Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Words of Wisdom

Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. --Laurie Halse Anderson

Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. --Lao Tzu

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. --Albert Einstein

I just imagined a much kinder world and decided to live there. --Stephen L. Lizotte

The desire for gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it. --Erma Bombeck

Walking alone can be very hard. But if you let it, it's the walk that can make you the strongest version of you. --Zeenat Merchant Syal

The first step to change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. --Nathaniel Branden

Sensitive people should be treasured. They love deeply and think deeply about life. They are loyal, honest and true. The simple things sometimes mean the most to them. They don't need to change or harden. Their purity makes them who they are. --Kristen Butler

You will begin to realize that you are not the same person you used to be. The things you used to tolerate have become intolerable. Where you once remained quiet, you are now speaking your truth. Where you once battled and argued, you are now choosing to remain silent. You are beginning to understand the value of your voice, and there are some situation that no longer deserve your time, energy and focus. --David J. Conway

Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is there. --Johann Friedrich von Schiller

You just have to trust your own madness. --Clive Barker

First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice. --Octavia E. Butler

In my opinion, one of the biggest secrets of suspense is setting  up questions that the readers MUST have answered. --James Patterson

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I'm up!

As I mentioned here, LAst Resort contributor Gay Degani has been featuring her fellow authors on her blog Words in Place. Today it's my turn!

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's not nice to fool around with Mother Nature...but it is pretty cool looking

A Chinese company makes "fruit molds" that allow you to bend the shape of various types of fruit to your whim.

Check out the comments, they're pretty hostile overall. H/T to Everyday Culinary on Facebook for the link.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Okay, I'm back and other musings

Tonight marks two weeks since I arrived home from Writer's Police Academy (which I'm still planning on blogging) and it's been kind of a couple of wasted weeks. I got sick as soon as I got home - first a couple days of tension headaches (the flight home was rough) and then a really nasty cold that I'm still not completely recovered from. Throw in some car repair drama this week (the quote was a little over $3k, the biggest repair bill I've ever had) and I have just not been having a great time lately. I also haven't written much of anything and am now looking at a looming deadline. On the upside, I do my best work at deadline, so hopefully the story will come together in the next few days.

Anyhoo, the reason for all this whining is just to get caught up. I had this huge, ambitious to-do list for after WPA and I've barely even started to make a dent in it, but I'm feeling like I'm finally through the funk and can get moving.

Needless to say, my issues pale compared to what's happening in Texas right now thanks to Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey. It reminds me of watching the coverage of Hurricane Katrina, except a lot more organized. I do have to wonder why there was no evacuation order for Houston, but hindsight is 20/20 and it's not fair to pass these judgements at this point. Yet.

Some crazy visuals are coming out of Texas via social media:

The Salvation Army put this picture of one of their vans up on Facebook. Note the lightning strike in the background.

Talk about making the best of a bad situation - this guy literally caught a fish in his flooded home.

This is a highway in Texas, and there's still more rain to come.

Boats have been deployed in the streets of Texas.

But this was the picture that really sent social media into overdrive. It was posted this morning on Twitter by the daughter of the woman who owns the nursing home, who had sent it to her asking for help. I heard on the news later that the residents were rescued.

But just so this post isn't a total downer, enjoy this: New owner Amazon to slash Whole Foods prices. No more whole paycheck jokes!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Not actually a cake decorating fail

I don't know in what universe this is a fail because yes, EAT ALL THE CAKE!!!

I'm still planning on blogging Writers' Police Academy, but I've been sick all week since I got back, so I haven't been very productive. Yesterday was the worst, today was better, tomorrow should be close to back to normal. I will get to it eventually.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Deleting my author social media accounts

I had decided to set up social media accounts dedicated to my writing - separate from my personal accounts - some time ago. Unfortunately it turns out that not only is it a lot of extra work, but the accounts weren't always as independent as I thought. Facebook actually linked the two, which kind of defeated the purpose. Plus, just to add to the fun, the FB author page was being spammed. I don't have time to master the fine art of managing this crap - that time is better spent writing.

So I've closed the author accounts. I've also ordered new business cards without those accounts on them. In the future, I'm going to just direct everyone to the blog. Links to my social media accounts, if anyone is interested, are easily accessible on the right sidebar.

The main reason I set up multiple accounts was to keep personal and professional stuff separate. While writers and readers love all things writing, we don't necessarily share opinions on other things. I'm fine with that, but a lot of other people aren't.

All you have to do it look at the venom being spewed online these days to know that differences of opinion can get very ugly very quickly. I realize that just because I won't go off on someone whose opinions and beliefs differ from mine like a deranged maniac doesn't mean the courtesy will be returned, hence the separate accounts. But since those didn't work out, I guess I'll have to take my chances out in the social media wilderness and hope for the best in terms of behavior and respect.

In the meantime, I just want to write and live my life. Thanks in advance for respecting that.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Public Service Announcement: Consider joining Be the Match

Back in June of 2011, shortly after the death of my father from cancer (and some really vile family drama because there was money involved, so life was really a mess), Twitter brought this to my attention: Alice's Bucket List.

Alice was a teen in the UK who was fighting terminal cancer. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she had set up a website with a bucket list of things she wanted to accomplish in her short lifetime. They ran the gamut - things as simple as getting her hair done and getting a massage, entering her dog in a show, up to swimming with sharks and going to Kenya.

But there was one particular item on her list that had created a Twitter sensation: her wish to get people to join a bone marrow registry. Which is how I hooked up with Be the Match. It's incredibly simple. You register, they send you swabs, you swab in inside of your mouth and pop the swabs back in the mail. And you could end up helping save a life.

Sadly, Alice passed away in January of 2013, but she accomplished most of the items on her bucket list and was responsible for God knows how many people joining a bone marrow registry. It was a short life, but one well lived.

Joining was so easy that once it was done, I didn't really think about it much. I'm not the age or physical condition of what seems to be their ideal donor, but you never know. The reason I decided to post this now is because I occasionally get emails from Be the Match. The most recent one encouraged us to encourage others to join. So that's what I'm doing. If you're so inclined, think of it as your good deed for the day. A good deed that could some day save a life.

Here's the message they asked us to share:

I joined Be The Match Registry® because I know it means I could help give someone a second chance at life. Did you know that someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia every three minutes? For many of those patients, a marrow transplant is their only hope for survival.

That’s where we come in. There are so many people looking for a match, and you or I or someone we know could be the cure for a person who has blood cancer.

Who will you save? Joining Be The Match® can have powerful, life-giving results, and I encourage you to be part of it. Visit today and join me on the registry!

My original post when I joined is here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

10-42 - Another Writers' Police Academy is in the books

Yet another wonderful Writers' Police Academy has signed off until next year.

I got to fire both a 9mm handgun and an AR-15 rifle this year. I actually got better results with the latter, although I was more comfortable with the handgun. Given the strength it took to handle both weapons and the sheer power emanating just from my end, if I learned nothing else, it's that I do not want to be on the receiving end of either one. Quite an experience.

I'll blog more details during the week, but for now I'm sitting here in Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay waiting for the security checkpoint to open and looking forward to getting home.

Thank you again to WPA, Lee Lofland, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Radisson Green Bay, Oneida Nation, all the wonderful people I met at WPA, and everyone involved with putting on this event. It was another amazing year.

P.S. Carrots and pets to GBPD horsey cops Cole and Cooper and their partners, whose names I forgot to get of course because it was such a treat to be up close and personal with equines again. Wonderful horses and people.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It seemed funny at the time...

I snicked this off the internet in June of 2015. I think it was during the entry draft. I thought it was a terrific example of an NHL team (in this case the Stars) nailing social media, not to mention it's damn hilarious.

Since then, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won two consecutive Stanley Cups. Who's laughing now?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Crazy book covers

A Brazilian artist who goes by the name "Butcher Billy" has reimagined famous love songs as class Stephen King book covers, and the results are insane.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Do check them all out.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

The world's first fully painted feature film, and it looks amazing

This is the first I've heard of it, and the trailer is beyond description. Loving Vincent is the story of the life and death of painter Vincent van Gogh, and every frame of the film has been painted by a crew of over 100 artists. Do check it out. They discuss the technique on the official website. Here are just a few screenshots from the trailer:

I really hope this film fulfills its promise. It releases in the U.S. on September 22.

H/T to ArcLight Cinemas on Facebook for the trailer.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pub pony

Now here's a headline: Shetland pony broke into pub, got drunk and had to be coaxed out with bar snacks.

Image snicked from the video in the link.

Every bar should have a pub pony. Just sayin'.

Also, if you want to bribe a horse or pony with food, you bite into it. The carrot crunch gets them every time. Suckers.

H/T to Duchess Sanctuary on FB.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Paint your life

Love this. Love it!

H/T to ScreenCraft on FB for this beautiful image and quote.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Oh, how I wish there was still a CSI show around to tackle this one

"Professional Cuddling" for when things don't go your way. Link is for a variety of takes on the subject.

Since this is the first article I saw about it, here's Rolling Stone's take on the subject.

It's a tough world out there, people, and you don't always get what you want. Deal with it, or you're just not gonna make it.

And heck yeah I jotted this down for a story idea. Maybe it's just the way my mind works, but let's face it, you read this and have to wonder, "What could possibly go wrong?" Among other things of course.

And since a blog post with just text is boring, and I couldn't settle on just one, and I'm in one of those moods...

As always, these images came from the internet. If one is yours, let me know so I can credit you for your wonderful work.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fascinating question - which pill would you choose?

Found this on Instagram and thought it was utterly fascinating:

I also found the comments interesting. Check it out.

As for me, I'd take the blue pill. For the answer to, "Given a chance, would you live your life again?" my answer has always been, "Only if I could go back knowing what I know now, so I could do pretty much everything differently." That ability would be something you just couldn't put a price on.

Hindsight being 20/20 and all that.