No legitimate entity that is awarding cash will request or require the receiver to give cash back. If you know anyone who gets a call like this (probably an older person with a medical history) be sure to let them know that.
I had another idea for a short story. I finished my time on the treadmill, and as I got off I thought to myself that I wished I’d eaten more donuts. I turned that into a story. And then, on Friday morning, I brought home donuts. I got the story ready to submit to Daily Science Fiction only to discover they are not now accepting submissions. So I will have to check weekly to see when that changes.
Lying Swords, Book 1 is going slow, mostly just on the details of character movements and dialog. It’s coming up on the cliff-hanger ending (it’s a short cliff). What I find fascinating about writing is the way new characters and new circumstances, un- planned, come along as necessary for the way the story is progressing. The ending of Book 1 will be what I planned months ago, but how the characters get there was not in the picture at all when I planned it.
I finished reading Koontz’s book City. It’s far different from his other books I’ve enjoyed…and yet, similar. Like the Odd Thomas books, it’s told in first person by the main character. Like those books, plus The Good Guy and The Husband, the narrator has no desire to get involved with what he gets involved with. Like them, he is also gifted with a special ability.
Unlike them, he is not an adult. He is a nine-year-old black boy with a gift for music, inherited from his mother and grandfather.
This story does not have quite the tension in the other novels, but it is worth reading.
I’ve just started Cell by Stephen King. I can’t tell much about it yet, but one thing did catch my attention. If you’ve seen the movie, The Kingsman, you’ll recall that near the end of the movie the villain’s plot is to have everyone within sound of a cell phone go hostile/crazy—to attack anyone else and keep attacking. When one victim goes down, attack another—while all the others are doing likewise.
The beginning of Cell is pretty close to that scenario. The biggest difference is that in The Kingsman, the cell phones broadcast the tone that made everyone crazy. In Cell, at least so far, only the users get zapped. There are other differences in the artificial psychosis as well.
I was curious about which came first. Cell was published in 2006. The Kingsman came out in 2015.
This blog is mostly about writing and reading but…
I feel I just must say something about the two big issues in the country right now: abortion rights and gun rights.
I have no idea how my readers, as few as you are, feel about these issues. After my pontification (like that word?) some of you may curse me and decide never to read anything I write ever again. Others may decide I’m pretty smart and they’ll want to read more.
Body autonomy is a basic human right observed in this country, and most countries, for centuries. You have control over your own body. No one else has the right to use any part of your body without your continuous permission. In the case of sexual activity, if one party says yes, but then changes their mind and says “no,” it is illegal for the other to continue. It’s called “rape.” You may have seen on a movie or television show where someone needs a transplant, or blood transfusion, or bone marrow from a donor. That donor may be the only possible chance for the ill or injured person to survive. If the possible donor declines to donate, for any reason or for no reason, that needing patient will die before the possible donor will be forced to allow their bodily parts to be used. Even if you are dead, you have that right. If you haven’t filled out a donor card, and you have no family or your family declines to allow the donation, again, that needing person will die. So a human life that needs the organs of another human to stay alive does not have that right if it goes against the will of the person whose organs those are.
By outlawing abortion, the government, in whichever branch, has given the fetus more rights than a born person, and the pregnant woman less rights than a corpse.
So, ask yourself: If a pregnant woman can have this right taken away, what other group of persons might be next? The physically disabled? The mentally disabled? Orphans?
Lastly, if the “pro-life” group really cares about life, why do they always vote against bills that would help those children to be raised with health insurance (plus healthy mothers with no other insurance), food, help with utilities, help with daycare, etc? I’ll let you answer that.
I am a proponent of gun rights. To a point. Yes, I should have the right to own and perhaps even carry a hand gun. I should have the right to buy and use a good hunting rifle or shotgun. Any law-abiding civilian over the age of twenty-one should have that right, or younger with the signature of a parent; background checks permitting. Yeah, I know, an eighteen-year-old can legally vote. But not buy alcohol. If he (she) can’t be trusted to buy a beer, why be trusted to buy a deadly weapon?
No civilian needs—or should have the right to acquire—an automatic weapon or a firearm than can be modified to become an automatic weapon. I’ll even add that no one should have the right to buy ammunition that is used exclusively in automatic weapons.
I am not suggesting that such firearms should be confiscated from current owners, though government buy-backs should be constantly available. No one that has those weapons should be allowed to sell them to anyone except a government entity.
The Second Amendment should not be any more sacrosanct that the First, and the First has been restricted for many years in many ways. The right to assembly can be subject to permits or regulations—no matter how peaceful, you can’t assemble in such a way that it stops traffic (car or pedestrian). The freedom of the press does not allow the press to commit slander or libel against a private citizen, nor to call for violence. The right of free speech does not extend to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, or inciting to riot, or violence. The freedom of religion does not extend to any ritual that calls for human sacrifice, or even animal sacrifice that violates private property rights. Most of these modifications are clearly to prevent physical harm to citizens.
So why in hell can’t the Second Amendment be modified to help prevent physical harm to citizens?
Here’s what I’d like to see: Anyone that wants to own an automatic weapon (age 18-62) must enlist in their state’s National Guard (or the regular military). They must qualify by passing the physical performance tests, (which can be graduated according to age), intelligence tests, and psychological testing. They will get the proper training, the “crazies” would probably be weeded out (nothing is sure), they’d be paid a stipend for their reserve status and higher pay if they’re called to active duty. Then, after they’ve qualified and finished the first full year (or longer) they’ll be qualified to own an automatic firearm.
This will satisfy the part of the Second Amendment’s inclusion of “a well-regulated militia,” and won’t infringe on anyone’s rights to bear arms.
And it would drastically reduce the chances of some racist or just plain crazy buying weapons and taking their aggressions out on people shopping at the store, or children.
By the way, although I don’t doubt something like that has been proposed somewhere, I haven’t seen it. It’s my idea—and there-fore, brilliant. Right? 😉
And that’s it for this time. As usual, I urge you all to read, and read actual published fiction or non-fiction. Tweets and FB postings don’t count.