Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Is the World Slipping Into Lunacy?

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Is the World Slipping Into Lunacy?

In The BC Province newspaper on Sunday August 5th I came across a news article that made me realize the world is truly messed up. The writer stated that “A poisoned supply of street drugs continues to kill our loved ones and devastate families across our city. Lives are on the line---people need access to safe prescription drugs rather than being forced to turn to the deadly drugs from organized crime on our streets.”
First of all prescription drugs are legal, from your doctor. People aren’t forced to buy dangerous drugs, they choose to do it (I’ll explain in the next paragraph). Did it not occur to the writer that supplying drugs, legal or not is against the law, unless you are a qualified doctor. Who is supposed to pay for these safe drugs? We the taxpayers? My wife had to use the ambulance this last year when she had a brain injury. Guess what I had to pay for those trips, do you think the druggies are getting bills for their rescues?
So as a writer, in some of the research I’ve done and the people I've talked to, I’ve found this out. Whenever a drug dealer is discovered to have dangerous elements in his drugs, Fentanyl or Carfentanil (which is even stronger), the police tell me that he is swamped with buyers. They want the better high, that is why the dealers make the stuff.
Also the government is supplying Naloxone kits, which if you overdose it will bring you back to life. So guess what is the newest craze, Yo-Yoing. One person OD’s and his buddy hits them with the Naloxone in order to bring them back to life. Why, can’t get a better high they say than Flatlining.
Free drugs? What’s next? If I was a alcoholic or a smoker and ran out, can I go to the government and ask them for free booze and cigarettes? Cause if they gave it to me, I’d only want more and more. Same with a large amount of drug takers.
So more than likely if you supply some of these people with safe drugs, they’ll find a way to sell them or spike them with something stronger. It’s the high they are after, ask them, I did. For some nothing else matters.
Not all, I sympathize with the families on this. So don’t get me wrong I feel deeply for the victims, which is the families, the parents that are left to suffer over a death of their loved ones. That is the bigger part of the horror of drug overdozing. These people care little about themselves and less for the ones that love them, like people that commit suicide, only this is a slower form.
What we need to do is start treating these people and asking why they make the choice to do drugs. Yes, Choice.
I choose to smoke and drink, and work. These people make the choice to take drugs. So you need to get in their heads and find out why. Simply enabling them to do more drugs safely isn’t the answer. Because if it was all of our Quote “safe drug sites” would be helping, but they are NOT as the number of OD’s continues to climb far higher after our province began to have safe injection sites and needles. We are simply enabling them and watching our loved ones die. That is compassion in reverse.
I think we should be doing the opposite, send the ones that are rushed to hospital into clinics, lock them up, clean them up and find out why they are doing what they are doing. After two or more trips, lock them up with severe prison times. Give drug dealers very severe charges, minimum twenty or more years in jail and longer after the first charge. Make anyone caught taking drugs take testing before they can get Welfare. In our province the bulk of OD’s happen on Welfare Wednesdays.
I’ve talked to several paramedics and ambulance people. They are getting very tired of trying to save someone’s life, only to go back the same day and do it again. And again.
The title of that article was, “It takes Moral and political Courage”. I think it takes more courage to take a firm and severe hardline in attacking this problem. Don’t believe me, research the countries that have severe penalties, they don’t have the craziness on our streets like we have and what we are doing is only getting worse every year. Look at the stats people that’s all you need to see and begin to protest to the government for a hard ball line on drugs.
What you need to do is empower these people. In Fort Worth, Texas they now hire street people and pay them to clean the streets, they also give them housing. The results? The street people are grateful and do a much better job than the paid city employees. It is obvious they take pride in their work.
 Make the drug people realize that they have control of their lives and everything they is a matter of choice. Make them accountable for their actions and if they break the law, put them in jail. It happens to the rest of us breaking the law.
I truly am starting to believe by being compassionate, I was in favor of the safe injection sites at one time. Not now, I believe we are simply enabling more to overdose. Check the facts, you’ll see.
And my dearest sympathy to those that lost someone to an overdose. My heart goes out to you.

Frank Talaber

Here's the link to my newest Video, Thunderbird's Wake

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My webpage

Frank Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues).
PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Or as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps. (My facebook short story page)

Twitter: @FrankTalaber

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Monday, August 20, 2018

I Did Something Stupid by J.Q. Rose

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Mystery, paranormal
Click here to find mysteries by JQ Rose at BWL Publishing

Hello and welcome to the Books We Love Insiders blog. My name is J.Q. Rose and today I am confessing to doing something "stoopid" (stupid). I'm embarrassed to tell you. But I'll it share with you in the hope you will learn the lesson along with me. My piano teacher always told me it's okay to make a mistake, (like hitting the wrong key on the piano), but it's really a mistake to do the same thing over and over again. I hope I've learned my lesson and I will not repeat this blunder again.

<Taking a deep breath.> 
Last summer I focused on getting my book manuscript for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard ready for my publisher, BWL Publishing. Needless to say, I spent countless hours on the novel writing, re-writing, and editing.

I worked hard on it and saved the entire manuscript file to my laptop, feeling very good about how I tied up the loose ends of the story. The next morning, I opened my laptop only to find I could not sign in to the old computer. I entered my password for this computer three times, but my programs didn't open. I shut it down, then tried again. Shut it down. Tried again. I couldn't believe the crazy thing wouldn't open. I remembered I had received several notices for an update and I had postponed them for the last couple of days, so last night I allowed the program to update.

Evidently, during the download, some glitch messed up the opening user program. No, I didn't know that, but that's what my brilliant computer geek guy, Luke, surmised when I dropped off the laptop to see if he could fix it. He told me sometimes this problem is a symptom of a hard drive crash. The hard drive is the place where EVERYTHING is stored.
J.Q.Rose cartoon designed by Miss Mae
I gasped for breath knowing I hadn't backed up all of my files to another storage device for months. I hadn't saved a story I had worked on all summer? Well, not completely. I had a few chapters in Dropbox and on a flash drive, but they had all been revised in the recent months.

I left the laptop at his shop. My mind whirled with the possibilities of losing the entire manuscript. Dread swamped me when I thought about losing all the files for my published books and scribblings of other books and stories. Then the reality of losing all my photos hit me. I never back them up. Heat flashes took over my brain and it wasn't because it was 90 degrees outside. Worry. Worry that I would lose everything. I honestly thought my writing days were over. I couldn't sleep that night.

Later the next morning, my hubby Gardener Ted stopped at Luke's shop to check on the computer. He came bursting in the back door and announced. "Luke thinks he can get the files back!" 

I shouted "hooray" and did a happy dance right there in the middle of the kitchen at that news. Sure enough, the next day, when I picked up the laptop, Luke told me he had restored all the files. 

I feared to ask him how much I owed him. He said, "$35." What? Only $35.00? I could have given him a big hug and a kiss. (No, I didn't. I didn't want to embarrass him.) I practically skipped out of his shop with my darling laptop.

You can be sure my hubby Ted and I dug out our external storage drive and backed up ALL of our files on both laptops that same afternoon.

I think I'm doing well when I remember to hit save while working on a document. But I need to go to the next step and back up the document to another storage method. 

Easy to save files to a flash drive/thumb drive.

It's so easy to pop in a flash drive (thumb drive), save it to Dropbox, email it to myself. So many ways to keep a copy. Learn from my carelessness. Save your stuff!

Do you save your files and pictures to another storage area other than your computer hard drive? Have you lost files forever? 

Please leave a comment below and let us know. Thank you.

Mystery author J.Q. Rose
About J.Q.
When J.Q.  isn’t writing, she enjoys photography, playing Pegs and Jokers board games, and traveling with her husband. They spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Day 2 of Amazon Adventures: Museums, Manatees and Misery by Stuart R. West

Click here to read about the "wilds" of Kansas City!
Hola, fellow explorers! Herein resides more adventures in the heart of the Amazon River and Iquitos, Peru! I can't wait to get writing books set there...quite a stretch from my usual stomping grounds of Kansas.

Our second night, "Jungle Momma (the group coordinator)" told us to get lots of sleep because the next day would be jam-packed. I scoffed, nothing to it. Hey, I lived through a heart-pounding motokar city-wide trek!

Dumb. I'm soooo dumb. So very, very, very city-dumb.
I showed up in shorts. Jungle Momma chastised me, said "Nope. No. No way. You need two shirts, a long-sleeved shirt over a short-sleeved shirt. And long pants."

Grousing, dragging, I hauled myself upstairs and changed, wondering what the big deal was. I mean, it was a thousand degrees out and humid as Satan's sauna. Oh, what a naive, spoiled American I am!

First stop! The Belen market. The market is huge, supplying all of the food and goods for the entire city of Iquitos, population around 371,000 (plus ignorant tourists such as myself). 

But something didn't seem quite right. On the bus, there were two guards: one, a man strangely named "Clever" and a guy whose name I never caught. Clever warned us to watch our pockets, wallets, purses, and leave all but our necessities on the bus.

Hmm... Odd.

Ye gads, talk about overwhelming. More fish on display than an ocean could house, I wondered about the sanitation of it all. Clearly I needed to get over my Western way of thinking. Dogs and cats meandered about nonchalantly, inches away from food. Dead mice lay gutted at the foot of chicken corpses. Strange men mosied up, smiled, performed a kinda one-armed chicken dance. Ghastly things lay splayed out on merchant tables. Giant turtles were cut open with their eggs on display. Alligator heads and tails decorated tables.
 Thumb-sized larva and grubs ("Suri") wriggled about in baskets before being skewered and cooked. Like that annoying kid in eighth grade science class, I held one, showed it to the females until they "ewwwed." To get the full effect, I was willing to eat one until Jungle Momma shut me down.
Our guards stayed attached to us and I'm pretty dang glad they did. At the end of an hour-and-a-half, claustrophobia  set in. I couldn't move. An unwelcome realization dawned over me with the sledgehammer inevitability of a "duh" moment: "Hey, I think the locals might realize I'm a tourist." Not only am I the whitest guy in Kansas, but my Hawaiian shirt and camera were probably a giveaway.

Sweat began to percolate as we boarded the bus (air conditioning!). I thought I knew sweat. Turned out I hadn't even mounted the sweaty trail.

Up next was a visit to a medicinal herbal garden. (Our group was composed primarily of pharmacists, so it was kinda a big deal for them. Which made me arm candy, I suppose. Maybe more like an arm grub). But, I thought, "This will be a nice pleasant five minute stroll. We'll just drive up, park, get out, "ooh" and "ahh" over some plants, get back on the bus, and bask in air conditioning." Oh, naivete, your name is Stuart.
My wife grabs her purse, thrusts it at me to stuff into my backpack. (Embarrassing disclaimer: I've never worn a back-pack before. Back in my day {pay attention, whippersnappers!}, we carried our books.) Suddenly, Jungle Momma is tucking her pant legs into her socks. (The hell...?) Bug spray is lacquered on. Sun hats are strapped on. Shirt sleeves rolled down, buttoned, and double-checked. (Uh-oh...)

Just off the bus and already sweating, I follow the others' precautionary efforts. I don't really understand what all the fuss is for over a simple stroll through a garden. Right? RIGHT?
 That "simple stroll" turned into a three hour tour (worse than Gilligan's nightmares) through the jungle. And I'm wearing double shirts, long pants, and carrying my wife's forty pound purse (clearly she packed her bowling ball collection) in my backpack. Naturally, every intrepid explorer carries purses into the jungle.

On the left, my beautiful wife. I'm the guy wearing mustard so the anacondas can see me better.
We climbed up trails, slalomed down them, slipped through mud, dodged branches, the whole nine yards. I thought we'd never reach civilization again. I also thought a daily five miles of treadmill walking had prepared me for strenuous hiking. Such is the life of city sissies. Jumpin' Jehosophat, by the end of the tour--and with my "moobs"--I looked like I'd been hosed down for a wet t-shirt contest.

Tired travelers, weary pharmacists, and soaking wet big dumb guys in mustard.
Back on the bus, I sucked down a bottle of water and juice in seconds, dehydrated as a shrunken head. But relief was on the way as the next visit turned out to be a relatively low-key visit to a nature habitat dedicated to saving animals on the brink of extinction (due to hunting, eating, other "civilized" products) such as manatees, turtles (of which we saw the grotesque end result earlier), monkeys (monkey-head soup's big), and others. Great cause. Still, it's outside. And once I broke my sweat-seal, I never stopped draining. In fact, between the three men on the trip, we had a bit of a sweating competition. Hands down, I won, glad to know I'm good at something.
A tour of two museums followed. First up was the Museum of Indigenous Amazonian Cultures. Amazingly, there are still 200 tribes in the jungle who flat-out refuse to "civilize." The not so amazing reason is due to white man unleashing a lotta diseases and vile behavior on the indigenous in the past. Honestly, after seeing some of the lifestyles in Iquitos (and boorish American behavior), I kinda think the tribes made the right decision. 
Our final stop proved to be the most grueling one yet, the Boat Museum. While fascinating, the displays and tour took place on a boat. In closed, non-air-conditioned rooms. During the hottest part of the day. Give me the jungle heat any day. Now I know why they're called steamboats.
Finished! Back in the room, my shower was perhaps the finest I'd taken in my life, definitely in the pantheon of Top Three Showers ever.

On the next blog post, we travel down the Amazon River to...Monkey Island!

Speaking of traveling, you guys ever been to Kansas? No. What're you waiting for? Kansas is a nice, exotic, wonderful, getaway of a vacation for... Ah, who am I kidding? Kansas is downright goofy. But don't take my word for it. Click here to read about some of its inhabitants.
A rollicking, good-natured mystery comedy.

Friday, August 17, 2018

What to Do When Research Hands You a Curve Ball, by Janet Lane Walters

Visit Janet on her BWL Author Page to Purchase any of her books from your favorite Online Bookstores.

 Egypt has always fascinated me and I have many reference books on my shelf. One period of the ancient land has always fascinated me and I wanted to write a time travel, taking someone from today back to the time when there were many men wanting to become Pharaoh. I also liked the idea of the Hyksos invasion. 

So I began my research, finding everything I could think of from customs, burial, daily life, the gods and goddesses. I had enough to begin and so I did

I had just finished the rough, rough draft when I was idly flipping channels on the television when I program about camels came on. Since there were camels in my story, I settled in to watch. Something jumped out at me. There were no camels in Egypt until around one AD. No! Now what was I to do? I couldn’t write this book the way I had planned. I needed an alternate universe. I had read a series on an alternate world taking place in Italy with the Pope and if I remember Venice. This is what I would do. To make my world an alternate one I had to change much. So the first book changed as did the hero and heroine. I also changed the gods, not really, just a bit giving three main ones Horu (Horus) Bast and Toth. And so the trilogy of an alternate Egypt was born. All because there were no camels in Egypt when I wanted them to be there.


Is the World Slipping Into Lunacy?

To Purchase From Amazon Is the World Slipping Into Lunacy? In The BC Province newspaper on Sunday August 5 th  I ...