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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

One of the first books that sparked my interest in history, and particularly the Middle Ages, A Distant Mirror, purported to compare the 14th Century to the 20th. At the time the book was published, I was deep in studies of Comparative Literature, World Literature, Women’s Fiction et cetera, et cetera.

Cover image of A Distant MirrorWhat enthralled me about A Distant Mirror was the inevitable connection to tales of chivalry and classic romance—a literary convention that is neither tragedy nor comedy; a heroic or mysterious prose narrative set in a distant time or place; a medieval tale of knightly adventure.

Barbara W. Tuchman turned the study of history into a great adventure and a lifelong love of all things Medieval.

I loaned my copy to a fellow Mediophile (I think I’ve made that word up) and she never returned it, so it was with great pleasure that I found Tuchman’s book is available on the iBookstore.

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If you have not read this book, I sincerely hope you will, as it is one of the first dystopian novels to be universally recognized as prophetic and at the same time dismissed as pure fantasy, something that could never happen.

A few quotations:

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

“The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

And a few others from another source that are even more frightening:

“Control healthcare and you control the people.”

“Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.”

“Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.”

“Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.”

“Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).”

“Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.”

“Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools.”

“Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.”

The first set of quotations are from the featured book: George Orwell’s 1984.

The second set of quotations are from the Community Organizer, Saul David Alinsky, who inspired the 44th President and the would-be 45th. The would-be 45th was so enamored of SDA that she wrote him a fan letter.

A+ if you see the connection between the Alinsky ‘rules’ and many policies that have dominated the educational and political environment over the past 50 or so years.

Another few quotations:

“…The Frankfurt School initially opposed the culture industry, which they thought ‘commodified’ culture. Then, they started to listen to Walter Benjamin, a close friend of Horkheimer and Adorno, who argued that cultural Marxism could make powerful use of tools like radio, film and later television to psychologically condition the public. Benjamin’s view prevailed, and Horkheimer and Adorno spent the World War II years in Hollywood. It is no accident that the entertainment industry is now cultural Marxism’s most powerful weapon….”

“…But hell had not forgotten the United States. Herbert Marcuse remained here, and he set about translating the very difficult academic writings of other members of the Frankfurt School into simpler terms Americans could easily grasp. His book, Eros and Civilization, used the Frankfurt School’s crossing of Marx with Freud to argue that if we would only ‘liberate non-procreative eros’ through ‘polymorphous perversity,’ we could create a new paradise where there would be only play and no work. Eros and Civilization became one of the main texts of the New Left in the 1960s.

“Marcuse also widened the Frankfurt School’s intellectual work. In the early 1930s, Horkheimer had left open the question of who would replace the working class as the agent of Marxist revolution. In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question, saying it would be a coalition of students, blacks, feminist women and homosexuals – the core of the student rebellion of the 1960s, and the sacred ‘victims groups’ of political correctness today. Marcuse further took one of political correctness’s favorite words, ‘tolerance,’ and gave it a new meaning. He defined ‘liberating tolerance’ as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the left, and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the right. When you hear the cultural Marxists today call for ‘tolerance,’ they mean Marcuse’s ‘liberating tolerance’ (just as when they call for ‘diversity,’ they mean uniformity of belief in their ideology).”

Want to know more? For a full examination of how community organizers and their academic minions have shifted the balance, read William Lind’s Who Stole Our Culture?

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https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/leigh-verrill-rhys-guest-fox-redux

Many thanks to my friend, Jeff Salter, who has now written fourteen books since we last had an encounter of the blog kind.

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Humor-Social Commentary/Contemporary

As you’ve probably guessed, Linton Robinson is one of my favorite go-to authors for humor, particularly male humor. Call me whatever you like but Lin’s humor makes me laugh. It’s ironic, twisted, often self-deprecating and always ROFL funny. My favorite line is “Have they ruled out suicide?” (You’ll have to read Sweet Spot to get that one.)

This week I’m featuring The Way of the Weekend Warrior, a sardonic look at the world of the wayward journalist, gone rogue and a whole lot of other things.

I am enthralled by Lin’s humor, caustic wit, sarcasm, insights and social commentary. He sees the world for what it is, full of people who have no business pretending they are anything other than—well, you be the judge. But remember, we’re in the same boat.

The Way of the Weekend Warrior is available on Amazon, in Kindle or Paperback.

 

 

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Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance
Size Matters, By J. L. Salter
 
Size does matter, when you’re only a foot tall.
  
Concept:
Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin, Emma Hobby shrinks to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those unsettling messages he left). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than her case? 
 
Blurb:
Emma Hobby mistakenly takes a pill from a bottle mailed her by her eccentric/brilliant cousin — and it reduces her to eleven inches tall. Now she’s eye to eye with the Cyndi dolls she lovingly collects and sells in her shop.
Nobody – not even her best friend – believes her, so Emma takes another pill to see if it happens again. It DOES! This time she has a witness (Vickilee), who records things as they happen… and establishes a partial timetable.
Now that she thinks she knows what happens and when, can Emma use these pills somehow to help rescue her cousin, who left those unsettling messages? And will that handsome attorney she’s almost dating help her efforts? Or will Logan Stride just get in her way?
 Size Matters. Novel, $1.99. Size Matters

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Those of you who’ve been following EverWriting for a while may remember my blogs about growing and nurturing a pomegranate plant which I related to the process of writing Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls.

I’m back at it.

I actually had not eaten a pomegranate for years and years! When I was a girl, my first taste of this wonderful fruit (some believe to be the original ‘forbidden fruit’ of the Garden of Eden variety) gave me hives! As the ruby fruit was the only oddity in our daily composition at the time, pomegranate got the blame. I stayed away until I was well into adulthood.

My next encounter was after I had three children with no untoward results at all. Since I had already had good luck with growing apple trees from seeds germinated from the Braeburn variety and oaks from acorns my children had gathered at school, I threw some pomegranate seeds in potting soil and behold, I was the proud horticulturalist of a plant usually only grown in mediterranean climes.

This year, I bought and ate my first pomegranate after another long long dry spell and, though Iimage of pomegranate seedling have only a balcony and a few potted plants, I attempted to repeat my previous effort. As far as I know my first pomegranate is still growing in my daughter-in-law’s care but having one of my own again felt right. I have a number of lemon bushes from seed and a pomegranate was a natural step.

Of the twenty or so seeds I planted, three sprouted and one survived and the secondary leaves have sprouted.

In many ways, at least in my quirky mind, there are similarities between storycraft and horticulture/gardening. If we think of an idea for a story, we often think of it as a seed. We nurture the idea/seed with effort in the way of research in the process of germinating the story, as the seedling has germinated from its pod and thrown out roots below and first leaves above. Those first leaves and roots provide the nourishment to grow in the same way our stories grow from experience (roots) and imagine (leaves).

My previous experience with pomegranates coincided with the writing and successful publishing my multicultural, interracial novel Salsa Dancing with Pterodactyls.

This tiny plant coincides with my first American history novel, Pavane for Miss Marcher, which examines the aftereffects of the American Civil War on those who fought, those left behind and process of healing the divisive wounds.

 

 

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Historical Inspirational

Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Cover Image Borrowed LightThis book was among seven nominated for the RWA’s Rita Award in 2012. I’m including Borrowed Light in my featured books because I so often recall characters and scenes from the book.  For instance, Paul Otto, the hero of the story, is the son of a settler’s orphaned daughter and a warrior of the tribe that rescues her. Julia Darling, the heroine, is a graduate of  Fannie Farmer’s Cooking School. Mr. Otto, as he is known throughout the book, is a Wyoming rancher in need of a good cook for his cowboys.

Another character in the book is inanimate and, though I am not a cook, fascinated me as much as the four ranch hands: the Queen Atlantic stove which attracts Julia to the isolated ranch in the first place. Drawing Mr. Otto and Julia together is their shared faith. Kelly does justice to her own faith, the Church of Latter Day Saints, with clarity and simplicity for non-LDS readers.

Borrowed Light is published by Bonneville Books (cedarfort.com).

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