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My favorite writer has died. I remember reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in a state of wonderment. It was pure joy to read one of his sentences, some of which marched on defiantly for pages. Marquez's exuberance of expression, his refusal to bow to any of the many rules so many would impose on writers - be brief, pare down, trim, don't decorate or embellish, be clear, make it easy, keep your characters to a minimum - felt like being let out of prison. Like flying. I could taste his words. Smell them. Feel them. Hear them. See the pictures they painted, the characters he described.

I thought, 'This is writing. It is cooking, painting, composing, gardening, architecting, weaving and sculpting all at once. It is the Big Bang. Except that you don't have to wait millions of years for the light to reach you. It is immediate. Visceral. Delicious. Unforgettable.

But it was Marquez's books about love that had the biggest impact on me. Love in the Time of Cholera, a story about an aging man's lifelong love for a woman who had rejected him when he was young, told of a kind of love rarely read (or written) about anymore. Romantic. Sentimental, oozing with joy, sorrow, pain...with, well, love!

And Memories of My Melancholy Whores, about another old man's late life yearnings, peeled away the sorrows, joys, pleasures and sadnesses of aging - the skin and body crumbling, but desire and imagination living until one's last breadth.

Marquez was called a Magic Realist. Yes. Like life. Real. And magical. It is not possible to write like he did without having had the capacity to live it fully.

How cruel that he had developed dementia. My mother had Alzheimer's and there were many times when I thought that she was simply living in her own world, one that I had been excluded from entirely.

Not so dissimilar from what it feels like to me to read Marquez. Lost within my own little world, a whirlwind of expression, free-flowing, emotional, imaginative, free-spirited and free-associative. A world of real magic.

Hard to believe there won't be another gem of a book from this brilliant man. I can only hope that wherever his soul has been spirited off to, that world is as magical as the one he has given us.

RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 

#GabrielGarciaMarquez   #LoveIntheTimeofCholera   #OneHundredYearsofSolitude   #MemoriesofMyMelancholyWhores  

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How's your handwriting? That is, if you're not already laughing by now...I mean, who writes anything by hand any more? Personally, I wish I never had to...because my handwriting is horrendous, worse than a doctor's. I suffered early childhood trauma, well, girlhood trauma if you want to pick nits, by failing handwriting when I was in third grade.

My teacher, Mrs. Van Beuren, the sort of frightening woman with no neck you remember the rest of your life even if she didn't give you an 'F' in handwriting, thought I was making a poor showing and expected a failing grade on my report card would make me try harder to master a lovely, flowing, flowery, effortless cursive script.

Except that said 'F' only succeeded in making me abandon cursive writing entirely and try to master the geometry of print. So I print. I like long and short lines, dots, crosses, dashes, semi-circles, L-shapes, T-shapes. Simple stuff.

Then I write it out so fast my printing is also illegible.

Ah, but with a play all I have to do is show up and listen to the words.

How cruel. Giving a girl an 'F' for handwriting.

Pffffttttt.

I could write that.

If I had to...

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At the Kentucky Women Writers Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.

Any other writers attending I might say Hello to?

Ann Beattie is here, and Sonia Sanchez and Jacinda Townsend and Megham Daum and so, so many others...

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It was from Dr. +Oliver Sacks that I learned about The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, although rumor has it that there are myriad cases of The Women Who Mistook Their Husbands for Baseball Caps Worn Backwards being reported all over the world, but I digress...

It was from Dr. +Oliver Sacks that I learned about the Awakenings of some men and women with sleeping-sickness to whom Dr. Sacks gave the drug L-DOPA. First came the awakenings themselves, then Dr. Sacks' book about them followed by the movie, which you might remember starred Robert deNiro and Robin Williams.

It was from Dr. Sacks that I first learned about the magical, powerful, emotional and complex impact that music can have on our brains - that music is pre-lingual, that it can reach and stimulate areas of feeling and communication in people with all sorts of physical and psychological conditions, all of this chronicled in his book Musicophilia:Tales of Music and the Brain.

And it was Dr. Sacks who inspired me, because of the way in which music can reach into the inner sanctum of our souls, our spirits, our memories, to become involved in the effort to educate home caregivers about the uses of Therapeutic Music Listening in the care of men and women with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Once upon a time Dr. Sacks was considered more than a little bit of an outlier, scientifically snooping around on the edges of music therapy, knowing instinctually, but also observationally and from personal experience, the impact music can have on people who are particularly connected to its sounds, rhythms and lyrics, all of which inspired him to co-found, with Music Therapist Concetta Tomaino, The Institute for Music and Neurological Function at Beth Abraham Health Services Center in the Bronx, where music therapists help people in stages of recovery from illnesses as varied as traumatic brain injuries to strokes...to dementia.

Throughout it all the thing that has struck me about Sacks' work as a physician and scientist is his enormous empathy with, and love for, his patients, basically his respect for any person in the position of being a patient. This empathy is at the core of his writing and I personally believe it underscores his many discoveries - about healing, about the human brain, about our neurological and psychological systems...about our essential humanity. Once an outlier but no longer, now an esteemed physician and scientist.

But now Dr. Sacks is (once again) a patient himself, having been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, and he writes, in the attached essay, of his experiences - as a man, a physician, a patient...a human being - and how they have changed, impacted, altered and blessed him.

It is a short, moving and thought-provoking read, with which to end the week and begin a weekend:

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure. - Dr. +Oliver Sacks, The NY Times

To Dr. Sacks, who has given so much to others, I send blessings through the Universe for all that you are, for all you have done, and for the enormous legacy you have created.

For those of you who are interested in this brilliant man's life, work and many books, you can find more at:

http://www.oliversacks.com/

You won't regret spending some time on his website.

Giselle

#OliverSacks   #TheManWhoMistookHisWifeForAHat   #Musicophilia   #Awakenings   #Alzheimers   #Dementia   #MusicTherapy   #TherapeuticMusicListening   #InstituteForMusicandNeurologicalFunction  

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Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory. Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times, Writing Your Way to Happiness

I'm happy that Tara Parker-Pope wrote Writing Your Way to Happiness. And while I'm also glad/relieved/intrigued that psychologists and scientists are finally studying the positive impact journaling and writing can have on emotional health, I'm also surprised that this is news.

We need studies to validate a communication form that has been around, in various forms, for thousands of years? Seriously?

Communicating with one another - storytelling - is an ancient form of expression that is manifested in a variety of ways. Petroglyphs are a form of storytelling and hardly a modern one. So, too, hieroglyphs. Art, sculpture, painting, music, dance, theatre...these are all forms of storytelling and are part of how we share our individual experiences of life with other people. And they've each been around for a very, very long time.

Consider the flute. One of which, made out of vulture bone, was found a few years ago in a cave in Southern Germany. It is quite possibly 40,000 years old.

The ancient flutes are evidence for an early musical tradition that likely helped modern humans communicate and form tighter social bonds, the researchers argue. James Owen - National Geographic News (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090624-bone-flute-oldest-instrument.html)

Consider dance. There are rock paintings that suggest the earliest forms of "dance" expression go back 9,000 years. And virtually every culture has some form of dance that defines it, whether it be belly dancing, ballet or voguing.

And consider art in all it's forms. We are used to young children making "art," like their cave living ancestors did so long ago, that their parents can proudly display on the refrigerator, or turn into holiday cards, or frame permanently for the walls of their homes. Although there might be children who do not create art, I personally don't know any. But I digress...

We are used to parents wanting their children to learn a musical instrument or to sing, or dance, or take art classes - because they want them to be well-rounded, educated, cultured, interesting.

But there is an unfortunate tendency to dismiss the value of any kind of artistic expression if it isn't turned into a career or one's profession beyond a certain age. We seem to have forgotten that it is natural - and human - to want to express oneself artistically, to want to share stories, and that teaching children to write...to make art, to play music, to dance, to perform...has a value beyond making a living off of any artistic talent that child may have.

Every artist that I know says writing, painting, playing music, dancing...makes them, well, happy, makes them, well, feel better, makes them, well, better able to get through life.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Tara Parker-Pope, the NY Times

Last year there was a wonderful series narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. One episode featured a story about Enheduanna, a Sumerian Princess and high priestess of Nanna, who was the daughter of King Sargon the Great.

Enheduanna lived and wrote around 2300 B.C.E. She is important because historians know her to be the first writer/poet/wordsmith that history knows by name. She is actually known by her name because Enheduanna actually thought to  _sign_ her name to her hymns and poems. It mattered to her that others would know who the author was.

If that isn't a desire to communicate, in words, like paintings etched on rocks, beyond the span of one's lifetime, then I don't know what is. I would love to talk to Enheduanna and ask her if writing made her happy. I would think, being a high priestess, that her answer would be "Yes! Of course!"

But it doesn't really matter. Because I'm happy just knowing she was alive. And that the first "author" was a woman? Well, that makes me particularly happy.

(http://www.space.com/24504-cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-with-neil-degrasse-tyson-new-trailer-revealed.html)

(http://womenshistory.about.com/od/womenwritersancientworld/p/enheduanna.htm)

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Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Why can't a woman take after a man?
Why can't a woman behave like a man?... 

...bellows Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, my favorite musical from my childhood. I memorized every word...because it was, of course, absurd! And we knew Eliza would end up wrapping Henry 'round her 'lil finger in the end (But don't tell Henry...).

But My Fair Lady was a musical, in which Rex Harrison as Henry was a genius. Audrey Hepburn as Eliza was incomparable, and Wilfred Hyde-White as Colonel Pickering was Higgins' perfect foil...and his conscience, I might add.

My Fair Lady was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (Shaw was a feminist, but I digress...), so it could hardly have been anything other than brilliant, particularly with with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe writing the lyrics and composing the music.

In this classic tale about rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated, manners and boorishness...and supposed differences between men and women, Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering wax on forever, interminably really. They never stop talking or tire of the sound of their own voices, and we love them for it.

So why does it seem that men are always suggesting that everything be brief...when they themselves are anything but brief? Is it because they have short attention spans? Or speak only one language, a language they therefore require everyone else to speak? Or is it because they don't have time, or don't want to spend the time? Clever isn't it, devising a maxim to accommodate one's personal habits?

Neither Higgins nor Pickering would have paid any attention to Danny Heitman's advice to Keep it Short and keep it brief:

...writing is a kind of talk, a discourse that must eventually answer to the clock. In writing, brevity works not only as a function of space on a page, but the time that an audience is willing to spend with you. Even if the Internet has made infinite texts possible, the reader’s attention is not without end. - Danny Heitman, the NY Times

Well, now. Heitman takes his cue from the clever, articulate and witty E.B. White, who wrote one of my favorite books, Here is New York, an essay on the magic, charms, horrors, highlights and outright improbability of New York City, circa 1949. (Note: any book about New York is likely to be on my hit list, but I digress again...)

However, Heitman got it way wrong when he used White as "proof" that a writer should always strive for brevity, for White, by his own admission, was not fond of reading! Therefore he would hardly have been prone to encourage writers to explore the...how shall I say it...elongated sentence style of a writer like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for instance.

I was never a voracious reader and, in fact, have done little reading in my life. There are too many other things I would rather do than read….It is a matter of some embarrassment to me that I have never read Joyce and a dozen other writers who have changed the face of literature. But there you are. I picked up Ulysses the other evening, when my eye lit on it, and gave it a go. I stayed with it only for about twenty minutes, then was off and away. It takes more than a genius to keep me reading a book. - E.B. White

So there you have it. You can safely ignore Danny Heitman. And instead of worrying about the length of a sentence or paragraph or poem or song or essay that you are writing, you might concentrate instead on being true to your own voice, spoken or written. Or whether it might be time to expand your color palette, or musical range, or whether you might like to branch out from ballet to break-dancing. Or whether you might like one sentence to be short, the next long, the next filled with every adjective and adverb in your repertoire, and the next missing, perhaps, any apparent verb! Horrors!

I wonder if Heitman reads poetry. Or Shakespeare. Or goes to the theatre. Or museums. Or sings. Or dances. Or takes long walks. Or plays a musical instrument. Or paints. Or daydreams. Or does anything creative. Or sits down to dinner with friends and chats for hours.

Or makes love for more than two minutes...

...without a timer next to his bed...

....but I digress, yet again...

Cheers,
Giselle

Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?
(music by Frederick Loewe; lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner)

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Why can't a woman be like that?
Why does every one do what the others do?
Can't a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don't they grow up, well, like their father instead?

Why can't a woman take after a man?
Men are so pleasant, so easy to please.
Whenever you're with them, you're always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn't speak for hours?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Well, why can't a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.
Now and then, there's one with slight defects.
One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit,
But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can't a woman take after a man?
'Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner would you bellow?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you complain if I took out another fellow?

Pickering
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be like us?

[dialog]

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so decent, such regular chaps;
Ready to help you through any mishaps;
Ready to buck you up whenever you're glum.
Why can't a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?

Why can't a woman behave like a man?
If I was a woman who'd been to a ball,
Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing,
Or carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I run off and never tell me where I'm going?
Why can't a woman be like me?

#MyFairLady  

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Perhaps that’s why we see so much vitriol online, so many anonymous, bitter comments, so many imprudent tweets and messy posts. Because creating them is less cathartic, you feel the need to do it more often. When your emotions never quite cool, they keep coming out in other ways.

Actually, I think the real reason we see so much vitriol online is two-fold: 1) Anger is the easiest emotion to access, and 2) Its sudden appearance in a convo very often succeeds in sending all but the equally (or competitively) angry heading for the hills.

Uncontrolled anger is not only easy to come by, it is cheap, flimsy and rarely constructive. What a difference between a blast of hot air from a vexed reader, seemingly unwilling to dig deep into their own unexplored reserves of self-expression for bon mots more powerful than, "You are a pompous pea-brain," or, "You are a bloated baboon," (although at this moment both have their appeal and I can think of many persons to whom each applies...), and a reader who has the presence of mind, skill and patience to float out the elegant, simple and effective, "This angers me."

In the world of the Thee-Ah-Tah, doncha know, actors are taught to mine their anger first, to get it out of the way, all the better to peel away the truly complex layers of the emotional onion, revealing ever richer sensibilities and feelings - skepticism, doubt, dismay, revulsion, sorrow, consternation, woe, regret, fear, depression, annoyance, shame, bewilderment, ambivalence, passivity, ennui, shock, fury, terror, torment, cynicism, dejection, misery, to name but a few possible emotions hidden by the all powerful and lofty 'anger' mode.

True enough, one might in the end venture back into the territory of outright rage having thoroughly explored all of the above, but it will be a colorful rage, a well-expressed rage, a nuanced rage, a well-thought out and examined rage, rather than a slipshod, hasty and fast food variety of anger better suited to the school yard than the round table.

But here we come to the real truth behind so much vitriol online and, dare I say, in real life - filtering through one's anger to the meat of the matter turned out onto a plate of well-chosen words that continues, rather than stops, the conversation takes time and effort, something that anger slingers, well, don't make time for or spend any effort at.

Bullies are boring.
Hit and run drivers are cowards.
Fast food gives an immediate sugar rush, then hunger sets in.

I remember a fellow joining one of my threads within the first few months of G+. He waxed on about how his hopes for G+ were that the medium would allow people to be truly "honest" with one another, you know, no holds barred, like the Thrilla in Manila fight between Ali and Frazier, the sort of verbal boxing match that leaves people bloodied, toothless and humiliated in front of millions of public posters, the sort of aggressive repartee in which someone wins and someone loses. I remember telling him to knock himself out (no pun intended) if he couldn't figure out a better way to communicate. Never heard from him again.

Do I wish Truman had leveled Joseph McCarthy publicly? Yes. McCarthy was a blight on our country and he gleefully destroyed the lives of many, many people. But leveling anger at someone in a position of authority with the power to cause harm is decidedly different than being an angry blunderhead online.

Perhaps I feel this way because there are so few Mark Twains and Christopher Hitchens anymore, those extraordinarily well educated and articulate persons who were unparalleled in their ability to whip up a well-worded froth.

In their absence, I'll settle for some online civility, which has all the signs of becoming a Lost Art itself.

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My connections and friendships with other writers on Google+ are two of my favorite things about this platform. This morning I celebrate and share with you the books that +Meg Tufano, +T. Pascal and +Matthew Graybosch (three of my favorite Plussers) have written, each of which is now available on Amazon/Kindle.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, one had to go to a book store to purchase a new release. Amazon changed all that and more, allowing the ease of home delivery in paper, in the cloud, in your Kindle library, or, as is my choice, on my Mac. What a pleasure to know each of these writers, to be able to champion their work, and to be able to be so easily supportive by having so many different online purchase options.

I have attached jpegs of each book cover, along with About the Author and About the Book summaries from Amazon, so that you can get a feel for each writer and, hopefully, choose to support one (or all!) of them yourself. There is a fourth jpeg, of the cover of publisher Curiosity Quill's Primetime, which includes The Milgram Battery, a story by Matthew Graybosch, also available on Amazon/Kindle.

It has been an honor and a pleasure for me to buy all of these books on Amazon. Join me if you can, will you? There is something so feel-good about technology that allows us to be so directly supportive of our fellow artists. Congratulations to each of them, and thanks to Mr. T., Matthew and Meg for believing in their own talents, for putting pen to paper, and for sharing themselves with us here on G+.

Please read on, add to your library, support writers and writing on Google+...and have a good weekend.

Thank you, all.

Giselle

How I Started Drinking, by Meg McDermott, a/k/a +Meg Tufano
(Kindle $9.99 / Paperback $21.78)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meg McDermott is a fourth-generation Washingtonian who has lived in Tennessee for twenty years. She teaches college students over the Internet while traveling around the world with her childhood sweetheart who is a scientist for Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Meg designed and built their house deep in a forest of oak trees on the side of a mountain overlooking The Cumberlands. She could see Windrock in the distance while she wrote this novel. She is addicted to Buddy’s Barbeque and hopes her husband will not leave her if she eventually gets a little fat. She drinks Pinot Grigio but will have a glass of Bourbon on the rocks if provoked.

ABOUT How I Started Drinking: Meg McDermott’s writing reminds one of Maeve Binchy, Elizabeth Berg and Anne Tyler with a touch of Fannie Flagg ("Fried Green Tomatoes") while establishing a voice that is all her own. She also manages to cleanly capture the voices of the heart of Appalachia. In this award-winning novel, "How I Started Drinking," divorced Maggie Bailey, Ph.D.² comes to rural East Tennessee to forget her rich and high-powered life in Washington, DC, while her ex-husband has some second thoughts, bless his little heart. The story weaves together the past and the present with her mountain ex-in-laws while Maggie learns that maybe when it comes to life, love, and liquor, her cornbread just ain’t done in the middle. This is a poignant and light-hearted story about unusual friendships and the craziness of love and family in North America spanning The Vietnam War to 9/11. You will love this book if you enjoy warm-hearted, or cold-hearted, Southern characters, smart strong-headed women whose love-life gets them snookered into no-way-out corner pockets. And, maybe, if you like some interesting cooking recipes (included at the book’s end). It’s a fantastic read for people who love sex or drinking! It’s not too long and–WARNING–the sex is explicit! In an international competition, Meg McDermott was honored with the distinction of the The Sue Ellen Hudson “Excellence in Writing” award by The Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference, its top overall prize. They also awarded her novel, "How I Started Drinking," BEST NOVEL. “As you go skinny dipping with the snapping turtles in this hilarious novel, pour yourself a strong one! I loved 'How I Started Drinking!'” –Dr. Jane Oswald, author of "Teaching in Black Holes in Space." http://goo.gl/FlPAUk

POTUS Goes to Washington, by +T. Pascal 
(Kindle $2.99 / Paperback $6.81)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: T. Pascal is a father, husband, and writer who looks down from the heights of his ivory tower and contemplates the little people beneath him. He is a benevolent writer who believes in the competence of all his subjects, excepting those who recycle and/or enjoy a vegan diet.

ABOUT POTUS Goes to Washington: The governor of Kansas is elected to the highest office in the land. As President of the United States, he promises to right the wrongs that plague the great states of America. His populist platform involves getting rid of Daylight Savings and abolishing Congress. With his silent, brave, and heroic Secret Service agent Johnson by his side, he attempts to confront his political enemies on the open field of back room meetings. His most trusted allies and head maid turn against him in an all-out battle to determine who will control the White House lunch menu. Can he implement his reforms and turn the clock back on Daylight Savings before he is impeached?

*Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker #1), by +Matthew Graybosch
(Kindle Price $4.99), 319 pages.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matthew Graybosch is the author of Without Bloodshed, a near-future science fantasy thriller set in the Starbreaker universe. His other works include Steadfast, a novelette published in five parts at the Curiosity Quills Press website; Tattoo Vampire: and The Milgram Battery, which was included in the Curiosity Quills Primetime charity anthology. According to official records maintained by the state of New York, Matthew Graybosch was born on Long Island in 1978. Urban legends in New York suggest he might be Rosemary's Baby, the result of top-secret DOD attempts to continue Nazi experiments combining human technology and black magic, or that he sprang fully grown from his father's forehead with a sledgehammer in one hand and a copy of The C Programming Language in the other -- and has given the poor man headaches ever since. The truth is more prosaic. Matthew Graybosch is a novelist from New York who lives in central Pennsylvania. He is also an avid reader, a long-haired metalhead, and an unrepentant nerd.

ABOUT Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker #1): “All who threaten me die.” These words made Morgan Stormrider’s reputation as one of the Phoenix Society’s deadliest IRD officers. He served with distinction as the Society’s avenger, hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan seeks to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends as a musician. Regardless of his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider after a dictator’s accusations make him a liability to the organization. He must put everything aside, travel to Boston, and prove he is not the Society’s assassin. He must put down Alexander Liebenthal’s coup while taking him alive. Despite the gravity of his task, Morgan cannot put aside his ex-girlfriend’s murder, or efforts to frame him and his closest friends for the crime. He cannot ignore a request from a trusted friend to investigate the theft of designs for a weapon before which even gods stand defenseless. He cannot disregard the corruption implied in the Phoenix Society’s willingness to make him a scapegoat should he fail to resolve the crisis in Boston without bloodshed. The words with which Morgan Stormrider forged his reputation haunt him still. 
http://mybook.to/withoutbloodshed

Curiosity Quills: Primetime:
(Kindle $4.99 / Paperback $13.00)

Curiosity Quills Press brings together bestselling authors like J.R. Rain, Tony Healey, A.W. Exley, and more to create a spine-tingling, mind-blowing, quirky collection of short stories in their first ever, annual Curiosity Quills: Primetime Anthology. 10% of every purchase will go straight to animals in need. The CQ team has selected humane societies on both the East and West coast that spend well and do not stray from their "no-kill" policies. Included Short Stories: - And Death Shall Have No Dominion - K.H. Koehler - Cyber Cowboy - James Wymore - Dark Orb - Tony Healey - Ephemera - Gerilyn Marin - The Fridge - J.R. Rain - Ghost Placers - Nina Post - Gothic Gwen - A.W. Exley - How I Killed the Drama - Mike Robinson - Mad Science - Sharon Bayliss - On the Rocks - William Vitka - Razor Child - Michael Shean - Sinergy - A.E. Propher & Grace Eyre - Tell Us Everything - Randy Attwood - The Caw - Eliza Tilton - The Damned and the Dangerous - Michael Panush - The Last Carnivale - Vicki Keire - The Milgram Battery - Matthew Graybosch - The Notebook - Randy Attwood - The Pearl - Rand B. Lee - Trevor - Nathan Yocum
http://www.amazon.com/Curiosity-Quills-Primetime-Charity-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00FOEYYJU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385227931&sr=1-1&keywords=9781620073308

#HowIStartedDrinking   #POTUSGoestoWashington #WithoutBloodshed   #CuriosityQuills     #BlogsofAugust  
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They told me a long time ago, they didn’t like me and I would never get it. That’s at least forty years ago. Maybe it’s less. Thirty-five years. They said, “You will never get the Nobel Prize, because we don’t like you," and they sent a special official to tell me so.

DORIS LESSING
October 1919
November 2013

It’s been going on now for thirty years. I have won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. It’s a Royal Flush. Am I supposed to be elated, or excited, or what? I have won all the prizes in Europe. Every one. So, I’ve won them all. So, okay, the Nobel… I say it’s a Royal Flush. But I’m going to have to think of nice things to say…

I mean the whole thing is so graceless and stupid and bad-mannered. Bad-mannered. That’s what they are. I’m very glad I won the Nobel Prize and I’m already thinking of all the people who are going to send me begging letters. I see them lining up now. And what am I going to do? I want to start another book. And I’m going to be too busy giving interviews to all your lot...

#DorisLessing   #LIterature  

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Morning,

At the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, which "has become the longest running annual festival of women writers in the nation." 

A weekend of readings, writing, poetry slams, conversation (and Yes, food and wine) in the Kentucky Bluegrass. Any other Plussers attending?

GM
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