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The Impeachment Once Again

It’s like there is a scratch on the record playing. Trump once again is in the Democratic Congress’ crosshairs, in their attempt to find dirt on him. Once again there is nothing that is considered “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Like the impeachment of Clinton twenty years ago, it is based entirely on a partisan witchhunt that is tantamount to a tempest in a teapot. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.

Maybe the Clintons were corrupt, just as it’s possible the current occupier of the White House is corrupt. It’s not entirely new in the body politics. Elections have been bought, backs scratched and bribes made in a quid pro quo fashion since we were 13 loosely affiliated colonies.

Foreign policy and brinksmanship are also fair game. What the Donald did, could be considered unsavory and perhaps unethical, but it doesn’t even come close to anything else out there right now that could possibly warrant wasting out taxpayer money on, let alone get next to nothing passed through Congress.

Once again, time and valuable resources are being squandered in the name of impeaching someone the other Party doesn’t like. These Congreessmen, Democrat and Republican both need to look themselves in the mirror. Or better yet, cast the first stone, if indeed they are above reproach. I truly believe no one is.

I say again, as I did back in May, impeaching this excuse for a President is a waste. Let us voters decide for ourselves at the ballot box next November and actually do something besides find more dirt on someone as filthy as he is.

Crazy Weather Around Here

I don’t know aqboput yoiu my readers, but last week we experienced snow and winter-like temperatures; something unusual here.

Now, we are looking at a return to fall like conditions with rain in the forecsast all next week. What is up with this crazy weather this year?

I thought it was because of El Nino. You know, warming of the Pacific waters and causing droughts in California and hundreds of hurricanes in the Atlantic. Well, instead we got mostly average precipitation on the west coast, including California, and the Atlantic saw it’s fair number of tropical storms but nothing like they saw back in 20052005 when they had the most active hurricane season in recorded history.

So is it global warming that threw us a curveball this year? I mean, we should be seeing a consistant pattern here, yet this year, it seems that the weather has been milder, with the exception of March and this past two weeks, when it’s been unseasonably cold.

So, are the weather gurus going to get this right in 2020 or are we all in for more surprises? I guess we wait and see.

A Beast in the Making

Noah was a thirteen year old boy with winning smile that radiated the room and made other people smile too. He was small for his age, barely over five foot tall, but he was determined and tried hard.

Noah did well in school and excelled in Math and science. He told his friends he wanted to become a teacher or researcher. He had his life laid out for him.

He liked to find stray cats and take them home, but Mother always said “No, they are vermin and eat meat. We don’t allow meat eaters in our house.”

He released them and never thought twice about it. He had his life laid out in front of him and always minded his mother’s wishes and obeyed her commands without question.

One bright and early Saturday morning; May or June, his mother sent him on an errand. “I want you to gather all puppies and kittens in the neighborhood and bring them for me.”

“Yes Mother,” Noah replied. He went throughout the neighborhood, gathering up all the small puppies and kittens he could and brought them home. “I got all the puppies and kittens Mother. Where do you want me to put them?”

“You will put them all in the garage, start the car and close the door. The keys are on that hook over there next to the door.”

“Can’t I play with them first?”

“No dear. Now do as I say.”

“Yes, Mother,” Noah replied. After he had done as his mother had commanded and closed the door going into the garage, he went outside and played by himself. He rode his bicycle throughout the neighborhood and visited his school friends.

When he returned, there were police cars, a fire engine and an ambulance parked near his house, their emergency lights flashing about. He saw a black bag emerge from the house filled with something heavy and then another longer black bag came out supported upon the ambulance gurney.

Noah got off his bike and ran to the first police officer and asked, “What happened sir?”

“You live here?”

“Yes, this is where I live. What happened?”

“Where’s your father?”

“He don’t live here. Mother divorced him years ago, when I was ten. Please sir, what happened?”

“Son, I’m gonna need you to call him and tell him to get here right now.”

“But sir, what happened?”

“I can’t tell you anything son. Here’s my cell phone; call him.”

He took the phone with reluctance, uncertain what was going on. “Father, it’s Noah. Something’s happened here and you need to come home.”

Noah handed the police officer his phone. “Hello? This is Officer Murphy. Yes, there’s been an accident here and you need to come over and identify the body. I’d rather not say anything in front of you child. It might traumatize him. Thank you, I’ll see you then.” The officer placed the phone in his front breast pocket. It was a dark blue uniform with police officer’s cap, its shield reflecting off the afternoon sun. He looked down at the boy with compassionate eyes. “He can tell you everything. What’s your name?”

Noah looked at him, his clean-shaven face, his slim, athletic build and his eyes that seemed more sympathetic than a moment ago. “My name is Noah.”

“That’s a mighty fine looking bike you got there.”

“I want to know what happened,” he piped, his voice sounded unusually high and child-like.

“Look, you can wait until your dad gets here.” The officer’s eyes took on a stern look that told him not to question him any longer; a line was drawn in the sand.

“I want inside and talk to Mother.”

“You can’t.”
“Why?”

“Look, I can’t tell right now. It’s not safe, okay and your dad will be here to tell you everything. Is that him?”

Noah turned around and saw his father’s lanky legs in Bermuda shorts and polo shirt move swiftly from his Jaguar sports car to his son and Officer Murphy. Noah went to him, but his father’s attention was on the officer.

“I’m Harry Smith, Noah’s son. What is this about.”

“Can we talk privately?” Officer Murphy asked the balding thirty-something man with plastic framed glasses.

“You can talk in front of him.”

“Very well; where were you between nine this morning and twelve?”

“I was at my country club playing golf. What is this about?

“I’m afraid there was an accident here. Neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from the garage. When I got here, the house and garage was filled with car exhaust.”

“Dear God, Is she okay?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Oh no,” Noah replied, knowing full well what finally happened. “Mother!” He cried out with sorrow and anguish in his voice. “She wanted me to gather all the puppies and kittens in the neighborhood!”

“I don’t understand, Noah. She hated dogs and cats. She always called them vermin.”

“Are you suggesting she was trying to kill those animals in the garage?” Officer Murphy asked Noah.

“I don’t know. I just did what she told me. I always obeyed Mother. But how she die?”

“Son, the garage isn’t sealed,” Harry Smith replied. The car exhaust made it inside the house, and she was overcome.”

“No, she was in the garage too, surrounded by the dead animals,” Officer Murphy interposed. It was almost like she was playing with them.”

“Impossible, she hated the sight of them. It’s why I divorced her. I wanted a pet for Noah, and she wouldn’t allow it,” his father argued.

“How odd,” Officer Murphy said as he scratched his head in bemusement.

Here’s the Deal

It took a week of getting advice from many of both my readers and fans, as well as my friends. It finally came down to an email I received and read Wednesday night. I signed the contract to the publisher that wished to publish A Man’s Passion.

It’s, as I mentioned last week, about the fact that I am not a household name in the writing and reading community. The email from the senior editor of this publishing house pointed out that their company is a hybrid that does traditional publishing for well known authors, and what they call contributory publishing where the author invests a third of the costs of publishing the book.

It probably is a reaction to self-published and independent writers who have tired of putting their work out there with Amazon or Kindle Direct Publisher(KDP). Many of the stories that are published this way are of inferior quality, filled with all kinds of errors that could easily be fixed using a traditional publisher with a staff of editors and proof readers.

I’ve read many books, mostly e-books that I thought were poorly written and definitely could have used a good third or fourth editing before going to publication. I am mindful of one book, where the writer mistakenly placed as an email address for the wrong university. It’s glaring mistakes such as this that makes self-publishing a joke to the serious reader.

So, I’m taking a chance on getting this project running and successful. Everything we do in life is a gamble that either flies in one’s face or is highly profitable. I’m definitely hoping for the latter.

 

Good Writing News; Maybe

Six weeks ago I sent a final draft to a publisher for the story “A Man’s Passion.” I received a positive response, via a contract which I read and most likely will sign, with a caveat that my wife has serious reservations about; I tend to agree.

The caveat is that because I am an unknown entity, am not a household name in the writing/publishing community, they want me to invest in the project too. In other words, they placed in the contract the sum of $2,900 I have to send to them. Apparently this is insurance to protect their investment, should the story not fan out as hoped. My wife thinks I should find another publisher.

On the other hand, if this is how this is done these days, whether It is this publisher or someone else, I will still need to donate to the cause, pay the piper, invest in my future.  It’s not like I don’t have the funds, it’s there in my 401k account. It’s a feeling both of us have, having been victims of fraudulent activity ourselves, we fear this is a possible scam.

I hope not. My dream job is to be a published novelist who is successful. If it means investing money to further my career, so be it. At the same time, I don’t want to be a victim of a scam either.

40th Class Reunion

There I was, surrounded by people I knew both intimately and disdainfully at the Hanford House, a hotel in Richland, Washington that seemed to lost its luster too. In Fact the entire Richland community gave off an aura of a bygone era; a place as depressing as a ghost town.

I understood I was forty years older–had to have aged a bit–but these 17 and 18 year olds should never have aged so radically. Most had either graying or silver hair, some were bald, most seemed overweight, and at least one came in using an ambulatory aid to get himself around. And of course, all of our youthful and innocent faces had wizen with wrinkles and having to wear glasses to see the fine print of our name tags that also showed our class photos set next to the name.

It was great fun seeing these people and trying to recognize something–their eyes, mouth, smile–anything that was remotely memorable from forty years ago when we graduated besides our names, which I remembered so well.

I felt like I was talking and entertaining their parents, not my classmates.

Everyone I talked to told me I hadn’t aged a bit. I could only say that to three of the former classmates because I had to search their faces hard to find a glimmer of their former selves. When I finally did find something, I was shocked by how much they changed.

Of course no one knew I had a life changing moment of my own in 2002 from the stroke I suffered. They all asked me about that and what I was doing and told them I had changed my drug of choice from alcohol to writing, which impressed everyone I talked to. They all now know that I work for a tribal casino in Spokane and am married.

The meet and greet, for me, lasted about two hours. I couldn’t afford the bar food they offered and didn’t want to be around inebriated middle-aged 50+ former classmates any longer.

Richland, since I left over twenty years ago appeared more like a ghost town haunted by more memories than opportunities. The old places had their names changed, or they were boarded up entirely with for sale signs posted upon plywood to protect windows.

I found a Denny’s though it too had been  renovated recently. The café-like counter was gone, making it look more like a restaurant.

I had to put up with a typical Richland girl. She had blonde hair and pretty, youthful face who came to my table just as I sat down to read the menu. Plainly she had to have known I wasn’t ready to order, yet she went ahead and asked anyway.

I gave her that “Are you serious” look.

“I’ll be back later,” she said and retreated to another table.

She didn’t come back for a good five minutes after I had made up my mind what I wanted from the over 55 menu.

After I finished my meal, I expected her to ask if I wanted dessert. I had a hankering for a pie and ice cream. Instead she handed me my tab, not so subtly hinting my time there had come to an end.

I did meet my first actual transvestite in my long life. He/she was the host/hostess, wearing the server dress, wearing too much makeup and talking in a high falsetto voice that was quite phony.

He/she was quite charming though and helped me figure out the tip after my AARP discount was figured into the bill. I gave the restaurant a $1.04 tip.

Tonight is the dinner and I’ll be quite interested in knowing how that turns out.

The dinner started about an hour after I arrived. I dressed in Dockers and polo shirt. I’m glad I didn’t overdress since many showed up in jeans, some in suit jackets and slacks but no ties and most of the women wore different variations of dresses or skirts with blouses.

We shared a moment of silence for those of us who will never come to a reunion. Like I told one of my classmates and his wife, they didn’t include one who I miss dearly. She had to transfer to another high school a year before and she lost her battle to breast cancer in 2004. I also told him my name could have very well been up there too if I’d had my stroke other than where I had it.

WE did some sort matching game that ended with one person getting every square filled with people’s names over some activity they’ve done in the past 40 years.

Then we had dinner, buffet style with an Italian theme.

After that we entertained ourselves with music from our own classmates’ original band, a short recollection of our memories from high school[that was very short]. We then drank and socialized.

I sold most of my books I brought with me: Edge of Darkness: Four Seasons book One. I went home thinking what a fabulous time I had.

Book Signing

Tomorrow I get to do my first book signing. I’m all ready to get down to Aunties Book Store, meet and greet old and new friends, sign and sell my books, and maybe read a few paragraphs to whet these readers’ appetites.

I have plenty of competition: two major area universities are holding their football games Saturday, the old Expo 74 Pavilion is holding a grand opening after its renovation this past year, and it is forecasted for sunny and warm weather; summer’s last hurrah.

Amazon didn’t help my cause, and I let them know about it too. I placed an order for 50 author copies last week for this event. I was expecting one order of fifty books to arrive in one box, making it convenient for me to transport and display the copies. Instead I received one order of three books on Tuesday, and eight additional packages books ranging from four to eight copies.

You can just imagine, considering my physical state of disability, how inconvenient this is. I now have to locate a box to put all these books in, which isn’t a big task. There are plenty of boxes in my home I can unpack whatever’s inside and use to transport fifty books. It’s just the inconsiderate nature of this mess that upsets me. They didn’t take into account why I wanted 50 copies of Edge of Darkness.  

I hope to see you all, my loyal fans and friends to come down, visit and buy my first of at least eight books and future book signings. Thank you for your support.