Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Predatory Television Production

Having supplies at home for unexpected storms and emergencies is simply good common sense.

  As most of you know, one of my books is called Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness, and therefore I have some interaction with those who believe in reasonable efforts to be prepared for both forseeable and less likely emergencies.   Over the last few years with the advent and fad of "Reality" Television, a number of television producers have contacted both individuals I know who are interested in preparedness and survivalism and groups where I am either a member or a moderator.  As a rule, television producers are not interested in getting the reasonable view of preparedness. They have no interest in those who are reasonable in their efforts and who are putting away some supplies for winter just as their grandparents did.  All of the producers with whom I have had contact were interested in what I call the lunatic fringe, which exists in any group, from soccer moms, to horsewomen.  Producers would like to hold people up as extreme or thought disordered, for entertainment purposes. The producers always start that they would like to "educate the public concerning preparedness", but from experience, this is never what they do. They are only interested in the exploitation of the few frightened individuals who might have diverted too much, in terms of their assets to preparedness supplies.This does absolutely the opposite of educating the public concerning preparedness issues.  This week, we turned the umpteenth television producer away from one of the groups where I moderate.  If she wishes to learn about preparedness, she can read my book.  Actually, it's good advice for anyone.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

While Clutching a Hot Lemon


   This weekend, there is a Disaster Preparedness gathering for families in our state. Since one of my books is entitled Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness, I was supposed to attend and answer questions on different aspects of family preparedness.  I was looking forward to it.  I don't have a lot of books to autograph and sell, but it might prompt people to get on, where they can buy the book most cheaply anyway, and it will help people.  In addition, any networking at all is a positive thing from a standpoint of selling books, or being a part of other promotional activities in the future.
              Unfortunately, despite the flu shot I got this year, I am down with a terrible flu.   It's the same one that felled our son at college, who brought it home at about the same time my husband did.  Everyone had it, and I was bragging at how the flu shot had apparently protected me from it, when the first signs of a scratchy throat began.  The doctor says there is nothing she can do, and that it falls squarely "under the viral umbrella". They say that influenza gathers strength from each person it afflicts, and from my standpoint, this seems to be true.  So, rather than talking non-stop this weekend about first aid kits, sheltering-in-place versus family evacuation, document evacuation bags, special needs evacuations etc. I will be home drinking hot lemon.  Best regards to all of you who are home doing the same.

I skip the salt, it doesn't need it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Writers, Perhaps

Can anyone get me a dishtowel like this ?    (Picture: )

  I know some writers who have several projects under way at any one time. They are always in process with one book or another. One is being written, one is being completed, one is headed to the bookstore shelves, and one from last year is generating a royalty check which is being sent electronically to their account.  I am definitely not there yet.  I have two books on the shelves, and each week, I search both on the internet and found that the international distributor has them in more and more places around the world.  This week I heard that at least one of them is in Poland. I have not yet heard whether one or both are in Russia.   I have ideas for a number of other books.  The next one will require quite a bit of outlining and some research. It is not likely to be a rapidly created project or one which is marketed quickly.  Meanwhile, I flounder just a little in the process of promoting books.
            Please let me know if you found one of my books in a nation far away.  I am absolutely thrilled that you are reading it. It was, after all, written for you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fodder for Depression

This is our daughter's pond. There has been so much rain, interspersed with snow, at both of our houses that her pond looks muddy. Can't imagine the blue heron returning to it at this point.
 (Photo: Krehb Fotographie,    Copyright 2013  All Rights Reserved)
    I realize now that I don't like Winter very much, and that February might be my least favorite month.  It's cold, even in Virginia, and this makes it tough to take care of the animals on the farm, and it's tough on those of us who do.  My husband has been doing most of it because I have been bothered by a lot of asthma this year. My poor husband is recovering from a cold or mild flu, but still has to keep going in energizer bunny fashion.  We received the electricity bill the other day, and the shock which came in it almost caused an atrial arrhythmia.
            I am still pushing the books as is the publisher, but the process is decidedly less exciting than it was initially.  The news is full of things both shameful and ominous.  Someone in government thought it advisable to stop providing breakfast to our deployed troops, and then said that this was natural in view of a drawdown.  The fact is that some are coming home, and others are being deployed for long assignments, and that the newly deployed will not have breakfast either. It says something about a formerly great nation when they decide to cut breakfast for the deployed military.   These days, it looks as if the mission is to gut the US military itself. There is no shortage of stories of injustice, oppression, and tyranny around the world, and here in the US.
            The fact is, that while we are here, we must continue moving forward. We must continue writing, speaking and awaiting Spring. In this life, good things and good people exist and live right next door to bad people and bad things, and this is true many times.  I think I saw a crocus trying to push up through the frozen mud yesterday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Focus of Writing

This isn't my office, but mine isn't any neater, and sometimes, it's worse.

   A friend of mine is in the process of turning a successful internet serial of hers into a book.  She is frustrated because the initial writing is interesting and exciting, but the process of turning it into a book, is not.  I tried to be encouraging, and to tell her that it is satisfying to finally see your work in the form of a book and to see it or know it's for sale in many places across the globe. However, I would be lying if I said it were exciting work.  Writing can be lonely.  It is a solitary endeavor which requires some episodic isolation, the right mindset, and in my case seems to require the deterioration of the interior of my house !  When I begin writing for a particular project, even though I might not have a publisher generated deadline, I have a flexible deadline for the project myself.  This sometimes causes me to develop a singular focus on such a project, and I begin to put off almost everything at home, except perhaps for paying bills and animal care.  I am still catching up in home reorganization etc. following the release of my first two books late last year.   I encouraged my friend.  Take a day off, I implored.  Write the same time each day and then put it aside, I told her.  I think she will find her way.