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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 10:14 AM
Number of posts: 1,872

Journal Archives

Killing it softly? Religion and Anti-Gay Legislation

To my shame I read yesterday where my home state, Georgia, has gotten in line with the rash of states (Oklahoma, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Kansas, Tennessee, etc.,) proposing anti-gay legislation under the guise of preserving "religious freedom." We'll see what Jan Brewer does in Arizona, but I think that immense damage has already been done to the GOP and, I hope, in getting many to really look at the hypocrisy inherent in orthodox religion. Young people especially aren't buying. They just aren't as homophobic as the old goats in these Republican-controlled legislatures. A new survey shows that millennials are giving up on religion as a result of anti-gay policies. Something good may be coming out of all this ugliness.


ABNA Novel contest

This is one of the pitches posted as the winner of last year's Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest. In the past, 2009, I had a novel that made it to quarter finalist but last year I didn't make it past the pitch stage. I felt rather humiliated actually, until I saw the posting of the pitches for the last two year's winners. Clearly I never had a chance, but just curious. Would you want to read these books?

From General Fiction Winner, 2012, A Beautiful Land.
Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy steals a time machine that's low on batteries and attempts to save girl from impending annihilation... You know how this goes.

Tak O'Leary is a Japanese-American television host who vanished off the grid after a failed suicide attempt. Samira Moheb is an Iranian-American military translator suffering from PTSD as a result of her time in the Iraq War. They have been in love from the moment they met, and because they never told each other, they are destined to be apart forever. But thanks to a mysterious invention buried deep in the Australian Outback, they now have one more chance to get it right.

Of course, it won't be easy. Love never is. First they have to avoid being captured by a powerful and mysterious corporation. Then they must take down a deranged scientist who is trying to unleash a monstrous creature upon the world. Finally, there's the matter of the invention—an impossible machine with the ability to destroy time itself. If Tak and Samira hope to reunite and save the world, they must use this machine to find a theoretical reality constructed by the thoughts of whoever is inside it. They must find the Beautiful Land.

From the 2013 winner, Timebound.

They weren't panic attacks. Of that much, Kate is certain, no matter what the shrink said. But it's even harder to accept the explanation offered by her grandmother—that Kate is reacting to temporal distortions only she can feel, thanks to designer DNA inherited from her time-traveling ancestors. Kate suspects this tale is the result of her grandmother's brain tumor until reality shifts before her very eyes. Her trigonometry teacher morphs into someone else entirely and a stranger sits in her assigned chair, which was empty the second before.

American Idol and spiritual advisers

Last night on American Idol I was shocked, and a little creeped out, to learn that this season, in addition to voice coaches, fashion experts, choreographers and the like, they've added "spiritual advisers" to the teams coaching the contestants. I suppose I could understand, almost, if this man and wife couple were psychologists and the idea was to help contestants deal with stresses of the competition. I'd still think that a little strange, but spiritual advisers? I've done a little digging today and discovered that, while there's a boatload of certification programs for various types of "counselors" you can pretty much become a non-denominational spiritual adviser just be declaring yourself one. That, though is still not really the point. What I want to know is, is it just me, or does anyone else find this not only inappropriate but downright weird?

Recommending a website

I don't often recommend writing websites. Too often they're more focused on selling you something than on helping writers or writing issues and even more often they're badly written. This one, out of the UK, is an exception. The Links page is a great compendium of other good websites for writers. There are some really good articles, and contest entry fees aren't an arm plus a leg. Just in case you haven't already discovered it,


Proposed Merger Would Drastically Reduce Competition

Ok, that's a gotcha. You thought it was about the Comcast/Time Warner merger, didn't you? Remember back in '97 when the merger of two office products company was blocked? Boy, have we come a long way, baby.

This from New York Times archives.

Executives of the office supply giants Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc. said today that their proposed merger was almost certainly dead after a Federal judge issued an order temporarily blocking the $4 billion combination.


That was only a $4 billion combination. And the judge thought it would allow them to "raise prices with impunity."

If you don't cry, you have to laugh.

No One Cares About Your Damn Religion

In Huffington Post this am. Nothing mind-bending for this group, but an interesting read. And, is it just me, or are we starting to see more articles like this in the more or less conventional media?


Atlanta weather right now is

cold. Colder than it is in Sochi. But hoping, I suppose, that we don't get a repeat of our last storm, the Governor has already declared a state of emergency, schools and businesses are already closing, and the grocery stores are in full panic mode. We have no precipitation now but forecast is for maybe a half inch to two of ice. No matter. The whole area is going to grind to a halt anyway. Should we get nada, we'll be back on the news anyway.

Archaeologists Carbon-Date Camel Bones, Discover Major Discrepancy In Bible Story

Personally, I'm shocked.

Researchers Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University have discovered what may be a discrepancy in the history laid out in the Bible.

Using carbon-dating to determine the age of the oldest-known camel bones, the researchers determined that camels were first introduced to Israel around the 9th century BCE.

The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament refers to camels as pack animals as early as the story of Abraham. Though there is no archaeological evidence of Abraham's life, many in the religious and scientific communities, including Chabad and the Associates For Biblical Research, cite the 20th century BCE as his time of birth. If the new evidence is correct, however, this suggests discrepancies between the Bible and human history as explained by science.


Introducing myself

I've been lurking for a while, but honestly have been a little reticent about subscribing and jumping in to this group for several reasons. I've been a writer and a teacher of writing at the university level for longer than most of you have been alive. I've published one novel(to lovely reviews but abysmal sales), and many short stories, and have another novel forthcoming, but I make my living now as a ghostwriter, mostly of business books. I write for very nice people, who think poorly and can barely construct a coherent paragraph, but who enjoy excellent sales as a result of their name recognition, business connections, and clearly a reader appetite for what I CAN write, but would not ordinarily read, unless I was made to as a prisoner of war.

I'm not sure what I can offer here. I know something about good literature. A lot about self-publishing. A lot about the frustrating quest for agents. A lot about the frustrations and expense of self-promotion. I'm a voracious reader who pretty much keeps us with the current. Maybe I can offer something to someone. What I'm looking for myself is a kick in the ass. I'd like to rediscover some of that excitement I catch in your posts. I'd like to just get that buzz again. The one I had when I was younger, more hopeful, and thought writing was fun.

Thanks. I feel less guilty about lurking.

GOP uses misleading website to trick Dems into donating to Republicans

Ever wondered how low they'd go? Check this out.

Trick fundraising website created by the National Republican Congressional Committee to lure donations for wrong candidate.


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