Monday, February 19, 2024

Write Stuff (part 4) - Generation Gap

 


The Generation Gap

Adults have lamented about the sorry state of the youth throughout history:

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

This quote has been attributed to Socrates in the 4th century B.C. 

But it has been suggested it really was "a summary of general complaints about the youth by the ancient Greeks, as written in a 1907 dissertation by a student, Kenneth John Freeman."

 Reference: reddit/AskHistorians

At least it proves the words of Solomon:

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

In our times, the generations from the late 19th century to the roaring 20s in the 21st century can be succinctly summed up in the video below.

 Every Birth Generation Explained in 9 Minutes:



https://youtu.be/ruKJpwlRe_M?si=51FFeErJ22WE0fub


Such distinctions can be valuable for writers when crafting their characters who grew up in the generation that defined them.

And these characteristics are another tool of...

The Write Stuff!

Solomon also wrote:

Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.

Ecclesiastes 1:4 (NIV)

What will define the next generation?


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Tuesday, January 16, 2024

IS40:8 (part 7) - New Year Praise

 


Blessings for 2024.

May this be a year of Revival, Restoration, Renewal.

Pray we begin the New Year with praises to our Lord and Savior in our hearts:





This year, 2024, may we seek Him and claim this promise:

11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

12  Then you will call on Me
and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.

13  You will seek Me
and find Me when you seek Me
with all your heart.” 


Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)


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Isaiah 40:8

The grass withereth,
the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God
shall stand for ever.



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Thursday, December 7, 2023

STC (part 5) - Christmas Party at the S*T*C

 


S*T*C

Initials for the Satellite Tracking Center

And the title of my historical novel: Women breaking into aerospace in the 1980s meet men behaving badly.

It's 1984. The space shuttle Challenger is up in orbit. The Reagan administration is beefing up defense to fight the Evil Empire of Communism. And the Satellite Tracking Center, known as the S*T*C, is staffing up to meet those challenges.

Then the old boy network finds itself turned upside down when young professional women, such as Samantha Clark and Rosalind Hart, breach the male-dominated mission control teams inside the S*T*C. In the secrecy demanded in the classified world, how do Sam and Roz cope with men behaving badly? Will the women or the old boys break first?

Christmas 1984 rolls around.

Let's take a peek at the festivities inside the S*T*C. 

In particular, the Mission Control Complex (MCC-F) where Sam works as a contractor for Celestia Space Corporation (known as CSC).

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Chapter SIXTY-THREE

The week before Christmas and counting down to launch, CSC held their annual Christmas party. Inside MCC-F, the customers, mostly the Air Force, were invited to CSC’s Christmas lunch buffet in the SCIF.

So, the feasting began.

Those at the end of the line were the essential personnel, who had been running real-time satellite passes at the start of brunch. And when their work was done, nothing was left. The guests had eaten up the food which was calculated as ample enough to feed the contractors.

“Great!” Ned Gaubert on the two-side pouted after finishing a pass. “Our customer…the Grinch…stole this Christmas!”

“Now, Ned—” Paul Coleman started his mild scold. Then he saw the injustice of it all. And PC agreed Ned had a point.

Ned glared at the GC Randy Rowdy, who had a plate of food.

“Hey,” Randy mumbled with a mouth full. “You got to look out for Number One, Ned.”

Ned sneered. “Love your Christmas spirit.”

* * *

The lunch buffet had cleared out of the SCIF. More fun ahead, it was time for the crew to open presents from their secret Santas.

Rich Kerry, tall and thin, wore a red Santa hat and fake white beard. He looked as incongruous as Christmas in July.

Arye smiled when he opened up his present from Sam. A customized Jewish Christmas ornament, crafted from a wooden Star of David, with a fake sprig of holly in the middle.

“Thanks for the Messiah-mas ornament,” he said.

“And I want to show you something.” Sam pulled out a thin book.

Zlateh the Goat, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.” Arye looked it over. “My favorite Hanukkah story. My mother read me this when I was a kid.”

https://youtu.be/7D1acPvevzw?si=sbC--zkpbrJXnmge

Sam explained, “An old friend of mine—old as in senior citizen—gave me this when I was thirteen.”

“For your bas mitzvah?” Arye grinned.

“My what?”

“It would be a bar mitzvah if you were a guy. A bas mitzvah is when you became a woman.”

“The gentleman, who gave me this, helped me to grow up a lot. He’d be in his eighties if he were alive.”

Sam could see that the book touched Arye as he looked at the cover. “Thanks for thinking of me this time of the year. It’s not easy being a Jew during Christmas.”

“Hey, Jesus was Jewish. He celebrated his bar mitzvah and Hanukah.”

Then Rich called out the next present. “Rosa Martinez.”

“From Doug?” Rosa looked apprehensive as she opened the package. “Chocolate colored bikini underpants? And it says…oh, my—”

Doug grabbed the card. “I want to eat these panties right off of you, my dear.”

“Of all the nerve!” Rosa took her present and smacked him hard on the head with it.

Doug leered back. “More S and M after the party, dear?”

Rosa smacked him harder—several times—and no one stopped her.

Then one by one, all the presents were given out.

Sam asked Rich, “Is there anything…for me?”

Rich shook his head.

Sam stood still for the moment. Then she ran off to the women’s room to cry and pull herself together.

* * *

Frank Bustamonte was a quiet man. Yet he observed more than he let on. Charles Sinclair had drawn Sam’s name. And Frank overheard Charles say that he was not getting anything for that bitch.

Frank wondered if Charles would have a change of heart. He didn’t.

So Frank took action. He repackaged his present from Werner, then sent Rosa to get Sam from no-man’s land.

“This is for you, dear.” Frank presented Sam with her gift.

Rosa came up with an explanation. “Your present fell behind the file cabinet where the tree sat. So, Rich missed it.”

Sam felt ashamed for crying, as she opened the gift of coffee. “This is nice. It’s from you, Frank?”

Frank smiled. “Yes, dear.”

“I’m sorry I misunderstood.”

“Don’t ever deny your feelings.” Then Frank threw in some cookies from a fan of his son, the Elvis impersonator. And he said this Elvis had just gotten his divinity degree so he could do weddings.

“I thought you might appreciate these.” Gordon Howard presented Sam a few El Chichon Chicos, his pet lava rocks with smiley faces.

“Thank you.” Sam looked at her presents, feeling her depression fly away. “These rocks are so nice. They’ll look so cheerful in our garden.”

“And I’ve got a garage full of them.” Gordon flashed his yellowed teeth. Then he belted out a great belly laugh that would outdo any Santa.

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To read more, please check out: S*T*C

Your readership is appreciated.


Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!


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Photo: Gifts_Xmas/wikipedia.com 






Sunday, November 26, 2023

Philosophy (part 1) - Stupidity

 



Thomas Paine, American Revolutionary War influencer, best known for his pamphlet Common Senseonce said:

To argue with a person
who has renounced the use of reason
 is like administering medicine
to the dead.

Otherwise - Stupidity.

A casual observer sees displays of stupidity in politics every day. But when the emotions in a crowd get out of control, we can have....

Mob Rule

The 20th century experienced much madness. One such gripped Nazi Germany during the 1930s.

Some resisted the devolution from a democracy with rule of law into a police state under a tyrant. But it was not enough to stop the escalation into World War II.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and anti-Nazi dissident was one of the resistors. He was arrested as part of a failed plot to assassinate Hitler, imprisoned, and hung in April 1945, weeks before Germany surrendered to the Allies. 

But he wrote of the evils of stupidity in his letters from prison while waiting execution:



https://youtu.be/ww47bR86wSc?si=UcxFNLRmDBFuP9hB


To sum up stupidity:

The way of fools seems right to them,

but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 12:15


And our philosophers speak in the art of film:


 
https://youtu.be/tldGgGFe194?si=_w2y9BuU96CMR_oz


And that's all I have to say about that!


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Photo: Thomas Paine/wikipedia




Sunday, October 1, 2023

CC4 (part 3) - October Surprise on Halloween.

 


October surprise on Halloween?

This surprise in the theme of this chapter of Book 4, Rainmaker, in The Commander and the Chief series.

Part 9

Chapter 8
October Surprise

Halloween.

This year, the Duke and Duchess of Yorkchestershire were throwing a costume party at Barrett Manor. And Nova and Reggie arrived a few days early to help with the decorating. A pleasant break in the English countryside from the hubbub of London.

Nova wore baggy sweatpants and a loose T-shirt as she helped alongside the servants. All under her mother-in-law’s supervision.

But Nova needed more rest than usual. She didn’t want to admit anything was wrong. Though memories of her dad haunted her. Especially during his last year on earth, before he had succumbed to cancer.

Dad had needed a lot of breaks. Tired easily. And Nova tried to put Dad out of her mind as she joined her mother-in-law for tea.

Regina looked over Nova. “Is everything all right, dear?”

“I’m fine,” Nova lied. Then changed the subject. “But, hey. It’s the end of October already. And this time in America, we brace ourselves for the October Surprise.”

Regina set down her cup. “What surprise is that?”

“When a scandal is leaked in the media,” Nova said. “Especially during an election year. With little time for the political target to recover from the allegations.”

“Oh, that.” Regina waved a hand. “Politics as usual. Like over here, they’re all crooks.”

Nova sighed. “I need to take something for my stomach.”

Regina returned a skeptical look as Nova dismissed herself. The Duchess had her ideas as to what was going on with her daughter-in-law. But kept her thoughts to herself.

* * *

Anton Orlovic had been at Barrett Manor for the last month, after he got back from the States. He was the nephew most like Nova’s dad. He could fix most anything. The Barrett Great House was in fine shape. But maintenance was ongoing. And Anton had critical skills. He knew what he was doing and cared to do a good job.

Before long, the outside was encompassed by lit jack o’ lanterns. Trees strung with cobwebs and bats and orange and white lights. Inside, the trappings of a haunted mansion.

After sunset, it was party time.

Alfie Dawkins greeted the precession of guests. Dressed in a black mask like a highwayman from the Regency Period.

Jane Meyer saw to the refreshments. She wore an owl mask. Her favorite bird. And she perfected her hoot so the guests knew she was coming. And gave a hoot.

Sir Robert Barrett, the host, dressed as Henry VIII. Pumpkin pants. Royal robes. Tudor flat cap. His hair and beard tinted red.

Dame Regina, in red hair and wide dress, made a convincing Queen Elizabeth I. She said, “Off with your heads!” like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

Reggie morphed into a convincing Nikola Tesla. Dark hair with the part in the middle and fake mustache. Dressed in a dark jacket, white shirt, waist coat. Holding a model of a sparking Tesla coil. And he had perfected that wild mad scientist look.


https://youtu.be/iEJNJ0rFSe8?si=0TeSZNiIHuwCME6Y


Nova made her entrance downstairs as Wonder Woman. Her favorite female superhero. Twirling her golden lasso of truth. But she had to alter her costume. And discreetly, Jane had helped take out parts of the suit so it would fit.



https://youtu.be/imc_qG8Re2Q?si=KfYFJTewzDixBhWK

Anton dressed as a cowboy and brought his rope. And Anton and Nova demonstrated their lassoing skills. Nova caught Reggie a few times.

“You’ve branded me already, darling.” He showed her his wedding ring. “Now, let me go,”

“But I don’t want to let you go.” She drew him to her and they kissed.

Halloween was also Reformation Day. It was Halloween night of 1517 that Martin Luther had nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany.



https://youtu.be/ijjbtcAEOnY?si=5EjYCXNaJpG9sdvn

And Lord Fredrick Wise reminded everyone that it was the German Prince, Frederick the Wise, who had protected Martin Luther and made the whole Reformation thing possible.

Wise was tempted to come as Frederick the Wise. But it was like coming as himself. So he came as Martin Luther. Dark cap and robe. Holding a copy of the Ninety-five Theses.

And his wife Sharon dressed as Martin Luther’s wife and former nun, Katharina von Bora. Ivory wimple, black dress, white apron.

Jasmyn took little Elijah Rainmaker Barrett down from the nursery a few times. The baby wore a beaded head band with a small eagle feather and colorful streaks of war paint on his cheeks.

Elijah was quite the scene stealer. The Duke’s second grandson. The last of the Rainmaker line.

One of the guests looked over Jasmyn’s torn jeans, tie dyed T-shirt, tattoos, spiked hair streaked with purple, orange, and pink.

“I love your costume, Nanny,” she said.

“What costume, ma’am?” Jasmyn answered with wide eyes.

Eventually, the guests settled for a big screen showing of the old cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Center stage was that sweet transvestite. Dr. Frank-N-Furter. From Transsexual, Transylvania.

Many at the party knew all the movie lines and sang along, like:

Let’s do the time warp again.


https://youtu.be/umj0gu5nEGs?si=nUdeKQIdkq_P-cE-

The scene came when Dr. Frank-N-Furter, off stage, hacked Dr. Scott’s nephew Eddie to death with an ice pick. When Frank-N-Furter came out of the freezer with blood on his gloves, Nova threw up.



https://youtu.be/pMRl55U0eDw?si=BPgG7Ou7Y0dqxzlN


That stopped the show.

At least paused it and sent the servants scrambling for cleanup. After which, the show would go on, so they could party into All Saints Day.

* * *

Reggie instructed Jane to make a special purchase at an all-night chemist. And Jane did not seem surprised by this request.

Then he escorted Nova upstairs and helped her undo her costume. Unzipping the back. Tugging off the suit.

“I see you’ve been putting on a little weight, darling.”

Nova spun around with a look of murder in her eyes. Like if she had an ax, she’d give Reggie forty whacks.

Reggie snapped open his eyes. Backed away. Raising his arms in self-defense. Then Nova sunk into the bed and broke out into heaving sobs.

“Oh, God.” Reggie waited for Nova to calm down some.

He shook out his handkerchief and dried her tears. Slipped a robe over her. Then he took off his jacket and fake mustache and got comfortable for a long night.

Reggie rubbed Nova’s back. “What’s troubling you, darling?”

“I miss my dad.” She blew her nose.

“What brought this on?’

“Halloween. The pumpkins. My dad grew the biggest pumpkins. He used to take Nick and me down to the river and suck up water into his sewer truck. Then irrigate his gardens with it.”

Reggie widened his eyes. “I can imagine what came out of that thing.”

Nova wiped her tears. “We always got the biggest corn and the biggest pumpkins. And Dad was the one that carved the jack o’ lanterns.”

Eventually, there was a knock.

“Enter,” Reggie said.

“Is everything all right, Commander?” Jane asked.

“We shall see.” Reggie received the goods. “Thank you, Jane. I’ll call if we need anything else.”

Jane responded with hoots.

Reggie coaxed Nova into the loo to pee on a stick.

He looked at the results on the indicator and arched a dark eyebrow. “No more strong drinks for you, darling.”

“Now it makes sense what Kaya told me.” Nova let out a breath. “Elijah’s not the last of the Rainmakers, is he?”

Reggie chuckled. “Surprise.”


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Happy Halloween
Happy Reformation Day

Be safe.


All published books (paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited) of The Commander and the Chief series are linked as a set on amazon: The Commander and the Chief series

Your readership is appreciated.



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Photo: Halloween/Kobe/wikipedia





Tuesday, September 19, 2023

CCx (part 1) - The Commander and the Chief series

 




cover art by DAVIS Creative, Becki Davis



Announcement

The Commander and the Chief series updates.

All published books (paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited) of this series are linked as a set on amazon: The Commander and the Chief series

The series overall theme:

The Commander, a British doctor, and the Chief, a Native American lawyer, take on the Deep State.

They team up to get to the bottom of the suspicious death of the Chief's husband. The trail leads to coverups, blackmail and bribery schemes, assassinations, and powerful villains with the shadowy characters that control them.

The Old World meets the Wild West when the two tie the knot in a till-death-do-they-part Anglo-America union. As rogue forces act to eliminate them, the Commander and the Chief cowboy up to keep calm and carry on.

Buckle up for a wild ride where the Big Sky is the Limit.




And in the Big Sky, may Blue Skies shine on you!

Thank you for your readership.

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For more in this series, search blog:

CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4, CC5, CCx
The Commander and the Chief series

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Photo: cover art by DAVIS Creative, Becki Davis







Tuesday, August 29, 2023

CC5 (part 1): Pow Wow

 


cover art by DAVIS Creative, Becki Davis

Pow Wow 


Pow Wow (powwow or pow-wow) has historical as well as modern meanings:

 North American Indian ceremony involving feasting, singing, and dancing.

INFORMAL

a conference or meeting for discussion, especially among friends or colleagues.

Data from Oxford Languages

It's also the title of my latest novel (Book 5) in The Commander and the Chief series:


The Commander and the Chief take on the rogue Deep State:

the Gunfight at the UK Corral, 
missing Redcoats in the Nevada Triangle, 
and nuclear blackmail!

Available on amazon


Here's the next wild ride:

Speaker of the House Karl Kelly was never supposed to be President of the United States. But that happens when President Todd resigns and the VP kills himself. Then the rogue Deep State acts to remedy that.

First, take out the new VP, Laurel Hardy. Assassins strike in London, during her Pow Wow with Ambassador Nova Orlovic. But the women fight back as Wild West meets Middle Eastern terrorism in the Gunfight at the UK Corral.

Next, an attempt at US regime change escalates to nuclear blackmail. But Commander Reginald Barrett’s Methuselah project to reverse aging becomes the bargaining chip to forge dubious alliances to fight the Deep State.

Meanwhile, in the mysterious Nevada Triangle, provocateurs incite ET and prepper conventioneers to attack visiting British soldiers. But the Redcoat Regiment vanishes as the mob closes in, and conspiracy theories abound.

Will the Commander and the Chief defuse the nuclear threat and international tensions before it’s too late?

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As for the Native American meaning of Pow Wow (spoiler alert), that is saved for the last chapter.

And below is a sample of the real thing:




For more information on Pow Wows, check out: What is a Pow Wow?

Your readership is most appreciated.

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For more in this series, search blog:


CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4, CC5, CCx
The Commander and the Chief series

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Photo: cover art by DAVIS Creative, Becki Davis