plagues like this one were avoidable, and if some common sense laws were followed, we would not be where we are today.

Having said that, I am working on a new series of, how to self-publish, that I will be releasing in the weeks ahead.

Many of you would like to give it a whirl, and don’t know where to start.  I have run the gauntlet and have it mastered, kind of.

With over 32 novels in markets around the globe, I must be doing something right.

Hang in there, I am thinking about you and wish you health and happiness.

Much Love -TW

 

 

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Taking a break from Hell on Earth, and talking about writing.

Let’s control what we can and let the world take care of itself.

Hello fellow earthlings,   I know life has just sucked the last few weeks, and I feel that it is going to suck more before it is over.

Let’s break away from the news of the day and talk about writing.  I feel many of you that follow me are writers, want to be writers, or are authors who want to see how others do what they do.

With over 32 novels selling around the world, I have learned a thing or two.

Let me start by talking about the reasons to write.  I am sure I have addressed these before in a previous blog, but let me do it again for those who are new to this site.

The only reason for you to write is that you love writing.  Unless you work for a paper or some other institution that has hired you to write manuals or something, we writers write because we love to write.

If you decide to write a book because you want to live in a gated community on the ocean in California, or Kiawah Island or, perhaps, Martha’s Vineyard, let me just wake you the hell up.  Your first novel will most likely be horrible.  Sorry for the truth of it, those are the facts.  You can work and research your heart out, but your first work will suck.  …probably…

When I wrote my first few novels, I appealed to an audience that was not looking for literary genius.  My craft was not developed enough to appeal to a high brow audience.  What I was looking for is writing something that people would buy for a couple of dollars, and hopefully give me some feedback.

You see, the truth of it is, Beta Readers that are not your family are hard to come by, and you might have to pay someone to read your crap, and give you honest feedback.  Too Harsh?

We need to be honest with each other, and we must learn to accept rejection.  Rejection, no matter how hurtful, should be taken as part of the learning process.  Feedback is terrific, even if it sucks.  Only when we can step away from the forest of our writing, can we see the mistakes and missteps we have made.  Only then can we see the weeds.

My advice to you is to write your first novel, polish it as best you can and then self-publish it, and then beg for feedback.  Make it easy for them to go to an e-mail address and tell you how badly it sucked, and they want their $1.99 back.  If they tell you why and what is wrong, I would send them the $2.

Writing books is a labor of love.  Writing is hard.  As a writer, you must form a habit of writing, even if it means you climb your butt out of bed an hour earlier.   It is a lonely profession.  I work till three or four in the morning many nights.  Oh, and I have a day job.  ‘I love to write.’

There are times I don’t like it too much, but I love to write.

Form your habit and stick to it.  Much like exercise or following a diet, it is all about practice.   There is an advantage to writing early in the morning.  Your brain produces certain types of waves, and one of them are theta waves.  When you get up in the morning, you have more theta waves going on than during the typical day.  Taking a shower, your brain produces theta waves.  Ever wake up with an epiphany or perhaps have one in the shower…?  That is why.

I think the hardest thing to swallow is this; nobody cares.  Your parents will lie to you and care because you wrote it, your spouse really doesn’t give a shit, and your friends will manage to distance themselves from you if you require them to love your book.  Nobody cares as you do.  It is your baby, and you are the one that needs to love it, nurture it, and then send it out into the world to see what happens.

I have said this before too.  You cannot be a one-trick pony.  I know writers who have been working on the same book for tens of years.  OMFG…self-publish it and get on with it.  Amazon will make a few dollars off you, the government in the place the person is in that buys it, will get some tax money from you, and if you are lucky, you might make a dollar for your labor of love.

Most new authors who self-publish make about $10 their first year.   Damn, I know that hurts if you have never heard that before, but I speak the truth.

I know too many authors who pour a fortune in their book, ‘that sucks’ to have it professionally edited, pay to have a cover designed, and then pay people to market it.  I have read their books, and they suck.

  • I make a point to purchase books from new authors, that manage to sit inside the local book store.  Why?
  • I want to be supportive of them.
  • I want to speak with them and learn from them.
  • I get their signature and put the book on the shelf after I read it.
  • I can tell you after the first few pages if the book will hit or not, never missed once yet.
  • I want to encourage these authors to keep writing.  Don’t stop.

Study the craft of writing, read books like you are disassembling a watch, that you must put back together.  Examine the structure, story, and character arcs and ask yourself if you had written it, how you would make it better.  Do that with terrible books as well.   Where did the author go wrong?

The craft of writing is not something you can just do.  Unless you are ‘somebody’ and can afford a ghostwriter to take your crap and make it better, you need to learn the entire craft yourself.

That is why I trumpet the idea of writing for the love of writing.

As an artist, I thought my first painting was pretty good.  Today when I see pictures of it, I wish I could find it, I would burn it.  The same is true for my writing.  I have been writing since I was a kid.  That was more than a few years ago.

The practice is crucial and doing it because you love it is the only reason to write.  Once you perfect it, publish it on Amazon, or Smashwords, and see what happens.

If you follow me here, and if you would like some feedback, I might consider giving it if you would be willing to reciprocate.

I pray that you are all staying safe and staying home during these times of uncertainty.  Live in your worlds that you create, or read some of my novels, and live in one of my worlds.

Much Love -TW

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The Vitriol Must Stop!

We will get through this, take a mental time out from CNN and MSNBC

 

Hate is a poison that you take in hopes it will affect someone else.

We have enough to worry about without the memes blaming the current administration for the crises.

It matters not what your personal opinion is, half the country disagrees with you.   That is by design and all parts of political science.   Yes…politics.

Now is the time to let it go, and come together as a people.  There are ne’er do wells out there creating memes, spreading lies, trying to make things worse than they already are.

No, Trump does not have controlling interests in a company that makes a drug that has been around for over 50 years. When he talks about this drug in a positive light, it is to calm the masses.  We don’t need panic in the streets.   We need people to listen, stay home, wash their hands, and practice social distancing.

When you re-post their propaganda, you are assisting them in their desire to sew the seeds of hate and discontent.  The Media is already doing an excellent job of spreading this hate, let’s not assist them.

Domestic violence is already at levels not seen in some time.  Do you want to add fuel to the fire?

If your emotions are triggered, just know that you are being manipulated.  I would say it was the devil at work, but man does not need his help to be jerks.

We will get through this.

Pray, or send good thoughts, or whatever it is that you do when you are thankful to those on the front lines.  When this is done, it will affect most of the population of the world.  We don’t need partisan bullshit right now.

Think of that last statement…everyone on the planet…. #stopthehate

That means that 7.64 billion people will have been affected by the time this is over.  Does playing the blame game assist this in any way?

There will be time enough to blame someone when this is over.

Stay safe and stay home.

Much Love -TW

 

 

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Airborne?  Cats with COVID?

We really need to know if this thing is airborne.

 

Why do I get a feeling there is so much that they are not telling us?

Several Tigers at the Bronx zoo are infected with this virus, got that?

They say that an asymptomatic worker was infected and gave it to one of the tigers.  That would mean that this person was closer than 6 feet from the animal.  Ummm, was he or she petting it?

We learned that your housecat can get it, but cannot give it to a human.  How do they know that?  The virus, however, can land on the fur, then you pet the cat, and touch yourself and viola you are infected.

What other animals, insects, etc. can get and transmit this virus?  Some versions of the coronavirus have been around for a long time, so we should have some idea how this works.  What is different about this strain or version?

Wild conspiracy theories are floating around.  I am not a tin foil hat person.  I love them as they are fodder for novels, but as for the real deal, I don’t buy into that stuff.  If you read my novel Presidential Assassins, you will get an idea of some of the wild theories I came up with, but what I heard today takes the cake.

Are you ready for this one?

According to the tinfoil hat brigade, the Chinese paid someone in our country to invent or bioengineer this virus to sterilize men.  Let me say that again.  Due to the overpopulation in China, they hired someone here to create a virus or modify one that would render men sterile.

In my book Under Roswell, I came up with that scenario on an alien world which backfired and rendered the entire population of men sterile.

In Saga of the Starduster, one of my aliens modify a virus to attack the cancer cells of our protagonist.  The problem with single-stranded viruses is, they are unstable.  They can and generally do mutate.  While they are great fodder for novels, nobody in their right mind would mess with them, unless they were trying to create a doomsday scenario.  Viruses are not picky about who they attack.

Even if you were stupid enough to create the virus, create the vaccine and then infect the enemy or ‘other guys’ the thing would mutate taking out the entire population. No, this is truly a doomsday scenario.

Some are arguing that it was here much earlier, and that is why many were sick in November.  Ummm, I got sick after taking the flu shot.  Two weeks to the day, I came down with the flu.

Firstly I waited way too late in the year to get it and, I learned a thing or two about the human immune system.

When your body is creating antibodies for whatever strain of flu they think might be prevalent that year, your immune system, much like the shields on the Enterprise or the health bar on your avatar goes down.  The same is true when you donate blood FYI.

When your defenses are low, you cannot fight off the bugs that are in the air or on surfaces.

You might have noticed that one thing all the doctors do say is to take vitamins, eat right, and take care of your immune system—good advice to follow.

Other than social distancing and washing your hands, I don’t see much else that we can do.

I do want them to run some air samples in and around hot zones to see if the damned thing is airborne.

Tweet that yourself with the #askbirx.  I genuinely don’t have any idea how a layperson gets the attention of the task force.  Make this trend.

Stay safe and stay home.

Much love -TW

 

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Is this virus airborne?

A mask or other face covering, Why?

 

I am not trying to panic anyone, so don’t think that I am.  We are too much like a herd of animals and spook with the best of them.  I point to the empty shelves in most stores as a prime example of this behavior.

Some things don’t add up.  I want this to get to the task force at the white house.  Retweeting and sharing this with the hashtag #askbirx might do it.

Like all things unknown, the question about mask plagued me (pun intended).   The reasons it bothered me were the ambiguities put forth by the ‘Presidents’ task force.  Should the public be wearing a mask or other face-covering?

Tucker Carlson on Fox News was animate about the question as in his mind; it just made sense.  Yes and no.  They were not forthcoming with their reasoning.

Guess what, unless you can find the surgical kinds of masks the professionals use, you are wasting your time and money.  They don’t want you to ‘find them’ as the healthcare workers need them more than you.  That is part of the reason for the ambiguities, Tucker, here is the ‘rest of the story.’

The virus is too small to be seen with an ordinary microscope.  Bacteria are visible with a compound microscope (barely), but a virus is not.  A virus is about 100 to 120 nanometers or about a thousand times more massive than an atom.  To keep that in perspective, they are much smaller than bacteria (which is a cell.)  Bacteria are ten times smaller than a normal human cell.

Using this analogy might make more sense to you.  If the virus were a coin, it might be the size of a dime and the bacteria the size of a platter.  The holes in your scarf, or weave of the fabric, would look like a football field to the virus.  Got it?

Now, if you understand that, you can take a magnifying glass and see the holes in the weave of your scarf or bandana. A mask used for woodworking and other hobby related activities is still much too porous to protect you against a virus, or bacteria for that matter.

The bottom line is this, a mask or other face-covering might…’ might’ blunt the amount, or distance, of a virus that you shed.   That is the only reason to wear anything.  Any face covering will not replace social distancing, and until we have the facts about the virus’s ability to be airborne, even that is genuinely suspect.

This is why the White House has been putting out such mixed messages regarding the wearing of a mask.  The health care workers need the infamous N95 mask as they are in close proximity to infected individuals.  I have no idea if that mask is effective against the coronavirus.  I do know that it is much better than those masks you find at the hardware store and certainly better than a scarf.

What I am challenging the CDC to do is, put some high-quality mask material on a dustbuster (or several) and capture particulate matter in and around hot zones.  Is the damned thing airborne, and if so, how far away from a hot zone is it in the air? What is the PPM or parts per million of the virus at different distances from hospitals and other areas of patients?

If my suspicions are correct, those folks on their balconies singing to each other in a ‘hot zone’ took risks that might have been fatal.

We need to understand the efficacy of and the ease of transmission of this ‘invisible enemy.’

#askbirx

No kidding; we need this to go ‘viral’ to get it to someone who cares.

If you have a HEPA air filter in your home, I would run it 24X7 especially, if you live in an area with infected people.  It cannot hurt in this allergy season so, why not?

Use common sense precautions, and yes, please wash your hands.

Hang in there, people.  We need answers.

Much Love -TW

 

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My COVID Questions

Could this thing be airborne? If so how far can it travel and still be viable?

 

If you have landed here from Twitter, you have no doubt read some of my questions to the administration.

What we don’t know, can kill us.

As a writer of science fiction and yes, some racy novels, don’t let that dissuade you from examining what I put forth.  In some of my tweets, I ask the obvious question.

Can the virus be airborne?

If we were to go to New York or Manhattan where the infection rate is high and set up detectors, what would we find?  My gut feeling is that people shed these viruses at an alarming level.  I would like to understand how long it takes the virus to replicate, and if it replicates logarithmically.  Again my gut tells me that it does.

I am basing that on how long it takes to become ill.

It is possible that even as the virus is compromising its host, the host is shedding it while infecting others.  Why is it more lethal in people with a high BMI or diabetic?  Does it have something to do with sugar or some other nutrient that is higher in fat people or people who are diabetic?

Now, let’s push that theory forward just a little.  This thing is damned tiny, and because of that, much like dust particles can float around for a long time.  If they are not already doing so, they need to have monitoring devices all over the city from the street level to the tops of buildings, counting the numbers of this virus found in a specific period.

Since the prevailing winds would take it offshore in New York, let’s go to New Orleans, where the prevailing winds carry the airborne particulates into the state.  How far?  How far inland do they find it and what is its efficacy?

Houston: same thing.  The prevailing winds carry stench from Pasadena well inland, what about the virus?

We know that damned thing has a ‘shelf life’ much longer than we would like.  I suspect that UV from the hot Texas sun will kill it once it is airborne but, how long does it take to do that? Is that why the flu and other virus-related diseases are seasonal?  Exposure to UV kills them and stops them from spreading?

Speaking of UV light, I happen to know that tanning beds put out copious amounts of UV light.  Why not put PPE stuff into tanning beds to sterilize them?  Not a doctor, but I did work around some of the giants in the industry, not too many years ago.

Summary:

Airborne particulate detectors, to learn if the virus is airborne and how far it travels from a hot zone.

If I am right, we need to figure out a new strategy to keep civilians safe.  That might be going inside and staying there.  Hepa air filters might also be a good idea inside your home.

The hell of it is, we don’t know what we don’t know.  We need to assign someone the task of learning the efficacy of the virus once airborne, and how far it can go and …how long it can ‘live’ just waiting for a host.

While I am trying to write, the thoughts of what so many of you are dealing with, wreak havoc on my creativity.  From the loss of a job, to a loved one just breaks my heart.  Stay safe and stay inside.  We need to encourage our governments to think outside the box and not leave any stone unturned. If this thing is airborne as I suspect it can be, that adds a whole new dimension to the problem.  We need to know, yes or no.  I pray, I am wrong.

Much Love -TW

 

 

 

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Friday Again

Its not only health but life itself is changing.

Yes, indeed, boys and girls this is the third Friday in a row that we are all staring at the same four walls, same sad faces, and yes, the blank page on our latest work in progress.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that mental health should be addressed.  We, as a nation, much less as a people, are not meant to be in a cage.  I get it, it is a beautiful cage, and just maybe you were one of those who continue to buy all the toilette paper leaving the shelves bare for the rest of us.

On some fundamental level, those basic necessities seem to live deep in our psyche.  If I were a betting person, I would guess it has something to do with our tribal mentality or herd mentality.  You might be asking yourself, TW, what the hell does that have to do with anything?

Great question, not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.  But here is my take on the great TP fiasco of 2020.

For ‘us’ to be acceptable to the herd, we need to fit in.  If I had to guess, I would also say that is why people wear jeans instead of other kinds of slacks or pants.  They are certainly not the most comfortable or stylish attire around, but yet we all have multiple pairs.

Taking that herd metaphor further, I would also guess that is why tattoos and piercings are more prevalent today.  I about threw up in my mouth when I saw the governor of New York with nipple piercings under his polo shirt.  ‘Hey, look at how cool I am; I got nipple piercings or how about this TAT, yeah that baby cost me plenty.’

Toilette paper is an extension of this in that; we dare not ‘stink.’  In the most basic primordial instincts, we want to make sure that we can be around others and not have an odor to us.

If we did, we might be shunned by the herd. This is just my educated guess on the matter, but it is the only one that makes sense.

I say this in that there was no mass e-mail telling people to go buy all the TP.  Did this happen in your country too?  Please let me know.

Years ago, I read this excellent book called ‘Dress for Success.’  One of the take-aways of the book was this “Fads are for fools.”

I am very comfortable in my own skin, and you will never see me with tats or any other tribal marks indicating which herd I belong to.   I doubt that if you ask people with massive amounts of ink that they could articulate why they did it.  ‘It looks cool, or I like the art,’ is just a superficial answer and not the real reason.  Fitting in is more than likely the real reason if they were honest with themselves.

If you sport such a piece of art and wish to elucidate on the reasoning behind it, feel free.  To me, the phycology behind this action fascinates me.   I see some people well into their golden years getting tats for the first time in their lives.  ‘That’ is trying to hang on to their youth by doing things that the youth are doing. ‘See, I am still cool.’

“No, not really, desperate is probably the real answer, or maybe afraid of facing your mortality.”

As the title suggests, this is the third Friday, which means as of Saturday, it will be three weeks of social distancing.

I am a hugger, and this is killing me; so that you know.

Here is my challenge to you.  Call and or facetime, skype, etc. those that you know.  Start with family and then call the family that you pick, those would be friends.  Take the time to catch up with even the people that you know that you hardly ever speak with.  No not on Facebook, actually call them.

We have become reclusive using text and Facebook as poor substitutions for being ‘social.’

Nature abhors a vacuum. If you are like me, stuck in your house, there is a vacuum in your life, what will fill it?  Instead of coping by using negative emotions, or worse, substances, do it through interaction with friends and family.  The odds are excellent that they, too, are suffering the same bit of cabin fever.  Turn a negative into a positive.

Much love, and hang in there.  Feel free to comment.  Many of you have, and I love to hear from you.  –Best -TW

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Stir Crazy

Day 17, are you making X’s on a wall somewhere?

The briefing from the White House is turning into a soap opera.  While we need the information, Pence delivers a more consistent, better-rehearsed version of it.  Having said that, they are missing a vital piece of the puzzle that they need to address.

Mental Health

Part of the task force needs to examine how convicts transition from being free as a bird to locked up.  I have no clue if they offer convicts mental health tips to surviving incarceration but, people who are anal about all of the laws and rules we live under, have no clue how to go from a very social lifestyle to, locked up.

At one of Trump’s press briefings, CNN was pushing him into not being so cheery.  CNN was and is way off base.  They are doing their best to divide this country using emotional triggers.  Never let a crises go to waste.  The president realizes that he needs to present a calming, but truthful representation of the facts.

With the wrong turn of a phrase, he can drive the markets into the dumper.  Why CNN and others goad him so is just irresponsible. During this time of world crises, they like he, need to be very careful what they say and do.  One of Trump’s faults is, he is too cocky.  I like the fact that he is a street fighter.  There is a ‘time and a place,’ and sparring with the press during a world crisis is not one of them.  His words must be carefully thought out, much like Pence.
I noticed that they were cautious not to use the word ‘lockdown’ and even pushed back against it when the reporters used it, but we are all ‘worldwide’ locked down.  Some countries are much more draconian about it than the US.

While I plan to draw attention to this blog from the ‘task force,’ I also wanted to offer some advice from my experience as a writer.

When my mind turns to the events of the day, I get busy with my hands, and that might include painting, playing a musical instrument, or pulling weeds in the garden. If I can focus on my story, I will write. When writing, I make several notes for things that must be researched; I might also use that time for research.

There are many things that you can find to do, including putting together a puzzle with the kids.  In this country, we are not ‘locked down.’ I went for a drive the other day.  No place in particular just went for a drive.

There might be parks, or places you can go to that are not too congested.  If others are there, turn around.  Understand the ways to keep yourself safe and use them.  Most stores have mapped off six-foot places to stand when checking out.  I did go shopping the other day, and some young woman was on her phone, getting instructions while shopping.  Her habit was to push her way into the area for what she wanted and get out.  She moved me out of the way while pushing between me and the freezer door to grab something while not even acknowledging me.  I just backed off and let her get her things.  I was focused on social distancing and she was clearly not.

That is a hazard of what I am telling you.  Her actions were much like a land mine.  Is it live or dead, will it go off or not?  Many don’t think or don’t care.  We should all act as if we are infected with the virus.  Using that method, we can mitigate the spread of this virus without going stir crazy.

To that lady and folks like her, act as if you are driving. Don’t shop with a phone up to your ear.   Most people cannot do two things at one time and do them correctly.  Social distancing is not habited, ergo; you must focus on it.  Your life might depend upon it.

We will get through this, and the rules of the road might change as we learn more.  During this time, we all need to do our best to keep from getting infected or infecting others.  While you might be under the weather for a few days, the people you expose might die.  Could you live with that?  Sadly, some could.  It is up to you to watch out for yourself and the ones that you love.

Much love -TW

 

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The Death of eBay

 

After people bid on items and then backed out after winning got me to asking why.

eBay enjoys success for two main reasons.  One, much like Amazon, the service makes it easy for people to shop.  Within moments of a simple search with the ‘buy it now’ filter enabled, people can find what they are looking for, and it is already sorted with the lowest prices first.

After a quick look at their ratings and possibly the shipping time, a few clicks later, the item is purchased, and you are done.

This might be what saves them from demise.

Q. Why do you think they would die?

eBay started with the premise of an auction.  This is not an auction for new items, but old.

‘Old,’ as in items that have been around for a very long time and usually passed through the hands of several owners, possibly for generations.

These auctions allow people to part with ‘treasures’ that were once treasures of someone else.  ‘Treasures’ are emotional purchases.   Allow me to explain or, as Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, ‘You got some Splaining to do.’

My grandparents had this cheesy clock on their mantel that had a faux fireplace in it.  That clock intrigued me as a child.  I was told that they would ‘will it to me.’

As a five-year-old at the time, I had no idea what that meant, I just remember that at some time in my life it would be mine.  Well, it never happened.  Sad, I know, but there on eBay you can find that same clock, which is ‘very old’ now in different states of disrepair.

My only reason for thinking about spending money on it would be as a reminder of my grandparents every time I saw it.  Those types of purchases take you back to sometime in your life that hopefully was pleasant.   I am assuming that one would not purchase or own something that brought them back to a horrible time in their life.

eBay recently succumbed to the taxing authority, where Sales taxes are now assessed on all purchases.  If I sell an item for $100 and then out of state shipping is $30, and…now they collect a tax on it, the person buying it is looking at $140.  Rounded.  This happened, and the person backed out of the deal when they saw the final price tag.  Can you blame them?

eBay is about getting a good deal, not spending tons of money on taxes and shipping.

Working this in reverse eBay takes a percentage of the sale price the seller gets less than the $100, has to have an item that is worth more than the $100 and go through the trouble of listing, packaging and managing the transaction.

The taxing authority is the beneficiary of your work or your purchase, and I am sure eBay cut a deal with them to go through the trouble of collecting and remitting the tax, so eBay makes more money from the purchase.

My sales on eBay have all but stopped because of this and I would imagine that others who sell on eBay as a hobby or business have seen the same types of changes.

Here is what I think needs to happen.

Once an item is no longer ‘new,’ they should not be allowed to charge sales tax on it again and again and again.  That is absolute bullshit!

I would encourage you ebayers and, for that matter, antique mall shoppers and sellers to write your congressmen a letter objecting to this practice.

The problem with taxes is they only go up; they never go the other way.  States and other taxing agencies will tell you how much your tax dollars help, but in truth, they just rob the taxpayers of funds.  Municipalities, much like you and I, need to budget their dollars like you and I do.

The more they make, the more bloated and inefficient they become.  Taxes choke businesses, and in the end, it is you and I that pay the price.

While eBay resembles Amazon more and more, I suspect that soon you will find other auction sites or people figuring out ways to market their ‘treasures’ not using eBay.

We the people need to push back, and it is past time.

Re-press this post or forward it if you are like me and happen to enjoy shopping for Trinkets and Treasures.  Yes, that is going to be a business name for such artifacts.

If you know of such places, please let me and others know.  The system only seems to work for the government.  The way they waste your money, they do not deserve it.  Some things should not be taxed, and I happen to think old tchotchkes should be exempt from further taxation.

My proposal will be this; you collect sales tax if you offer new items where you have in quantity, which is indicative that it might be a business.  If, on the other hand, it is an actual auction, there should be no taxes.  That is also true of flea markets, antique malls, and yes tailgate sales where like-minded people gather to swap stories, tell jokes, and yes, trade junk.   We need to get some common sense back in our government, and it starts with you the people telling them enough is enough.

Folks, they work for you, we are not a serf class. Push back or be plowed under.

Much Love -TW

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The Death of Alexa!

You can take control of your environment, do it!

I did it; I killed her!

Ok, I pulled her plug, removed her source of power; I disabled her ability to distract me.
As we sit in our homes worried that some sneaky Made if China virus will attack us, do we really need more distractions? If you are like me, you are a writer. We create worlds and characters and all sorts of things, including widgets for solving complex problems. Do we really need the constant distractions from mechanical things advertising stuff to us?

I think back to when I put in my first phone. Wow, that was some time ago, but I still remember it. Shortly after I paid to have it installed along with gas, water, and electricity, there was the phone. Long before cable and the internet. During dinner, your favorite show on TV or…something more intimate the thing would ring. This was a time long before answering machines. There was no screening of calls back then, you either ignored it or picked it up. Yes, there was no caller ID, either.

There are you paying damned good money each month for people to have a way to bother you.

Today we have smartphones, tablets, and yes, Alexa, all sitting there along with your computer just waiting to distract you.

Turn it off!

Whatever machine you are using to write with, disconnect it from the internet. Take all the other stuff and remove it from your office. Put a do not disturb sign on your door. Be grouchy if someone ignores that sign, they will stop soon enough. This is your time to create. Don’t let the spoilers of your creations invade your space.

A word of caution, don’t do this too much. Set aside a few hours that you intend to be away from the world. Give fair warning that unless the place is on fire, don’t bother you. After that, be available to those that love you, or they may not like you too much longer.
The point I am making is, you can control your environment if you so choose to do so. Often writers come up with excuses for why they did not get something done. If research is your thing, when you hit that bump in the road, make a note ***research this*** and move on.

As we push through this time of uncertainty, don’t allow this opportunity to go to waste. Write and live in that other world. I promise you will find it liberating.

Much Love -TW

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Diamond Joe a Synopsis

Need a feel good story, this is it!

 

The horses finished in an upset as the favorite lost to a relative newcomer.  Samantha Thomas grew up on the farm but wanted so much more than slopping pigs.

Her dream was realized when a visitor in town learned of her love of horses.  Hiring her to train his horse, she eventually rode it in local races.  Before long, she and Thundercloud were making their way into the hearts and minds of other enthusiasts.

Riding the horse to victory, the owner sold the horse to visiting Prince.  The new owner, much like many in the stands, had no clue that the real gem was Sam, not the horse.

Diamond Joe, the man, was in the stands with his new son in law when Thundercloud came in from behind, pulling off an upset that would be history for years to come.  His daughter was also in the crowd, but she was only there for her husband, Steve, and her father.

After the death of her father, and a year later her husband; Donna sold her home and went to be with her mother.  Vera, her mother, passed from the flu, leaving her alone on the plantation. Dealing with a new horse that Steve, her husband, had purchased left her little time to socialize, not that she wanted to.

Teaching Journalism at the local university, Donna buried herself in her work.  The plantation was a respite from the real world.  When one of her students, an up and coming quarterback, argued with her about her draconian ideas on journalism, she saw in him the same spark that she had seen in her husband.

Dane showed an interest in her, which aroused the woman inside her.  Learning of his desire to date her niece, she put that fantasy on hold.  Hiring him to do some handyman work, Dane learns of her real love, the horse ‘Diamond Joe’ named after her father.

Not telling Donna the entire story of Sam, he alludes to her that Sam could train her horse.  Inviting Samantha to her place, Donna soon learns that love comes in all sizes and shapes.

Was Samantha interested in her money, or something else?

Read the story, tell me what you think.  I love this novel as have many of my readers.  Check it out.

While we are all on ‘time out,’ why not read a love story with horses and racing as a subplot?

 

Much love -TW

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The Last Strad, a Tease.

 

It’s very late or very early, depending upon your perspective of things.  Insomnia is either my friend or my enemy, much like time itself.

Little Cat feet came to mind as I made my way from the bed to the window where everything glows from the ambient light, scattered by the small droplets of water.

It is not unlike me at 3 am to put the kettle on, and sit outside, and watch as the world sleeps.

My mind reels with the events of the previous day and this time l reflect on the last week.  I am troubled by the loss of life, and how much consternation that must cause to the survivors of those family members.  Italy is in my mind; my heritage in part is from a little town very close to where the famous violin maker created his works of art.

She came to the states when she was 16.  Through digging in Ancestry, we know the name of the ship that carried her to our shores.  My Italian blood runs deep, as does my English blood.

Care to guess what she brought with her?  Somewhere in a climate control vault lives a 1721 original Stradivarius.  The chain of custody was from her (his mother) to my grandfather, to my mother, to me.

One of the tuning pegs has disintegrated.  I was looking into purchasing to luthier tools, to repair it when I noticed the label.  Could it be a copy?  Who knows, even the experts are not sure.  Owners of Strads do not want it to be one, as that would lessen the value of theirs.

Still, it would be nice to have it repaired.  Can you imagine learning to play on a Strad?  Yes, I play musical instruments, and I think I would pick it up reasonably quickly but not to the level of those on stage.  Muscle memory is required, much like most musical instruments and typing for that matter.

I think about what her journey must have been like.  A square mast sailing vessel that depended upon the winds to move it along.  Long before the Titanic set forth on its one way trip to Davy Jones Locker, there were the real sailors.  No, I was not dissing those that work on ships today.  Think about what that would have been like being tossed about by the wind and waves.  Those old ships creaked and groaned and leaked.

The ships not only brought people and things, but they brought rats and disease.  History is rife with stories of such things that we in modern times are all too willing ‘forget.’

I stepped outside as the steam from my tea made little wispy curls those water droplets joined the trillions of others before me.  Iridescent colors only faintly color the otherwise gray surroundings flashing lights catch my attention.

What will this day bring?

How many more have stopped breathing?

When will it become too much for the healthcare system to handle people who are in need?

How long did it take Italy to get to the point of administering last rights, instead of putting people on the life-saving devices that are in short supply?  Today we were ordered to ‘shelter in place.’

What does that mean exactly?

I was forced to run a ‘mercy mission’ today, well Sunday, as there are people I know that needed TP and food.  Taking from my supply will extend their need to get out to ‘shop.’

A week without eating out has been rougher than I thought.  With the options dwindling, the desire for fast food has crept into my brain.  Now it is I who must find the mystical TP.  Not today or tomorrow but soon.

Monday, I will take the time to get my characters busy again.  So many of them are nestled in the pages of over 30 of my novels on Amazon and Smash words and, of course, many other places.

It is time to set them free and stop bemoaning my predicament.  This is just a speedbump on the journey of life.  Tap the breaks and move on.  It is bigger than I am.

As for the Strad, I am going to write a novel called ‘The Last Strad.’

I go and visit it on occasion.  It seems to be haunted.  It is almost as if I can hear it playing some melody from long ago.

 

Much Love -TW

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Day Seven! Damn this is getting real!

Is eating out sneaking into your dreams?

 

Hello, fellow detainees? How are you managing your time?  No, I really want to know, is there couch time involved.  Was there also a run on the liquor store?  Did they limit beer?

Not a beer drinker, but I do like Merlot.  If you have read any of my novels, you know this about me.

Merlot and Dark Chocolate is like nirvana on steroids.

I managed a few paragraphs on one of my works in progress, but I have not done much else.  My friends and family have taken much of my free time in that they just need to socialize.  What about you?

I am spending more time on my blog, as a way to reach out to you, and of course my friends all over the globe.  I look at where you folks live, and now I like have these things added to my bucket list to travel to your home town.  I think I have followers in all the major countries.

You are the reason I spend more time on this blog than I should.  To create a novel that will go viral, I should be putting all of my juice in it.  I know other bloggers/authors who have done that.  In fact, there is one who still has a blog but has not posted since 2018.  I reached out to her on one of her articles—no reply, which is a bloody shame.

I don’t care how many books sell and how much time I have to devote to them, I will always make time for you, and you…and yes you too.

You know you are my favorite, right?  LOL

Until I heard my mother telling a sibling that they were her favorite, I thought I was special…

If you follow me, I go and peek at your blog, and on some of them, I might comment.  There are some excellent writers out there.

I look forward to reading what you put out into the world.

That brings me to tonight’s topic, where does your material come from?

I have friends who are writing the next Harry Potter…from the work of J.K Rowling, who is now worth over a billion dollars.  I wrote a novel called Cyber Subs that I researched but, was inspired to write it from reading 50 shades.  El James is worth millions.  Her books were titillating to some and naughty to most.

My material for that novel did not, however, come from any of her writing.  Not only do I have followers here, but I have twitter and Instagram peeps.  One fine young lady (no, I am not facetious) who follows me on twitter called herself a Cyber Slut.   People, I am not naïve.  I watched an Avenue Q performance on the internet saying it was made for porn, laughed and went on.

Over the years, when the internet went from a text-based interface to an actual GUI, sure enough, porn found its way on the world wide web.  What floored me was the link I followed of her’s. It took me to a site called My Free Cams.

When I first went there years ago, I was shocked, to say the least.  There were a few hundred models online each night.  The number has tripled since I wrote the novel, and oh, by the way, they are no longer the only site in town.  I will confess that I wondered why there were no nude dudes on there.  Oops, I found them one day after I told my daughter about my findings.  She and some of her friends gave me a list of places.  Holy Shit!  Yes, the expletive is warranted.    There is nothing to stop a five-year-old from going to these sites.  Mom and Dad, how are you going to deal with your children seeing this stuff when they are still in grammar school?

This is the problem with being stuck at home.  I think a lot.

The brains of humans are wired in such a way that one would have to think this early exposure to hardcore porn would dement them in some way.  The ‘me two’ movement might look like a parking violation in years to come.

Those sites have close to two thousand women modeling at any given time.  There are multiple sites.  I had to show nothing to anyone to gain full access.  That is where my fodder came from for many of my racy novels.  I have tried to create these types of books from the POV of both genders, as it is an excellent practice for writing something I could tell my parents about if they were still around.

I think schools are going to have to incorporate some kind of curriculum that addresses the porn aspect of the internet.  Yes, it needs to be in the lower grades.

Sex workers, which is a real occupation, provide safe sex and an outlet for those who are socially inept or just need to get a release.  I understand that process; I am a healthy red-blooded person.

I would love to interview a few of you so, if you are a sex worker and would like to speak with a real author, drop me a tweet or an e-mail to my website contact page at www.authortwscott dot com

We can do it all over e-mail, and just so you know, I don’t judge, and I have respect for anyone who is working trying to make ends meet.  As long as you are of legal age and understand what you are doing, it is your deal.  I just want to crawl around in your head for a bit.

Did you see what I just did?

The topic of the blog or the question I wanted to address is where do you get your material?  I speak with people everywhere I go. From the doctors’ offices to the stores, I visit with people as I am a humanist.  I am also an author, and some of you have such dynamic personalities that I enjoy getting to know you.

Tomorrow is day Seven of my sentence.. LOL, or it is a shared sentence, and the world as a whole is taking part in one of the most massive lockdowns in the history of the globe.

I see that Russia is immune to this virus.  Hey Russian friends, are you immune, or is the iron curtain coming back up?  God I hope not.  Everyone that I visit with, no matter the country, seems to have the same likes and dislikes as me.

Without our leaders mucking things up, I would wager we all would get along just fine.

I have Chinese friends, and nobody is blaming the Chinese people for this.  No, we are blaming the government.  They need to get brave. They need to do a root cause analysis as to how this happened, so it never happens again.

As for the rest of us, back to trying to entertain myself.

Much Love -TW

 

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A Week With My Thoughts

If I asked you about last week, what would you tell me?

 

The house is still very quiet, even my ‘mews’ is too bewildered at my early rustling around to consider begging for those little morsels of kitty crack, known as ‘treats.’

Peering through the window to the world, there are no glowing eyes of the usual vehicular madness that usually traverse the mazes of cement around my domicile.  Much like half-finished portraits of presidents to other notorieties, many of my characters are frozen in time awaiting some form of life from their creator.

Steam rises from the cup of elixir warming my digits as I stand in my miniature oasis among the rest of the city dwellers who are still capturing what their imaginary worlds have to offer.  An occasional raptor of the skies, still perched in the canopy overhead either tells me good morning or perhaps is telling me to come closer, so it too can bless me or perhaps target my cup full of caffeine.

A week of this solitude you would think my characters would be solving the world’s problems or perhaps fighting the aliens in some undiscovered parts of the galaxy.

The unknowns of the world lie hidden deep in the microscopic world around us.  Waiting to attack with surgical precision much like miniature IED’s, they are carried by almost anything that moves or they simply lie in wait, much like that tic in the forest.

The usual activities we enjoy are now suspect.  Should I? Could I?  Is it wise to?

All the while our usual haunts are suffering by our trepidations or perhaps ‘suggested activities’ while we wait for the all-clear.  The world waits and watches but nobody is at the helm.  The taxman or bill collector is blind to the uncertainties of the world, there is a balance sheet and the bottom line is the final stop, for those that were spared this time.

Stories of voices now silenced, permeate the imaginations of most, and panic the hell out of the spirits of many.

What if?

We have faced this before.

We no longer sing Ring around the Rosie or fill their pockets with posies.  Ashes, not so much, but the falling down will certainly apply in some parts of the world, where deep trenches are carved into the earth to hold the forms of the many, who will now reside in photos, memories, and the hearts of those left behind.

Echoes from sphincters emanating from lofty ivory barbicans, rail at those who seek to hold back the crimson tide, pointing their bent digits at their efforts.  It is they who do the devils bidding, herding the masses into those resting places while awaiting the sneak attack of some invisible assailant. They cause us to mock those trying to help us, in an effort to destroy what is left of the tapestry of humanity.

There is a higher power in control but, the lambs must look up from the next blade of grass while ignoring Satan’s henchmen on the rubicund State-Run propaganda Network.   The clueless threadbare statues uttering lies and innuendo created by the puppet masters become reverberations of the hypnotists.

The noise disappears with the touch of a button as my furry comfort creature hops in my lap taking her rightful place just below the keyboard.  The familiar vibrations comfort my soul as another sip of coffee slowly causes the blues to drift away.

The world is out there waiting for your tickling of the letters to form words, phrases, and uplifting sentiment while shunning the devil, not allowing him a win over you.

This epistle of sorts culminates the days and nights which preceded today.  There is a glow in the east and yes, it is light from that yonder window and no, it is not Juliet or Romeo.  Today marks the beginning of another day in which to leave my indelible mark on the hearts of many.  I am here.

 

Much Love -TW

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My Prison, Day III

How is your homeschooling going? Do teachers deserve a raise or what?

Hello my friends, how are you doing today?

I titled this piece ‘My Prison, Day III’ simply because many of us might feel like we are stuck.  The unknowns are probably the worst part of this ‘event.’  The news will drive you up the wall, and it is mostly crap.  From channel to channel, the contradictions outweigh the usefulness of the media itself.

Many of you are on Spring Break.  Stay home.

You can live your life how you choose but learn from what is going on today.  Since you are not in classes, take advantage of what is happening today and learn from it.  Some countries might very well sweep this event under the rug and blame the whole thing on some natural occurrence.

The deficits of this event are showing up in record numbers.  These need to be corrected and if you don’t pay attention to what they are they will not be fixed.  Corruption from business practices to our national security are exposed to you, right now.

A few days ago before the market tanked a senator sold over a million dollars in hotel stock without warning us the American people.  Insider trading earns you three hots and a cot at least in club cupcake.  Ask Martha Stewart how that works.

However, Pandora’s box was opened, the minions of evil are out and about, and we have to deal with what is.  Flattening the curve in this country will allow our medical people to save more lives.

Social distancing means stay at home if at all possible.  It is more than merely staying a few feet away from other folks.  Today I spent a few hours on Google Hangout with some friends just to interact, laugh, and show to ourselves that life can go on.

Many of our younger folks have been doing this for years through video games and programs that allow them to communicate with their ‘team.’  Maybe you who know how to do this should show your parents how, and oh, by the way, invite them to play your video game with you.

I mention that last bit because we are in a kind of time out.  The things that we do with impunity like happy hour, or dinner with friends or the show, the play, or yes, the opera, we cannot do.

What did we do when we were sent to our rooms?

We were supposed to reflect on why we were sent there, but, usually, we found some way to entertain ourselves if we didn’t pout.  Friends, you can pout, or you can use this time to eat a meal with your family.  Spend time in the kitchen with your spouse or children.  Talk about your fears and anxiety and listen.  You young people listen too.  Your parents might not share the fact that they are scared, but only a fool would not be worried.

I have not played a board game in tens of years; I was wondering how long it would take to get one delivered through Amazon.  I never did learn to play that military game that takes forever to set up.  My brother had it, and I never learned it.  I don’t recall the name of it, but I bet some of you do know the game I am speaking about.  Just maybe it is time to dig it out and try to engage your spouse or significant other in something that you can control.

I joke about prison, but that is what this is, a mini prison sentence.  Through no fault of our own, we are under house arrest.  Violating that could be deadly, not only to you but to those that you love.

Too many of you are now jobless and financial worry has to be high on your mind.  My day job has been shut down too, I get it.  Not only has the influx of funds been curtailed, but our 401’s and other savings have been devastated.  You are not alone.  While the politicians argue about some form of money to each American,  it will not be enough, no matter what it is.

I can control my writing.  I have over 30 novels out there on Amazon and other places.  I also have several works in progress.  I can use the time to work on them. I am a writer, so I live in my cave.  I tease that I have a lair, but in truth, it is an office about the size of a prison cell.   Now I have everything I might want at my disposal, except my ability to have that margarita with my favorite Mexican dish.  Think about how good that will be when this is over.

I was teasing my friends today, telling them how this was beginning to get real; I ate my last thin mint Girl Scout cookie!

We will get through this, and I am looking for creative ways to keep my sanity through it.  Tell me what you are doing to pass the time while we commiserate or visit.  You choose.

I choose to look at the upside in that very few people are ringing the bell, and traffic seems a whole lot less.  I waved at my neighbors today, who I hardly ever see.

Much Love -TW

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Time Out Day II

When the local eating place you go to from time to time becomes a craving, you know you are in trouble.

I am sure if I bothered to look, I would find at least a half dozen blogs with that title.

How are you doing?  Have you searched for your copy of the Shining yet?  Does the phrase REDRUM pass through your mind?  Maybe you see Dead People?  LOL Take heart; we are all in this together.

My creativity is blown all to hell and gone, as I like many of you; are waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We had lovely weather today, so I sat in the back yard and watched the birds for a bit.

Typically there is lots of jet traffic as I have two major airports, well two and a half significant airports around me.

Even the road noise is much quieter than average.

A woman was held up at gunpoint not far from here where the ass wipe took her groceries and her wallet.

When I took my concealed carry course, there were more women than men taking the class.  Not only was there a run on toilette paper and Hand sanitizer, but on guns and bullets.

In times like this, I think if I were on the jury, she would be let off without even a warning if she put him down like the sorry rat he is.

Some services help people in need; you don’t have to rob innocent people.

With more and more folks working from home, their pets will be happy.

There are roaming gangs of men dressed in white scrubs of sorts, going door to door to say they are there to test.  They will rob you.  The government intercepted dozens of fake corona test kits the other day.  Wow, some people know no lows.

I did have this idea that I want to run past you. If you are like me, people are always knocking on the door trying to sell something.  What if you created a sign that said under quarantine and put it on your door?  Do you suppose they would ignore that one like they ignore the no soliciting sign?

I figured out why they ignore the no soliciting sign by the way.  They don’t know what it means.  You need the sign to be more direct and to the point.

“No, I am not buying your shit! Go away!”

During this viral stuff, the door knocking has gone way down.  Even the JW’s have not been around.  I was getting so bored I was kind of waiting to see if they would pop by.

I watched a little bit of American Idol.  I admit it; I have a soft spot for the sanitation worker.  I love the underdog and man that guy is a noble soul.  I wish the best for him.  I hope some dentist contacts him and gives him a free implant.  The dude can sing, and he is rather sweet in an infectious kind of way.

I noticed that there is a lot of talent this year.  Did you see that man that did not know who Lionel Richey was?  WTF?  You would think that the guy might have done just a little research.

We are all in this together.  I don’t care what country you are in, what your religious beliefs are or race or anything else.  You, my friends, are like me, in time out.

So, until we can cavort in the gardens, run through the meadows and eat with each other, I raise my proverbial stein of beer and solute you.  This is Day II, and we have a long road ahead of us.  Stay well, keep in touch, and do tell me what you are doing to stay sane.

If an AXE comes through my door I don’t give a shit who it is. They are going to die!  LOL

Much love –TW

 

 

1984 or 2020?

Are you under surveillance?

Is there a spy in your house?

Should we care if we are exposed?

Is nakedness the same as unprotected?

Can we be tried and judged on our thoughts?

What if you verbalize thoughts in the privacy of your own home?

What if you mumble ‘someone should shoot that asshole?’  Is that criminal?

Do we have a right to privacy, and if so, where does it begin and end?

Should big tech be held liable for violating your privacy?

Is ‘smart’ really a good idea?  In a world of Siri or Alexa and yes, Google, you can have many things happen with the spoken word. 

Yesterday while in conversation, I happened to ask Alexa what time it was.  My smartwatch was still on the charger and ‘she’ is in every room in the house.  While a constant source of information and a voice I recognize, I was not amazed when she replied in the following… “By the way, I can also help plan birthday parties…”

We had been speaking of a birthday gift minutes before.

With millions of these devices in homes and business’s globally, one has to believe that it is software and some server listening.  The algorithms listen for keywords, much like cookies track your searches.  From these results, you are offered ads for what you searched for, or the subject of conversation.

As a writer I often research things that could be seen as things terrorist might search for.  One has to wonder how many times I have been ‘looked at,’ as a possible bad person.

For the record, I have published over 30 novels and still writing.  These are not the droids you are looking for. 

At one point, I had cameras throughout the house so I could monitor things while I traveled.  One day I heard the camera in my office moving on its own accord.  Someone was controlling it.  Someone was watching me work on the computer.

All of the Chinese cameras went into the trash that day.

Even with the firewall and so forth in place, this camera had a backdoor built into the firmware.

While I could have trapped the packets, I am confident the rabbit trail would lead to China.

Industrial espionage is a huge deal. I suspect that there are perverts in all countries who, much like peeping toms, get off on watching…

When I wrote my novel Cyber Subs, I took that into account.

It is one thing to put it out there and be paid for your willingness to do so.  It is quite another to be spied upon, either with your own camera’s and or security system.

I realize that Alexa and other smart devices are listening. If you don’t know this, read what I am telling you here and now.  They also have cameras embedded within them, and it might very well be possible for some ‘person’ to activate them at will.  The same is true of your phones, tablets and laptop computers.

In another of my novels, Presidential Assassins, I use these smart things as plot devices.

The bottom line is you should not expect privacy no matter where you are.  If you carry a smartphone, you are being tracked. If you should run afoul of the law, they can use your phone to see where you have been.

The anarchists burning cities down, hurting people, and so forth have a considerable footprint that one day will come home to roost. If you are one of those who are getting paid to do stupid shit, I would stop immediately. While that CSI shit might seem like the stuff of fiction, trust me grasshopper, it is not out of the realm or veracity.

While a local DA might be bought and paid for, not to convict you, many of the crimes are federal and out of their jurisdiction.  

Recently someone sent me a phishing extortion letter.  Within minutes, I knew it came from a company called Talk Talk in the UK.  Some rogue employee is using that ISP as a platform to extort money through elaborate ‘fortune cookie’ letters sent out to email addresses procured from websites.

I suspect they will be spending time in jail soon, as they too left a trail of breadcrumbs.   Even if you use Bitcoin, there are ways to track you down.  You might feel that you are smarter than others, but again, you are only fooling yourself.

If you want assured privacy in your house, don’t have anything connected to the internet, and that means cell service too.  Unless you can remove the battery, off is not good enough.

While I might sound a little paranoid, in my line of work, I am paid to be paranoid.  Don’t do stupid shit, and you don’t have anything to worry about.  Consider those spying on you as your cheering section.  That is a line I used in the novel.

Yes, I have found bugs ‘video cameras’ in hotel rooms, especially independent hotels. 

‘TW doesn’t that freak you out?’

How many times have you traveled since 911?  Images of my naked body are stored on more servers than you can imagine.  If you genuinely believe that those images from the porn scanners at the airport are not stored next to your unique scanned id, you are kidding yourself.

They know better than I if I have put on or lost any weight.  While ignorance is bliss, it is also dangerous.  You willingly surrendered your right to privacy after 911.  The patriot act is the golden ticket to spy on anyone anywhere without provocation. 

Again, as I say in the novel, enjoy your life and don’t worry about it. 

If you are a law abiding person you will never be confronted with any of this.  The secrets will live on servers across the country. 

From facial biometric cameras at each traffic intersection, to your unique DNA used for genealogy or perhaps taken from some medical procedure, if they want to find you, they can.  

A day of reckoning is coming…

For the rest of us, enjoy your smart stuff and know that somewhere, someone could be watching, listening and laughing at your feeble attempts to have some modicum of privacy.

There is a meme that shows a cabin in the woods with no commercial power.  Would you spend a year here for a million dollars? 

Give me a gun, bullets, and a fishing pole and just you watch, or in this case, come back in a year.  Since the Covid bullshit, I am ready.

Cheers!

-TW