Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Decisions, decisions, decisions...who to pick?

All of my characters have been clamoring for attention lately. Trying to pick who to use for this year's NaNoWriMo project has been tough and was only decided 30 minutes ago.

Jess has been bugging me to get Book 4 in her series done (yes, I know they're not published yet, I need $$ for editors first). The Scot deserves to have more attention to his story line, but he decided to bow out this year at the last minute. This is due, in part, to new research being published on Hitler's possible escape which may affect his story line.

Callie (It's a Fey Life) is bugging for another book, focusing on farming run off affecting the Gulf of Mexico. The Coven Sisters are all being politely passive/agressive - as usual. An Meri, my beloved Meri, one of The Chosen, has been encouraging more research on Skih and Buddist practices.

So many choices. The ultimate decider was a reminder of the picture that inspired the idea for the book I'll be working on this month.

Drum roll please....

And the Winner is....

The Coven Sisters! They are back in Michigan to visit with their favorite B&B proprietor and take an actual vacation. I'll try to post word counts and hints about the story line from time to time. Work may get in the way (on-calls schedules suck!), but I'm going to give it a try.

And big thanks to my friend whose pictures continue to give me story ideas.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Are you a NaNo'er?

NaNo is rapidly approaching. For those new to NaNo, NaNo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a novel in a month, 50,000 words minimum to be more accurate,.  It starts November 1st and ends at 11:59pm November 30th.

I've done it several years now, I don't always make my goal as my day job tends to get in the way and I find myself on-call on again this year right in the middle of NaNo. But I'm prepping earlier than usual.

If you've been on the fence about possibly writing the novel idea tumbling about in your head, this may be the kick in the pants you need. I did write my first novel in a month, long before I'd heard about NaNo, so I know it can be done.

There are many previous winners who have been published, 449 since 2006, not including those who self-published. That is a shorter list, however, it is still inspiring.

The nice thing is that NaNo has loads of resources available to us writers, all of it is free. NaNo is also a non-profit and, due to donations from a variety of sources, has expanded it's programs to include virtual writing camps, special programs for young writers (grades K-12), and programs for libraries.

Each region has leaders that help with questions, organizing write-ins, and keeping your motivation going. Some regions are more active than others, but there's usually at least one write-in event, giving you a chance to meet other writers and get some additional inspiration.

This year I'll be working on the second book in my Coven Sisters series, wish me luck!

If you'd like to know more about NaNoWriMo, check out their site at: https://nanowrimo.org

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Secession - Should California Stay or Go?

There is lots of talk today about California attempting to secede from the Unites States. While I seriously doubt it will happen, I decided to do some digging to see what I could find, and then began plotting what would most likely happen should they go ahead with secession.

I went to where I always start first: my grandparents’ encyclopedias (no, I do not trust Wikipedia, nor would I accept any reference to Wikipedia sources for any class I may teach).

 Here’s the Standard America Encyclopedia has to say about Secession:

Secession, the withdrawal of a state or group from a union or association. In the United States whenever a state has claimed the right to withdraw from the Union, it has based its claim on the doctrine of state sovereignty. Specifically this question was brought forward or involved in the Kentucky “Resolutions,” the Hartford “Convention,” and the “Nullification Ordinance.” Among the southern states there had been some talk of cooperation for the purpose of effecting a secession program, for no state would have made the attempt independently, but such discussion had resulted in nothing. Nevertheless, state sovereignty and slavery had been bound up together since about 1835, and the logical consequence was secession. The election of Abraham Lincoln, when the political situation was flanked with sectional differences resting on state claims, was all that was necessary to change the theory of secession in the South into an attempt to effect the reality. South Carolina took the lead by issuing a circular to all the southern states, in which she declared her readiness to unite with any other states in the act of secession, or to secede along, provided any other state would agree to follow. South Carolina was leader in calling a state convention, and on Dec. 20, 1860, the Act of 1788, ratifying the National Constitution, was repealed, and it declared “that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” A declaration of the cause for this act was formulated, and on the 24th was adopted. The governor proclaimed “the secession of South Carolina,” the same day. Mississippi was the first to follow this example, Jan. 9, 1861, then in succession came Florida, Jan. 10; Alabama, Jan. 11; Georgia, Jan. 19; Louisiana, Jan. 26; and Texas, Feb. 1, though in the case of this last State the proceedings were decidedly irregular. Virginia followed in April; Arkansas and North Carolina in May; and Tennessee in June. The Civil War was the consequence. The final issue was the victory of the government, the surrender of the Confederate to the Federal Army, and the full union of the united States of America.
The above quote is directly sourced from The Standard America Encyclopedia, Vol. XI. published in 1939. Interestingly it has no page numbers.


(By the way, I found the use of the comma before the quotes interesting...I have apparently been doing this wrong all my life).

In 2006, Justice Antoin Scalia purportedly wrote: “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

I have to agree with that. I cannot imagine our federal government taking an attempt at sucession as anything but an act of sedition, war, or outright treason. It has grown far to large to see it in any other manner.

War is only one aspect to consider here. California is also home to many military bases and national parks. Our government will never willing give up our bases, and our military members will most likely not stand down. Sure, there may be a few who stand down, but unless you’ve done military duty, do not attempt to predict what they will or won’t do.

As for the National Parks, the US will not willingly part with any of that land – especially those areas that hold the crucial snow pack that California depends on. So California won’t have the same borders it has today, nor will it have control of the airports – hello, FAA is a federal agency – the power grid, railroads, or interstates.

Now consider all the social programs run by the federal government. California can say good bye to those as well. Seceded from the union and you are no longer a citizen. It would be a boon to the already strapped Social Security system – no more payments to California. Same for welfare, food stamps, FEMA...the list goes on.

Don’t expect the federal government to be “friendly” should this occur. It will most likely behave like a woman scorned and will be more than happy to bitch-slap the state silly. Debts will have to be repaid – including California’s share of the National Debt.

Oh, and the FDIC no longer applies to banks, and I would expect the banks to be shut down anyway. No more US currency, what will one do for money? The gangs will be having a field day. Who will be directing the police and fire departments? Especially if there’s no money coming to them any time soon. No more National Guard – they’re a federally funded entity. Coast Guard is federal too.

Water supplied by other states – including the Colorado River, will be cut off. The power grid will be shut off, communication grids shut down, interstate travel will be shutdown. The majority of the ports have federal oversight, there won’t be any traffic in from the water as the Naval Fleet will most likely get deployed. Heck, let’s build another wall!

Sure, California has Silicon Valley, but how many of those companies are officially based there for taxes. Most have their incorporation papers filed other states for tax purposes. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are all incorporated in Delaware. Google started out in California but reincorporated in 2003 in Delaware. Apple has no tax “residency” anywhere. Even though it is incorporated in Ireland.

Now add on to the list of things to do: Create a new constitution for the country. Guess who’d most likely be involved: Facebook, Google and Apple. Guess who wants to avoid paying taxes? Apple, Google, Facebook.

I hear from family members “no water, no food”. Well if you have no water, you have no food either. Besides, we have the MidWest, which has both water and the ability to grow food. Sure, it may not be exactly what we’re used to having available, but we’ll be eating. It would be easy enough to swap out some of the corn fields for other crops.

Hollywood is fickle, they’ll go wherever the money is. But California can keep Hollywood, I won’t be heartbroken. Having grown up in the southern part of the state, I have never been a big fan of Hollywood as an entity. Sure I love the movies, but I’ve never bought into the hype of stardom.

Secession is basically a divorce, and California is attempting to divorce a wealthy spouse with the attitude and power to ensure the California is left with as little as possible. And this “spouse” is currently headed up by a President who is known to be particularly vicious when business deals go sideways.

So let Governor Moonbeam talk the state into attempting to secede. In fact let them secede, they can work out their own tax system (including the methods of collecting said system), health care system, legal system, licensing systems, social programs, governmental entities, balances of power, military strength, environmental regulations, mass transit systems, and whatever else I’m forgetting. That is IF California can hold itself together long enough to get all that in place without slipping into complete anarchy.

If I give this all too much more thought, I’ll end up with another book (or several) to write.