Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"The Land of the Free," what does that mean.

The other day I heard someone's paradigm on this question, and it about blew me away. I was talking to the receptionist at my OBGYN's office, mentioning how I had to hurry and get in my annual mama-gram before I lost my insurance. She gave me her condolences and was interested in my story. I told her my husband had lost his job because of Obama-care. Without going into the details I told her, ('that's another story for another day), she proceeded to vent her frustration about how those who have government assisted healthcare still cry about having to pay their co-pay. Then she told me an instance that made us both shake our heads in disbelief. When this particular woman was asked to pay her portion of her government-subsidized health care, she proceeded to complain. "I thought this was the land of the free?" she said. "Why should I have to pay anything?"

Land of the free lunch, you mean? If that what some of my fellow countryman think of as the definition of "free," then this country is in serious trouble. To me, the freedom my forefathers fought for, was freedom from oppressive governments, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of my own heart, and the freedom to work hard and become whatever I want to be. If the above mentioned person is to have her way, and gets her perpetual free lunch, it will ultimately be the demise of all those freedoms that I hold dear. Is that fair?

Everyone needs to contribute. Even if it's small. To offer even a token effort, or a show of gratitude for the gifts that are given to those in need, would go far in restoring the health of our ailing economy. But for those on the government dole, who complain about paying their $5 copay for complete healthcare coverage, that I am now completely without, I should have the freedom to tell them to read a history book and learn what our fathers meant when they referred to this country as the "land of the free."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Salsa in September

It's September.  I would like to share with  you my my homemade salsa recipe. It's really easy to make  and so tasty (at least my family tells me this) that you can sit down and eat an entire batch in one sitting (if you're hungry). As with everything, this recipe is definitely best when made with fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions from your garden--hence the reason for sharing it at this time of year.


5 medium to large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
1 medium to large sweet green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 to a whole Anaheim pepper, finely chopped or grated
1 teaspoon garlic, minced or pressed (about 3 to 4 cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What kind of dreams do you have?

Do you ever draw upon dreams for your writing inspiration? I know that's where Matt Kirby got his original idea for his novel, Ice Fall (Scholastic, Oct. 2011). I know I've had several dreams that feel like I'm in the middle of an awesome movie. When I wake up, I know I should jot down the story line for a future novel. But I don't. The desire for more sleep, or rushed morning schedules get in my way.

I've heard that some authors keep a notebook on their bed stands for the sole purpose of capturing inspiration from their dreams. A dream I had last night has motivated me to do just that. The odd thing is, the actual dream I had would never be woven into one of my books. (I should never say never). But the dream I had before it--or maybe I was awake and thought this, I can't differentiate--was the motivating factor to obtain the bedside notebook. I remember feeling a push to write down some of my dreams and share them on my blog. (I've been grasping at straws trying to come up with new stuff for my blog as of late). In that semi-comatose state, I committed to my self to document my dreams and perhaps share the best ones on my blog.

Then I fell back asleep and dreamed that I had a Mr. Potato Head-like arm growing out of my head. It started out as a mole, but quickly grew. It felt like plastic but was the color of flesh. I told my husband that I wanted to go to the doctor and have it cut off because it was embarrassing, and I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to wear a hat to church. He said we couldn't afford the medical costs, because he was unemployed and we didn't have insurance. The dream felt horribly real. I was more than relieved when I woke up.

I definitely don't think that dream will lead to a best seller. But I do know that my imagination is at its height during my dreams, coming up with fantastic stories that my wakeful self could never hope to conjure up in a million years. I would be crazy if I didn't take advantage of that bountiful resource.

How many readers and writers out there think their dreams could be woven into a good story?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: The Hollow City, by Dan Well

I read this book because I've really enjoyed the voice Wells seems to capture with his characters. In this book, Micheal, his main character is even more mentally disturbed than John Cleaver (from his serial killer series). The book is told through the eyes of a schizophrenic, which made for different kind of read for me. I never knew what was real. But then, neither did Micheal. I thought Wells did a good job in capturing what the mind of a schizophrenic could be like.
Unfortunately, the book seemed to drag a bit in the middle as Micheal tries to escape from the mental hospital. But the lure of the faceless men, and what the giant maggots mean, kept me reading. The last quarter of the book picked up immensely, and I was pulled into the thrill-ride I'm accustomed to with Dan Wells' writing.
I can say exactly whether I liked the book or not. Not because Wells' writing was lacking, because that was not the case, but whether the story was one that I cared to linger upon. (That's when I can tell I truly liked a book). This book was a bit disturbing, so I didn't care to linger with the characters. But then, I think that was the intent of the author.

It was for this reason I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, I only "liked" the book, not "really liked" it. It was not a book that appealed to my personal taste. I'm sure others out there, who like the bizarre, will really love it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Blitz for Tamara Heiner's new novel, Altercation

JUMP IN and join me for a Book Trailer Blitz for Tamara Heiner's new Book, Altercation.
What is a Book Trailer Blitz? First of all, I think it's quite clever. I'll probably use it for my next book. It was the brain child of the author herself. Simply put, on a particular date a deluge of blogs will post Tamara Heiner's Altercation  book trailer on their blog. It's similar to a book bomb, where friends and fellow writers are encouraged to purchase a certain writer's book. But instead of buying a particular author's book, the participants of a blitz post the author's book trailer on their blogs, hopefully reaching an exponential amount of viewers, and thus making a PR splash!

To whet your appetite before you watch the trailer, here is a blurb about the book:

The FBI promises Jacinta Rivera and her friends that they are safe. Jaci wants desperately to believe them but weeks of hiding from their kidnapper, alias "The Hand", have left her wary. Hidden from the public eye in an FBI safe house, Jaci must reconcile both her father's mysterious disappearance and the murder of her best friend.

A betrayal lands Jaci back in the grasp of The Hand, shattering her ability to trust and leaving her to wonder if she will ever piece together her broken life.