Saturday, January 6, 2018

Racism destroys USA

Racism will destroy our country. 

Racists so hate Obama that they want to undo everything associated with him. They don't believe intelligence reports developed under him regarding Russian meddling in our elections. 

Now they're trying to go after the whistle blowers criminally. 

Totalitarianism triumphs so that Republicans can continue to please their billionaire donors. 

The tax law is rammed through with no opportunity for public input to benefit those billionaire donors and hurt blue states. 

The whole Republican party is complicit. The party of Lincoln becomes the party of fascism. 

Sinclair takes over local news. Despite clear monopoly effect, no antitrust enforcement is undertaken. 

Evil wins. 

Only four million people sign Steyer's petition. 

I feel such despair. Racism has destroyed my country. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Trying to write book 4

A big decision I will have to make in book 4 of the Elves in Detroit series is whether 2 major characters will actually get involved in relationships or not.

In my prior novels, there were always these romantic denouements, where characters got married; but that isn't my personal story. My personal story is that I've never succeeded in getting into a serious relationship since my divorce.

I feel that, in my novels, in some sense, all of the characters could represent me -- though in this series I thought of Laurielle as being my character.  She's an older single female with Asperger's Syndrome.

Still, I'm realizing that I identify with Billy as well.  Billy represents my rage, my bad side, even though he's a black, male child and I'm a senior, white woman. 

Do I want to pretend that somehow these characters who represent me in some fashion can just be married even though I myself don't seem to be able to manage it?

Or, do I want that to be left in suspense, or even precluded? 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cancer and the positivity police

I think I feel good about chemo, because I can feel it helping. Last summer, when I had an undiagnosed tumor, I could feel that something was wrong when I was hiking. I felt more tired and depressed. I think depression is a symptom of cancer.

Two weeks after my first chemo, I could feel that lifting. The same thing happened when I was in chemo before.

I think this business about positive attitude helping cancer patients mixes up cause and effect. If the treatment is working, the patient feels better and is more positive. The patient who is not benefiting from treatment is still feeling down, because the cancer is still dragging on their system.

I find this whole positivity police thing very oppressive and abusive towards cancer patients.  Cancer patients should not be told that they are at fault for their disease because of their poor attitudes.  This is absurd and cruel.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

In preparation for the cover of Elves in Detroit: Book 1

This is definitely backwards, blogging about decisions about the book covers in reverse order.  But once I had done it for book 3, I thought that I should do it for books 1 & 2.

My ideas for the cover of book 1 were related to conveying the concept of having Laurielle build a miniature version of fairyland under domes in Detroit -- and catching glimpses of Detroit from that mini-fairyland.  Here were some candidates.

The trees in these pictures were photographed in the White Mountains of NH.

I drove around places near me to try to find row houses that would be suitable for conveying urban decay in my fictional Detroit.  Obviously, row houses in the NYC metro area don't look like Detroit.  That's one thing I'm realizing is that even in fairly unremarkable areas, the architecture is nevertheless unique.  Anyway, I created a google photos album with some of the pictures I took.  As you may notice, I ended up preferring one block in Yonkers, which had a particularly decayed looking building.  Here's the link to my album

google photos album of row house photos

I also found a couple of places in Harlem, which might have been suitable, that were interesting, including one building that was isolated in a lot, just like Laurielle's building in the book, and even surrounded by a community garden.  Here are some images

I ended up going with the one in Yonkers -- but, if this book gets made into a movie, This would be a great place to film

I also thought this backyard was promising

And this abandoned building

 I could go back and change the cover.  Kindle will let me do that.  I may have gotten unduly excited playing with transparency in my Sketchbook Pro program -- and let that get me carried away in what I chose as a cover.

I wanted to have a picture of Laurielle, but when I tried, that exceed my artistic abilities -- or so I thought, but maybe I could do something with distortion, the way my son taught me with the third book, to make her face so terribly thin.  This was as far as I got:

Principles before Personalities in OA

This was in response to a sponsee who wanted a sponsor whose religious beliefs were similar to her own

We have a saying in program, "principles before personalities." 

In this program, at one time, I had simultaneously a step sponsor who was a conservative, Republican Roman Catholic and a food sponsor who was a radical lesbian goddess worshipper. I've had sponsees who were orthodox Jews, Muslim, Baha'i', Hindu, fundamental Christian, and uncommitted. 

When dealing with the conservative Catholic, who wanted me to study the Bible instead of the Big Book, I tended to correspond with snail mail, rather than by phone, because I didn't want the proselytizing, and she didn't have e-mail. But I did call her from time to time, and she had the strongest program of everyone I knew. I stayed with her for seven years, until she had a stroke and couldn't sponsor any more. At the time of the stroke, she was abstinent 36 years. She had the best emotional recovery of anyone I met in program. I treasured working with her, even though there was the minor inconvenience of being told to read the Bible, which just wasn't program and wasn't on my to do list. 

I've had sponsees suffering from major psychoses. I've visited sponsees in hospitals and prison.   I had a sponsee who was running a donut shop while trying to work program. I've had to attend business meetings, phone meetings, and f2f meetings with people for whom the word "unpleasant" would be a major understatement. 

But I stay here, because I need this program to save my life. 

There is an important alternative version of the serenity prayer

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, courage to change the one I can, and wisdom to know that one is me."

This is about taking my own inventory, and cleaning my side of the street. It's not about cleaning other people's side of the street. 

I did grit my teeth a bit, when one Muslim sponsee told me she wanted to work to spread Islam in the world, but that didn't drive me off. I knew she was going to do a more palatable version of this after working the steps.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ideas about cover for Elves in Detroit, Book 2

This is a bit out of order, but I'm trying to document my cover thinking for the second book, like I did for the third.  I went through some different ideas about the dragon.  First it was bat-winged.  Then it was a pterodragon.  I'm trying to embed tweets here, but I'm not sure that's going to result in transferring the images into the blog, so I may have to try something different

The embedded tweets do seem to be working, but there's a slight delay, before the images come up.  So just wait a tad.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cape Stills

working on the cover for Elves in Detroit: Book 3. I got really dizzy trying to get these.

I don't know.  Maybe it's dumb to use myself as a model for this cover, when none of the characters in the book really look like me, but it's supposed to represent a generally elfin presence dashing off into the multiverse.

So here are some proposed covers.  

I've sort of been considering dark green a theme color for my books.  The cape is reversible. It can be green or purple.  Even though it's not the same green as my preferred theme color, somehow I feel that the green side looks better.

Here are some foggy & smeary effects -- but not trimmed yet

Ah, yes, with some help from my son, the genius