1/26/21: The only books of mine that have sold in the last 2.5 months have been Bonanza novels. I know, not a good sign when they were the first written, with several after them. No one requesting anything from my author stock, either. I used to ship a lot of print by mail. It's been four years since I had a publisher contract, too, although I have turned several down. I will sign with no one who does not give me cover approval. For me, that's the only benefit to being SP - my own cover. Adam does great work with them. But trusting my instincts would have meant that Dinner at Marshall Field's would have been published in an unreadable edition. I really like what I'm doing to it now. Also, becuase I attended a memoir session online, I came up with the plan for my writing diary. I recognize where my success was, so that will be the main focus, with lots of "peculiar contradictions" thrown in. Well, don't we all make mistakes we don't notice at the time? That's what I'll be sharing - all kinds of tears and passion in those pages. Even, I realized this morning, what happened with the one date I had in high school. Had a crazy dream last night that I married Gary Hilbert. Of all people. (Only my BayPort class will get that reference.) Never stop trying to learn, that's the motto I'm sharing today. You are never too old.
Published a new blog on Paganism.
1/25/21: You got it. Done with football. Never meant to be a fan, and never became one until '89. Moving on. Today is my first 1- 7 shift, and I have to take a new bus route caused by the new Amazon in town. My bus route is now a simple clinic route, so I have to take a transfer, which means leaving an hour earlier than usual, at least this first time to see how it works. Very nervous about this. I know it's because I decided to sell two cars, including my VW Beetle convertible, because with neither of us working we didn't need two cars. I felt we could trade them both in on one new car and not pay anything, so that's what we did. Now I have a job, and am regretting it. Last year taking the bus, though, was pretty easy. Sigh. Now, of course, it includes wearing a mask the whole time. Well, here goes. Wish me luck.
1/24/21: I don't much exist today except for the hope of a Packer win! Because then it's on to the Super Bowl! And the way Aaron Rodgers has been playing, he deserves it. Oh, but I will take Holly Day along, because, you know, I don't sit still well, and sometimes like to hide. And I have to say my new exercise plan of a 6 minute run and 75 arm pumps is a good one. Working for 10/100.
1/23/21: They say writing your life's journey can be catharsis. I was getting some inspiration while reading about finding "The Way," the Tao, and wondering how that might be possible in my life, where I never found a home. So that's how my life's journey is about, and I call it "Life of Peculiar Contradictions." I'm not sure it'll help, but maybe I'll learn that home is wherever I am.
The problem is that I'm also learning the mistakes I've made cannot be undone. I'm at the point in my writing career where publishers don't even bother to say no to me anymore. They just don't respond, and that is the worst of all consequences. There still must be some place for me, somewhere, if not my novels, or my scripts, or my poetry, then what? I'm not hearing from anyone on my copper database. I offered to give it away to several national Indian organizations, and not a word back. Have I really wasted my life looking for home and still cannot find it?
1/22/21: A little disconcerting to learn that I still don't know how Medicare works. I was given a bum steer by an adviser this year, but it's because I wasn't on his initial list when I first signed on to UHC? I need to go back to those first advisers, I guess. So I'll just spend a year not worrying about my health. Maybe that'll work.
1/21/21: It has been disconcerting, to put it mildly, to hear all of trump supporters act like they just found out Biden won the election. How could Trump lead them on that way? Making it sound like the election was a fraud, to the point where they all believed their "god" was going to pull a last-minute coup? So now they're all doom and gloom and when you challenge them, that their god must have wanted Biden, they refuse to acknowledge it. I worry about this, because my own brother Bill is in their number, and he said if Biden gets in, that means the rapture is at hand. It's very scary talk, and one that as an enlightened people we should no longer hear from sane and rational people.
I understand disappointment. I had to live through two Bush terms and then see Trump given the presidency though Hillary had more votes. But to say that now our country is headed into darkness, or now we're going to be communist, is to allow yourself to continue to be fooled. If you can't believe in our Democracy, you don't belong in this country. And I hate to see that, especially in people who seem otherwise reasonable. But I guess it was just too hard to stay with trump for so long and remain reasonable. I hope Biden can work on unity - but it's not just him. It's the GOP, who have to be an enormous part of the burden of what trump has been doing to their supporters for the last four years. Shame on them, too.
1/20/21: There was a despised banker in Virginia City in 1872 who failed to get a Senate seat because the Territorial Enterprise wrote that he was feared, hated and despised. Before he ran again, he bought the newspaper. "With the support of the Territorial Enterprise instead of its opposition, Sharon promptly achieved his ambition to be United States Senator from Nevada. In addition to the price of the newspaper it was generally understood that he had spent another quarter million purchasing the suffrage of the enlightened electorate. According to the standards of the time, however, it was an honest election. Every man got paid for his vote, didn't he?" Lucius Beebe, "Comstock Commotion," 1953
I got a kick out of this, in respect to Trump calling fraud only in states where he lost. Think about it. If they had re-counted, and searched out fraud in EVERY state, how much more would trump have lost by? I still say, and always will, that the vote was not so much for party, but for those who were opposed to wearing masks, against those who were in favor of protecting others as well as themselves. Who did YOU vote for, and why? Prove me wrong.
I'm not used to letting people down. What a horrible feeling it is. That a meeting couldn't be held because I forgot to attend. I hate Zoom.
And now, to get my work done early AM so I can celebrate! I know why I voted Trump. To get rid of a wart on society.
1/19/21: Destined not to be an easy job this year. I guess I'm slowing down. Need to be more dedicated to my yoga, and shake off this laziness. I found a fun election quote I'm going to share tomorrow, from back in the 1870s.
1/18/21: Worst thing about getting old - opening jars and wine bottles! When you're too lazy to wash your hair, gel it! Sorry, best I can do today. Hungover from lazy yesterday. You can check out a blog I put up yesterday, some interesting reading there, and of course, go to my link page and download some free stuff.
1/17/21: A lazy day today. Some time to reflect. When people agree to read my WIP and then I don't hear from them, what am I to think? As ever, that it disappoints them. I noted when I printed Dinner at Marshall Field's, a final edit that wasn't supposed to have any more errors, and I am looking at it with a red pen finding them. I mean, I read every chapter twice, the second time aloud, and still there are errors. Such is novel writing, and this is the reason we don't want to self-publish, because we simply cannot catch all our errors ourselves. I don't think it's humanly possible. There are people who are fooled into believing their work is perfect, but then readers try to get through it. Yes, friends will say nice things, but everyone else? This is why the best reviews come from people you don't know. How many of those does your self-published book get?
Packers out-defensed the Rams! Two more games to go.
Looking at the Gilcrease un-located materials and am tempted to put them all in Jefferson County. But first, I need to do a search on all the data to see if those pieces were located anywhere else. The most amazing thing though - though I was there in person going through their database, their pieces online without location completely matched the pieces I had entered in my "un-located" database.
1/16/21: All carbon based beings are lazy. They all seek ease of living.
I found more copper to compile, surprising. I once visited the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and made notes from their database, but they did not allow photographs. Now it seems they are doing the work of loading the materials in an online collection, and are far from done. They had hundreds of copper but I found only about 90 online. But as I've always said, this CAMD will never be finished. I simply cannot put off the work of compiling the resource manuals any longer. That is another long task ahead of me. They also don't list locations of any Wisconsin materials, except one. Can I imagine that all of their Wisconsin materials belong to that same location? I generally try to match accession numbers. Those found together often have numerically ordered numbers.
1/15/21: Oh wow, give me an unexpected day off of work, and what do I do? I waste time. Okay, not exactly accurate. I awoke with a cool idea for a cat story that I was going to blog but I liked how it turned out and sure enough, Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for more cat stories. So I got that down to the required 1200 words and sent it off. And of course the Saving Boone read aloud continues. I had to come to the conclusion that tomorrow is just too iffy a day to drive to Green Bay and watch the game with Aunt Mar. Breaks my heart. I want to move back! But if they lose tomorrow, we'll be glad we didn't go, and if they win tomorrow, we'll have a ton more fun watching the NFC playoff game with her, where a win sends them to the super bowl. So fingers crossed no iffy that day! And I'm still working on the edit of "From Lincoln to Trump." Had to finish reading one of my reference materials, and then there's the walk with Nuby that he decided against once I got out there. And I truly think my husband bought the worst ever puzzle to put together. Then I've been wrestling with Amanda's new idea of writing letters to Eleanor - wouldn't I have to write to Rose, too? So, hey, I've not been wasting time. I even got my hearing aids to work again! Wasting time? I don't know how.
1/14/21: Bennett's birthday is today. My baby is 38. Wish I could hug him.
President Woodrow Wilson after WWI envisioned "a new world order" of self-determination, rule chosen by citizens, open diplomacy and a global governing body. But the Republicans were against his League of Nations. This "new world order" is being touted by Trumpians as the worst thing that could happen to the US, although they envision it as a socialist /communist plot. They won't voice it but they always fear the disappearance of 'white rule' which is the only thing that explains the sheer white of their numbers. A new world order, as envisioned by Wilson, is a vast planet of peace, and of protection of the environment equally everwhere. That's not something to fear. What it also could mean is an equalization of payment of the labor force, but even if that means a reduction of pay here, it will stabilize where goods are still affordable. In other words, inflation has not kept pace with our paychecks and equalization could have a positive effect in this stabilization. No, when someone says they fear a new world order, tell them it will not take away their religion, either, because no one can take what you believe, deep down. My younger brother believes that God will make Trump president again -- that is a horribly superficial use of belief. We plan to call him after Biden is sworn in and ask, don't you think it shows that God wants Biden to be president? But Trumpians want the US in control of the world and fear the world being in control of the US. They don't see that Putin/Russia is in control of Trump and that they are just being used.
1/13/21: A movie review, my last until the seasonal job is done, and perhaps my last until the pandemic is under control. It's a good one to be last. "WW84." Now I am not a big fan of superhero movies although I have penned one myself. And I probably wouldn't have gone at all, except for the negative reviews I've been hearing -- mostly from men. I noted, before I went, that maybe people didn't get it was set in 1984. So I knew that much before I went. What I found seemed to be an attempt to turn back to the more 'comic book' style of movie-making. Similar to what the Supermans were with Christopher Reeves. The problem with WW84 is that Gal Gadot does not have the charm of Reeves. She suffers more human emotion, it appeared to me, in staying alone after the loss of her love practically half a decade before. That was a little hard to get. I mean, I know Superman turned the earth backward to save Lois Lane, and all, and they were setting up that one-love kind of think for him. Here the plot was just as implausible, in that they found a wish rock that actually makes wishes come true. Gal wishes for him (Chris Pine's) character to come back, and he does, in a kind of reincarnation kind of way -- in a different body. Now I'm not giving you any spoilers. But when the bad guy - who's not all bad, actually - gets a hold of the wish rock, he wishes to BE the wish rock. Yeah. Right. And then starts causing no end of havoc with it. Let's just say it makes the storming of the capitol look like child's play. The tone of the movie is that you shouldn't be taking this seriously anyway, so go with that intent. It really is a good movie to see on the big screen. And you might enjoy - or might not - her new superhero talent, and the sappy ending.
1/12/21: First, big universal wishes to son Adam on his new job! It sounds perfect for his talents, and no one deserves success more than he does, no one works harder than he does. He already does great jobs on my book covers, and I know, given a chance, he can make any company great.
Now a little political nonsense. QAnon. We all know by now what that is - or isn't. It spews conspiracies without any kind of justification. What's interesting is that when I first started researching "From Lincoln to Trump" I came upon that guy's name and how he listed why JFK wasn't killed by Oswald. So I took him seriously - at first. Then I started looking at the crap he tried to pass off as real, and I quickly delegated him to the looney bin. The problem, though, is that the real government secrets can lead people to believe we're being fooled a lot more than we are. Any conspiracy theory needs to having something real to justify it. You can't say all the media lies to us, without proof. We know there's right wing and left wing media where news gets slanted a particular way. That's why we should all seek out at least one media considered objective - in my case, I was told CBS evening news was the one to watch. As for Bill Gates and the microchip vaccine - there is absolutely nothing to justify this whacked-out belief. So I'm asking all QAnon believers to understand that you have to seek out what's real. And not just listen to other people tell you what to think. Sure, being told what to think is easier. But it's also wrong. Our government was wrong in covering up the deaths of JFK, MLK and RFK and wrong for not re-opening them now. Because there IS reason to. And if we have an FBI conspiracy team ready to look into all these whacked ideas, maybe we can put them to rest, one at a time.
1/11/21: Another day, another attempt to avoid getting sick. I wonder why they don't publish how many deaths were of anti-maskers. Seems to me they could find out somehow. I know, I know, no time for that kind of data. I still say that the election of 2020 will someday be remembered as maskers versus anti-maskers.
1/10/21: It is tempting for some of us who have gone the whole year without catching it, or even needing to be tested, to think we're immune. Stay vigilent! Only by masking until this thing is brought to an end will it ever end. I'm tired of it. We're all tired of it. But too many people have died.
1/9/21: This debate over free will versus determinism has been going on for a long time. Radin refers to a few people in the discussion. One idea is that free will means we can unconsciously make our decisions before we're aware of it. But if mental intention is outside our conscious reach, then all our behavior would be determined by forces outside our control. This leads to the idea that free will really is an illusion, and nothing is in our control. (I hope I paraphrased this correctly).[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 317.]
Is destiny written in the stars? Have we no control? If our fate is determined by past life karma, then we do have control because, say, for instance, you hate this life you were dealt so much that you decide to commit suicide. What your karma then does is give you an even harder life next time. But if you were to say, well, this is hard, but if I toughen up and keep doing the best I can, then my next life will be better. This is the part that is your free will. The will is how you choose to respond. We may have a death date already pre-determined, no matter how healthy we live. But why tempt fate by being reckless? We are not given our death date for a reason, and that reason is called free will.
1/8/21: Putin must be enjoying what he thinks is the collapse of US democracy from within. Yet it would be a fallacy to say he's done all this to us. We've done this to us. Unless Russia really did orchestrate the assassinations in the 60s, this is all GOP sore loser-ship. We've had close elections in which the Dem should have won, but we were not willing to put our democracy to the kind of test that would tear its structure apart. As late as 2016, when Hillary could have challenged, she did not. Now we have to wonder if Obama winning, and allowing the emergence of the radical right Tea Party to emerge and merge with the GOP, wasn't also part of Putin's plans. We'd like to think, here in the US, that we the people are in charge. Are we? Can we hold another election and not wonder if the right person won, the one most people voted for? How bad has trump torn apart our institution? Can we recover? Or will the right, and Putin, now walk in and declare martial law?
1/7/21: Hell of a wake-up call in our nation's history yesterday. We have to stop being a country of poor losers. We have to accept the Democratic process produces losers as well as winners and find a way to accept those results. I think Hillary could well have objected to Trump's win but didn't, as Gore could have fought harder against Bush, but knew when to give up, for the sake of our Democracy. For the GOP, they will need to learn to vet their candidates better. Trump may try (he will fail) to form his own party, but I don't see his supporters going away any time soon. Biden needs to convince them that the lies Trump has been feeding them are lies. But racism? Let's face it, they won't give that up any time soon. Let's hope that we can find solutions everyone can live with. And hope for an end to this pandemic with good leadership, for a change.
1/6/21: Democratic wins in Georgia aligning with Trump protests in DC? What kind of world have we created? So much of this can be answered if only I could get the right people to read "From Lincoln to Trump." I am working on a new edit, to take us through the end of his term, and add more detail on things like control of Congress and women's rights, but the core will not change. The crux of it was when a southern Democrat, Johnson, put his stamp on Civil Rights. Our world has not been the same since.
1/5/21: I don't think I was ever more tired in my life than yesterday, after putting on 10,000 steps in only five hours. Today should be easier, just filing. But next week I'm gonna get off this morning shift. Don't like it. Robs my creativity. How about the Georgia vote ending today, eh? I suppose the GOP will cry fowl when/if the Dems win. I suppose they'll be crying fowl as long as we have two political parties called Repub Vs. Dem. I suggest we rename them. Get rid of this civil war stench.
1/4/21: I am headed for my first day of work this morning at the same tax office I worked last year. I should know what to expect, but this is not a normal first day of work.
1/2/21: A couple of things hit recently that congealed into a tip for living. Let's see if I can put this into words. I learned yesterday that I am not a depressed person - and never have been. Internally, I have a happy soul, and very little gets me down. Externally, superficially, I can and do react to the day's stressors. And even though I'm the most fractured person you might ever meet, it doesn't affect me inside. You've heard of the expression "live for today" but has anyone ever explained how to do that? What that means? Or feels like? Yesterday I started reading aloud a chapter out of a book while my husband drove to Loves Park, IL. The chapter was about being happy. This is near the end of that book, and it started making some sense. I was starting to think the book had no meaning. I read these kinds of books because I'm putting together a book on "spirtuality & consciousness."
Anyway, the book clarified for me that in order to be happy we need to accept that we don't deserve to always have good things happen. But we need to choose to relate to even those negative events in a way that doesn't diminish our outlook on the world. And our outlook is hey - we're on a ball floating out there in space! It's a magical event so why not enjoy it? Why diminish it by suffering? What does suffering get you? As I'm reading this to Joe, it says you can do this no matter what your life's philosophy is. I'm thinking, this is for you, honey. Because I think he's been depressed most of his life. And put this reading with my other event, what I related a few days back, how today is simply the connector between the past and tomorrow - you can use today to find ways to draw on past experiences to make choices today that will make your future even better. Live for today doesn't mean to ignore the past and future, though some claim that's exactly what it says. No. We are not capable of that. That's what consciousness does to us. It will continually remind us that this day too is going to pass swiftly into the past while we advance swiftly into the future, but we have the ability of making the changes today that will refresh our happiness. That's what every moment is. Ways of reacting to events that re-establish our happiness - and of those around us.
1/1/21: What a way to start a new year! Spending more money on groceries than ever because we went to two new stories in Loves Park, IL. An adventure, of course. We had every intention of beating the storm home but lost, nice sleet to drive home in.
12/31/20: What can one say about the year from hell coming to an end? The year that was the worst in the 67 years of life. The year that split apart an aching society even more. We can be grateful that Biden won, we can be grateful we're still alive, that we haven't gotten sick (if we haven't) and that maybe the new year will bring new plans. What can we say to 2020? Goodbye and don't come back, I'm locking the door behind you.
I thought of something pithy to say yesterday but of course can't think of it.
12/30/20: I'd like to say I enjoyed the movie yesterday but there was too much mumbling, and no German connection to Indians as I'd hoped to see. The protrayal of history was very good, but the two leads did not connect that well for conversation. She was a German child who had been living with Kiowa, and an agent was sent to retrieve her but was black and killed by whites in Texas. I was hoping Hanks would find German talkers to get more out of her but he did find one who spoke Kiowa. Hanks reading the news was actually the best part, and seeing reactions in his audience. Lots of solid action. Liked that we were able to get an earlier seating so we could get home before our first winter blast. The German girl's words were CC, so I was able to hear her say this: "We remember the past to face our future." Pretty doggone solid words for a little girl. I actually wrote nearly that exact same line in Dinner at Marshall Fields, undergoing yet another edit because there's still something missing and I think I hit it on the way to town yesterday.
The movie inspired me to write this while still in the theater: "To move forward you must remember the past. The present only connects the two." And also "if a horse ate at night and slept during the day, how different might we be today?" Think about it. The horse is not given near the credit for our civilization today.
Working on a terrific edit of Dinner at Marshall Field's, and just updated the blurb, see "excerpts" tab.
12/29/20: Winter has officially begun here in southern Wisconsin, when we find ourselves scrambling to get stuff done before an 8" snowstorm. We had tickets to see "News of the World" for 2:40 in Madison, one of the few theaters open for the holidays, and of course the storm is predicted to begin during that showing, and not only that, when it gets out we'll hit rush hour, though rush hour is never the same in Madison when school is out; it's still not desirable. Hopefully they'll let us trade our tickets for an earlier showing. Winter lesson learned. Book the tickets only a few days in advance. I find movie houses to be a very safe form of entertainment, or I wouldn't do it. We've gone to every open theater in the past year that we could. Beloit's opened for a while and we went just for going, to support them, because they'd just newly remodeled when they had to shut down. And now I'm starting work on Monday so this is the last bargain Tuesday movie I can do until nearly May. Going to enjoy going back to work, a break in this heavy 'project' regime. As I've been a temp worker most of my life, it's nice to know it isn't "permanent."
12/28/20: Been working hard to get some projects tied down before I go back to work the tax season later in January. Just finished a rough of the Michigan Copper Resource Manual, and would love a volunteer who knows something of archeaology to read it for me to see what they think. I do have a proposal out to a publisher, so you'd have to promise not to share it around. I am editing two novels and want at least one of them done SOON. A publisher is reading one of my vampire trilogy and I need to be ready to start a new edit of the third in that series. Argh! All the projects I picked up in the COVID Year are coming back to torment me! There are three books, for sure, that I need to release next year, also, that need edits.
12/27/20: The nice thing about posting here, rather than at Facebook ad nauseum, is that I don't face the kind of instant criticism here that I generally got there. Even the little warm merry wishes I posted were cricitized. I suppose some people have a need to do that. But I don't have a need to hear it, and will no longer involve myself in responding defensively. A new year's resolution? Perhaps. But perhaps I'm just getting too fragile, after all these years of rejection. Gonna post a new blog today. I would love to hear from you anytime - even criticism! Because I would find one on one engagement so much simpler. Rather than having one stab me where everyone can see me bleed.
12/26/20: Sometimes these things just hit me. My parents always focused on my looks, like that was all I needed to get through life. It wasn't. I'm pretty much a failure at everything and my looks got me nowhere. So when people today say something positive about my looks it puts me on edge. Now on the downswing, it's too late to go back and change all the places I went wrong - like dreams that could never come true.
Had a lovely Green Bay day, running goodies around to some folks on our A-list. Sorry for those we couldn't get to! If I had my way, we'd move back. But not until after tax season because I have a job!
12/25/20: I like to see their faces. I like to breathe their air. I thought of this poetic expression while looking for a new horse galloping print for my bathroom. No, I didn't get anything from Santa. I've been a bad girl, or it's been a bad year or something. I'm sure many feel that way today. I'm not alone. Mostly what I look for under the tree is my father, and have every year since he died on Christmas in 1967. But rearranging the bathroom prints will make a nice Saturnalia gift, as the room needs a little more color, being all shades of grays and blues.
12/24/20: Whoa. Ephipany. We all know who killed John Lennon and many of us know or have heard it was because Chapman was born again Christian and hated the song "Imagine." Now consider what is happening in the world yet today, 40 years later. If Chapman were out there today (denied parole for the umpteenth time), he'd be a typical trump supporter, railing against what many see as a "new world order" coming under Biden. Think about it. "Imagine there's no country," when trump is MAGA. "And no religion too" and they're all like, we're being persecuted! Honestly, I have not seen one move toward getting rid of religion - although it would bring more peace, just the idea that we all have our own beliefs and no one has the right to push theirs at anyone. And countries are still pretty intact, although there's an idea that people around the world are wanting to equalize labor pay. But think about the impossiblity of the world in that song, at least in our lifetime. it's a dream. Now I'm not saying that our world has become this divided because of a song. Rather, that murder was part of the division that began to grow after JFK was killed. That song emerged out of what he saw as a growing division. You might want to blame the babyboomers for being born, but hey, the hippie movement was relatively small, compared to how many boomers remained conservative. I hope that recognizing that what the trump supporters rally against today as something that's unrealistic could be the first step toward healing the divide, and emphasizing the need to create a world meant for ALL of us to live in. These thoughts came to me while reading an interview with Chapman in the current Harpers magazine.
12/23/20: So there we were, having our Christmas party with Carrie and Chris in the parking lot of Fresh Farm in Glenview, when along comes a driver and she sat there, waiting for us to unload our cart, get in our car and drive off. Honestly, some people. She could have found someone already backing out, but noooooo. She had to ruin our party. I mean, have you ever? The first time a Christmas party has been called on the account of a desire for a parking spot. Sigh. Sure, we could have driven to a different parking spot - but it's the principle! Welcome to holidays, 2020 style.
12/22/20: Merry Holiday Blessings and Happy Saturnalia to you! What a year, eh? And now Saturn and Jupiter have joined, appearing like one huge star in the sky - for those who can see it. It's been a thousand years since that happened, from what I understand. But if this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, we can hope that Biden's election means an era of peace is headed our way -- at least peace from all the lies and malarkey of the last administration, anyway. We can reassure ourselves that we survived trump but we don't know yet all that he's given Putin. So tighten your seatbelts. We're not there yet.
When January starts, I'll be erasing my November entries below. Not that you need that kind of warning.
12/21/20: Of course I could be wrong. Anyone can always be wrong. But I need to support the cinema, and they opened again in Madison for the holiday season. So we went to see The Croods yesterday, and it was so much fun, fun sorely needed. I felt sorry for them. So few people there. It seems like it would be the cleanest form of entertainment right now, too. I mean, maybe not if a ton of people were there again, but they are spacing us apart in the individual theaters, so that we can feel safe enough to eat popcorn. We had a great time in town yesterday, going for a little last minute Christmas shopping. I love the hustle and bustle in the shops, and the last minute deals. It is the only part of the tradition left us, this year. Do what you can, but stay safe. I know the bar life is where singles like to mingle and maybe meet someone, but at what cost?
12/20/20: When seeking a publisher for Civil War & Bloody Peace, I worked to make it as bare bones as possible and still have guts. But then I published at Amazon, still worried it might exceed their limit. It didn't, and now I hope to add more back into it and still stay in their limits. I just read the sad story of why Crazy Horse was killed, and I need to include that. This book I'm reading from a Sioux's perspective is really remarkable. In some ways, my history master's did me an injustice, telling me to simply skim for what I need. But in skimming, you miss so much.
Guess I blew it with another writing group. Just not cut out for this, I guess.
12/19/20: In relation to those who fear Biden will help establish "a new world order," those who believe socialism will spread worldwide with everything earning the same, etc., those who want America to remain separatist: I want to ask you if you use the internet. I want to know if you communicate with people in other countries, or if you restrict your contacts to white people in this country. I want to know if you think our climate can get better while everyone else's can get worse. I want to know how isolation from the rest of the world helps us at all. Do you enjoy your tacos? Gyros? Fish and Chips? I want to know why you are so arrogant as to think this country is so great and the rest of the world can go to hell. Just who do you think you are?
I feel like my head is just above the quicksand, and everyone around me is telling me how pretty the quicksand is.
12/18/20: An issue that's gaining momentum for the 2nd edit of From Lincoln to Trump: getting rid of electoral college. Why and How it was added can be found here: https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/11/04/who-invented-the-electoral-college/. And another that I'll look more closely at is here: https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/three-branches/amendment-process. Let's face it, it was created because they couldn't trust people to vote properly. But then we got trump and no one stopped that. So what good is it? That would be my primary argument.
For fun this holiday season, we're not going to have to skip our Christmas movie. The theaters are opening again and we have seen several movies during the year. I don't know of two many activities safer than this.
12/17/20: CAMD is 85,267. Just finished added materials from Grand Rapids Public Museum. Michigan is at 7726.
To those snowed under, I feel bad for you. It seems the East Coast gets dumped on all the time, and the West Coast never does. I'm sure the East Coast has lots of good things, though, or why would you stay? I think about that, too, when I hear the South Coast getting nailed by more hurricanes. Here near the Great Lakes, I'm keeping an eye on the weather to see what day would be good to play Santa for my daughter. I want to be sure to get there by Christmas Eve. I can't even imagine what this will do to any plans you may have had.
12/16/20: Looking forward to getting a couple of deadlines behind me for some smooth and relaxing sailing into the new year. Worked at Beloit Historical yesterday and really wished I'd focused on getting a public history master's. Seeing all that they had in their card catalog made me realize how little the Oconto Copper Burial Museum has. What it had when I was there was mostly -- me. And I say that because I was able to pull together the copper research with what the people were like, and the most favorite things, the old burial video, the atlatl demonstrations, the tours I gave and the way I gave them, but also how every day I found a way to use my research to update the displays. I would have people ask me, well, what qualifications do you have for something like this? Like, they wondered if they could trust anything I was doing. And after I told them, well, then it was okay. But working in a museum, and I've done this kind of thing now for a decade with the CAMD research, whether backstage or giving tours, is all so very satisfying. It suits some kind of deep inner urge. So I guess I have to live with the fact that I missed my calling, starting way back in 1999 when the Marinette Museum directorship was offered to me, out of the blue. And I just didn't feel capable.
12/15/20: The thing about dailies - you can see how fast the month is going, even if otherwise it doesn't feel like it. I promised you something special today. I'm working on the 2nd edition of "From Lincoln to Trump" and that will take the book to the end of Trump's reign, into what becomes of him afterwards, and as I'm making these updates and changes, I started writing the ending analysis. Here's what I have so far, as far as political analysis:
I made a comment, as the court challenges wound down and it appear that succession was the only way Trump could retain a notion of a presidency, that he once compared himself to Lincoln. Lincoln fought hard for unity of this country and even gave his life for it. Trump has done nothing for four years but try to keep us divided, and now increases that effort for no other reason than to save his own skin.
I said in the first edition of this book that Civil War again seems inevitable. I hope not. But what might be needed now is a realignment of parties if we are going to survive as a country. We need to rename the parties. We can no longer be divided into Democrats and Republicans. As we saw in the beginning of the book, the parties have often realigned; we've now had the same parties since the Civil War. I hear so many Republicans say that the Democrats are the racists, with no understanding of what was shown here, and that is how the parties flipped. Now the Republicans are the ones to threaten secession, and that is the biggest indicator of this flip.
Right now the threat is minimal; it has not caught fire. But Trump supporters are trying to cause trouble, and we all know war can start with a single shot fired.
But if we rename the parties, we might be able to finally disassociate ourselves from the Civil War. How could we do this so that we might get an equal number of racists and blacks/minorities on each side? If we could do this, would it lessen the difficulties we face today? We would need to visit the most pressing needs of the country today, the needs that are still under some conflict, and use the parties to open conversations of pro and con. No party should embrace racism; isolationism; or culture wars.
12/14/20: And now here, a day later, getting back to usual, except I need to finish a transcription and then I can get into script editing for Netflix, fingers crossed once again. Also am working on a start-up of an Authors Guild Wisconsin Chapter and working hard on "A Cartwright Ride through Virginia City History," which, if I don't use photos, I shouldn't need any copyright permission. Christmas shopping done - yay! Oh, I love to shop for other people, well, I love to shop and don't need anything myself. Got a fun thing to post tomorrow, if I can remember where I put it.
12/13/20: I'm on a high, as usual, after a presentation. I wish I had the time to stay at the convention for everything being presented, but am unfortunately hitting on some deadlines and might not make them as is. But it was great fun talking about the history of Bonanza, and how silly I felt when it took me SO long to realize that the episodes were not shown in any historical order. I first caught on to that when I saw that they did a Pony Express episode AFTER Pernell left! I have a copy of my Powerpoint that I can make available to anyone who wants it. And it's Dan DeQuille, "The Big Bonanza," that fanfic writers should get a copy of. GREAT QUESTIONS! I had to answer about why I felt embarrassed with what I did when I first met Dortort. If you want to see the whole story, it is a blog here on my site.
12/12/20: Hate waking from a dream where I need heart surgery and there's no room available. Scary. Having fun at the Bonanza Convention. Feeling bad for those who can't attend, especially when they'd never been to one live, either. I can't be there all the time, though -- too much to get done. I wonder if they shouldn't have waited until January!
12/11/20: The Bonanza Convention is Online! Actually thought there would never be another one after the one I attended in Mesa in 2019. So I guess you could call this a positive result of the Pandemic. A lot of people can meet each other and watch episodes together and do stuff like that and get to know each other this weekend. I'm going to be coming and going into the events all weekend, because I find it rather distracting to be doing Zoom - any zoom - from my house. But It's a great idea and if you're late to the game, it's $40 for a one day pass. I'll be presenting on Sunday. Last night's writer's group, I thought, went well. We tentatively set up the next Zoom for January 14th, and Lucie has agreed to be moderator. I said we should all trade off - what a great group of professional writers, as you can imagine, all members of Authors Guild. We'll see where it goes from here.
12/10/20: Tonight should be tons of fun! Authors Guild has 15 signed up for the initial chapter of the Madison Author's Guild. I ran a writers group back from 2010 to 2013, and we even held three annual book fests during that time. I'm hoping to draw on a ton of experience from that time, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to navigate everyone's needs. This is a zoom for the whole state, but eventually, we may break into sub-chapters, or continue the zoom for those who cannot make it inperson.
12/9/20: You want a good credit card company? Actually they're all probably about the same but I am really loving on Capital One. I was discouraged to see spam coming out of Authors Guild, a site I thought should be pretty impervious, or at least more quick to discover they'd been hacked. But Capital One is working with me to get that money back. And making it easy to work with them. What's in your wallet? This is the third time I've been scammed this year, and honestly, I always thought of myself as a careful person.
12/8/20: For 2021, trying to figure out what bits of my misbegotten failure of life to retrieve from the dumpster. Sad day, really. 40 years since John Lennon was murdered. Age 40. My wish is that generations to come will not let his dream be forgotten.
12/7/20: Something kinda creepy has happened and I'm waiting for AG to respond. I got a message last night that said my web domain was coming up for renewal. Because I was tired and nothing thinking too hard and trusting AG, I went ahead and paid it. But I got another of the same kinds of links this morning. And now I'm afraid I've been scammed. I forwarded it to AG and am waiting for them to respond.
12/6/20: Finally found a magazine that speaks to me. Harpers. Seems that every month it tells me something I need to hear, or something I can use in my work. This time it's related to "A Fractured Life," the memoir I'm putting together from all the travel and writing diaries I've kept over the years. I'm typing them up so the hard copies can be tossed, and then I was going to just leave it as a legacy of sorts. Well, in this month's Harpers there's a review of a writer's memoir that is more alive and vibrant than any of her novels. And I wonder, hmm, maybe I shouldn't just throw this aside.
12/5/20: Found something fun, related to Civil War & Bloody Peace, where I made the statement that I thought the German influence helped keep the army from complete extermination of the native cultures in the 1800s. In "My People the Sioux" was this comment (34), set in pre-Little Bighorn days: "Some of these young men would have their fingers covered with German silver rings which they wanted the girls to see -- much the same as the white youth who wears a diamond wants to show it off." This comment startled me. There's a lot of information in the book, a non-fiction, about how well they had lived in the Black Hills and now I got to thinking, again, about the German influence that seems to have been understated in our history. I can and always do recommend you read my book to learn more about that.
12/4/20: Thought about joining Wisconsin Writers Association again, but it seems every time I join I'm made to feel like an outsider. Well, that hasn't changed. Look, I know I'm a lousy writer, my stats at Amazon prove that, as sales have completely flat-lined and there's nothing I can do about it. But writing is all that's left for me - without that I might as well jump inside a Covid Truck. They had us do a couple writing exercises, which were great fun. Here's the poem I came up with on the prompt "I am"
I am someone
no one wants to know.
I am no one
living in the midst of fallen leaves.
I am filling the atoms of space I was given
with colors that blend until all that's seen are
shades of brown.
I am the hollow wind that cries and fills the ears
of a non-caring world.
12/3/20: Time to put my little girl toys away. I didn't get the audition and that makes 8 in a row now, even as my commercial continues to air on TV. One can't make a living off just one. And maybe that's all I'll ever get and only because I still ride a bike.
12/2/20: This day is bugging me for some reason. Check out the new offering in copper! I'm excited by how the Michigan Copper Resource Manual is developing. It's demonstrating how worthwhile the CAMD really is! Also check the new blog on writing inspiration.
12/1/20: Every day, every new little twinge - doesn't it make you think you've caught the COVID? Wear the mask if you need to go out, it's the only way to protect yourself and others, just in case.
Monette Bebow-Reinhard spent years, while raising children, satisfying her artistic bent by acting, directing and writing plays. She wrote her first movie script in 1975 but author William Peter Blatty said it was already a movie. In 1993 she gained access to the world of Bonanza through contact with its producer/creator, David Dortort. After three years, during which she promoted a script she wrote, she met with him in LA and convinced him she could write Bonanza material. After the Calder contract ended, she became the authorized Bonanza writer with two novels published, now in 2nd and 3rd editions. She continues to write movie scripts and has won several minor awards. Her first Bonanza novel, Felling of the Sons, won two awards; a first and a second place. She earned a master's in history in 2006 and Dortort felt her vision of the Civil War, and of Lincoln, was the same as his. She picked up a co-author for Dancing with Cannibals, an African historical in 1906, using his research and vision to help him make it a controversial and exciting adventure. Between 2016 and 2017 three novels got contracts but all are no longer available, due to her disappointment in these two publishers. She has done a lot of film acting in recent years, is agented, and filmed a local commercial that aired, even in prime time, in 2020.
Bebow-Reinhard’s most recent publication is From Lincoln to Trump: a political transformation; written because she was tired of people not understanding why our first black president was a Democrat. With this book, and her other book, she calls herself a journalistic historian. Facts and attitudes are needed to understand this nation's history.
CIVIL WAR & BLOODY PEACE: FOLLOWING ORDERS – a soldier's orders that are followed between 1862 and 1884 show relevance to today's world. Divisiveness today is easier to understand, and maybe even to deal with when we see the similarities related to race and equal rights. How did we get this way?
FELLING OF THE SONS – In 1860 Nevada, after the Paiute War, a father fights a nemesis out to destroy all he loves. His dilemma, when all three of his sons are in danger in different directions, which one does he rescue first?
MYSTIC FIRE – The Civil War in the East reaches Nevada when runaway slaves are sent to find a Cartwright to help stop Lincoln and end up tearing the family apart.
DANCING WITH CANNIBALS – Are cannibals monsters or real people? You might be surprised. Follow the adventures of two colonists to the Belgian Congo in 1906 and discover the reason some cultures eat human flesh, and how they struggled in this historical fiction to keep their world from being decimated.
ALIEN LOVERS – This adventure into the source of the human soul pairs a vampire with an alien who is bent on turning the Earth "back." A must read for the trilogy adventure "Journal of an Undead."
GRAVEYARD: A dead woman chases her identical twin to a new town in this hilarious attempt to claim her husband and her children, getting them all mixed up in some afterlife hi-jinx.
THE BIGHORN DECEIT: A soldier who befriends Custer follows disingenuous orders to the Little Bighorn. A FINALIST IN THE 2020 CREATIVE WORLDS AWARD COMPETITION.
AWAKENED: In 1503 Greece a cowardly Janissary Turk soldier falls for a Sultan's slave. They are killed trying to escape and he returns as vrykolakas—vampire. She follows him in spiritual form to help him learn to fight his thirst.
THE MEXICAN WALL AFFAIR: A political superhero romp COMEDY/SATIRE features Mexican mythological heroes determined to stop the wall from being built between the US and Mexico when a girl calls to them for help to see her mother one last time. The evil US president wants the wall to control drug trafficking.
DEAD MAN'S PASS: A cattle drive composed of a variety of immigrants sets out to unhaunt a canyon pass where other drovers have met their fate. When they are joined by a man cursed to go through a third time, the Indian drover must find a way to share his secret.
IF IT RAINS IN PARIS: scheduled to turn into a novel, this follows the adventures of a mother, her daughter and granddaughter on a trip to Europe, in an attempt to bond and heal old wounds. Based on a true story.
DEADLINE: Envisioned as the afterlife of assassinated people, and a play that the characters can be cast as any age and any sex.