Saving the World with your Signature

This is about public activism.  Many of us have seen petitions at least once in a while.  Although being able to sign and make a financial donation is even more powerful, signing petitions is one easy and fun way to help others on a massive scale.  Since I am one of those people who likes to help others – I really like it when they come through.  Yes, there is pleasure in feeling that I have had the power to take action to protect the environment or encourage responsible legislation.  Its a subtle pleasure compared to a lot of other things, but it is real.

Thanks to Facebook posts forwarded by others who are part of the same wave, just yesterday or the day before I signed another 3 petitions advocating protection of the environment [British Columbian rain forest] , fair trade for small coffee bean growers [shade grown on a small farm is best for the planet], and protecting women’s access to birth control.  Like being one of the millions who signed Obama’s Health Care Reform [they sent a certificate and called me a co-signer]; it really is nice to know that we can make a difference even when we’re “one of the little people” feeling like one of the drops in a river or a rain storm.


PS: Thanks to Dad, who may be the most regular reader.

Advice for Writers

Well, there is plenty of advice for writers.  One can take a degree or two in it.  Although for novelists I think nowadays they suggest MFA rather than a BA in communications or journalism.  Ye Olde English major still has some value.

There are books on the subject as well.  There are blogs.  There are Tweets.  There is Facebook.  There is the Writers Bureau.  There is learning by doing.  There is….

Writers vary.  Some want to write great literature.  Some want to make a buck.  Some want a salary and a byline and a corporate atmosphere.  Some want to hold day jobs in unrelated fields and do some writing in their free time.   Some want to earn enough money to quit their day job.  Some want to work all day in a writing related day job and then crank out ‘their own stuff’ in their spare time.  Some just want a situation where they can read their poetry out aloud or get feedback from people who might be interested and are not seeking to ‘go pro’.

Some poets are known to view being paid the way many people treat prostitution.  I mean, for poetry – you would do something like that?!  Naturally, there are people making money working greeting cards and poetess’s such as Maya Angelou actually prospering from poetry, like all the wives who declare “I’m not even a prostitute but I still get money; even though I actually like/love my husband.”

Out there somewhere is a defensive prostitute.  All I can tell that entity is:  I hope you are OK.  I’m sorry you got sucked into that.  I hope you are able to enjoy it at least sometimes and can get out of it and move on.  I do view it as low status work – like crime is low status, but I still think you are a human being worthy of respect and I do have compassion for you.

So, writers have to seek the type of advice that will actually help.  Uh, in this sense, it can be wiser to poke around or not.  Maybe you know what you need and no one needs to tell you.  Maybe you need to find writer’s conventions or do a course or just read.

Personally both a strength and weakness is my tendency to ‘learn by doing’.   Last week that meant more of ProBlogger and crying to myself over having spent on a website and needing money so I can buy new ink to resubmit a book proposal to a publisher.

Microbial Demons & a Paramhansa

Welcome to today, everyone – including the fellow authors.  Well, in truth, I am not doing very well in my defense against a microbial opponent.  I’m pretty sure it is a decidedly German ailment.  Last year and way back in 2010 I attempted to find the local herbal tea that would beat this tiny monster into submission but I did not learn it.  Right before writing this, I sneezed and may be slightly feverish.  During the past 15 years it has come to my attention that normally, if I am fighting an illness but have not yet come down with it, nor gotten rid of it, I get angry more easily: right before I start menstruating I also tend to ’emotionally purge more’ which means – less tolerant with others.  It took many repetitions before I accepted that a day or two after fighting with my husband type I cam down with something.  Now, for years I have not lived with husband type guy, but I’ve looked into it and its true.  Its a lot like denial, but I think its because I’m still hoping I will be able to fight it off and not develop symptoms – when I’m angry, I’m struggling with it and hoping to win.

What the heck is a paramhansa?  It is not French cuisine.  It is a reasonably normal Hindu word associated with Vedic clerics.  It involves meditations and chanting.  I always feel that if I ‘get it right’ I won’t come down with stupid little illnesses like this as well as not coming down with anything serious.  I’ll explain more on another day, but not right now.

Nonfiction Effort – from the philosopheress’s desk

First things first: Philosopheress is grammatically correct English for female philosopher.  The Americans won’t even like this, and so I have felt strongly discouraged from using the feminine form under ordinary circumstances.  Even so, it is correct in my case.

Second things second:  when I seriously thought about how I might best help humanity in a way which is also rewarding for me personally, in addition to marriage, motherhood and traditionally female methods…I thought maybe some novels, or a scientific thing…but after university I still thought: maybe a book or two of philosophy.  Well, one is still in the proposal stages and being sent around.  Another, I did, originally planning to make it full length but at 20,000 words feels strangely complete.

5 Big Questions in life is an introductions to methods and main ideas from the Western philosophical tradition.  Why should anyone listen to me?  Aside from being funny, I’ve been offered an MA, received a PD in Modern European Philosophy and that came after the BS in philosophy but before the 20 professionally written book summaries on more philosophers – mainly Europeans, not to mention the informal self-education of reading.  I’ve read some of the women in the Western tradition as well as men, including the basic: Simone DeBeauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft, Luce Irigaray and Ayn Rand.

The 5 Big Questions in Life includes methods for answering: Is there a God?, How do we know what we know? and other extremely major questions.   Concisely written yet accessible, this book brings readers applicable methods as well as answers to such questions.    For a limited time, you can have it for free, but I am also going to be selling it.  In that respect, I am taking a tip from the musicians who sell and share freely.


Fundraising & Work

OK, well, it was a new day yesterday, but its an old day now.  That’s a quote by Jethro Tull and I suspect that if I were to sell 10 million copies of that quote, someone from the and or their children should get 5% of the income from the page the sentence is printed on, or something like that.

In reality, I’m hoping for more writing contracts to come through and yet again going through the cycle of:  I”m supposed to be being functionally self-employed, rather than simply unemployed or underemployed or exploited or playing make-believe that I have a job or something like that.  At times like this, it is obvious that my little writing business does seem to be growing, but is still like a delicate fledgling flower or a sprout with maybe the second set of leaves unfurling of the stem.

Meanwhile, given that I am here, I am also searching for other ways to generate income.  They actually range a great deal from near begging, to looking at the local government’s social net, to scouring ads for people hiring people to teach Germans better English but also I’m interested in capital investors.

In the off chance that this message reaches someone who actually has a big chunk of change, here’s the deal.  If you grant me a relatively small amount of money I will be grateful and will use it to keep going.  However, if you drop more than $10 Grand at once, then we can talk about business expansion, other projects and how this is going to not only help me personally, but is also going to ‘create jobs’.  At least one job, for starters.  The more you give, the more we can talk about projects that still do help me but that help others, both at the receiving end and also by creating more jobs.  I hope this demonstrates the level of maturity needed or expected if you’re going to let me have a sizeable chunk of money.  If you read this, and are serious about donating, please DO contact me.

Basics of Promotion – for Writers

Promotion is something that all writers need to do to find lots of readers.  Marketing is something that some writers are better at than others.  Social media and publishing companies and advertising are all part of promotion for writers.  Being self – employed as a freelancer or as a small business is not the easiest thing in the world for most people to do exceptionally well.

Writers, like most other people, have strengths and weaknesses.  Ideally, writers can operate like most businesses and get help from other people to cover for their own weaknesses while making the best of one’s strengths.  This is nothing to be ashamed of: its the only reason there are multiple job titles in all big business and small ones alike.

Hosting web sites and ‘getting the work out there’ are all big.  Creating and then maintaining ‘a platform’ is important.  In the beginning, it can be shocking for writers who had thought all the job involved was actually writing well and then mailing a good manuscript to a good and powerful publisher.

Well, that’s all just part of the job. & Freelance Writing

In truth, when I started out my intention had been to keep a day job &/or a husband who supported me and to use traditional publishers for only novels.  Well, as you may have been told, life does not always abide by one’s personal wishes in every detail.  For years I continued to either work day jobs, or rely on a husband type of entity and to keep writing here and there.  After many years of this, now and then, something would get published, usually for no pay – but there would be a little publishing credit to my name that way.

Then something changed.  At the suggestion of a woman who took over the wife role of my only child’s father and 2nd husband and friend etc…and sometimes opponent sadly but truly, I Googled freelancing and found  The bad news is that I am not now rich from the high paying marvelous writing contracts.  The good news is that, I have actually managed to get contracts to write – even ones where I would be paid right away – more like a regular job or foraging in the wild, instead of getting paid 6 months later like with so many magazines.

Well, I am very grateful to even though I have not made myself rich and famous using them.  They are not the only freelancing service out there, as many know, but when I found them I hadn’t ever been paid for my writing before despite having been published a few times and having written a novel over 10 years earlier.

Check them out.  Besides, they have a cool name.

Help When You Need It

Everyone needs help sometimes and its always great to get help when you need it.  This is also the title of the first chapter of the novel An Adventure in Indianapolis.  In this urban crime solving story, there is more than one protagonist.  The story is more like real life in that there is more than one main character, and no one seems to have the clear lead.  Its also like real life in that it is set in Indianapolis, Indiana – and was written while the author was in the 7th year of living there.  Not only that, but the type of crime problem starring in the story is a real blemish of Indiana – the dark side is ‘meth amphetimine’.  Unfortunately, in the underworld of drugs, that was the result of ‘buy American’ in the illegal stimulant trade.  Luckily, the Indiana police forces are fighting that problem – consistently, and thanks to their valiant efforts, we have a plot for a novel!

In this law enforcement fantasy, the Mayor of Indianapolis gets help when he needs it to fight crime in the city resorting to ‘unusual methods’ in an effort to actually ‘protect and serve’ the local community.  To find out more:  An Adventure in Indianapolis.

Video Technology Update – what happened to me today

Right now there is a video called Gladiator in the laptop, but there is a snag.  I rejoiced when the new video technology made it possible to use video game machines and lap tops to play movies so that I/we was no longer dependent upon DVD players.  Now, here is the new technology question – Do I just not understand my new Philips TV properly and the movie will run using the PS3 but I still need to learn something new,….or, is this video encoded to prevent me from being to use on anything but a DVD so the DVD manufacuterers don’t completely run out of money.  That’s that.  I welcome any genuine responses and advice.

Update on latest reading: one writer to another

OK, today I really read a little more of Mike Williamson’s Rogue.  Its been a while since I read an action packed SF novel even though from age 10 – 20 65% of pleasure reading was just that sort of thing.  The rest were fantasy novels.  Yes, that means the basic question is:  did it occur in interstellar space 3000AD  or if it was in the forest and there were elves with swords and radiant gems?

Mike’s story is set in outer space in the unspecified future but far enough for it to make sense that it has not happened yet….There are both male and female characters which is nice.   Its pretty good so far.  Personally whenever I dislike it, I feel like it is because of my interest in real life rather than because there is anything wrong with the writing.  Just, to be fair.

The other books, which I believe it does say at Goodreads, are A Chosen Faith – about the religion that I have practiced the most and from my earliest childhood – Unitarian Universalism.  Its one of those situations where one learns more about what one was already dealing with ….like some of it is review and some of it is ‘wow, I didn’t even know that; despite the decades of involvement….’ and Hillary Rodham Clinton Living History.  I voted for her even though I had a feeling about Obama – I had known of her and been a supporter of a lot her and a lot of her husband’s work – impeachment dangers and screw ups notwithstanding, so I stayed loyal to her….but when I could not vote for her, I did vote for Obama.  I would vote for both of them again….I wonder if she can be President after Obama:  if it could really happen, I’m willing to vote for her.