31 Jan 2013

January 31st

For the next two weeks, I'll be involved in a blog tour with four other authors. I'll continue with my daily thoughts on my website blog: http://475035832790540880.weebly.com/blog.html

What? I'm going on a trip? Hold on there. What should I pack? Where are we going?

No, silly, it's just a game. We visit other sites and find out what the author's are doing and giving away as prizes for those who participate. Real prizes, not just books sent through the air to a satellite and back to another person's equipment. Maybe my understanding of how the book arrives is flawed, but that's a close as I can figure. Here are the details:

Date: February 01, 2013 06:00AM
Venue: Dark alleys where monsters lurk, in the halls of kings, and in enchanted forests
Location: The United States
Description: Celebrate with us the heroines of fantasy and urban fantasy!

(chance to win the following ebooks)

-The Tower's Alchemist
-Heart Song
-Reaper's Novice
-Still Rock Water (that's my book)
-The Lost King

-iTunes gift cards
- Real snail-mail postcards with proper stamps (from me)
-Amazon gift cards
-Hand-crafted artisan bookmarks by author Samantha LaFantasie (Heart Song)

I wonder if many of us really consider what our technology does for us or how much we rely on communicating in a non-personal way. 

A quote from Devine Impact. Click here. to see the whole article.

'True it takes a person to send the email, or send the text message but it lacks greatly. The missing element is that of human contact; the look in someone’s eye; the tone of one’s voice; the ability to pick up one another’s body language. Without these important factors that engage the heart as well as the mind, establishing the grounds for relationships that can stand the test of times are nearly impossible to achieve'.

Back in the 1940's when I was a child, I played in the shed, ran around in the street, or acted heroine roles in front of my sisters and friends. In the sixties, my children played at the park or dressed up in our home. The boys made up adventures for their kung-fu kicking Chinese figures with straw-stuffed limbs. The girls wove their Barbie dolls in and out of the action. Now days, many children sit in their houses alone, their only contact with outsiders through the internet.

We've all watched disaster movies. What would we do without our technology? When communication is lost between the leaders and the country's forces, people only survive through interpersonal skills and must rely on their basic ability and nature again. I'm hoping the authorities have a back-up plan.

I've written a draft of a novel set fifteen years ahead in time just before the onset of a comet hit. I'd hate to think it could really happen—or how we would cope.

30 Jan 2013

January 30th

Cats are killing wildlife in the billions.

Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, a study suggests. The authors estimate feral cats are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually. 

Birds native to the US, such as the American Robin, were most at risk, and mice, shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits were the mammals most likely to be killed. 

I love cats—furry, cute, adorable cats. House cats. My first Siamese, Simba used to stand on my foot, look up into my eyes and give a low yowl. I'd bend down to stroke him as we connected. Sometimes, he'd tenderly clamp onto my leg, all the while expressing love. I remember the fuzzy feeling to this day.

a cute black and white cat stretched acorss the floor
Although strays, feral cats and farm cats, are responsible for the bulk of the deaths, domestic cats play a part too. The study suggests that a properly fitted collar with a bell will give their prey more warning.

The domestic cat's killer instinct has been well documented on many islands around the world. Felines accompanying their human companions have gone on to decimate local wildlife, and they have been blamed for the global extinction of 33 species.

A parasite carried in cat's feces is even killing sea otters when the hard casing is washed out through the waterways. The danger has been noted already for expectant mothers, who become infected while changing cat litter.

To act more responsibly, we should keep out cats indoors. That way, we reduce the chance of them being infected by eating contaminated birds or rodents.

My darling Siamese, Simba, died a lonely death in the fields close to our home when I lived in Robe, South Australia. He went missing one day, back in the 1970's. Our family of five searched for days. On the forth day, one of the children came running home to tell us he'd found Simba hidden in long grass under a tree. We took the comatose cat to the vet, but he died of dehydration and the poison from a grass snake. Must have been hunting. Wildlife had the last word.

29 Jan 2013

January 29th

'How many deaths will it take to be told that too many people have died?'

Over the centuries, disability has been hidden. The blind ninety-year-old Dandolo breached the walls of Constantinople. Paralyzed from the waist down, wheelchair-bound Roosevelt stood propped up for public pictures. The one-armed Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar. Each were so successful, they couldn't be classed as disabled. 

English history forgot one hundred poor souls, who probably never made it to the battle between Oliver Cromwell and his Roundhead cavalry, who went on to defeat King Charles 1's at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644. 

Recently found in mass graves at a ruined York church, 113 skeletons were arranged neatly in parallel rows, mostly laid on their side or face down in the dirt. No buckles, buttons or jewellery were found, indicating they were probably buried naked.  Given the probable 17th century date, it is likely that they relate to the largest battle in the Civil War.

Evidence suggests that the bodies could well have been Cromwell's soldiers who died from disease while laying siege to the city. Although the Royalist army was well-provided for behind the city walls, the besieging Parliamentary forces suffered severe deprivation, making them susceptible to illness and diseases such as dysentery and typhoid. Most of the skeletons had old broken bones and signs of past infection. Back then, they wrapped a wound with honey and oats as an antibiotic.

There was no such thing as disability in those days. People were just who they were. They got on with life as best they could and probably banded together for mutual support. Army life would have offered them a living, where they could do ancillary jobs like guarding the ammunition or working in the kitchens.

I'm too soft to have survived during those times. Perhaps we should try harder to manage unaided—those of us who can.

28 Jan 2013

January 28th

Perhaps there is a deeper level of consciousness in some animals than we realize. Although they don't speak to us with words, their eyes express their intelligence, sympathy and love.
BBC News
I read about dolphins in one of Edgar Cayce's books. Over many years, the sleeping psychic discovered otherworldly layers. The uneducated simple farmer spoke about things beyond his understanding. One thing caught my attention from his recorded words: when the inhabitants of Atlantis blew their island out of existence through the power of their minds, they chose to return to the physical life on Earth in the form of dolphins. Since reading that, I've regarded the sea mammals with awakened interest.
In the BBC Nature news today: Five individual common dolphins have been seen gathering to aid a dying companion. They formed a raft with their bodies in an attempt to keep the stricken dolphin afloat and help it breathe.
Korean-based scientists witnessed the event in the East Sea off the coast of Ulsan, in South Korea. This is the first time that a group of dolphins has been recorded trying to help or save another dying dolphin. Before, observers noticed individual mothers supporting dead or stillborn calves at the surface.
During a later trip, the Korean researchers observed twelve individuals swimming very slowly. Though it could move and splash its tail, its flippers appeared to be paralysed and it had red marks on its belly. A number of dolphins circled this group, while those within appeared to be trying to help the stricken dolphin maintain its balance, by pushing it from the side and below. The 10 remaining dolphins took turns to form a raft using their bodies. When the stricken dolphin appeared to die, the others continued to assist its vertical body.
Although I'm steady in my acceptance of the Creator's love, I don't know what happens when we die. Some say that people cling to religion or belief to give them something to look forward to rather than face their demise with fear. No matter what we believe, the future will reveal itself at the allotted time.