Friday, May 11, 2007

Michael Moore is at it again. Of course that should come as no surprise to anyone. Was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that this mockumentary film maker would ever pass up a chance to thumb his nose at America and Americans?
He has managed to poke fun at this country in general and the current administration in particular for years now, from his movie blasting the auto industry in Flint,Michigan, "Roger and Me" to the ridiculous 'Bowling for Columbine" to his nonsense in "Fahrenheit 911" and now "Sicko".
I've seen them all, though why is still a mystery to me.
To give him props, he pretty much hit the nail on the head in all instances, BUT, my question to Mr. Moore is, "Why wait until this administration to start his campaign against America?"
Near as I can tell, "W" wasn't in office when the auto industry went belly up. And The Republicans weren't in charge when the USS Cole was bombed or the American Embassy in Lebanon. And why are the Democratic leaders past and present exempt from the health care issues of Moore's current film, "Sicko".
This country NOT having a health care system in place is not a partisan issue, or it shouldn't be. But, people like Moore strive to make it one, and the sheep of this country blindly follow his lead, howling for the head of the Republican leader.
While Mr. Moore's attempt to bring attention to our failed health care system is laudable, why did he wait until now to bring it to light? Just exactly on who's payroll is Moore?
And, how does this man get to thumb his nose at the laws of this country, (laws by the way that "W" did NOT put into place), and take rescue personnel to Cuba?
Do you think we are stupid Mr. Moore? Do you think that the average American is too ignorant to understand the lack of health care in this country? Trust me, we're not.
We certainly don't need someone like you to bring this to our attention. Millions of us face that truth every time we need a doctor, and have for generations. Your film isn't telling us anything we don't already know.
What it is telling us, by virtue of the timing of this newest slap in the face of America is that you, sir are a partisan buffoon who's only goal is to make certain your party gets in the White House this time around.
Okay, so you win, and more than likely the Liberal Democrats will once again rule the roost. So then does that mean that America will have a National Health Care System in place by 2010? Does that mean that the next president will not be out and about doing his or God forbid, her own thing? Does that mean we will at long last have that chicken in every pot; at least those of us who can afford the pot?
Why don't you put your energies toward actually making a difference in this country instead of stirring up the radicals who won't be happy until we are as oppressed as some of the third world nations people like Bono and Oprah are trying to help.
Use your influence on the "Me" generation to actually make a difference instead of creating even more conflict.
And, try to get this picture in your tunnel vision mind, be grateful that you can actually slip off to Cuba and continue to make these 'films' of yours, BECAUSE you are an American, not in spite of it.
And last but far from least, no matter how much rhetoric you spew, no matter how vehement your diatribe against America is, you, by virtue of being an American have just as big a target on your back as the rest of us. Your anger, your tirades, your protests to the contrary don't change a thing. Those who hate us will not make a distinction between you and I and they certainly won't make an exception to hating you simply because you are a dissident.
What I really find amusing is the fact that you fancy yourself a rebel. Rest assured Mr. Moore, you are far form the first and you certainly won't be the last. Fame is fleeting, enjoy your fifteen minutes.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We're finally down to the final four. So, let's start with Blake. I am not at all sure I want Blake to win this year. I don't care at all for the beat boxing or whatever it's called that he does . Why can't he just sing the dang songs and let it go at that. Some of his song choices would have been great had he not inserted that silliness of his. Still, the boy does have a good voice, but, it isn't anywhere near as strong and vibrant as it needs to be to win this competition. SO, for me, I 'm not voting for Blake.

Next we have Melinda. As usual, a strong performance, a great voice, but little stage presnece. Melinda has taken humble to a whole new level in this compoetition. If she wants to be a star, she needs to develope that star persona, or at least the illusion of it.
I think Simon is right on about her, his continued admonishments to accept that she has 'it' and run with it keep falling on deaf ears. After every performance, she stands there with this "Please I did good? question in her eyes. We all know she did good, now I'm beginning to wonder if this is all an act. Get with the program Melinda. it takes a lot more than a great set of pipes to win American Idol. You need charisma as well, and right now, you don't have it.

Then we have Lakesha. She is doing so good! This girl has come into her own in this competition. She has a great voice, has managed to build her stage presence to the point that I can actually see her as a star.
I hope she doesn't trade on her single motherhood to win, because that's already been done, by Fantasia. I didn't care for her, still don't. Lakesha has a great personality, and she seems to have a good time performing. I think stardom is definitely in Lakesha's future, and she can tell her boss at the bank that she is resigning, cause stars don't work in banks!!

And finally, we have little Jordin! OMG! That little girl can sing! She is far and above the rest of the idols in stage presence, and just star quality. I've watched Jordin closely during this season and she is going to be in the top two, if America has any taste whatsoever. Of course we are talking about America here, and as an American, I am not blind to the fact that insofar as taste and culture go, we rank somewhere slightly above an earthworm, but one can only hope that good sense will prevail and Jordin will win.
After Phil was booted last week, all of my attention has been diverted to Jordin.

Of course at this point, if you're a fan of the show, you have gotten attached to all of the remaining contestants, so you have to be rooting for everyone of them, just do me a favor and vote for Jordin, okay?

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I got an email this morning from a friend that got me to thinking. Apparently, as the email goes, a new author dropped by her local book retailer and asked if she could set up a book signing. Since she was local, the clerk at the store was pretty excited and told her that she would take the matter up with the store's manager and see when they could set up the singing.
A couple of days later the writer called and asked about the date and was told that there would be no signing. Apparently,the store manger decided that since the author was an unknown it would be pointless to set up a signing because no one would buy the book.
I find that to be not only extremely discouraging to new authors, but completely out of line by the book retail industry.
Now, I know as well as anybody that like every other industry in this country, book retailers are driven by the bottom line, but when does one draw a line under that bottom line?
How does a writer become 'known' if no one knows they exist? If the author is willing to supply the books for the signing and offer a percentage of the sales to the store for hosting the singing, how does the book store lose? They don't. They can't. They're not out any money, and no one is going to blame them if the signing doesn't go well, so why not give that local author a boost?
Any one who has ever written a book knows full well that word of mouth is the single best way to get their names out there. If no one knows you, how can they buy your book? And how can you gain recognition unless you put your name and your book in the public?
I was very upset when I read that email this morning. Not everyone who writes is well known. A great many writers might never become household names, but they'll never know if they don't get their name out there.
Most writers have by necessity grown that much needed thick skin, so being told "no" is nothing new to them. But, not even given the opportunity to try should not be allowed.
Okay, so Joe Blow owns Joe's Books, so what? Is letting that local author try to sell a few copies of his/her book going to cost Joe anything? Nope, not a red cent.
All we, as writers are asking for is a little cooperation. We don't want you to sell the book for us, we can pretty much handle that on our own, but at least have the decency to give us a couple of hours to try.
And you never know, you just might be the catalyst that launches a new star in the publishing industry.
And that is well worth that couple of hours exposure, right?

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Monday, May 07, 2007

I thought perhaps I should post an excerpt or two from "Dark Ridge" on here so folks could get some idea of what the book is all about.
Some days, like so many authors, I'm sure, I feel like pulling the book from my publisher and just chucking the whole thing.
I was extremely proud of "Dark Ridge" when I finished it, but now, well, I'm just not so sure anymore.
I still strongly believe in the books potential. Someone told me that an authors first five, or was it ten books, were just practice and I am beginning to believe it. I do know that the more I wrote, the more I seem to grow as a writer.
I can tell a world of difference between my first book, "What the Heart Wants" and my second, "Dark Ridge", and even more in the third one I began shortly after "Dark Ridge" was completed.
Still, all in all I think that an authors success these days depends far more on being in the right place at the right time than the actual book.
Some of the so called best sellers I have read have astounded me. Not that they were that good, but how they ever made it on that coveted Best Sellers list to being with.
Apparently, I'm just not living right!
So, unwilling or perhaps, simply unable to give up, I keep plugging away, in the hopes that one day I will hit upon that magic right time, right place prescription that apparently defines success in this business.
So, below, is an excerpt from "Dark Ridge". Perhaps it will be sufficient to entice people enough to want to buy the book.

Harlan was having a bad night. He couldn’t get his Christmas lights to work properly, his eggnog was spoiled, Mary was giving him sass, and Molly refused to come out of her room. He had considered dragging Molly out by the hair of her head, but Mary had pleaded with him to leave her be,so he had slapped her around instead. It gave him a small measure of comfort,but the damned lights still wouldn’t work. Snarling in frustration, he threw the lights down and tossed back a beer. Belching loudly, he plopped down in his chair, and stared morosely into the fire.
Harlan actually hated Christmas. It was the time of year when his Mother had abandoned him up on Dark Ridge and the time when she had died,leaving him to care for his younger brother Pete.
It should have been Mavis’ job to raise Pete, she was after all the oldest,
but she had run off to Nashville, and no one knew where she was.
He could have left Pete to be raised by Granny Ketchum, but he didn’t want his baby brother raised up with any of those trashy Ridgers. So, he had taken Pete and raised him for the next ten years.
When Pete turned eighteen, he moved in with Bobby Purdy, claiming that Mary made him feel unwelcome in her home. This netted Mary a severe beating, but it changed nothing.
Pete was supposed to come to Harlan’s tonight and help him with the
tree, but so far he hadn’t shown, and this only added to Harlan’s frustration.
He was about to tackle the lights again when a knock sounded on front
door. Mary jumped up to open it and Harlan glared her down. She sat back
on the sofa, and picked up her knitting.
The last person Harlan expected to see at his front door was Amos Quimby.
“What the hell do you want, Quimby?” he snarled, “It’s Christmas
Amos took his hat off and held it in front of him. “Harlan, I need to talk
to you,” he began in a halting voice.
“If it’s about Lonnie Patterson, forget it. I got nothing to say.” Harlan
stuck his chin out belligerently.
Amos wanted nothing more than to ram his fist against it, but he resisted
the urge. “Can I come in, Harlan?” he asked, “It ain’t about Lonnie.”
Harlan stepped aside with an exaggerated sigh of disgust, and Amos
entered the room. He nodded to Mary, who was looking at him curiously.
“Mary,” he said.
“Amos.” She got to her feet, and stood watching her husband and the
Amos turned to Harlan, “I think you better sit down, Harlan,” he began.
“What the hell do you want, Quimby?” Harlan said, picking up his
Amos took a deep breath. “There was an accident out on the valley road
tonight. Car hit a patch of ice and slammed into a tree.”
“So, what the hell has that got to do with me,” Harlan asked, taking a
sip of his beer.
“Bobby Purdy was driving the car, Harlan,” Amos replied softly, “and
Pete was with him. They’re both dead.”
Harlan’s face drained of color and he sat down hard, staring at Amos.
“I’m sorry, Harlan,” Amos said simply.
Mary stood and looked from her husband to Amos and back again. Harlan’s eyes were closed; his face etched in pain. She said nothing.
Amos stood quietly letting the news sink in; the crackling of the fire the
only sound in the room.
Finally, Harlan opened his eyes. They were filled with sorrow. He got
unsteadily to his feet, and walked from the room without a word.
“Tell Harlan that I had Pete’s body took to the funeral home. He needs
to go down there and identify the body.” Amos told Mary.
She nodded mutely, and he turned to leave.
“Is he really dead?” The voice belonged to Molly who was standing in
the hall, in her pajamas.
Amos nodded, “I’m afraid so,” he said.
“Good,” Molly whispered fiercely, then turned on her heel and walked
Amos stood staring after her.
“She don’t mean nothing by that,” Mary said, looking at Amos.
“You sure?” Amos tried to hold Mary’s eyes, but she looked away. “Tell
Harlan I’m sorry,” he said, then turned and walked to the front door.
“Amos, wait.” Mary’s whispered words drew him up and he turned back
to face her. She reached out and lightly brushed his arm with her hand, her
fingers trembling. “Amos, there’s something you need to know about . . .”
“About what?” Harlan was standing in the doorway, swaying slightly
and Mary jerked her hand away from Amos, her eyes round with fear.
“What does he need to know, Mary?” Harlan’s eyes narrowed and Amos
saw Mary visibly shrink.
“Just that . . . nothing, there’s nothing, Harlan,” she stuttered.
Amos watched the two of them. He could feel Mary’s fear and Harlan’s
“Harlan, I’m sorry about your brother,” he said, trying to divert the other
man’s attention away from Mary.
“Save it, Quimby. If you don’t mind I’d like some time with my brother.”
Harlan said, grabbing his coat off the hook by the door and pulling it on.
“You want me to drive you over to the funeral home?” Amos asked.
Harlan nodded once and without a word or glance to Mary, jerked open
the door and walked out.
Amos looked at Mary, and she shook her head. Nodding Amos followed
after Harlan.

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