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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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