Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Again




Once more, an incident of a beautiful human life, lost at age 21 to a heroin overdose has entered the space of our lives. The person close to him was involved at the end and sobbed when the young man's dad knelt at the bedside, touching and stroking his son's face, saying over and over while crying, "my sweet little boy."


That is who these people are. They were someone's baby, someone's mischievous  toddler. Three dead.
Aubrey who spent almost three years sleeping and eating at my home. She was always hungry. She grew to be a beautiful young woman.  Now she is dead.

Another, at a party a family member was attending, felt funny after J├Ąger shots and cocaine and went out for some fresh air. Died in the parking lot, run over by an unsuspecting girl who was not charged. He was already dead. This was a good kid who died because he never used cocaine before and his pals encouraged him.

The father of one of my grandchildren, in the hospital at least four times ODed. You know they survive in greater numbers if you find them in time. They have some counter acting shot now. Live to try again. In and out of prison, and in this case, making babies all over the county.


A neighbor's boy I watched grow up, a troubled kid, in and out of jail, rehab, ODed right after getting out of prison. He wasn't used to it after being away. They saved him. His loving, wonderful mother lost her marriage, her home, trying to help him. He is back in prison. Addicted again he resorted to robbery.

I live in a very nice middle class neighborhood about 40 miles from Chicago. Not many Cadillacs, no Mercedes, lots of Chevies and Fords, vans and pick-ups mostly.  But there are communities nearby that are a readily available source of any drug you might want or need.  Every time they bring the dogs in to search the middle and high schools they have at least one hit.  Middle school.  Sixth grade?

These are not kids that run with gangs or live on the street. The mom of the most recent one said she'd been dealing with it since he was fifteen, finding him out cold with a needle laying right next to him on his bed many times over six years.  She always went back to check when she found him passed out but this time the second or third time she checked him she noticed his breathing was shallow and called the EMT.  The doctor on staff reprimanded her for not bring him in sooner.  Weeping over the loss of her son, blame was the last thing she needed.

A little boy I babysat for grew up to have severe mental illness and tried over and over to off himself.  I wondered to someone, why isn't the fact that it hurts his mom, his sons, enough to change that?  I can't understand the answer that "they are too far gone."  Well, now they are too far gone.  They are dead. And in one of the cases I mentioned, that was not typical,  the media decided to make an example of it anyway and find someone to arrest. The boy was not a "user".  It was just a bunch of kids having fun at a party.  Fun.  Dead.

If I know this many just in my limited sphere, how often must this be going on?  We take up banners for so many different causes, but I have adopted the "mend your own fences" philosophy.   When one of my daughters was in high school I was summoned by a counselor because my daughter, a fast track student, was going out with a guy that was kind of wild.  During the conversation I said, "I've decided I can't save them all."  She gave me such a look like I must be the most cold-hearted bitch, but when I thought I could save them all I suffered terribly.

You can't save them all.  And you can't pick the one's you lose -- the "sweet little boy" who died in the very bed that was his big boy bed when he was two, the very same bedroom where the broken-hearted father mourned the loss of his little boy, his son.  Why didn't that boy care enough to not bring that pain to his dad?  More and more I think this is becoming a problem that cannot be handled by law enforcement.  Well, we know it can't be handled by law enforcement.  They have made no progress in the fight and they are over whelmed and at a loss as how to handle it.

Maybe neurologists need to explore what little glitch in the brain goes awry that makes this happen to that little boy riding his tricycle in the driveway of his home. These people, though maybe grown up, I still think of them as kids and always will, will never grow up to build the thorny, hardened protection that we older folks have around our hearts. I hope they have found peace.  I haven't.



photo source:
http://www.gettingbabytosleephq.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SleepingBabyWithDad.jpg

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A scrivener







I have been so down on this writing thing.  Many I know are giving up the epub thing and I am growing discouraged.  At least I was. 

Last night I practiced discipline in an undisciplined way.  I have heard: "Write, no matter what.  Save it erase it, fix it, just write."  So I did.  I typed so fast.  It is a disorderly mess.  But I am looking at this story in a way that seems new to me.  I want to get the people from this point to this point and I don't know how.  I never had that problem before.  But I don't sell much, so maybe my readers have a problem with how I was doing it.  Anyway, I wrote about what happened when they got there and I know I can put in the interim easily when I am ready.  Writing doesn't scare me.  Carrying out  a task does, I am guessing.  I am maybe just lazy.  Anyway I thought it was great fun and it raced along in getting on the page just as the part of the story was racing along.  It is full of typos, but that is easy to fix.  I think.

So just when I am all down on my self and my skills and thinking I am not posting, I have no ideas, I am in the doldrums, physical junk going on, family junk going on, weather weirdness, I just now looked and my "boring post" had ninety five hits. 

Don't anyone tell me what this is all about cuz you don't know.  It is all totally random.  That is final. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boring stuff used as an excuse.



No matter what kind of day you are having, this should brighten it up.

In other news, it is so unbelievably warm here today.  One little impatiens blossomed in the midst of all the wilted greenery around it.  I think they said it was eighty.  I had about twenty bulbs left over that I couldn't find room for, so I was going to give them to Fran.  I dug a hole by one of the trees in the front yard and put them in, in a somewhat orderly fashion.  Last Spring I recall saying, "Oh, I don't remember putting those in."  So I am sure this Spring I will once again be pleasantly surprised.  Fran wouldn't have time for them anyway. 

I asked Louie if I could use the leaf  blower just so I could be out and the leaves are ankle deep, but he won't let me touch it.  It is so mechanically complicated a mere woman would f--- it up.  Right? So unfair just because I sever the electric supply cord every year or so with the hedge trimmer.  My hedges have wonderful, carefully wrought shapes now.

Orthopedically updating, the doctor said the crack in the knee cap is because some of the cement is separating  but it hasn't changed since last year.  It is still a bit disconcerting to hear about all the cement and titanium within me.  And I can go to a sports medicine doc and have some of the scar tissue broken up arthroscopically which will make bike riding and getting out of the car a bit easier.  I am peculiarly excited about that.

Told you it was boring.  Just wanted to give the pic world wide exposure.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Low Spirits



This is a total cut and paste from the Futility Closet, a site that has two or three short articles that really remove me from my present state, most particularly if it is ennui. I believe it to be very therapeutic in a positive way, although I don't really know if something can be therapeutic in a negative way.  I personally would recommend that everyone keep Futility Closet in their mailbox and refer to it when you need a refreshing breath of air. in your brain. The content is sometimes practical, sometimes whimsical. This entry is charming and completely relevant.

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“Advice Concerning Low Spirits”


A letter from Sydney Smith to Lady Georgiana Morpeth, Feb. 16, 1820:
Dear Lady Georgiana,– Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done — so I feel for you. 1st. Live as well as you dare. 2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°. 3rd. Amusing books. 4th. Short views of human life — not further than dinner or tea. 5th. Be as busy as you can. 6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you. 7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you. 8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely — they are always worse for dignified concealment. 9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you. 10th. Compare your lot with that of other people. 11th. Don’t expect too much from human life — a sorry business at the best. 12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy, sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion, not ending in active benevolence. 13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree. 14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue. 15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant. 16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness. 17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice. 18th. Keep good blazing fires. 19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion. 20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana,
Very truly yours,
Sydney Smith

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bit Torrent Usage



Some respected groups, Mises for one I am familiar with, will only post their links through  bit torrent sites. In their case, it is because of their philosophy. There is a months long debate on their site over intellectual property rights. There is  a specific area some law firms specialize in: intellectual property rights law. Copyright to your work in the U.S., at least, that I know of is granted by the Constitution. Yet, it usually goes unchallenged unless someone is gaining from your work and you challenge them in court. This is a shady and fearful place for me. I am an avid user of Pinterest for one thing, and have been challenged already for something I posted there. In most cases, when legally challenged, the non-authorized user settles with the originator for cash rather than go to court. I feel this is unfortunate as it needs to be defined in a court of law and the yardstick by which it is measured should be what the non-authorized party "gained" from it which is usually not monetarily measurable. But most of us schlubs cannot afford to engage in such a battle.

All three books of the Shades of Gray trilogy are available for free download somewhere on the Net and well-known bloggers have  posted the link. I, for one, tho curious, would not hand out money for those particular books and would be tempted to use that method. But I have heard bit torrent sites are heavily monitored for National Security issues and stuff like child pornography. I don't think I have ever downloaded from one and my natural tendency for paranoia would be what stops me. Yet people who can well afford to meet legal challenges and are well-respected use them with no qualms. It is something to do with PTP which is person to person, I believe, and by passes servers. Explain if you know cuz I have only a brushing acquaintance with the technology and prefer to try to forget those explanations. But it is the belief in Open Sourcing that drives it. For instance Mises featured a guy who would give you all the plans to build your own farming equipment which is an amazing thing. He talked about buying a used tractor and trying to pay it off while paying for repairs and not being a success because of it. So he built his own and it has worked out for him and he feels every one should have that access and opportunity. That is pure free enterprise which sounds to me like the opposite of socialism.

What do you think? Do you or would you use a bit torrent download? When would you look at it as stealing? What would influence your opinion? The value of someone's work? The loss to the originator? Your need for the work? Your political beliefs about ownership and rights?  If the originator freely offers you the right that is a different issue. I am talking about books, music, plans, photos, etc. where the use is designed to give the originator benefit. Complex situation to me. Cut and dried theft? Maybe -- maybe not. Please weigh in. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Positive review


Review by: BOB MC DANIEL on Oct. 09, 2012 : (no rating) 

A great read!!
Comments, opinions and advice we can all relate to.
As you read through it you can here the Men saying "Never.
and, Not me." While all of the ladies are screaming "Oh my God, YES!!!"
MS. Llorca reminds me a bit of Gail Collins with a dash of possibly Joan Rivers thrown in. No matter who you are, you'll read and accept as gospel. I'd recommend it to one and all

(reviewed within a month of purchase)



http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/233639
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK





Thank You!!

Confidence

I am afraid this post may be premature as it ties in with my latest release, OUTSIDE PLUMBING, which has only been out a few days, but it is too much with me and I have to write it now.

This is a picture that I first saw on Pinterest.  I am obsessed with it, partly because I wore that kilt as a skirt throughout my college years and actually some years after until it became horribly de trop.  I wore it so much I had to take it to a cobbler and have new leather straps put on it.  It wasn't an actual kilt but an imitative fashion item and had crummy straps on it from the manufacturer.  But it looked exactly like these.  I think that is tartan Campbell. It may be in the cedar chest as I loved it too much to ever part with it.




I recently published a non-fiction book called Outside Plumbing; the Myths of Manhood.  In it I wryly discuss at length, with anecdotal support, my theory that men have an innate vulnerability that females can never understand.  Because their sexual equipment is so exterior, they are always aware, even if subconsciously, of the need to protect it.  It is the necessary equipment to propagate the Human Race, a genetic imperative.  It must remain intact and healthy.   I actually discussed the kilt and the sporran in the book.

In this picture the guy to our left has the sporran hanging slightly to the side.  It is usually worn front and center.  Historically, like the codpiece, it was originally for protective purposes but evolved into a decorative and utilitarian object.  This guy could give less than  damn about protecting his genitalia. He is clearly announcing his utter confidence in his manhood.  Also, his arms are extended from his body to take advantage of the heat.  His chin is raised and his shoulders are slightly held back.  He is in an utterly non-defensive, vulnerable posture. Further, the actual flames, as photographed, are heading straight for his basic male superstructure. OMG.   

(I so wanted to say the flames are licking at him, but I felt that might be putting too fine a point on it.)

This guy is the hunk of all time as far as I am concerned and he exhibits confidence and maleness at every conceivable level.  I drool.

The guy to our right looks like he may be the brother.  Doesn't matter.  His muscles are actually more finely cut than the other guy's.  But his shoulders and upper body are leaning ever so slightly forward, his chin tilted slightly down and his hands are crossed in from of him in what I call the normal protective manner which any man seems to exhibit whenever he feels the least self-conscious.

Not that I wouldn't bid on either of them at a charity auction.  They are both gorgeous.  And one may well not be more self-confident than the other.  It is just that this photo illustrates so very clearly what I consider the males' relationship with his most basic manhood.

If I were 31 years old and knew what I know now and looked like I did then, I would be on the very next  plane to Scotland.


(I have unsuccessfully tried to source the photo).

Invisibility

So often I feel invisible, and it turns out I am.  When he discusses our cells, if you look closely at our atoms and electrons, there is nothing visible.

I offer the theory that scientists know more about this than they tell us.  Did you see the video of the guy climbing in the tank?

http://youtu.be/8EUy_82IChY

If you are not in a thoughtful mood, don't bother watching this.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Lost in Translation.







When I do a give away promotion, I try to hit the foreign Amazon forums.  I get more downloads from Germany each time.  I have heard the U.S. military has a large presence there.  I got about 72 downloads from Germany this time and  two from France and one from Spain.  I have had one each from them before.  I got one from Italy once, but not this time.  Anyway, this time I put "let me know of replies" at the end of my message in the German forum.  For some reason, I found this adorable.  Translated by google, I believe.:


Hello love Samira , 
many thanks for all the posted books, I also have my Kindle yet so long, and I whim times fantasy or love or even have a good thriller read I am grateful for every book.
And to contents would I will only say that a book sounds very interesting and then behind her terribly reads. That has often happened to me so I've previously brought many books from the library, thanks to the Kindle has become the smuggling done now. 
Wish you a great holiday and many relaxed hours of reading. 
Greetings Tina

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Out of Wine

Well, I gave myself permission to whine and vent here when I made this blog.  And, the Lord knows, I  have done a heap of it.  I just want you all to know that some stuff in my life is amazingly wonderful.

Actually, it is a pretty good balance.  But that would be a boring blog.


Wonderful Review





  • I recommend Virginia Llorca's new book, "Outside Plumbing". A woman's unpretentious view of us males. Women will enjoy it, men will cringe and even try to argue with her unsupported anecdotal claims. I could, but I won't, because I can't write with the same unvarnished honesty found in her words. Her uncannily accurate skewering of the male species is fairly on the money.

    As a writer, I am in awe of her ability to pretty much lay it on the line, something I am unable to do. She leaves bodies scattered in her wake as she careens along the ocean of life with her hydroplane wit, some of whom will recognize themselves in the thinly disguised veil of anonymity in which she wraps them.

    Having just finished the book, I intend to wait a few days before I go back and try to find myself in there. But for now, I've got some dishes to do and plan for tonight's dinner, then there are beds to make, floors to mop, you get the idea. Read the book. I know for sure it's available on www.Smashwords.com. You'll be glad you did.



    (Also on Amazon for Kindle)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

THE MAZE

The Maze, by Virginia Llorca, is FREE to download from Amazon through October 6, 2012., for electronic download to Kindle and Kindle apps.  Some mature content.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0061SB3TC






What do you do when you encounter an unexpected bump in the road of your life?  Panic?  Reach for help?  If you pride yourself on making good choices, you may give the subject more attention than it deserves.


At a crossroads in her life, Maisie lets someone make a difficult choice for her.  She is very happy with the outcome, but can it be the best solution in the long run?
Pressured by her family and friends to take the next step in her life after successfully completing her education and launching her career, Maisie figures a helicopter landing on the lawn must presage something important.
Always happy to live with her decisions, how will she do when she tries to be the answer to someone else's dilemma?