‘Tween Holidays

‘Tween Holidays

It’s ‘Tween Holidays. Halloween is past, and Thanksgiving is just days away. After that, Christmas is next, assuming you follow retail holiday schedules. The retail Christmas season started this year before the U.S. Labor Day holiday in late August.

Tween the holidays with a variety of pumpkins

But I really do not want to write about that. I want to tell you, my faithful readers, that I will know when I can resume my writing soon. My lifelong domestic partner is dealing with a long-term fatal disease and has just been accepted into the Medicaid role. A nurse will be out tomorrow to open her case, set us up for any available services, and answer dozens of questions about now and the future.

I hope to get more help with supervised care while getting needed time off from my hectic life as a full-time home caregiver. There is no question I need help.

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A Lot Going on

A Lot Going on

That’s right, there’s a lot going on, and I know you are wondering how I’m doing and whether I’ve returned to writing. I’m sorry, the answer is no.

However, I’m feeling better emotionally. My life partner’s condition shocked me to the core. Over the last couple of months, I’ve worn many hats; full-time home caregiver, advocate, transportation driver, contractor, cook, cleaner, housekeeper, and a host of other tasks, including wiping the ass of my loved one. Sorry, honey, it’s what I do.

Mind you. I hate being a full-time home caregiver. I hate it. According to my counselor, it’s a healthy attitude. She even said, “No one likes being a home caregiver.” I smiled. Yet, there is one and only one reason I do it, which I told her out-of-town daughters. I do it because I love her. Also, there is no one else to do it.

In the months since the diagnosis, a lot has transpired. Some of it was to improve her quality of life, and some to make the house safer and more accessible. To get her the services she needs, including therapy, and signed up for Medicaid. The therapy is helping her move better and lets her feel better. All of which makes me feel better.

Who hasn’t a lot going on?

Everyone has something going on

Everyone is going through a lot. I know that. I am not alone in that. The one thing I do know is that no matter how bad it gets for me, there is always someone else worse off.

I’m starting to feel better and I’m anxious to get back to writing. This blog entry is my first attempt at writing. I can feel my creative juices starting to flow. I also started sketching. It’s nothing to sneeze at, but I’m trying. I am trusting myself to take control of my life and my creative process, preferably soon.

Hopefully, I am getting back into the swing of things. I should have published my latest book by now. I feel bad about that. All I can tell you is that I’m trying. I’m doing my best. Wish me luck.

Comments Welcome

You’ll find the comment section at the bottom of this page.

Please comment. I’m always interested in what my readers think. 

My writing and other stuff.

My writing and other stuff.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog entry, so you may wonder what’s happening with my writing and other stuff. Well, let’s get on with it, shall we?

I’m sorry to say, I haven’t written much in the past couple of months. I feel bad about that. However, there is a good reason, not because I suffer from writer’s block. I wish I were, but that is not the case. Were I, I would get over it and get writing.

No, the issue is much more difficult and emotionally draining.
So, what the fuck is going on, anyway?

more “My writing and other stuff.”

Halloween is in two days

Halloween is in two days

Halloween is in two days, and frankly, I don’t care. Yes, that’s right. My heart isn’t in it this year. Anyone who knows me knows that for as long as I can remember, Halloween is my favorite holiday, or is that was? I don’t know myself. I suppose I will know years from now.

What’s changed?

Let’s see. What’s changed. First, I now live in a fifty-five and up community. No one comes to the house for trick-or-treating. Only a few houses in my neighborhood decorate anything to do with the holiday. When they do, is a set of string lights and a pumpkin, which wasn’t carved into a jack-o’-lantern. How sad is that?

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Writing My Ass Off

Writing my Ass Off

It’s true. I’ve been writing my ass off. But what does that mean? It means that I’ve been working on finishing Book 6 in the Consortium Series. I wrote at every opportunity and every weekend for two months. I got so into the story that I needed to find out how it ended. Therefore, writing my ass off to finish this book was very fulfilling.

Throughout this period, I kept thinking of you, my loyal readers. I wanted to update you on my progress. However, I got so involved with the story I figured you would forgive me. 

But I know you want to see where this comment is leading. Yesterday, I finished the draft of the book, and now it is off to editing. Yeah!!!!

Consortium Series
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Moderation by Amazon, again; follow-up

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my recent experience with my advertisement for my Consortium series and suffering a Moderation by Amazon. With this article, I’d like to report on Moderation by Amazon, again; follow-up. ?‍♂️

Rinse and rewind

To those who might have missed my last post, I wrote about mother-effing Amazon moderating an advertisement I had run on their Kindle platform for years. And by moderation, they mean discontinuing distributing the advert. Suddenly, they discontinued running the ad, stating that it ‘does not comply with our current Creative Acceptance Policies.’

Their message went on to say, 

‘Please ensure your ad does not contain erotica, pornography, or explicit sexual practices or preferences.’

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What’s new in my writing

Good morning readers and followers, I know you’re wondering what’s new in my writing. I can’t say I blame you. I’m always curious myself—odd when you think about it. 

I reflected upon my progress in writing book six of the Consortium series with friends the other night. I won’t say much about the plot so far so as not to spoil the surprise when it gets published. But I mentioned that I’m about a third of the way done with writing it and said the following. “It’s funny. I still haven’t written a hot sex scene or any graphic violence yet.”

what's new in my writing

Sex and Violence

My friends were shocked. As in a chorus, they exclaimed. “What do you mean? Really? You haven’t?”

Up until that moment, I hadn’t thought it to be a problem. But then, based on their reaction, and they have all read my stories, I realized something. My readers and followers expect hot, graphic sex and violence.

Who am I to disappoint?

What did I do?

Well, I went back to the last chapter I had written and wrote a hot sex scene. That chapter was a perfect lead-in to such a scene, so I added it. It’s so long now that I may break it into two chapters during the editing phase. For now, it’s staying right where it is.

As for the graphic violence, don’t worry. That’s coming. 

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Writing is like Sex


Writing is like sex...Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf

Writing is like sex. First, you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.

— Virginia Woolf, British Writer

Recently, I came across this quote beginning with “Writing is like sex.” Anyone who knows me knows I like sex. I also like to write. Two of my favorite activities all rolled up into one short sentence. So naturally, this quote caught my eye. Who am I to argue with Virginia Woolf?

But then I started thinking about the full context of the quote. I began breaking it down into three components.

Writing is like sex

Hmm, that’s an easy one. I already wrote about the combination above. Of course, there’s more to it. 

For me, writing is like sex. When I am in the zone and know in my brain exactly what the scene I’m writing about is, I get that euphoric high that is akin to a good, satisfying orgasm. Most of you out there know what I mean by the high one gets from climaxing. Endorphins flood your bloodstream, and you feel as if you’re leaving your real-life behind. All you can sense is your partner and the euphoria they are giving you.

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Incentive

I have an additional incentive to continue writing. I am referring, of course, to my latest novel, Exposure. It’s doing well. In fact, some of you out there discovered its release and started reading it before I announced it. Across the board, my sales are up 37% since its release when comparing them to the average of the last quarter with January’s numbers.

Exposure turned out as an incentive to write more.

So what is my incentive to write, you may ask? With success like that, how can I not write my stories? I’m encouraged and excited to add to my stories. That’s good news for you, my readers. Why, you may ask?

During Exposure’s writing and editing phase, I struggled with deciding to end Avril’s story in my latest book. I could have finished it. I had even mapped out a way to end it, leaving some unresolved questions and subplots.

At least one of my reviewers complained I hadn’t, vowing never to read my novels ever again. After discussing it with my editor and beta readers, I left it as is and move on to write the sixth book in the series. I might even write more. The Consortium Series is, after all, a serialized story.

Long story short, I’m excited to write more, especially now that I have an enticing incentive. I’ve already started working on it, writing copious notes and such.

And before I forget. Thank you to all my readers for making this a success story.

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Good News about Exposure

Good News about Exposure

Good morning, my readers; I have good news on Exposure, the next book in the Consortium series.

That’s right. I have good news about Exposure, Consortium book 5. No doubt, there are lots of things in need of fixing, but I’m up for the challenge. No doubt, there are lots of things in need of fixing.

Why may you ask? 

I don’t know what other writers, novelists, and authors do. For me, it’s more important to get the story written before diving into making everything grammatically correct, maintain continuity, and clean up unnecessary or superfluous writing.

That means, write…write…write.

Writing

As much as I enjoy the creative aspects of writing, it is strenuous. Not stressful, but demanding. If I write too fast, I might get lots of words down but is it a load of crap? Sometimes. If I take too long, spending a year or more on a book, I lose continuity and the flow of the action. Plus, you, my readers, are all over me begging me to finish it. It’s a delicate balance.

So, please forgive me. There’s one thing about me, if I start a project, I finish it. I’ve known people who decide to redecorate a room, strip the wallpaper, and touch up the holes and dings, and yet, never finish painting and putting everything back together. I’ve been to their houses, where the room remains unfinished for years. I’m not one of those. Make no bones about it. I finish what I start. 

More Good News about Exposure

Good News on Exposure

That said, I am proud to have finished the story, but it’s not done yet. By the time you read it, it will have gone through multiple people editing, questioning me about the story, rewriting several parts of the book. Then there’s the book cover design and production, formatting for ebook and paper, and a host of other details that I must do before it gets published. Finally, I have to adhere to the rules and procedures to get it published. I do a lot of this work, but not all. I depend upon editors, beta readers, and others to get it out.

Do you know what’s great? It is when I get that message from my distributor that it’s been accepted and is available for my readers to download and enjoy.

Soon, my friends and readers. Exposure is coming soon.

If you haven’t read the first four books, you can find them here.Amazon Kindle logo.

Enjoy them and send me a note about what you think. I’m always interested in what my readers think of my stories.

7th Inning Stretch

7th Inning Stretch

7th Inning Stretch

It’s the 7th Inning Stretch, and I need it. What does that mean, you may ask? It’s a baseball term. It means to stop, rest and reset, and then finish the game. Fans and players take advantage of this tradition. It’s also a chance to hit the concession stands and buy a last round of beer and snacks—any way to make money. Yes, I’m being cynical, but that’s okay too. I’m allowed to have an opinion. 

If you don’t follow baseball, that’s okay. I only follow it during the playoffs, although I’ll occasionally go to a game now and then. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve gone.

Why the 7th inning stretch?

Now, you may ask why I am bringing up this? It’s because I’ve been on a marathon of writing during my vacation. I had eight straight days to apply myself to book five of the Consortium Series. As I reported in my last post, I made excellent progress. I hoped to finish out the time with three more chapters.  more “7th Inning Stretch”

Headache Log

Headache Log

I was reviewing my headache log this morning. Yes, I maintain a headache log. Periodically, my doctors review it to help them decide on the next course of action. I can’t believe what the numbers show.

Back in February, my numbers were very manageable; ones and twos. Oh, and in case you don’t realize it, I’ve never seen a zero since suffering my concussion almost six years ago. Can you believe it?

Headache Log
Heachache Log for March 2021

Then, during the end of the first week of March, they started climbing. By the end of the second week, they climbed to really high numbers. I started seeing sevens and eights. They’ve been like that ever since. For seven weeks I suffered in ways that I am tired of, and I can’t stand it much. I get up in the morning doing the job that pays for my food and roof over my head, go home, and collapse on my sofa, overwhelmed by the conflict in my head. Sometimes, the levels dip into nine, just one point short of the worst ever. Occasionally, I’ve also felt nauseous with auras. Isn’t that a sign of a migraine?

Bitching?

Now, I know this sounds like I’m bitching. I know others have it worse off than I do. That doesn’t change the way I feel. I’m frustrated, tired, and angry. However, I will not get depressed over the situation. I won’t let that happen. I get up every day and face the world, determined that it will be a better day.

What’s worse, is that I can’t stimulate my creative juices to write. Sorry, folks, I have written little in the last couple of weeks. All I can do are the routine things at work and collapse when I get home. A few of my readers contacted me after my last blog entry, suggesting various things, including checking into out-of-town clinics specializing in my condition. I’ve looked into it. I’m intrigued.

To compensate for the battle going on in my head, I’ve done several things. One is I have a new neurologist. He’s on the younger side but supervised by an older neurologist I’ve been seeing for the last year for a second opinion. He’s got some new ideas and I’m on new medication.

Medical Marijuana

But that’s not all. In my state, marijuana is only legal for medical purposes, although that is changing as I write this. Yes, I have my medical marijuana card prescribed by my doctor in case you wondered. I had a small supply left over from last year. It worked for a couple of months and then stopped being ineffective. I stopped using it.

Medical Marijuana and meOne day, when I was really bad, I took it. Within hours, I felt a change. While it did not lower the value, I felt the marijuana encapsulated the pain behind an unbreakable shield. Think of a snow globe and the pain inside, moving about, trying to get out. Stuck behind a force field, I felt better, functioning at a level I hadn’t seen in a month.

Going back to the dispensary, I bought more. I can’t believe it, the weed is helping. I wish it would work more consistently, but alas, even my doctors tell me I am a special case. Fuck, don’t they realize patients hate to hear that? Still, I’m determined to fight, which brings me to the next thing I did.

Cefaly

I hate taking pills. They screw with the body’s chemistry, although I realize that in this case, it’s necessary. He also suggested a device that reminded me of something right out of Star Trek. If you’ve seen the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Dr. McCoy uses a device on Chekov to repair a subdural hematoma. While I don’t have that condition, thank Gaia, I looked into it. After reviewing it with my Primary Care Physician (PCP), I tried it. It’s not covered by insurance, but at this stage, I don’t care. It’s got a sixty day unconditional return policy for full refund. What have I got to lose? I’m trying it.

Can Cefaly reduce the numbers in my headache log

It’s from a company called Cefaly and it is noninvasive and doesn’t screw with my body chemistry. It works a lot like a Tens Unit, it’s a self-contained unit without wires. You put a pad on your head and magnetically place the device on it. The sensations are exactly like a Tens Unit. Electrical impulses get injected into the flesh on my face and over the course of the treatment, move in easily recognizable patterns. Sometimes they go side to side, other times in circles, and, well, you get the idea. Treatments last between twenty to sixty minutes.

I’ve just started with it, and the results are mixed. They designed the Cefaly for migraines. My doctors tell me my headaches are not migraines, but my headache log of late tells a different story. What I can say is that it seems to help.

Progress Made, and still updating my headache log.

That’s where I stand right now. I’ve haven’t had the drive or energy to write, even with this blog. I hate resting for half of my waking day and then going to bed. All this sitting and lying down is driving me crazy and making my body ache. I force myself to do my best to take part in life, going to work, the grocery stores, and meeting friends. But there’s nothing creative going on. Until now.

For the past week, I’m at a three or four, which is manageable on the creative front. For one, I’m writing this blog entry. Wow, last weekend, writing one was the farthest from my mind. I am also trying to get back into Avril’s story and write more chapters. I know exactly what I want to do for the next few chapters. It’s getting my mind clear enough to write it down. I’m determined to live, laugh, fuck, smile, and be a part of the world around me.

I still need to get back to the ones and twos. I zero would be nice too! Knock on wood. I’m getting back to writing, adding another book to the Consortium Series.

This is Richard Verry recovering from a terrible month and a half, determined to find out what happens to Avril and her predicament. Talk to you soon. Have a great day and a better one tomorrow.

I am a Writer

I am a writer

I am a writer, living in imagination to survive in realityI am a writer, and I am proud of it. Despite the controversial topics of my stories, I am happy with what I write.

I read a quote recently that triggered this blog entry.

I’m a writer, and I live in imagination to survive in reality.
— anonymous

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Writing up a storm

Writing up a storm

For the last three weeks, I’ve been writing up a storm. One thing you don’t know is that I am back from a vacation in the sun, mild warm temperatures, and dips in the pool. It sure is nice to get away from the brutal snow and frigid temperatures.

I wrote while enjoying the blue skies in my shorts and t-shirt. Writing up a storm, I got a lot done. I’m working in the third book in the Consortium Series. I only have a few more chapters to write to finish the draft. It’s time to build up to the exciting climax, and of course the hook to bring you back for the next installment.

I haven’t given book 3 a title yet, but it will come. Right now, I’m using the working title of ‘Consortia,’ but I very much doubt I will use that. Working diligently, writing up a storm, I hope to have it out by early summer.

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Jigsaw Puzzle Follow-up

Jigsaw Follow-up

Well, I had an unexpected day off from work due to weather, so I worked on my jigsaw puzzle.

Completed jigsaw puzzle
Completed Jigsaw Puzzle

The arctic vortex is sitting over much of the northern hemisphere dropped outdoor temperatures to well below 0 Fahrenheit (-20c) or worse with the wind chill twenty to -50-60f (-45c) in many areas, keeping me indoors today.

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Jigsaw Puzzle

The Setup

Over the holidays, my girlfriend/partner gave me a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. I don’t know whether to be ecstatic over the thoughtfulness of the gift or cringe by the vast time it’s taking to solve the jigsaw puzzle.

But first, let me backup.

Last fall, we went over to a friend’s house for dinner and conversation, catching up since we last saw each other. At that occasion, our friends had a jigsaw puzzle of their own they were working on. Interested, and with their permission, I found and placed a few pieces and thought nothing of it. more “Jigsaw Puzzle”

Writing during a Holiday Season

A Quick Update

Good day to you all, I’ve missed you. Writing during a holiday season is a challenge for sure. However, I can tell you that all of you, my readers, fans, friends and family alike, I think of you frequently day after day.

We came out of a four-day holiday in November, and I put it to good use, writing several chapters in my latest book, the sequel to ‘Perfect Prey,’ book 2 in the Consortium series. I’m excited about how this book is shaping up. more “Writing during a Holiday Season”

Perfect Prey first draft done!

Perfect Prey first draft

Perfect Prey first draftThe ‘Perfect Prey’ first draft is done! Whoo Hoo! I’ve also completed reading it for continuity and fundamental grammar mistakes, etc. Now I’m on to preliminary editing before I turn it over to my editor for in-depth review and corrections.

It’s been a long and weary battle, trying to get this book from concept to reality. I released the first book in the series last summer. I hadn’t intended to write a sequel, but honestly, my readers overwhelmed me with the feedback I received from my readers and followers, asking for more.

more “Perfect Prey first draft done!”

Daydreamer and a Night Thinker

Daydreamer Night Thinker

Hello, my readers and fans of my books, I’m going to write about being a daydreamer night thinker. But first, I have to say this. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, knowing that I haven’t reached out to you lately. I’m sorry about that. I could tell you several reasons why but really, do you care? I doubt it. Besides still recovering from the holidays, dealing with my post-concussion syndrome (yes, it’s still an issue), and other things, I have been working hard on finishing up the sequel to ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I have maybe four or so chapters to write in the first draft.The Trafficking Consortium

Of course, you writers out there know that a book doesn’t stop there. The author must go through it many times cleaning up action sequences, dialog, inconsistencies, and basic grammar. Then, it’s off to an independent editor who will do it all again, shredding it and putting it back together. While that is going on, it’s getting your beta readers to read it and give you feedback. Once done, then it’s on to formatting the manuscript into something suitable for submission. It all takes time. Anyhoo, I’m working hard, and hopefully, I can finish the first draft this month. Knock on wood.

Daydreamer and a Night Thinker

My incredible girlfriend, patient as she is (not), supports my writing efforts and looks for ways to help me when she can. Over the years, she has heard the stories of how I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, dreaming up dialog and scenes to incorporate into my stories. She also is well aware of the imagery that flows through my head during the day, as I try them out on her or when they end up on my canvas or drawing pad.

Daydreamer Night Thinker

She found and gifted me for Christmas a pillow that has the phrase, “I’m a daydreamer and a night thinker” on it. How appropriate.

This is precisely who I am. By day, I’m the mild manner daydreamer, dreaming up stories, scenarios, and images that I can incorporate into my writing and painting. At night, I’m a night thinker. In my half away, half-asleep state, I write dialog in my head, fitting it into the scenes I daydreamed about over the past.

The pillow sits on my bed after I make it in the morning, and when I am asleep, it sits next to me on the floor where I can see it when reflecting upon my storylines in the middle of the night.

Honey, I love the sentiment and the journey it took to come to me. Thank you.

While I’m in a thanking mood, thank you also to my beta readers, and my friends that encourage and otherwise support me.

p.s.

Of course, while I was searching for an appropriate image, I discovered that this phrase is used quite commonly across the globe. Of course, in my little corner of the world, I had never come across it. Damn, now I have to be careful I don’t plagiarize someone. I hope I got it right. You’ll forgive me if didn’t. Right?

Of course, check out my companion site, maggicalexpressions.wordpress.com where I display my visual representations of my daydreaming night thinking turned into reality.

 

Famous Quotes to Write By

Recently, I saw the email signature of one of my co-workers that includes the following quote. She is a career librarian and knowing her; the quote suits her.

(Librarians) “are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them.” ~ Michael Moore, author/filmmaker.

When I first read the quote, all I could think of was rubbing my hands together in a nefarious way and grin an evil smile. However, the quote got me thinking. Perhaps, I should change my author signature. So, I went looking for one. I came up with several, but so far, the one I found that suits me, is:

Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as they finish the book.”
~Roald Dahl

That is exactly how I feel. I write my stories for fun. I don’t care if you love or hate them. I write for the joy of it, transferring images from my brain to the blank white screen of my writing program. If a reader doesn’t like the story, they are welcome to their viewpoint. I won’t deny them their right to their opinion.

At first, I deeply cared whenever I read a poor review of one of my books. All of them talked about the story itself, how it was not their cup of tea or some such thing. What they never wrote was that it was poorly written, filled with grammatical errors and the like.

I fretted over the reviews. That is until I realized that all of the reviewers read the entire book. They didn’t just abandon it halfway through. They chose to read it to the end. That tells me they liked the story enough to take it to its conclusion.

Success!

Over the past couple of years, I’ve taken a lot of grief about the subject matter of my stories. They are often gruesome and horrendous. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “How do you think of the stuff you write about?” or “Is what you write about, something you did or wish you could do?”

How aberrant do you think I am? Okay, don’t answer that.

What is important is, these are just fictional stories. I get my inspiration from everyday life, and I let my imagination go wild. That’s exactly how my book ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ came to life. I sat in a doctor’s waiting room, watching people being checked in and asked myself “What would happen if that person behind the desk sent the patient’s file off to someone with no rights to have it?” Within minutes, the entire framework of the book appeared in my head. I spent the next six weeks writing the first draft. The rest is history.

Need I say more?

Labor Day weekend in the United States

Good afternoon all. It’s the Sunday before Labor Day here in the United States. For those who don’t know, Labor Day is a holiday celebrating the workers in America. It is always on the first Monday in September. It is also the unofficial end of the summer season.

Wistful Look
Source: portrait-photos.org

Just yesterday, I noticed fall and Halloween decor in the stores. Damn, I commented to myself. My full-time job gives me little time to enjoy the summers. For the last month, I worked my ass off getting ready for next week. It’s not important as to why, but trust me, it was.

On July 31, I was sweating bullets thinking that I couldn’t get all my work done in time. I was distraught that there was just too much to do. Somehow, along with my co-workers, we pulled it off.

When my shift ended on Friday, I was content. What I needed to do had the big [ DONE ] stamp on it with big RED letters. Whew.

So, now, I’m enjoying the time off. I’ve slept in both days, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow. I met with friends on Friday night, had a couple of beers over good food and great conversation. Yesterday, I caught up at home, sweeping the floors, dusting, and well, all of that housekeeping that no one wants to do but we have to do anyway.

I also wrote a scene for my next book, and since I couldn’t stop there, and did some massive editing. By the end of the day, I had written and edited 6,800 words, in a scene that I absolutely love. Chatting about it with my girlfriend, she’s excited and can’t wait to read the final version of the book. I’m excited about this book, and I believe you will be too.

This morning, I wrote another 2,800 words in an initial draft of another scene. It’s unrefined and choppy, but it is just an initial draft. When incorporated into the book, I will flesh it out and use it to draw the reader into the character. Her name is Misty, and her life is about to take a sharp left turn. I’m smiling as I write this.

Later, I am meeting another pair of friends for dinner, which promises to be fun. Tomorrow, I plan on sleeping in again, shake off the hangover from tonight, and write some more. Then, there is my new website design. I like it, but I don’t like it enough. I’m debating about releasing it now and then updating it again, or work on the design more and release it later. I’m leaning towards the former, but we’ll see. My job and my writing are my focus at the moment.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Until next time, Ciao.

Rich

A nice Sunday afternoon

I just asked my girlfriend what I should write about in this iteration of my blog. I hadn’t a clue. Why?

I’m spending the day in the warm sun, sitting on my porch, writing scenes and character bios for my next book. No, I’m not letting the cat out of the bag just yet. It’s too early in the process to tell you that. Who knows, it might never come to pass.

beach walking in a bikiniHowever, writing is what I’m doing, as well as catching up on email, social media, connecting with friends and, of course, day dreaming. I’m feeling better, and while my left over concussion headache is still with me, like a squatter who refuses eviction, I have my creative steam back. Ideas are appearing in my head, creating scene after scene that I want to capture, whether for this new book or another. It’s maddening sometimes, I can’t catch them any faster, so I lose them before I can write them down. Damn! I wish I could type at the speed of light.

Speaking of which my typing sucks at the moment. I think of a sentence I want to type, and after I type it, I find that several words are mistyped, often so badly that even the word processor doesn’t know what to do with them. Fsxk. See what I mean? Fuckk, oh fuck it already.

Frosty beer mugHere in the United States, we are having our unofficial last week of summer. For those that know our holidays, next week we celebrate the holiday known as labor day, a day set aside to honor the workers of the country. Workers who get things done, often at the behest of others. I count myself in their ranks, never reaching the heights of the one percenters.

Not that I care. For the most part, I liked my life, and I am enjoying my current life. The only way it could be better is that I get a movie deal from one of my books, and earn enough to buy that beach house, with an attached pool, and paint and write full-time, all while scanning the young bikini clad lovelies walking along the ocean and enjoying afternoon delights with my girlfriend before retiring to my hammock with a drink in my hand. Okay, that last sentence was wordy. Fuck it and go have another drink.

Cheers,
Rich

Writing and other things

Yes, I missed writing to all of you over the weekend. However, while I apologize, I’m not sorry. I spent much of it writing, as in writing notes and dialogue for a new book.

The Taste of HoneyThe thing is, I now have three books in development, and I don’t know which one will make it to the publishers first. The first one is ‘Lucky Bitch,’ book 3 in the Mona Bendarova Adventures (MBA). Except for a couple of plot updates, and a definite timeline problem, I’ve almost finished rewriting the second draft of the book. The problem with this one is, I haven’t touched in a few months, as I wanted to finish up ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ (TC). That’s done now, and sales are exploding, so it’s time to move on.

The second book in development is a serial murder who-done-it mystery. I have written a rough outline, defined the characters, and written a few chapters. Well more like scenes and they are very rough. I had the idea during the final stages of TC, and I started writing notes for it over the past several months. I like the idea of completing the story, but I can’t do them all at once.

The Trafficking ConsortiumThe third book is more of a jotting down notes, writing some scenes, and fleshing out the story line. I had not planned on writing this one, but my readers and followers are all asking for a follow-up to ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I did end the story with a bit of a hook in case I decided to write a sequel. I’ve got some ideas on how to take Avril’s story. Input from my fan base and readers of the story are welcome to throw me ideas. If you would like to contribute, send me your comments, and I’ll take them into account.

So, as it happened, for more than ten hours on Saturday, I wrote and wrote. Sunday I added a bit more, but nothing like Sat. My girlfriend wasn’t overly happy with spending the bulk of the day with my laptop in front of me. I did try though. I took the laptop with me to the porch, sitting alongside her while I wrote. She still complained to me later in the day and again on Sunday. What’s a guy gotta do? She wants me to write, get better at my craft, and earn what it will take to buy that house on the beach in the tropics. It’s a never-ending battle.

Maybe it’ll stop after I buy that beach house. I’m crossing my fingers.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Marketing and Self-Publishing

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to writing and marketing my books. I’ll tell you; I much prefer writing over marketing. As an independent publisher, I have to split my valuable time between the two. It seems that at most times, the split is not even. Rather, the nod goes to marketing rather than writing.

Everything is possible, nothing is impossible, it's all in the attitude
Changing the word impossible to possible.

Which is a curse in its own way. The best marketing tool is good inventory, though the definition of good, in this case, is broad. Spending much of my valuable time in marketing is, in some ways, an evil. A necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless.

For the average reader and customer of books, I know you don’t necessarily care about this topic, but believe me, it is the bane of most writers, even those that have made it in this competitive world. Regardless of how we market, we all do. Whether we do book signings at the behest of our publishers or spend a few minutes a day following up with our social media drills and the like, it takes time away from our real passions, writing the next great novel.

So, if there are any publishing house out there interested in exclusive rights, let’s talk. I’m open to ideas.

In the meantime, I’m going to drink another cup of coffee and muddle on. I have some ideas for my next novel. Have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Rich

Hello my Fans

Hello my fans,

Please accept my apologies for not writing for almost two weeks. These past days have been quite hectic as a result of my PCS (post concussion syndrome) and the release of my latest novel, The Trafficking Consortium.’

The Trafficking Consortium
Copyright (c) Richard Verry 2016

 

Let me tell you; there is good news on both fronts.

First, let me tell you about my book. Avril’s story about being kidnapped and sold into the underworld of human trafficking is doing quite well. In the first two weeks, more readers than I can imagine are reading it, and I received my first review yesterday.

reviewsreviewsreviewsreviewsreviews

Five stars! Can you imagine? I am ecstatic. You can find the review on Amazon’s website. Click any of the book titles and it will bring you right to it.

The reader/reviewer, Bibs wrote:

Another Winner, Another Panty Melter
“You did it again Richard. I couldn’t put it down. A very fast paced read. If you have not read a book from this author, you’re missing out. Every book I read of Richard Verry’s has been excellent. Please pick one up today, and you will be hooked. Thank you, Richard!!”

Wow! What an endorsement.

Bibs has reviewed many of my books, but by far and large, I believe that this one is by far the best for my career as a writer. Personally, I agree with the reviewer, but then again, I’m biased. Thank you Bibs.

If you haven’t yet read ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ I suggest that you do. I’d be interested if you concur with the review or not.

There is more good news regarding my PCS. Over the past two months, I’ve been miserable. I was suffering near unbearable pain, at times moaning and screaming in a poor effort to deal with my headaches. They reached new highs during that time, and if you have read my recent posts, you already know this. Last week, I hooked up with yet another new doctor, this time, a chiropractor. He did a full assessment on my issue, concentrating on my neck and skull. Using a CBCT (a type of 3D cat scanner), he found that my C1 and C4 vertebrae were out of position, and not just on one side but both. The doc reported that discovering both sides out of position is rare. My C1 (also called Axis) was both skewed and rotated out of whack, making the opening for my spinal column smaller, pinching nerves.

CBCT - 3D Cat scan
Rich’s CBCT 2017-06-06

After getting my first adjustment to pop them back into the correct position, I felt better almost immediately. Within hours, my headache dropped to low levels. On my second adjustment appointment, he reported that both C1 and C4 were still in the correct position and no adjustment was necessary. I was both ecstatic and disappointed. The later because he denied me the opportunity to be adjusted again. How dumb is that? That’s what expectations can do. Yet, I was happy that his prior adjustment held. After all, the vertebrae had gotten used to being out of alignment and may very well want to get back to its old position. He tells me that this is very possible. On my third adjustment appointment, he needed to adjust me once more, which he took care immediately. The funny thing, over the past two days, I knew that I was out of adjustment, my headaches were growing worse and a bad fatigue had set in.

 

What really excites me is that someone finally found a physiological cause to my perpetual headaches. With the vertebrae out of alignment, they were pinching the nerves of the brainstem and spinal cord. The nerves have to transgress a very snug opening, so to have the vertebrae shrink their pathways even smaller, well, I could have been suffering from a host of issues. The brain, after all, controls the entire body.

I’m in good spirits and anxious to see whether this is the right treatment for me. If so, I can drop seeing the voluminous doctor and therapy appointments I attend each week. Better yet, I hope I can wean myself off the pills I’ve been taking to manage the pain. Wish me luck!

Well, that’s it for the time being. I look forward to today and tomorrow, getting back to writing and the like. Have fun.reviewsreviewsreviewsreviewsreviews

There’s such a thing as too much

There’s such a thing as too much.

That’s right, too much of a good thing is often too much.

Torico Ice Cream double scoopIf you love ice cream, eating a cone every so often is a savory treat that coats your tongue with exploding flavors as its cooling succulence slips down your throat. Even eating it once a day, in small portions, is manageable. Force fed it continuously, hour after hour, every day, well I know that I will soon hate the stuff.

That’s how I feel about some bloggers I follow. Many I eagerly look forward to, soaking in their insights on the world around them. I enjoy reading about their inner struggles and their ways in coping with life.

What I don’t like are posts done six to ten times a day, touting this or that, or promoting their wares. I want to support them. I really do. However, I am finding that I simply delete the unread post from my inbox. I am treating the posts as junk mail. Yes, I know it’s not fair. However, is it fair to be inundated with a dozen posts or more every day? Nope. Perhaps you feel the same way?

Just over a year ago, I was working with a publicist that wanted me to post something of 300 to 600 words at least daily, more if I could manage it. The idea was that the more I post, the more people would find me, and follow. At the time, I knew nothing. I trusted what I thought of as an expert. So, I tried. Six months later, we parted ways, but I still decided to follow the recommendations.

What did it get me? I started hating the idea of posting an article, especially daily articles. It took a lot of time away from my novels, stories, and painting. I also started to feel like it was too much ice cream.Fallen ice cream cone

Fortunately, I suffered a severe concussion last summer that I am still dealing with the aftereffects today. What it did for me in posting articles was first, a well-needed break. Then, I had a whole new topic to write about and share.

In the writings, I knew that I had to give you, my readers, something they wished to read. I did not want to fill them with fluff about marketing my books. I wanted to give you want you liked. I also had trouble with cognitive and creative thought, so I landed upon the idea of posting the ‘Word of the Day.’ Using M-W, I used them to add my personal two cents to their daily word.

Easy I thought. The trouble was, I was really getting into researching the word, finding images to support the word and then adding my two cents. Towards the end of last year, I was spending upwards of two hours a day, fascinated by the word, and digging deeper into it. As the holidays rolled around, I found that I was, once again, getting tired of the daily grind of blogging.

The Trafficking ConsortiumAs you may have noticed, I have since cut down my posts to once or twice a week. I can manage that, I think. Since my cognitive and creative streams of thought are slowly returning, I am writing once again, focusing on the final tweaks to my new book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I’m even thinking about a sequel to the story, but that’s down the road.

Limiting my posts gives me the time to work on why you follow me. Many of you are looking forward to my next release, and have written me asking when, et.all. How cool is that? Anyway, with summer approaching, I must decide between blogging and writing. I think writing is going to win every time.

Mentally drained

Mentally drained

Just a quick note to everyone. Since my last post, I’ve been very busy, mostly with family and friends. However, I’m now back, at least in spirit. My body is straining to keep up with my desires. That is, writing and keeping up with my friends and followers, all the stuff that makes my life worthwhile.

That said, since my return to work yesterday, I am mentally drained. Yes, that’s right, I’ve been off since last Thursday afternoon. At my job, I am responsible for various applications that are widely used within my client base. After testing several weeks ago an upgrade to this platform, I figured updating it yesterday would be a no-brainer. Over and done with, easy. Right? How wrong I was.

Instead of taking a total of three hours to implement and then another three hours to test, two days later, I’m still working on it. I figure I will complete the project tomorrow but one thing I do know, I will be calling the vendor once again. Yep, before I left today, I discovered something wrong that needs to be fixed before I can put the ‘DONE’ stamp on the project.

Yes, I know you probably don’t care about my concerns at work. However, it is affecting my ability to write and chat with you, my followers. When I got home yesterday, I felt so drained that it took a couple of scotches, dinner, and time in the hot tub before I felt a bit more relaxed. Early to bed and I slept the entire night, right through to the morning alarm. Great, as normally I’m up once or twice a night, and not for a trip to the head.

So why did I feel unrested as I got ready for work? And now after my shift and I’m home, I feel almost as bad as yesterday. I am once again, mentally drained, which makes me feel physically wiped out. “Hey, where’s that glass of scotch?” Or should I open a bottle of wine? Either way, something smooth will soon be passing across my tongue to chill out.

What does this all mean to my writing? Well, as it so happens, I’ve done little, and I’m stressing over it. Yet, I’m so mentally drained, I can’t seem to pick up where I left off. Sorry, everyone. I’m working hard, and I appreciate your patience.

Thank you for your supportSo, I’m off to find a bit of downtime. I appreciate all that every one of you has done for me. A new exciting book will soon be released, and I’ve got another nearly ready to turn over to the editors. With notes on several story lines in the works, I need to get going.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Rich

Followup to ‘How do I think of these things’

Followup to ‘How do I think of these things’

In my last article, I wrote about how I come up with my ideas for my books. I received several comments from people who read my books. I found them interesting.

The first comment comes from a reader who read my first book, ‘The Taste of Honey.’ At the time, this reader wrote me and, if I recall correctly, told me she had a hard time with the story. She considered herself to be a traditional, conservative person and didn’t read all that much. However, a friend turned her onto the book and while struggling with the storyline, discovered an underlying unexpected love story that she loved. It turned her around, and she eventually wrote a compelling five-star review.

The following is what I received in response to the article.

“I found it insightful as well as a confirmation of what I already felt in my heart was the way you find your inspirations. I’ve always believed you to be intelligent and extremely creative. It’s nice to see you finding the right outlet for that creativity (of which you do so well!).” jb

Apparently, she knows me well, and yes, I am acquainted with this person.

Another reader sent me this comment.

“It’s hard to understand how you can write that in such detail and emotion. And, not wonder about you. […] After reading your statements and seeing that your girlfriend felt the same way, I think I feel much better. Maybe, lol.” gd

Her Client Trilogy StackedI am only just becoming acquainted with this reader, having recently received several comments and messages regarding my ‘Her Client’ trilogy. After reading the first book, she contacted with a note indicating how much she liked it. After reading the second book, I received a second comment expressing the need “… to think about this one?” implying that the story might have been a bit over the top for her. [No surprise. This book is intentionally horrific and deals with the real monsters among us.] Her followup to this comment to this book inspired me to write my previous article. The last I heard, the reader was just starting the third book, ‘Her Essentia.’ I have little doubt that she will send me an additional note.

Interestingly enough, the ‘Her Client’ books are my best sellers. I never expected that to happen. As a result, those are the kinds of books I will continue to focus on as I write.

The Trafficking ConsortiumI received many comments on the article. I hope it helps you understand where I am coming from and where I am going. My stories don’t come from personal experiences. Rather, they come from observation and wondering, “what if …”.

That’s how my latest book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ came to life. I was at my doctor’s office and as I sat in the waiting room, wondered “what if someone behind the counter and sent the medical history of a patient to someone who had no right to the file?” From there, the pieces just fell into place, and Avril’s story came to life.

The BreakupThen there’s ‘The Breakup’, a story about what a woman hopes will happen on a date of dinner and dancing. My ‘what if’ revolved around the word, dancing. “What was his definition of dancing?” Ginny is about to find out. The question is, will she be happy about it?

Overall, I don’t really know what to say. If you, my current and new followers, continue to read my books, what am I going to do but keep writing new ones that tickle your fancy and your emotions? I have notes on several ideas for future stories. Stay tuned.


maggicalExpressionsOh, and I almost forgot. I finally finished putting together my online art gallery. It’s called ‘maggicalExpressions.’ Links to it are on my book site.

Yes, that’s correct. I paint and draw when I need to disappear. Oh, yes, that’s what I do when I write. Well, it’s a different kind of medium, and I enjoy it. I hope you like them.


It’s a nice day today, blue sky, and lots of sun. I’m going to work on my book most of the day, and then I’m going to a party tonight. I can’t wait. It’s a themed party sponsored by a social club I belong to. It’s been way too long since I’ve attended one. I’m looking forward to it.


Have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Rich

How do I think of these things in such detail?

How do I think of these things in such detail?

Yesterday, I received this intriguing comment from one of my readers. My life partner girlfriend also wants to know the answer to this question. She cringes at many of my stories. As many times as I try to satisfy her with a reply, sooner or later, she brings it up once again. I figure everyone of my readers is thinking the same thing. So I thought I would give it a stab and try to answer the question.

The reader asked the following question.

“Just finished the 2nd book. [‘Her Overseer,’ book 2 in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy] and I need time to think about this one? Guess my question is how do you think of these things in such detail? It was pretty gruesome. Are there things you write about that you’ve done or want to do? Just wondering.”

Her OverseerThe book, ‘Her Overseer’ is gruesome. It is brutal and graphic. It is the second part of a three-part story within the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. There is a twist in book 3, ‘Her Essentia’ which I think readers will enjoy. My girlfriend cringed reading the first two books, but by hanging in there, she found redemption in the third book.

Frankly, I don’t know how I think up these scenes and describe them in such detail. They just appear in my head as I write them. To me, it is a natural progression of the story that seems obvious as I write.

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. From a young age, I’ve always been interested in mystery/suspense and true crime novels. Later I added science fiction to the list. The more fantastic the story, the more out there the characters behaved, the more I liked it. However, I’m not referring to fantasy stories such as depicted in today’s graphic novels and the like. I like realistic stories that are plausible and could happen in real life. Some of my favorite books from my early years included the true crimes of the FBI, which depicted the thoughts and reasonings of characters on both sides of the law.

 18" x 24" graphite on 50# matte paper
Today’s Challenge

My paintings and drawings reflect a naturalistic world. I love realism in my creative works. I don’t do abstract or fantastical creatures, such as depicted in much of today’s art. The one exception would be my love of mermaids.

Mythical, yes. Naturalistic, yes. Plausible … absolutely.

But fantastic creatures that nature could not possibly develop on this planet through natural selection … no.

I also believe in monsters. Not the kind thought up by the creative minds of scary movie, no, I mean the human kind of monster. The kind that actually exists.

I write what I believe could naturally occur, here on earth, by humans. Nature is uncaring and brutal. Sharks and other predators don’t care about the feelings of their prey. They kill and eat what they want and move on. Orca whales have been observed playing with and tormenting their prey before killing them. From the lowliest of life on earth to the king of the jungle, this is how nature developed life on our planet.

All humans have this drive built into our DNA. Societal norms try to adjust us to not act upon our baser instincts but wInterview Snippets on Mona's Storiese all let it out, at some time or another. A husband beating his wife to belting a misbehaving child when a simple spank of the hand would do, are just two examples of human instincts struggling for release. I could list thousands of examples supporting my belief. Fortunately, most of us suppress this impulse as best as we can.

My stories delve into the realm of humans who drop their shields and let out their baser instincts. My monsters are real, and I have little doubt that the monsters depicted in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy, are real and they exist. They hide and stay out of the limelight, but they exist. In the real world, a rare few are discovered and make the news, but I believe that the known monsters are a small percentage of the total out there. No one can convince me otherwise. My scenes are gruesome and describe a realistic interpretation of the human monster hiding in all of us.

As to the reader’s follow-up question, no I don’t write about what I’ve done, nor what I want to do. Like 99.99999% of the population, I suppress my inner instincts in everyday life. However, I will grant you, that perhaps it is possible, that as I write, I allow a tiny fraction of my basic human suppressed instinct out, enabling me to write in such detail.

I’ve been told that writers write what they know. I don’t believe this. Look at Stephen King’s novels. Do you really think he did all that he wrote about? Do you think he thinks about really doing it? I doubt it. Do I wish I could actually do what I write about in my scenes? Definitely not. I’m a pacifist at heart. It’s all in my imagination, knowing full well that these monsters do exist.

On thing I discovered in my writing journey is that I like to write from the character’s point of view, rather than a third party, observers point of view. I like to write what the characters think and feel. At times I will bounce from the protagonist’s point of view to the antagonist’s point of view and back again. I find it interesting to reveal their thoughts and ideas. I like to expose their emotions of surprise, love, lust, anger, fear, rage, bloodthirst, relief and revenge as the scene develops.

Find out how the human race survives 3DIn ‘The Taste of Honey,’ I wrote a scene where one of my main characters goes through an ordeal of her own choice. She is offered many opportunities to avoid the tribulation. Yet, she chose to go through the ordeal, knowing she would die in the end. All because she loves her family more than she loves herself.

I wrote the scene from her viewpoint. I tried to capture her every thought, fear, and desire she experiences. I tried to capture everything she endures, moment by moment, from her point of view. I attempted to convey all of her senses; taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell; as she lived and died throughout her ordeal. I believe I was successful and again, all from the characters point of view.

A Mermaids Irresistible CuriosityJust know that not all of my books are gruesome. My free short story, ‘A Mermaid’s Irresistible Curiosity’ is a love story with a twist. It’s not gruesome nor brutal. It’s a story about a misguided mermaid who lives a life of instant gratification who falls in love with a fisherman. You can find the short story on my website, RichardVerry.com. It free and you can download it and read it at any time.

I hope that this explains the question and alleviates any concerns about my writing. More importantly, I hope this explains things to the love of my life, my girlfriend, and committed partner in love and life.

How did you make out?

How did you make out?

Well, it looks like we’re having a breather from back-to-back storms. The sun is out. The sky is blue. Nice!

Which brings me to this question?

snow and trees covered in snowIf you were affected by the storms this past week or just one of the storms, what did you do? Did you stay in, like I did? Were you considered essential and went to work? Even if you were not, did you go anyway? If you stayed home, what did you do? Did you read a good book, catch up on the laundry, or bake up a storm? Was it too cold to go out or were you eager to hit the slopes?

Really, I want to know. Please share with me. Send me a note, comment, or email. I’d love to read them and I promise to respond to as many as I can.

Blue sky and snowI will tell you, I was bored. I hate sitting around in front of a TV. Which is why, when I do, I tend to have a computer on my lap, or my smartphone in my hand. I was bored, no two ways about it.

So, I worked on small projects around the house that I’ve not been able to do since my concussion. Whoopee! It means, despite my constant headache, I’m functional to a degree. I have restrictions, to be sure, but I’m able to hang a picture on the wall, clean out the garage, or work on setting up my studio. Nice!

The Trafficking ConsortiumNow I’m ready to begin setting my studio in earnest. I have grand ideas on just how to do it, and when I’m done, it’ll be so cool. I can’t wait. I also worked hard on finishing up and making ready for publishing my new book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ One day, I really need to stop trying to polish it. But every time I pick it up and review it, I tweak this line, this word, or this scene. I’ve got to stop. I promise. As soon as I finish this go around, I’m sending it off for publication.

So, in the meantime, I look forward to reading your replies, and commenting back when appropriate.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow!

Hello to all my followers

Hello to all my followers

If you have been reading my last few articles, you know that a lot has happened in my town, county, and my state. Last week, we suffered a wind storm of sustained 80+ mph winds that lasted for hours. It started at around 2 pm and was still raging after I went to bed that night. It’s no surprise that I didn’t sleep that well that night. By the weekend, local law enforcement reported 6 people died as a result of the wind storm.

Bobcat plowing drivewaysNow, just as we are recovering from that storm, yesterday, once again, two massive weather patterns decided that the north-eastern US was ready for another clash. Guess who is stuck in the middle? You got it, I am. That is my part of the state. While the northeaster ravaged the coastal states with blizzard and blizzard-like conditions, I don’t live in that area. I’m about 500 miles west of the coast, right where the northeaster storm decided to interact with the arctic storm coming down over Canada.

My local international airport closed, shutting down all flights into and out of my area. Officially, as of this moment, the airport has so far recorded 22.2 inches of snowfall, and it’s still coming down. Wind is a problem. The snow that is falling, is falling almost sideways. While there is a patch of ground next to my house where I can see the grass, in other area, the drifting snow is the real problem. Roads are still snow covered, despite the highway department doing an awesome job in plowing the highways. Even some of the large massive plows have slipped off the roadways and ended up overturned in ditches. It’s scary, and I’m staying put.

My girlfriend’s daughter is stuck in Hamburg Germany waiting for a break in the weather and return home. The news tells us that things should break around midnight, and by tomorrow, we should be able to get back to what constitutes normal for my region of the country. Yes, you get that right, it’s still snowing and they are estimating another foot of snow before it ends tonight. What progress made to keep the roads and driveways cleared last night must be repeated all over again.

Snow covered hot tubThe replacement hot tub cover that I bought after the windstorm now has more than three feet of snow on it. Thankfully, I was able to get a cover as I doubt the plywood and tarp I used temporarily would have survived the snow.

But you know what? I’m healthy. I’m strong. I’m warm and safe. There is a lot to be said for that. I know that there are thousands of homeless, hanging out in shelters and abandoned underground subway tunnels trying to keep warm in temperatures approaching 0 degrees F. I feel for them. There was a time, almost two decades ago, that I might have been one of them. Providence, luck and perseverance helped prevent that from happening, though I believe luck was the most significant portion of that. Thank you Lercher for being in the right place and the right time to pull my ass out of the fire.The Trafficking Consortium

In the meantime, I am working on cleaning up before publishing my latest book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ and getting back to writing anew. I’ve got my cup of hot coffee to warm me as I stare out the window, and see mostly white snow. Cheers.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Hot coffee is servedOh, and have a cup of your favorite beverage on me.

What Makes One Happy? Part 4

What Makes One Happy? Part 4

Happiness, is it fleeting or can it be real and sustainable? Over the past week or so, I wrote a series of articles on happiness. When I started on the project, I wanted to refer to more generalities. Yet, as I started writing my first article I discovered that I could not write about happiness in general terms but as it referred to me. I didn’t know how else to say it.

Earlier in the week, someone wrote me, asking the question, “What is Love without Color?” Perhaps you received a similar question from this person. I answered back, “Color attracts but distorts, lack of color reveals one’s true self and is sustainable.” I could ask the same question regarding happiness.

“What is happiness without color?” What do you think?

Upon reflection, color, as it applies to love or happiness, could have many good answers. My answer was just one. I had given my answer much thought before I replied. Answers I could have sent were “Color reveals and attenuates love,” or “Color shouts love to the world to see and share.” Several other answers come to mind.

Substitute happiness for love, and I dare say, the answers remain the same or at least similar.

But my articles go deeper than that. I really believe in the difference between short-term and long-term happiness. I think that everyone needs and yearns for both. Single night encounters with someone that gets your rocks off is beautiful and delicious. However, it’s not the same as sharing years with someone who knows you inside and out and feeds your needs in bed and in everyday life.

A child is thrilled when he or she opens a present on his birthday or at a holiday. They squeal with joy in finding a treasure in the form of a doll or toy truck. It’s a short-term happiness for sure. Their real happiness, long and sustaining happiness comes from the love and care of their parents, mentor, caregiver or siblings. An adult does the same thing. Flipping a property for profit versus the years satisfying a desire or need to succeed in their chosen career as a building contractor are examples of short-term and long-term happiness.

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Bob Marley

Feel the Rain

How astute is Bob’s quote. I think he captured some of what I feel in just nine words. To me, happiness come from enjoying life, participating in life, interacting with all life, and appreciating all life. If you haven’t guessed, when I use the word life, I refer not to just all people, but life in general. From the worm in the ground to the plants we walk on or appreciate from afar, to the pets and wildlife who enrich our lives, and to people around the world, who help us with our car registrations to the ones that we come home to, everyday. They all have something to enhance our individual lives. Acceptance is crucial or we can never be happy either in the short-term or the long-term.

Some people find happiness in loving others, caring for others, or abusing others. I don’t understand the last, but I accept that it is real. We all know that there are monsters out there. I even write about them in some of my novels. I just can’t relate to them.

I firmly believe in the concept of ‘doing whatever makes you happy.’ What I would like to wish for this world we live in is ‘Doing whatever makes you happy as long as it does not hurt or harm another.’

I dare say, there are some out there, perhaps even some who read this article, who won’t agree with my clarification.

So, I ask you. Do you feel the rain or do you just get wet? What do you think? Do you agree? Write me and let me know. I welcome your thoughts. In the meantime, I trust you’ll have a good day and a better tomorrow.

What Makes One Happy, part 2

What Makes One Happy, part 2

Last time I wrote about my short-term vs. long-term happiness. Another short-term happiness is coffee. I love coffee. Sixteen years ago when I rejoined the dating scene, I had my first cup of vanilla latte. coffee latteWhile I liked coffee then, I fell in love with vanilla lattes. Today, exiting the dating scene with my long-term girlfriend, I drink several cups of coffee daily, laced with vanilla sugar-free creamer.

Which brings me to my second item in my long-term happiness list, alone time for painting, drawing, and writing. I drink coffee as I paint, draw, or write.

However, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up, shall we?

As a child, I drew all sorts of spaceships and ground vehicles, making up stories as they developed. I also tended to write stories in my head that incorporated these doodles or were fresh and not related to them. I even wrote a couple down which were lost to the hands of time. As a young adult, I forgot about them and proceeded to be caught up in photography and girls. Girls turned out to be my main obsessive behaviors and I was awkward around them. It took a lot of trial and effort that lasted for decades, despite getting married and having a child in the meantime.

Sixteen years ago, I revisited my creative talents a couple of years after my marriage died and I lived alone. I loved it and I began drawing and painting in earnest. Living alone like that for all those years trained my adult mind to disappear into my creative world, feeling and living the lives of the characters I created. Later, branching out and revisiting my creative writing, I fell into the same pattern. In some ways, it was easier to disappear into my creative world as I could sit in a comfortable chair and write; all the while, my girlfriend watched her favorite shows on television.

I have to admit, I prefer my alone quiet time, apart from life and in my creative space (my office or my studio) in order to draw, write or paint. Sailing into the sunsetIt’s important to me, no question about it, and being there makes me happy. I’m free to be myself, unbeholden to anyone or anything else. Feeling what my characters feel and experience, I can develop story lines that flow. I can feel the pain and joy, torment and pleasure that they feel. It hurts at times but I am able to leave a bit of me in my creations. As I have said before, my heart and soul is embedded in each work I create, be it visual or written. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To be honest though, it is difficult at times to separate myself from the real world, where my girlfriend is such an important part, and spend time in my creative space where I immerse myself in my fictional realities. I can recall a numerous occasions when I had to stop and ask her to wait until I finished a particular section of the story. I didn’t want to lose track of the flow of the story, extricate myself from the pretend world in order so that I could interact with her on whatever she wanted to say. Sometimes she’d acquiesce and other times, she’d fume. I can’t say I blame her. I do the same to her.

Last November, consumed with writing my latest book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’, she really became bothered at the time I spent writing the story and disappearing into this fictional world, even when I was sitting right next to her. The Trafficking ConsortiumI took every spare moment to write, moments that she had felt were hers. I agree. Most times they were but during November, nope. It was as if I had a barking dog scratching at the door to be let out and relieve itself. Just as you can’t tell a dog to wait, else it would piss on your carpet, I couldn’t tell the story to wait. Frankly, it hurt to keep it inside instead of being let out. So, every available moment was taken to write, and write, and write some more.

My girlfriend and I are still negotiating these rules of engagement, so that I can create undisturbed and uninterrupted with time I allocate to her. Since she is very important to me, I walk a delicate line between the two worlds. In the meantime, I keep at it. I thank the universe that lately, she is okay with me blocking out significant blocks of time to create. I wonder what she will think when she figures out that some of my best creative time is well after dark and can last into the wee hours of the morning. I don’t think it is a problem though as my body can’t take it anymore. For some reason, it insists upon a decent night’s sleep.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great day and a better tomorrow.

What Makes One Happy?

What Makes One Happy?

Miss MollyI don’t know about you, but I can tell you about me. First off, I group my happiness into two categories, short-term and long-term.

My latest bit of short-term happiness comes from my car. It is a 2017 Camaro 2LT/RS with a few other goodies to go with it. She wears a Hyper Blue Metallic dress over a hot leather interior. Yes, that’s her in the picture. Beautiful, isn’t she?

I named it Miss Molly after the song ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On’ covered by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. With six on the floor and on-the-fly modifiable performance modes, she’s a dream to drive and lots of fun to ride.

Devil In Blue DressBTW, I’ve named all my cars over the years with female names, the previous being ‘Alice,’ (nod to Elton John’s ‘All the Girls Love Alice’) a 2014 red Camaro built with similar accoutrements. Over the years, I have had or driven several Camaros and I first fell in love with the car when I bought my very first one. It was a 1974 antique white Camaro Type LT with all the trimmings, including a spoiler, and a dark saddle tan interior. I paid $5,204 for it brand new, right off the showroom floor. Too bad they still don’t go for that kind of money. Her name was Valerie and I’m not going to tell you why, though I bet you can guess why.

As for Miss Molly, I love sliding into her and giving her a ride.

However, I am most interested in writing about what makes me happy in the long-term. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Alone time for painting, drawing, and writing.
  2. Naked female bodies, or as I otherwise say, lover of the female form.
  3. An extraordinary woman to share our combined interests.

Fortunately, I am at a stage in my life where I enjoy all three, which I suppose makes me elated and lucky. I feel that I am, but why do I always want more?

Let’s start with number two in the list. I first learned of my fascination with girls and their bodies back in seventh grade. That would make me about eleven at the time. It was completely unknown to me, but I now know that it was at this stage in my life where I started changing my attitudes towards girls. Of course, at that time, I didn’t understand it. A year later in eighth grade, our teacher arranged our classroom desks in a circle. A girl (Theresa), who sat across from me, would sit with her knees spread wide so that I could see right up under her dress and study the panties covering her privates. I was fascinated, yet young and very, very stupid. Thankfully, I never made a move back then. I think it was also the year that I discovered my father’s stash of nudie’s in the basement where my mother would never find them. From that moment on, I was hooked.

A year later, as a freshman in high-school, and still underage, I perused the magazine stands, trying to work up the courage to buy my first Playboy magazine. I stood there for over an hour before the proprietor of the place asked me “Well, are you going to buy something?” I chickened out and instead, bought my first book on how to sketch the human female body. This was just as good I thought and used it more to master the art of masturbation than to study and learn to draw them. Of course, by this time, I had been practicing masturbation for over two years, but now I had something in hand (forgive the pun) to refine the art. Even to this day, I frequently enjoy it. Perhaps that is why my urologist tells me that I have a perfect prostate. Does daily practice really make perfect in this case?

As the time inevitably drove on, I found myself hooked on studying a woman’s body. I amassed quite a collection of ‘girlie’ magazines, preferring the more tasteful ones over the increasing market of tasteless ones. With the advent of the internet and the freely accessible store of images, I eventually dropped all my subscriptions, which I presume many other men did as well, which in turn started the slide of the modern paper-based ‘girlie’ magazine.

Female FormMy love of a woman’s body has never once wavered in the decades since. In fact, it’s only grown. No matter what the shape, style, or wrappings, I love them all. I have my favorites of course and I absolutely hate the basketballs that some women insert into their bodies. I like them real, natural, and responsive. I even started reading medical textbooks and other similar books meant to instruct rather than titillate. I learned a lot about the female body and how it works. Even to this day, I strive to learn more about them. I want to find out how they work, inside and out.

As a result, I discovered the mechanics involved with foreplay, the female orgasm, and the after care. Over the years, I practiced with various partners and when I wasn’t in a committed relationship, with several at a time. They taught and I learned. Each taught me more than any book learning could ever have, though I do feel that the books helped make for an easier experience in and out of bed.

Still, I find myself unsatiated. My fascination with a woman’s naked body grows exponentially. I want more and I want to continue studying and practicing the art. And, this is very important, I know with whom I want to share this fascination and experience the joys that come with exploring the human body.

That would be, of course, the love of my life, my girlfriend and life-partner. No, they’re not three different girls, they’re all the same girl, all wrapped up in one fabulous package. I don’t believe I can handle more than one at a time. Too exhausting as she would say. We’ve been together for thirteen years this coming May. I have learned a lot about how her mind and body works. Although … I know that I don’t know it all. I know I am missing much that I cannot learn by reading books, looking at porn, or studying medical manuals. I desire and intend to rectify that with lots of practice. Perhaps within the next thirteen years, I will become satisfied.

However, to tell you the truth, I hope I do not. I have always had an insatiable desire to learn and grow. I don’t know what I would do with myself if I lose that desire. I will always want to learn more about what makes her tick. It’s a real shame that I am growing older, and my body doesn’t work as it once did in my teens and early twenties. If only I knew then what I know now, how much more would I be able to learn? And oh, how I would practice. Afterall, doesn’t practice makes perfect?

Next time, I will expound upon my need for drawing, painting, and writing. Lastly, I will write about my need to share life and experiences with an extraordinary woman.

In the meantime, have a great day and a better tomorrow, perhaps in bed with your favorite partner(s).

Good Morning One and All

Good Morning One and All

Blue sky and snowI woke up to a lovely day today, a blue sky devoid of clouds. I haven’t seen a blue sky in weeks. However, it’s cold outside. A balmy 18F (-8C) with a strong, steady breeze encouraging me to stay inside, despite the fact that I had to go out to get the paper for my girlfriend. To bad it’s not delivered to my door but at the street. Oh well, stop bitching. Sitting in my office, staring out the windows as I write this, lifts my spirits and brightens my mood. I hope that the same goes for you.

There have been a lot of changes in my life since I last wrote to you. An extensive assessment of my post-concussion condition revealed that, except for a couple of areas, I am mostly better. I still have the headaches, delayed memory issues, and a couple of other things. The overall consensus is that I need to mix things up in my life. Get out, do things, and stop focusing on my headaches. Perhaps there is truth in that.

Frosty beer mugI’ve gone back to work. Whoo hoo! At least on a limited basis. Half-days, three times a week is a pretty good start getting my life back to normal. I started last Wednesday and finished the week up on Friday. Both days were significantly better than when I tried it last September. I’ve gone to the movies twice, gone out and met friends at restaurants and a bar & grill. Damn, I sure missed that last one. Hanging out, sharing food and beer with friends, acquaintances, and making new friends as people come by to see what the good cheer is all about.

From what I hear from those keeping the tally, sixty-three of us officially stopped by last night, and probably a few more as I saw people come in and not get acknowledged by the keeper of the clipboard. Due to the music, various monitors displaying various sports games from around the country, and the din of exuberant conversations, the place was loud. Thankfully, I came prepared with a pair of decent ear plugs.

All in all, it’s good to get out. My headaches stayed mostly in the 2-3 range the entire week, though right now, it’s a strong 4. I blame the gathering at the bar & grill for that though in all honesty, if this were a month ago, I believe I would have experienced a 6 or 7. That’s progress.

As I laid in bed just before I fell asleep last night, a potential scene for a novel popped into my head. Maybe, perhaps, it will make it to print in a future novel. I can only hope.

Lastly, as I mentioned last time, I was cleaning up my office in preparation to do some drawing. Well, that project is done, at least enough so that I can pull out my drawing tablets, pencils, gray eraser, and blending stubs and begin work. I’m going to take the weekend off from my office, right after I post this article, and start on Monday. Since my creative juices are at an all time low, I’ll start simply by using photographs as references. I do that from time to time though I often take it to a whole different direction than what I see in the photo.

The plan is, by drawing, that will open the creative stream in my head, and allow me to come up with a plot for a new book. Wish me luck.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Life’s learned lessons

Life’s learned lessons

Good Day Everyone. Looking at my site, I just realized that I haven’t posted in a week. I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t know that it was that long. Sorry about that.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and going to Physical Therapy (PT) lately. I’m working on my post-concussion issues, and I have made some progress and learned a few things. The two biggest things that I learned are:

  1. I’m still not ready to go back to work. (Shit!)
  2. I’m dwelling too much on my headaches and other issues, and not enough on life.

Number 1 scared me until I learned about number 2. I must accept it and deal with it while living my life. I’m sure that my colleagues at work won’t be happy with number 1, but I’m not in control of that aspect of my life. ‘It is what it is.’ As I write this, David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ is playing in the background and I just realized that I identify with many of the verses in the song.

To deal with number 2, I’ve been advised to change things up in my life. Change the venue so to speak. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, get out of the house more often. Now that the holidays are over, I can do that on my terms rather than on someone else’s terms.

My psychologist asked me an important question. “What are your go to items that make you happy?”

An easy answer for once, “Drawing and Painting, Writing, and Sharing intimate time with my girlfriend.” (I don’t necessarily mean sex, but that’s an important part.)

The problem is that all are suffering. I don’t yet have my painting studio setup which prevents me from putting paint to canvas. My injury stopped me from working on it for several months. I muddle through it at times, but I usually ran out of steam before getting far. I’m now motivated to get it done.

The Trafficking ConsortiumThen there is the writing. Without my creative stream running through my head, I am struggling to come up with a storyline. What I do know is that last October, I put pencil to paper and came up with several new compositions that I am very happy with. Drawing them put me in a headspace that made me happy and I forgot about my chronic headache. Checking my headache logs, I discovered that during those days and the following weeks, my headaches were relatively mild. And guess what? That’s when I had my inspiration for ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ Writing it consumed me, and after looking at the logs, the headaches never surpassed a four on a scale of zero to ten. What do you know?

I can draw almost anywhere and yet; I prefer either my studio or my office. They represent my personal space and allow me to dive in without distractions. Until last night, my office was not configured to allow me to draw easily. It is now. 😉 Starting later today or tomorrow, I’ll finish a piece I started months ago and move on. Perhaps that will be the avenue to find inspiration for a new story. In fact, I’m betting on it.

That leaves the last of my goto’s, my girlfriend. Due to my injury and other issues, which I am not going to go into, our relationship has been strained. She is concerned about my condition and often frustrated that she can’t help. So, I was advised to change things up, do things differently and do it in new environments.

So, change the venue, right? Last night, the two of us went for a walk around my neighborhood. The first time since last fall. I usually do it alone. It was nice. Later today, we’re planning on doing a couple of errands together and then go to the movies. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie in a theater. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve also made plans to go out more, see friends in other venues, rather than have them come to our house. I’m also looking forward to playing cribbage or other games together which we’ve not done since last summer. Playing games at the table gets us away from the TV, and conversing in an intimate setting which is something I crave.

What does all this mean to you, my fans and followers of my blog and readers of my books? Despite what my marketer muse has told me, I’m going to stop forcing myself to write a daily blog. It is stressful to think of topics to write that you are interested in and it takes time away from life, my girlfriend, and my happy place. But don’t fret, I will write you at least weekly and maybe more as things settle down. Yes, it will be true that I will miss your interactions and responding to your comments. You can comment all you like. I will read, and I will write back.

In the meantime, just know that I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you for your support and reading my books. Be sure to look for my latest novel ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ which I will be publishing on Amazon in early Feb.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow!

Post Concussion Syndrome or Writer’s Block

Post Concussion Syndrome or Writer’s Block

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the plot of my next novel. I find that once I am in the midst of the storyline, I feel fantastic. The writing is comfortable and natural. I can lose all track of time and my environment. Much to the despair of my loving girlfriend and partner, I’ve been known to ignore her while I am in the depths of typing out my latest scene. Sorry love.

post-concussion syndrome symptomsI don’t know about you other writers out there, but when I am invested in a character, I tend to feel what they feel, be it pleasurable or not. I like it, and I get to imagine what it is like to experience their lives as they fulfill their destiny.

I need to revisit the realm of one of my characters. I have several great story lines I’d like to delve in one day. Just not today.

I don’t understand why not. I remember how excited I was when I wrote down those story outlines. In fact, I remember one day, writing down over a dozen plots that I could use in developing a new book. Yet, as I reviewed them over the past couple of weeks, none of them stood out and captured my interest. Of course, I wrote all of those notes pre-concussion.

The Trafficking ConsortiumMy question to everyone out there, am I experiencing a writer’s block or did my brain injury affect me in ways that are changing me? I hadn’t thought so last month. I was in the depths of the glory of producing my last novel, ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ My stream of creative thought, missing for many months after my brain injury, seemed to return with a big bang. Yet, today I wonder if it was just a fleeting spark. The stream, so much a part of my life, has regressed to a mere trickle, falling ever so slowly from a water faucet.

What do you think? Am I suffering a short-term writer’s block or am I suffering from the after effects of my brain injury? Can ‘Post-Concussion Syndrome’ be that devastating? Please leave me a reply by commenting in the field below. Unless otherwise requested, all replies will be publicly shared.

Thanks for reading this and sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate the valuable time you spend in my little corner of the world.

Until next time, this is Richard Verry, sitting at my desk, looking out the window at an unseasonably mild and overcast gray day, and anxious as to whether I will ever return to my normal self.

Sunday Update 1/15

Sunday Update 1/15

It’s Sunday morning, and for the first time in a very long time, I see blue sky above. They tell me that within the U.S.; my city has the second fewest blue skies throughout the year. Seattle being the first.

FootballSpeaking of Seattle, the Seahawks went down quickly to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round of the American Football playoffs yesterday. Damn, they were my girlfriends pick to appear in the Super Bowl. We also had hoped that the Houston Texans would topple the Patriots, but as expected, they didn’t. They did put up a great fight against the home team. I thought it was going to be a blow-out and it wasn’t, despite the final score. For once, though, officiating didn’t feel all that one-sided for a change. Others may have a different opinion, but that’s what I got out of the game.

I hate to say it, but I think that the teams that will play in the Super Bowl will be New England vs. Dallas. The two teams I hate the most. Hey, don’t kill me. That’s how I have always felt, and probably will for the rest of my life. And for you Boston fans, let me just say, I love your city, been there a few times. I just hate the team. Dallas, to me, the only good thing you got going are the cheerleaders. There, I said it. Just don’t shoot me. Green Bay Packers, can you do it today? Can you put down the Cowboys in this afternoon’s game? I’m rooting for you.

Of course, my home team hasn’t made the playoffs in seventeen years. What the f#$&? So, what does that tell you?

Enough about weather and sports. I’m sure that there are enough weather and sports outlets out there that can fill your hungry minds.

The Trafficking ConsortiumI’m pretty sure my book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’  is ready for publishing. I’m just waiting on a couple of responses from my beta readers who are reading an advance release copy (ARC) of the book. I’m excited and nervous to read their reviews. Damn, the wait is excruciating.

If you want your own ARC of ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’  click the free button where you can download it free. All I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. You can do that, right? Free buttonJust click the envelope on my home page, RichardVerry.com. This is a limited time offer. The promotion will end once the book is published.

It does deal with a tough subject, although the story is not as horrific as the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. I wrote it intentionally that way. Sure, there’s sex and death in the book but so do most suspense dramas. It’s a first person view of someone caught up in the human trafficking trade and what happens throughout their captivity. While they hate their captivity, they grow as a person and start to see their life in a whole new way. Suitable for all readers 18+. I think you’ll like it.

 

Time to refill my coffee, so, thank you for reading this. Remember, if you want your free ARC copy of ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ click the free button where you can download it free. Antique sealed dispatch letterAll I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. This is a limited time offer. The promotion will end once the book is published. All I ask that you write a review and post it on my site. Just click the envelope on my home page, RichardVerry.com.

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Friday update

Friday update

Hello everyone. I’m sitting at my desk, not knowing what to write about. Sure, there’s stuff bouncing around in my head right now, but is any of it worthy to tell you about? I doubt it. It’s 38 degrees (3C) and a bit breezy out there. Do you care? I doubt it. Even better since I don’t really care either.

The Trafficking ConsortiumI’m nearing the end of reading my new book The Trafficking Consortium as a simple reader. I had put it down for a couple of weeks and now I’m reading as a reader, not an author. Though it went through an editing process, I found a few minor edits I’d like to make. It’s a good thing I haven’t yet published it yet, though I have a couple of beta readers currently reading it for content and reviews. Yet, do you really care?

Even though it’s about noon right now, I am feeling fatigued. I had PT yesterday and next week will be a full week of doctors, therapists, and the like. I doubt I will get much writing done. Though I have a few story ideas I’m playing with, I haven’t gotten the vision of how the stories should play out, as I did with The Trafficking Consortium. How that story came to life is an interesting story in of itself. After months of missing my creative stream of thoughts running through my brain, that story just appeared one day in the front of my mind, demanding to be released. Three weeks later, the bulk of the story was done. I was consumed in writing it. I was consumed with finishing it. I spent hours each day, often at the expense of other needs and responsibilities. And I was loving it. I loved writing it and getting it out of my head. I was consumed and I allowed it, seeing how much I loved writing the story. What I need right now, is more of that. Perhaps my cognitive thinking assessment next week will help along those lines. All I know is that I need to write and with Avril’s story (the main character in The Trafficking Consortium) done, I am thrashing a bit. I’m not worried about losing my mojo. I know an idea will solidify enough to write a new story. I just want it now. Then again, do you care? Probably not but I would hope that you do.

I need to meet my muse and confident. She’s unavailable right now, having had to go out of town unexpectedly. Or, I just need to blank my mind and trust a good idea will appear. It should, it’s happened before.

I did have an interesting conversation with one of my twitter followers yesterday. It was enlightening. Plus, I had fun chatting with someone who opened the conversation with ‘keep up the good work.’ He wrote me to say that he enjoyed reading my stuff which is always good to hear and good for the ego. Maybe I’ll do more of that.

If you would like to follow my ramblings and such, my updates and my Word of the Day feature (something I would like to get back to soon), please subscribe to my blog by filling out the form below.

In the meantime, I hope you have a good day and a better tomorrow.

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Good morning

Good morning

Good cold morning. When I woke up this morning, I discovered we had a light overnight snowfall, and it was a whopping 6 degrees F (-14C), Brrr…. Now, a couple of hours later it’s risen to 16F (-9C). No matter how you cut it, it is still cold.

snow and trees covered in snowAfter making a cup of coffee, I sat down at my desk to consider what I would do today. Struggle over Lucky Bitch or begin working on a new story. Of course, I could do a Word of the Day … Nah.

Since I still haven’t figured out whether to kill the Bloodline storyline or not, I guess that leaves me with a new story. Okay, day decided, what else is there to talk about? Well, there’s the Golden Globes from last night? Did your favorites win? Don’t ask me; I didn’t watch them, and I care little about them.

Oh, I am thinking about putting down the keyboard and picking up charcoal, pencil, and paper and do some sketching. I have some really good ideas on what to put to paper. I would like to finish setting up my studio, but I ran out of supplies to continue. I should go to the hardware store, but, baby, it’s cold outside. It’s supposed to warm up mid-week so that should be a good time.

It’s strange; I used to love winter. The cold and the snow. I’d be outside sledding, skating, and even doing a little skiing. I’ve camped on top of a mountain in a tent pitched right on the snow. It was a good time, but that night, I froze, despite a solar blanket, cold weather foam padding, a 20below sleeping bag, parka with hood, thermal gloves, and ski cap. I didn’t sleep much that night and seemed to need to pee every half-hour. When the next morning came around and I broke camp, I discovered that my body heat and transformed six inches of snow into ice. I was sleeping on a bed of ice! Damn. Come to think of it; I think that was my last time camping in winter and maybe the start of my disliking the cold. Of course, age may have something to do with it. Nonetheless, I got the garbage out to the curb this morning for my weekly pickup and shoveled the driveway.

pailoa beach, maui, hawaii black sand beachEnough talk about the cold. I know others have it much worse than I do, so it’s stupid to talk about it. Man, I need to be in the tropics right now.

And with that, I’ll sign off, still undecided as to whether to write, draw, or for that matter, do nothing. Wouldn’t that be nice. Not in my nature but I can still fantasize. Oh, yeah! Lying on a black sand beach in Hawaii, with a drink in one hand and the love of my life at my side, holding my other hand. Heaven!

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Word of the Day: qui vive

Word of the Day: qui vive

Collie on alert
Source: corydoncollies.co.uk/qui_vive.html

qui vive (noun) kee-VEEV

Definition

: alert, lookout — used in the phrase on the qui vive

Examples

“All right. Lieutenant Howard, go see how the artillery wagons are managing, and on the way tell Major Mason that I need him again. Stay on the qui vive; you may find evidence of liquor.” — William T. Vollmann, The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War, 2015

“Pasadena Heritage staged its Colorado Street Bridge Party July 16, and Police Chief Phillip Sanchez was clearly on the qui vive at the entrance to the bridge.” — Patt Diroll, The Pasadena Star News, 24 July 2016

Did You Know?

When a sentinel guarding a French castle in days of yore cried, “Qui vive?,” your life depended upon your answer. The question the sentinel was asking was “Long live who?” The correct answer was usually something like “Long live the king!” Visitors not answering the question this way were regarded as suspect, and so to be “on the qui vive” meant to be on the alert or lookout, and qui vive came to mean “alert” or “lookout” soon afterward. Nowadays, the term is most often used in the phrase “on the qui vive,” meaning “on the lookout.”

My Take

Alright. Today’s word I want to say is stupid. It’s not, of course, but I’d like to think it. I know I will never use it. Yet, it does have a place in history. If I ever write a historical novel, then perhaps, I will use it.

From the examples, you will note contemporary uses of the word, and yet, I can’t seem to bring it about to use it. If I want to use a term to mean alert or lookout, I’ll use the words. Perhaps it is used in other parts of the world with more frequency. That’s okay too.

Adèle Exarchopoulos
Source: adele-exacharchopoulos-source.e-monsite.com

Thinking about the term, I came up with some scenarios that would be an appropriate usage of the term. For example, a city deploys additional security due to a terrorist alert, such as what recently occurred in Los Angeles California at the Universal Studios subway station. An event that is, unfortunately, all too common these days. I was also reminded of a woman on alert walking down a dark street or riding a crowded subway car. If the main character, Avril, in my new book were a bit more alert, perhaps she would have escaped her introduction to the despicable world of human trafficking. Be sure to look for this exciting new erotic thriller due out very soon.

In researching the word, I did find a field hockey club using the word as their team name. I also found a movie entitled ‘Qui Vive.’ I never heard of it of course, but what do I know. I found several pieces of artwork using the title, one of which I have included in this post as my twitter bonus picture. Finally, I did find a picture of a border collie. From its pose, it reminded me of my own collies our family bred growing up. When they alerted to something of interest, you knew the dog was on the qui vive.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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My Quandary

My Quandary

The Trafficking Consortium Front Book Cover
Copyright (c) Richard Verry 2016

I’ve sat here, at my desk, or messing around the house trying to decide on what to write today. It’s not the Word of the Day. I can do that. It’s the My Take section that takes so much time. And right now, time is a commodity that is very expensive.

So, I’m going to slow down on the Word of the Day for the rest of the holidays. I’ll publish them, but as time allows or an interesting word captures my interest.

Why am I in a quandary? I’m working hard to put to bed my latest novel ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ Between getting ready for the holidays, which for me has already started, working with the editor to clean up my manuscript, cover design, website work, and all things related to indie publishing, it’s just a lot to deal with, and I hope you don’t mind the intermittent Words of the Day. It’s good to do, but the novel is so much more fun.

Till next time, this Richard Verry, getting back to work.

 

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Word of the Day: bamboozle

Bamboozle
Source: imagict.com

Bamboozle (verb) bam-BOO-zul

Definition

1 : to deceive by underhanded methods : dupe, hoodwink

2 : to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely

Examples

“Some consumers are so bamboozled by slick sales talk that they pay extra for amazingly bad deals. Just one example, a $49.99, four-year service plan on a DVD player that sells for $39.99.” — Mike McClintock, The Chicago Tribune, 13 Feb. 2009

“We agree with those who filed the suits challenging the wording of the ballot question. We believe it is deceitful—and deliberately so, designed to bamboozle voters into thinking they are voting on a minor issue that simply codifies existing law instead of adding five years to a judge’s term.” — The Philadelphia Daily News, 10 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on “the continual Corruption of our English Tongue” in which he complained of “the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows.” Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble(a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning “false” a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift’s assertion that “All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language.”

My Take

Well, there are no shortages of images to go with today’s word. So, I picked a few that I thought were appropriate and I hope you do too.

Bamboozled cat
Source: wordnik.com/words/bamboozle

To me, though I don’t use the bamboozle too much, the meaning is obvious. Is it with you?

To deceive, dupe, hoodwink, confuse, frustrate or throw off completely. I probably could think of another pocketful of synonyms for the term, but I believe you get the message.

The image I found most enjoyable was the wall appliqué of a tree scene with dozens of birds sitting on the branches. Nice, but it was the dog staring at the wall, bamboozled by the birds beyond its reach. I can imagine how many hours the dog spent trying to catch one. I must be honest, when I first saw this image, I thought it was a cat, which works even better.

Government bamboozling
Source: trinbagoviews.com

Another image I found most enjoyable was the cartoon of the honest government worker. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what country you call home, the sentiment fits. Ain’t it a shame?

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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My New Novel is Progressing Nicely

My New Novel is Progressing Nicely

Woodstock edits Snoopy novel
Source: unknown

As the holidays fast approach, I find that it is becoming harder and harder to work with my editor and get my new book ready for publication. Demands upon our respective times are impacting on the ability to coordinate the effort. My editor suggests changes and while in most cases, I agree, getting them into the final draft does take time. I’m determined to ready it for publication by the end of the month, but I can’t say the same for those around me.

The good news is that I found the perfect cover photo for the book. I’ve learned a lot about cover design and formatting in this past year. With the tools and skills I have, I will be designing the book cover for this novel.

Now, all I have to do is format the final draft for publication, create the book cover itself, and publish it. Under normal circumstances, this should be easy for me.

But wait?

What will I title the book? OMG, I need to settle on a title. Time to research again. After all, I want the book to show up on the first page of search engines. That’s harder than one might think. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Happy Holidays everyone!

Word of the Day: salient

Word of the Day: salient

Salient Features
Source: huemarcom.com

Salient (adjective) SAIL-yunt

Definition

1 : moving by leaps or springs : jumping

2 : jetting upward

3 : standing out conspicuously : prominent; especially : of notable significance

Examples

The speech was filled with so much twisted rhetoric that it was hard to identify any salient points.

“Among the projects: … an $18 million makeover of Freedom Hall, substantial new meeting and storage space, a new ballroom and a new $70 million exhibit hall…. Those were the salient recommendations of a new master plan for the Kentucky Exposition Center….” — Sheldon Shafer, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), 28 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Salient first popped up in English in the 16th century as a term of heraldry meaning “rampant but leaning forward as if leaping.” By the mid-17th century, it had leaped into more general use in the senses of “moving by leaps or springs” or “spouting forth.” Those senses aren’t too much of a jump from the word’s parent, the Latin verb salire, which means “to leap.” Salire also occurs in the etymologies of some other English words, including somersault and sally, as well as Salientia, the name for an order of amphibians that includes frogs, toads, and other notable jumpers. Today, salient is usually used to describe things that are physically prominent (such as a salient nose) or that stand out figuratively (such as the salient features of a painting or the salient points in an argument).

My Take

Salient outside battle
Source: http://taralen.deviantart.com/

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I admit it. I am wrong. I thought I knew the meaning to today’s word. I’ve known the term for many years, but I guess I never understood it. I must have heard it used in conversation somewhere and distorted its meaning in my head.

So, to fix my brain, I need to use it frequently, in the correct context. Let’s begin.

In sports, be it American Football, Futbol (or Soccer as it is known in the U.S.), Rugby, Field Hockey, Water Polo–you get the idea, the team moving the ball, down the field for a score is the salient team. In checkers, the act of jumping or leaping over your opponent’s checker is performing the salient move, removing a piece in the process. A monochrome holiday decoration that has a single brightly colored ornament contrasting the rest is a salient adornment. The person standing out in the crowd is salient.

Am I getting it right? Basically, as I understand the word, it’s akin to a brain teaser “What is different from all the rest?” or “Who or what is advancing better than another?”

I believe in uniqueness, conspicuousness, prominence, and difference. I write stories different from all the rest. Most of them are dark revelations of the human condition. They are meant to make one think, to question. “Could this really happen to the human race?” and “Could this happen to me?” and “OMG, this could happen to my child or me?”

Yes, I tend to write what many call ‘Dark Erotica.’ I don’t see my Mona Bendarova books that way but for certain, ‘Her Client’ and ‘The Breakup’ are.

Trafficking In Women
Source: epthinktank.eu

My new one, coming out in the next few weeks is also in that category. The title is tentatively called ‘Trafficking Consortium’ though that is likely to change in the next couple of weeks when the book goes to publication. The premise being that just by going to your doctor for an annual physical, brings you to the attention of an international human trafficking ring and puts into motion a plan to sell you into human slavery. Sure, there are many stories, real and fiction, over the centuries of stealing people and selling them into bondage. Mine is a new take, and if you like reading these kinds of stories, I believe you will enjoy this one.

Barbie with human proportions
Source: slideshare.net/artista33

As usual, I found many images related to today’s term. Products and companies love the concept of trying to stand out from the crowd. Why not? I try to get my books to stand out among the plethora of books out there. Frequent followers of the Word of the Day will know that I look for unique images. Today, I found artwork and a digital representation of what needs to change to make the Barbie doll, ™Mattel, more realistic and proportional to a real human being.

Today’s bonus picture, available if you tweet from my page on Twitter is an image pertinent to the theme of the day. I hope you like it.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

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Word of the Day: ziggurat

Word of the Day: ziggurat

The Great Ziggurat of Ur
Source: ancient-origins.net

Ziggurat (noun) ZIG-uh-rat

Definition

: an ancient Mesopotamian temple tower consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top; also : a structure or object of similar form

Examples

“The building itself is certainly distinctive: The bronze-meshed ziggurat moves upwards toward the sky and into the light.” — Lisa Benton-Short, GWToday (gwtoday.gwu.edu, George Washington University), 10 Oct. 2016

“The opulence remains in Barbara de Limburg’s expansive sets, but the dramatic point is the contrast of the family’s poverty with the consumerist rapacity suggested by the Witch’s lair—not the usual gumdrop-bedecked gingerbread house but a towering ziggurat of brightly packaged junk food….” — Gavin Borchart, The Seattle Weekly, 19 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

French professor of archaeology François Lenormant spent a great deal of time poring over ancient Assyrian texts. In those cuneiform inscriptions, he recognized a new language, now known as Akkadian, which proved valuable to the understanding of ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Through his studies, he became familiar with the Akkadian word for the towering Mesopotamian temples: ziqqurratu. In 1877 he came out with Chaldean Magic, a scholarly exposition on the mythology of the Chaldeans, an ancient people who lived in what is now Iraq. In his work, which was immediately translated into English, he introduced the word ziggurat to the modern world in his description of the ziggurat of the Iraqi palace of Khorsabad.

My Take

LEGO SUMERIAN ZIGGURAT
Source: playwelltek.wordpress.com

Today’s word is a new one for me. Ziggurat. It is a building of ancient design, with level stacked upon level and stairs on the outside leading up to the top.

There were no shortages of images of various ziggurats. I chose two that I found interesting. The one built of Legos, well that’s just cool.

What I found interesting was the building style is found all around the world, built by cultures that never intersected with each other. How is that possible?

If you believe what I believe and have believed since I was a youngling, then there had to be an external influence that interacted with the various groups of humans. Where we visited or even seeded on this planet by extraterrestrials? I believe it. The universe is too grand to think that we humans are alone in the universe.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: muckrake

Word of the Day: muckrake

26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
Source: history.com

Muckrake (verb) MUCK-rayk

Definition

: to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business

Examples

Arn is an aggressive reporter, never afraid to ask difficult questions, hound evasive sources, or muckrake when things appear suspect.

“From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers …, Mr. [Warren] Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.” — Kevin Fagan, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

The noun muckrake (literally, a rake for muck, i.e., manure) rose out of the dung heap and into the realm of literary metaphor in 1684. That’s when John Bunyan used it in Pilgrim’s Progress to represent man’s preoccupation with earthly things. “The Man with the Muckrake,” he wrote, “could look no way but downward.” In a 1906 speech, President Teddy Roosevelt recalled Bunyan’s words while railing against journalists he thought focused too much on exposing corruption in business and government. Roosevelt called them “the men with the muck-rakes” and implied that they needed to learn “when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward.” Investigative reporters weren’t insulted; they adopted the term muckraker as a badge of honor. And soon English speakers were using the verb muckrake for the practice of exposing misconduct.

Muckrackers
Source: unknown

My Take

Muckrake is a term that I rarely use but understand its meaning. At least I thought I did…till now. I learned that it is an actual tool or the act of raking up muck. Done that often enough and it makes sense. Growing up in the part of the country I did, I came to know it as a derogatory slang term for someone who digs up dirt on other people, just to be mean and hurt them. That’s not quite accurate.

What I didn’t know, was that, in a way, I was right. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term during the turn of the twentieth century. Fair enough. What I didn’t know was that he used it for political gains, to target his opponents by encouraging everyone to be a muckraker, on the premise that if his opponents short-givings were exposed, it would help advance his political career. Well, I can’t blame him for that.

Muckraking standards of journalism
Source: weebly.com/standards-of-journalism

However, I wonder what our country would be like if we left well enough alone. Up until after the Kennedy era, journalists respected the privacy of sitting officials, allowing them to have their flings, affairs and such, without shouting from the mountain tops their private affairs. Granted, if it involved their public life, then by all means, it was fair game. Private lives remained…private.

In today’s world, the private lives of anyone are fair game to be broadcast around the world, via social media, actual journalism or the pretend journalist outlets, such as the nightly news et.all. If you want to hide something, of if you have a skeleton in your closet, sooner or later, it’s going to come out.

To me, the only way that it won’t matter is if you already lead a life where you, one, don’t care who finds out your inner most secrets, and two, lead a life of an open book. There once was a time where I cared whether someone figured out my inner most secrets. Not anymore. Because one, I don’t care whether you like it or not, and two, ask me anything. I’ll tell you the truth. Just don’t ask me anything you really don’t want the answer. I will tell you and then refer you to number one.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: vulpine

Word of the Day: vulpine

Fox in winterVulpine (adjective) VUL-pine

Definition

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a fox

2 : foxy, crafty

Examples

“There is something Gatsby-esque about the whole story. [Bernie] Madoff is a clear proxy for Meyer Wolfsheim, the vulpine, self-satisfied criminal seducer.” — Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 12 Jan. 2009

“Flashing a vulpine grin, he’s not a typical hunk—but like Casanova, a maestro of stylish manners and clever entrapment, an incorrigible cad proud of his powers of improvisational manipulation.” — Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, 30 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In Walden (1854), Henry David Thoreau described foxes crying out “raggedly and demoniacally” as they hunted through the winter forest, and he wrote, “Sometimes one came near to my window, attracted by my light, barked a vulpine curse at me, and then retreated.” Thoreau’s was far from the first use of vulpine; English writers have been applying that adjective to the foxlike or crafty since at least the 15th century, and the Latin parent of our term, vulpinus (from the noun vulpes, meaning “fox”), was around long before that.

Diane Vulpine reclining
Source: flickr.com/photos/anelyu/
photograph by Andrea Vittori

My Take

I never knew that there was a word related to Fox. Vulpine resembles a fox or is someone or something that is foxy or crafty. I never knew. So, I did some digging on the term ‘Vulpine’ and found many relates.

There are no shortages of items, products, media outlets, people or things that use the word ‘Vulpine’ or it’s related word, ‘Fox’. Trimming the gauntlet of images, I picked a few that I hope you’ll like or just brings back memories.

20th Century Fox LogoFor me, it started with 20th Century Fox, a movie studio, now known as Fox Entertainment Group. Over the years, I’ve watched many a film that they produced. Then, of course, there are the FOX companies owned by Rubert Murdock that include CNN and Fox News. Crafty, eh?

 

Vulpine Studios
Source: vulpine-studios.com

I found an art studio by the name of Vulpine Studios. I browsed their site. They appear to focus on artwork representing humans as foxes. Or is that the other way around? I don’t know, but I liked it.

I also found several other artists who compositions focused on foxes, such as the piece I found called ‘Vulpine Love’ by Shivita.

Vulpine Love by Shivita
Source: shivita.deviantart.com

A very beautiful piece of work, if I do say so myself.

I also stumbled across several models who either use the word Vulpine or Fox in their name. Since I like tattoos on women and redheads, I focused on Diane Vulpine, Cervana Fox, and Rebecca Crow. All foxy babes to me.

Fox Magazine Cover
Source: unknown

Then, back in the day, I enjoyed reading Fox Magazine, an adult magazine big on pictures, light on articles. Yep, I read it for the pictures. So sue me.

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: wane

Word of the Day: wane

Waning moon phases
Source: kissesandchaos.com

Wane (verb) WAYN

Definition

1 : to decrease in size, extent, or degree

2 : to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence

Synonyms

abate; atrophy; decrease; die down; die out; dim; dwindle; ebb; fade; peter out; shrink; slacken; subside; taper off; weaken; wither

Antonyms

brighten; develop; enhance; enlarge; expand; extend; grow; increase; rise; strengthen

Examples

“Last year, the station offered fans the chance to buy the CD online for the first time and also sold it in Target stores as usual. But unlike previous years, the limited-run compilation didn’t sell out immediately, suggesting its popularity may be waning.” — Ross Raihala, The Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com), 14 Oct. 2016

“And as public and political interest in space exploration waxed and waned over the following decades, the funding for the space program did too.” — Dianna Wray, The Houston Press, 26 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

“Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour / Draws on apace four happy days bring in / Another moon: But oh, methinks how slow / This old moon wanes!” So Theseus describes his eagerness for his wedding night in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As illustrated by Theseus’ words, wane is a word often called upon to describe the seeming decrease in size of the moon in the later phases of the lunar cycle. The traditional opposite of wane is wax, a once common but now infrequently used synonym of grow. Wane and wax have been partnered in reference to the moon since the Middle Ages.

My Take

I learned about the word ‘Wane’ when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I had joined the scouts, and I studied the phases of the moon. By then, I was already captivated by astronomical events, so this was an excellent introduction to something that fascinated me.

Waning Phases of the Moon
Source: jasondemakis.com

I came to understand that the act of becoming a full moon was called waxing while the period after the full moon was called waning. I will admit since I didn’t make astronomy my career choice, as an adult, I often confused the two terms. I hope with today’s word; I can finally keep them straight. Waxing is for growing, and Waning is for receding. Cool! Now that I got that straight, I can rest easy. I hope. 😉

Lumber Wane
Source: baltimorebrickbybrick.com

I also learned a different usage for the word. M-W calls it a verb but I found a noun form of the word. If you have worked with lumber, especially framing lumber, I guarantee you have seen this. Check out the picture because it would take a thousand words for me to describe what is easily seen in the image. I always wondered if there was a name for that. Now I know. The inverse of ‘wane’ in lumber is called ‘want’. I learned something new! Whoo hoo!

Penthouse June 1994 cover Taylor Wane
Source unknown

I also thought of other uses, such as the stock market when it’s on a downswing or waning market. How many things do you know that wane? An entertainer’s career could be waning in popularity. A political party could be waning in influence. It doesn’t matter who, I don’t spill names. There are so many ways to use it.

Wane Veluz
Source: masrapidoblog.wordpress.com

I found at least three people who use the word as part of their name. Taylor Wane is an adult model with huge fake boobs. Ugh! I hate basketball boobs. I also found an actress by the name of Niki Wane who appeared in the 1973 film ‘Bamboo House of Dolls’. I presume it’s an adult film, but I didn’t look into it. Then there is Wane Veluz who is a product advertising model.

In my opinion, wane is a versatile word, and I’m going to look for a way to use it more often. What do you think?

If you share this post from my site on Twitter, you will receive a screen grab of a naked Niki Wane from the movie.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Word of the Day: thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy
Source: suggest-keywords.com

Thaumaturgy (noun) THAW-muh-ter-jee

Definition

: the performance of miracles; specifically : magic

Examples

“The place is still a favourite pilgrimage, but there seems to be some doubt as to which Saint John has chosen it as the scene of his posthumous thaumaturgy; for, according to a local guide-book, it is equally frequented on the feasts of the Baptist and of the Evangelist.” — Edith Wharton, Italian Backgrounds, 1905

“Indeed, so keen was the horror at the hysteria that had taken hold in Salem that the mere mention of the place was sufficient to cool any passions that looked in danger of spiraling into outmoded and dangerous thaumaturgy.” — Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 16 Dec. 2011

Did You Know?

The magic of thaumaturgy is miraculous. The word, from a Greek word meaning “miracle working,” is applicable to any performance of miracles, especially by incantation. It can also be used of things that merely seem miraculous and unexplainable, like the thaumaturgy of a motion picture’s illusions (aka “movie magic”), or the thaumaturgy at work in an athletic team’s “miracle” comeback. In addition to thaumaturgy, we also have thaumaturge and thaumaturgist, both of which mean “a performer of miracles” or “a magician,” and the adjective thaumaturgic, meaning “performing miracles” or “of, relating to, or dependent on thaumaturgy.”

Tremere by radiationboyy
Source: radiationboyy

My Take

I must admit, I don’t know much about Thaumaturgy. However, I do believe that it is possible to perform magic (or miracles). Not that I can do it, mind you. I just believe there are people all around the world who have abilities above and beyond what the rest of us can do. I’m not saying that they are supernatural, just different, unique. Somedays, I wish I had some of those abilities to make life just a bit more interesting.

I do read novels and stories on the subject, most notably, the ‘Thaumatology Books’ by Niall Teasdale. I read these three years ago, and I was spellbound (pun intended). I am a fast reader, and I read all eleven books in a span of just two months. What can I tell you, I was captivated by the stories. I then moved on the ‘Hollows Books’ by Kim Harrison, and I did the same thing to her books. That is, I read the entire series in just a couple of months. I both cases, I started following the authors, and as they published new works, I just had to read them. Right now, I’ve just started the ‘Witch Detectives’ books by Eve Paludan. In the course of just a couple of days, I finished book 1 and moved on to book two.

It’s taking me longer to read novels lately, as I am writing my own books, I am spending more time writing than I do reading. Frankly, it’s a good thing. If you’re interested in novels of this sort, please feel free to check these authors out. Their books are available on Amazon.com. I’ve provided the links to their author pages for your convenience.

Dark Thaumaturgy
Source: snakepit.wikidot.com

Back to thaumaturgy. while I believe in magic, I also believe that much that we might call magic is science that most of us just don’t understand. Using a cell phone to talk to someone on the other side of the world could be magic to one who has never seen or heard of a cell phone. Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry) predicted them back in 1966, and by the 1990’s, the first flip phones appeared. Magic then, science today.

When I search for imagery to go with this article, I knew I would find thousands. What I found annoying was that most of them are depictions of the dark arts. Who says they have to be dark? The books I referenced above described a world balancing the two. Just as I believe, there can’t be light without dark, a hero without a villain, there has to be good magic as well as bad.

What do you think?

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: soporific

Word of the Day: soporific

Classroom sleeping
Source: flashcardmonkey.com

Soporific (adjective) sah-puh-RIFF-ik

Definition

1 a : causing or tending to cause sleep

b : tending to dull awareness or alertness

2 : of, relating to, or marked by sleepiness or lethargy

Examples

The soporific effects of the stuffy classroom and the lecturer’s droning voice left more than one student fighting to stay awake.

“The prose sparkles at every turn, but that’s not to say it’s without flaws. Some entire chapters … struck me as wholly soporific.” — Andrew Ervin, The Washington Post, 13 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

“It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific.’ I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit.” In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunniesby Beatrix Potter, the children of Benjamin Bunny were very nearly done in by Mr. McGregor because they ate soporific lettuces that put them into a deep sleep. Their near fate can help you recall the history of soporific. The term traces to the Latin noun sopor, which means “deep sleep.” (That root is related to somnus, the Latin word for sleep and the name of the Roman god of sleep.) French speakers used sopor as the basis of soporifique, which was probably the model for the English soporific.

Soporific
Source: flashcardmonkey.com

My Take

I hope that my posts, and especially, the ‘Word of the Day’ are not soporific. I do try to make this section interesting. What do you think? Am I succeeding or making you fall asleep or delete these without reading them?

Girl Sleeping during Exam
Source: schellesenglish07.blogspot.com

I got started on these because I was looking for a way to give my followers something they liked while dealing with a vendor who was having difficulty distributing my posts. There were extended periods in August and September where, despite my best efforts, the posts remained undistributed to my social sites and my email followers. I needed something quick and easy to publish during the days of trouble.

For the most part, those problems are resolved, except for my email distributions. I’ve figured out, and communicated to the vendor, that during periods of high activity on the vendor’s part, my posts are caught up in some sort of ‘race’ condition between their email servers.

Emily Browning - Sleeping Beauty 2011
Source: masuema6751

But I digress. Soporific is the topic. I quickly found suitable images, including the sexy bonus picture that I almost always include for those that share the posts via Twitter. If you want to see it, please share the post from my page and click any of the Twitter buttons displayed.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: cabbage

Word of the Day: cabbage

I want my secretary back
Source: cartoonstock.com

Cabbage (verb) KAB-ij

Definition

: steal, filch

Examples

“When these ruffians were in a relatively mild mood they were content to chase us off the diamond, but when their glands were flowing freely they also cabbaged our bats, balls and gloves.” — H. L. Mencken, Happy Days, 1940

“More and more people are trying to get their ‘news’ free from online sources, unreliable as some of these fly-by-night wanna-bes are. In truth, the information is usually cabbaged from the website (or the print edition) of the local paper.” — Kim Poindexter, The Tahlequah (Oklahoma) Daily Press, 24 Aug. 2015

Did You Know?

Does the “filching” meaning of cabbage bring to mind an image of thieves sneaking out of farm fields with armloads of pilfered produce? If so, you’re in for a surprise. Today’s featured word has nothing to do with the leafy vegetable. It originally referred to the practice among tailors of pocketing part of the cloth given to them to make garments. The verb was cut from the same cloth as an older British noun cabbage, which meant “pieces of cloth left in cutting out garments and traditionally kept by tailors as perquisites.” Both of those ethically questionable cabbages probably derived from cabas, the Middle French word for “cheating or theft.” The cabbage found in coleslaw, on the other hand, comes from Middle English caboche, which meant “head.”

Pilfer wallet
Source: adigrahito.blogspot.com

My Take

Today’s word is a common word. The definition supplied by M-W is not. Besides the term for the vegetable, it also means to steal, pilfer, or filch.

To me, it’s an obviously a British usage of the word though the examples supplied come from American sources. I submit, that if any ordinary American from all classes, educations, or social standings would never associate the word ‘Cabbage’ to mean steal, etc.

Prostitute Cash
Source: Lisa S./Shutterstock

In the U.S., we use the term in two ways. One, the vegetable used to make coleslaw. The second is a slang term for money or cash. i.e. “Hey there, how much cabbage was in the take last night?” I haven’t heard it a lot lately, I must admit. I usually hear it older movies, and commonly used between gangsters, hookers, or even in shop owners chatting over coffee.

Stealing my milk
Source: unknown

I don’t know anyone in my social circles who would use the term to steal. Do you?

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Word of the Day: vicissitude

Word of the Day: vicissitude

Vicissitude
Source: dictionary.com

Vicissitude (noun) vuh-SISS-uh-tood

Definition

1 : the quality or state of being changeable : mutability

2 a : a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance : a fluctuation of state or condition

b : a difficulty or hardship usually beyond one’s control

Examples

“The vicissitudes of life strike us all. But when life gets difficult for the poor, economically or emotionally, or most often both at once, it can pitch them into complete chaos.” — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 Aug. 2016

“A good coach on tour is at once a friend and a taskmaster, a psychologist and an emotional buffer against the vicissitudes of competing at the highest level of the game.” — Geoff Macdonald, The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” wrote British theologian Richard Hooker in the 16th century. That observation may shed some light on vicissitude, a word that can refer simply to the fact of change, or to an instance of it, but that often refers specifically to hardship or difficulty brought about by change. To survive “the vicissitudes of life” is thus to survive life’s ups and downs, with special emphasis on the downs. Vicissitude is a descendant of the Latin noun vicis, meaning “change” or “alternation,” and it has been a part of the English language since the 16th century. In contemporary usage, it most often occurs in the plural.

REPORTER LOSES HER SHIRT DURING LIVE BROADCAST
Source: YouTube

My Take

I feel like I’m in a state of a difficulty or hardship beyond my control. So, today’s word is quite appropriate. The aftereffects of my concussion still linger and trying to get better is … well, let’s just say problematic. Must I be my own advocate for a work related injury?

Anyway, moving on. It could be worse.

A wave takes her top
Source: bg-mamma.com

Like being on the television for a live broadcast from the beach and you lose your bikini top on camera. Yep, found that in my research.

Girl loses her top on a pier
Source: eveyo.com

Or the case of a woman who was merely hanging out on a pier and her bikini top flew off into the ocean below. Yep, found that too. Or you are just enjoying the surf with a bunch of your friends and a lecherous wave comes along and yanks your bikini top right off your body. Found that too. I’m sure I can find hundreds if not thousands of these examples all over the world.

I also find lots of artwork titled Vicissitude, which surprised me, as well as a magazine titled Vicissitude, which double surprised me. I will say, I’m inspired by all those creative people around the world who find interesting ways of using these more obscure words.

Vicissitude magazine cover
Source: magcloud.com

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Word of the Day: dynasty

Word of the Day: dynasty

Terra Cotta Army
Source: yourchildlearns.com

Dynasty (noun) DYE-nuh-stee

Definition

1 : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent

2 : a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time

Examples

“A scion of the Patterson-Medill publishing dynasty (her great-grandfather and her father founded the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, respectively), [Alicia] Patterson launched Newsday in 1940, on Long Island, quickly building it from a small suburban daily to an influential national paper.” — Jocelyn Hannah, The New Yorker, 12 Sept. 2016

“Mark down 2016 as the year the Republican Party under a new standard-bearer divorced itself from the Bush dynasty.” — Dan Janison, Newsday (New York), 10 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Dynast and dynasty both descend from the Greek verb dynasthai, which means “to be able” or “to have power.” Dynasty came to prominence in English first; it has been part of our language since at least the 14th century. Dynast took its place in the linguistic family line in the early 1600s, and it has been used to describe sovereigns and other rulers ever since.

Joan Collins choked
Source: spytwins.com

My Take

God help me. When I searched for images related to today’s word, I immediately got hundreds of pictures from that 1980’s TV show of the same name. Ughhh!!!!! Then, mixed in those was ‘Duck Dynasty.’ Marginally better but WTFC. In my opinion, about the only good thing about the show evening soap opera was the cat fight between Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Two udders if I ever saw.

Linda Evans and Joan Collins catfight
Source: Unknown

Trying to trim out those references, I found Dynasty Warriors, a video game. Getting better but I’ve long since moved on from playing video games, preferring instead to play real life games. Those who know me intimately, know exactly what I mean by that.

What I really wanted to find were images related to the definition of the term. A family line of succession, a powerful group in power for a lengthy time. My first thoughts that came to mind when I saw the word was royalty, such as the Royal Line of England and Great Britain. I also thought of the dynasties of China, Egypt and the like. These are lines composed of blood.

Organized Crime
Source: uppedlife.wordpress.com

Then there are the business dynasties that rose over the past two centuries. You know what I mean. General Electric, Westinghouse, Wells Fargo, and the good old boys on Wall Street. Lest we forget political dynasties, such as in America and around the world. Then there are the dynasties within sports, such as today’s Women’s International Soccer (Futbol), or the dominance of the New England Patriots in American Football, or for a time, the Chicago Blackhawks, and in the 80’s the Atlanta Braves Baseball. Oh, and let’s not forget the NY Yankees who for much of the last one hundred years, is the team to beat. Sure, they all have their ups and downs. Inevitably, they all turn things around and rise to the top in their field.

Of course, there are the wanna be’s. I won’t go too much into them. There are literally millions of those. Me, I just want to leave my mark on the world. I’m doing that with my books and my artwork.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: wistful

Word of the Day: wistful

Wistful Look
Source: portrait-photos.org

Wistful (adjective) WIST-ful

Definition

1 : full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy; also : inspiring such yearning

2 : musingly sad : pensive

Examples

As the car pulled away, Lea cast one last wistful glance at the house where she’d spent so many happy years.

“The book left me in wistful reverie, envisioning that shimmering pond and a rugged, robust old gentleman in his ‘herringbone suit’ and jaunty wide-brimmed straw hat, sitting on a three-legged wooden chair in front of an easel, his brushes flying.” — Elfrieda Abbe, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 11 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

Are you yearning to know the history of wistful? If so, we can ease your melancholy a little by telling you that wistful comes from a combination of wishful and wistly, a now obsolete word meaning “intently.” We can’t say with certainty where wistly came from, but it may have sprung from whistly, an old term meaning “silently” or “quietly.” How did the supposed transition from a word meaning “quietly” to one meaning “intently” come about? That’s something to muse about, but the answer isn’t known.

My Take

Pug Wistful Look
Source: pugmeme.com

Damn, this is a perfect word to use in my books. So many of my characters find themselves yearning, pensive and melancholic. They look for something better, something that will improve their standing in the story. Some are beaten down and just need a sliver of hope. Some can direct their lives in better ways. While others wish they could, but assume that their fates are written in stone. They all have one thing in common. At times, they are wistfully thinking about the other side of the fence.

Wistful is a word that directly points to emotion. Usually, we think of emotion in human terms, but animals and even plants (IMHO) have emotions. I found a great image of Bruce Willis with a wistful, pensive expression on his face. I found the same in other people as well. I even found a meme of a pug, yearning for a scrap of food from their master’s breakfast plate.

Wistful Mermaid
Source: playbuzz.com

I love the word, and I’m going to redouble my efforts to use it in my stories. I hope you enjoy them. They’re available on Amazon, B&N, your favorite eBook retailer and right here on my site. Plus, available only on my site is a short story about a Mermaid who was too curious for her own good. She has no idea what she started when she went to investigate that fishing boat floating on the surface of the sea.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: genteel

Word of the Day: genteel

Come and enjoy a genteel morning with Jane
Source: independent.ie

Genteel (adjective) jen-TEEL

Definition

1 a : of or relating to the gentry or upper class

b : elegant or graceful in manner, appearance, or shape

c : free from vulgarity or rudeness : polite

2 : marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation

Examples

“The Hamptons, once so genteel, with their sepulchral light and estates hidden behind neatly groomed hedges, have managed to become a nexus of social life, … where openings and charity galas and club nights fill the summer calendar.” — Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, 1 Aug. 2016

“At this preternaturally elegant new French restaurant …, the waitstaff keeps things lively with cheeky repartee. On arrival one late-summer evening, a man, having located his party, said to the host, ‘I’m with them,’ and was met with a genteel retort: ‘As you should be.'” — Shauna Lyon, The New Yorker, 26 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

In Roman times, the Latin noun gens was used to refer to a clan, a group of related people. Its plural gentes was used to designate all the people of the world, particularly non-Romans. An adjective form, gentilis, applied to both senses. Over time, the adjective was borrowed and passed through several languages. It came into Old French as gentil, a word that then meant “high-born” (in modern French it means “nice”); that term was carried over into Anglo-French, where English speakers found and borrowed it in the early 17th century.

My Take

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Source: flyingdowntohollywood.blogspot.com

Genteel, genteel. My my. It’s one thing to use the word in what one believes is the proper context and it’s quite another to discover you may have used it incorrectly over the years. Seeing the definitions in print have a way of making me stop and think. Have I used it wrong?

I know I’ve used it in the form described in ‘1b’ of the definitions, elegant and graceful. For example, when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance, it’s a thing of beauty, elegance, and grace. See, genteel.

But what about the other forms. Upper class, free of vulgarity and rudeness. I suppose those make sense to me. The gentry of society fits those definitions, though I know several of the gentries who are rude and vulgar to the rest of us.

2016 Camaro Interior
Source: topspeed.com

However, definition #2 seems out of place to me. To be marked by false delicacy, prudery, and affectation, well that seems an antonym to me. I’ll need to reflect on this definition, but I don’t believe I’ll resolve it anytime during the writing of this blog.

So, what else could be considered genteel? When I went looking for images related to the word, I found the usual products and companies capitalizing on the term. I found numerous joke panels using the word.

Hot Girl in High-Heels behind the wheel
Source: autospies.com

Then I stumbled on the interior of the Chevrolet Camaro 2LT. To me, that is the perfect representation of elegance and grace. Of course, I am biased to the car. I own one I see another in my future. The only thing better that the elegance of the interior of my Camaro is a sexy blonde sitting in my Camaro.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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A jigsaw puzzle piece.

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Word of the Day: riddle

Word of the Day: riddle

Riddle
Source: Google Play

Riddle (noun) RID-ul

Definition

1 : a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed : conundrum, enigma

2 : something or someone difficult to understand

Examples

Despite Nick’s outgoing nature, he doesn’t share many details about his background and personal life, so he remains something of a riddle.

“Stewart’s books are for children who like mysteries and riddles, and there are many scenes where readers hold their breath in suspense.” — Clara Martin, The Clarion-Ledger, 16 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

It is not unusual for words to acquire and lose meanings over time, and riddle is no exception. Old English speakers—who had a variety of spellings for riddle, including hrædels, redelse, and rædelse—used the word as we do today to describe a question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed, but they also used it in the now obsolete senses of “counsel,” “consideration,” “debate,” “conjecture,” “interpretation,” “imagination,” and “example.” (Not surprisingly, the Old English source of riddle is a cousin to Old English rǣdan, meaning “to interpret” or “to advise.”) By the beginning of the 15th century riddle acquired the sense of “a puzzling or perplexing thing,” and in the 17th century it also came to refer to “a puzzling or enigmatic person or being.”

My Take

Word Riddle Games
Source: bhavinionline.com

Riddle me this. Who has the creative soul to paint, draw, write and publish, can solve problems and issues with computers, software and a leaky roof, and yet, can’t solve the simplest of riddles?

Me

That’s right. I suck at solving word riddles. I have no idea why but I seem to stumble every time. Take, for example, the riddle I included in this post. I couldn’t solve it. Perhaps it has something to do with the lingering symptoms of my concussion, or maybe not.

The answer is … check the bottom of this post.

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I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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A jigsaw puzzle piece.

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Word of the Day: impute

Word of the Day: impute

Impute
Source: unknown

Impute (verb) im-PYOOT

Definition

1 : to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly

2 : to credit to a person or a cause

Examples

“Now, one comment in reaction to my essay said that by talking about the city’s problems and not its promise, I was in the business of tearing down Syracuse. At LeMoyne, I was taught that the most dangerous thing to do in argument was to impute motives to your opponent.” — Carl Schramm, Forbes.com, 4 Mar. 2013

“The CAS panel concluded that Sharapova’s case ‘was not about an athlete who cheated.’ Instead, the panel found, ‘It was only about the degree of fault that can be imputed to a player for her failure to make sure that the substance contained in a product she had been legally taking over a long period … remained in compliance.” — Tom Perrotta, The Wall Street Journal, 4 Oct. 2016

Keep Calm and Blame the Dog
Source: quizlet.com

Did You Know?

Impute is a somewhat formal word that is used to suggest that someone or something has done or is guilty of something. It is similar in meaning to such words as ascribe and attribute, though it is more likely to suggest an association with something that brings discredit. When we impute something, we typically impute it to someone or something. You may also encounter the related noun imputation, which appears in such contexts as “I deny all your imputations of blame.” Another sense of impute means “to calculate as a value or cost (as for taxation),” as in “impute a benefit from the use of the car.”

Impute CoHabitation
Source: roystoncartoons.com

My Take

Do you know how hard it is to find images related to today’s word, impute without insulting someone? It means to lay blame falsely or to credit a person unjustly.

I just won’t do it on this blog. My errors are my own, and I will not blame someone else for my short givings. I did question the difference between Impute and Impune. I thought they were related, but I wanted to make sure. I’m happy to say; they are, but not exactly. Impune is an adjective meaning ‘unpunished.’ I take it that the individual blaming someone else (impute) for their error, may remain unpunished (impune) for their actions if they successfully transfer the blame.

You killed my sister
Source: viewsaskew.wordpress.com

That said, I stayed away from using images with real people, or at least where you can recognize them. That left me with banners of the word and cartoons, and of course, this one where the Wicked Witch blames Dorothy for killing her sister. I downloaded many of them but I probably won’t use them all. I hope you like them, as I wouldn’t want to impute my actions on someone else.

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Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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Word of the Day: protocol

Word of the Day: protocol

Keep Calm and Follow Protocol
Source: http://techspiro.blogspot.com/

Protocol (noun) PROH-tuh-kawl

Definition

1 : an original draft or record of a document or transaction

2 : a preliminary memorandum of diplomatic negotiation

3 : a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence

4 : a set of conventions for formatting data in an electronic communications system

5 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure

Keep Calm and Fuck Protocol
Source: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Examples

“A protocol that arose from Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, research has led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a biological drug for the treatment of a certain form of lung cancer.” — USA Today, 1 Oct. 2016

“Throughout Obama’s first term, critics described him as naïve, particularly in the area of foreign relations—so ignorant of practical realities that he didn’t even understand the symbolic protocols of a state visit. In 2009, when he bowed to Emperor Akihito, on a trip to Tokyo, he was referred to on the far right as ‘treasonous.'” — Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

In Late Greek, the word prōtokollon referred to the first sheet of a papyrus roll bearing the date of its manufacture. In some instances, it consisted of a flyleaf that was glued to the outside of a manuscript’s case and provided a description of its contents. Coming from the Greek prefix prōto– (“first”) and the noun kolla (“glue”), prōtokollongave us our word protocol. In its earliest uses in the 15th century, the word referred to a prologue or preface and also to a record of a document or transaction. In the late 19th century, it began to be used in reference to the etiquette observed by the Head of State of France in ceremonies and relations with other dignitaries. This sense has since extended in meaning to cover any code of proper conduct.

How Stuff Works
Source: computer.howstuffworks.com

My Take

As a software engineer, programmer and network technician, I live and breathe protocols. In fact, I see the entire world as an intricate pattern of protocols. Every interaction between two things, objects, animals, and people involves protocols.

Think about it. In western culture, shaking hands is protocol when solidifying a deal. In Europe kissing each other on the cheek is a protocol as a greeting or salutation. In the U.S. kissing on the cheek is less common outside the immediate family. In Japan, people bow to each other in a sign of respect when greeting each other.

Explaining the NFL’s concussion protocol
Source: sbnation.com

In the wild, if you watch the social interactions of a lion pride, you’ll note that there is a pecking order or protocol. A stag will fight another stag to protect his territory from others and to maintain the social order of his does.

In the health industry, there are protocols on everything, right down from triaging an injury to documentation on a case. The NFL recently instituted ‘Concussion Protocols’ to mitigate serious injury in players. Society has protocols on everything, from public nudity to waste recycling to which side of the road one must drive.

Cell Phone Ediquette
Source: naturalhealthprotocol.com

Have you ever dated a person who while during a date will interrupt your conversation to take a call, text or otherwise disrupt the evening? I’ve even heard of people answering their phones & text messages while in the midst of having sex. What kind of shit is that? Leave the phone down and enjoy your partner. The caller/texter can wait.

Then of course, are all the protocols involved with just using a cell phone. Thousands of protocols are used to connect you to your friend or relative, regardless of whether they are in the next room or across the globe. I won’t go into all of them but please believe me, there are a lot.

If you share this post via Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

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A note of appreciation

A note of appreciation

Every Way We've Tried To Fix Email (And Why It's Not Working)
Source: lifehacker.com.au

Good afternoon all you fans. I write to you today as a frustrated writer who may now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Why do you ask?

Since August, most of my posts have failed to make it to my email followers. While it royally sucked, the resolution may be in the works.

The publishing company that handles distribution of my posts to all of my followers uploaded a patch to server yesterday. This company handles all distributions, including social media as well as my email subscribers. So far, two days in a row, my email followers have received my posts. Whoo hoo!

However, I must admit, I am still hesitant to say that they fixed the problem. Only time will tell.

One good thing that came out of all this. I was forced to find a simple type of post that followers would like to read, rather than just the same only ‘buy me’ crap that often happened. That is when I stumbled upon the Word of the Day feature. It’s a hit as I have received many positive responses to my posts. Most of the responses tell me that they particularly like the ‘My Take’ portion, which I love doing, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Time that I am using to writing my next story.

Trafficking of Women
Source: epthinktank.eu

So, be on the lookout for my next novel, that I hope to publish next month. It’s tentatively called ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ The story is inline with the ‘Her Client’ but with many differences as well. If you liked any of my previous novels, you’ll love this one.

Now, a big thank you to everyone who is buying my books. Sales for the ‘Her Client’ series is phenomenal, as well as I have seen an increase in sales of my other books ‘The Taste of Honey,’ ‘Broken Steele,’ and ‘The Breakup.’ A big thank you to each and every one of you who bought and read them. Please, do me a favor. Write a review on the site from where you purchased the book(s). It would to a lot of good to get the word out.

Thanks for being patient with my publicizing problem. And, oh, by the way, winter is still here. Snow is on the ground as we had a record snowfall on Sunday, blowing the old record away by 300%. Wow. Now, if I could only blow away my sales by 300%, I could retire and write full-time. Hey, it’s all up to you, the reader. Thank you for your support.

Word of the Day: Kafkaesque

Word of the Day: Kafkaesque

Kafkaesque Shadow
Source: 2012thetrial.wordpress.com

Kafkaesque (adjective) kahf-kuh-ESK

Definition

: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially : having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality

Examples

“Dealing with the Kafkaesque health system, for example, would be enough to make anyone ‘agitated, aggressive, irritable or temperamental.'” — Logan Jenkins, The San Diego Union Tribune, 27 July 2016

“I think the ultimate nightmare is for you to get into a Kafkaesque situation where you know you haven’t done anything wrong . . . but for some reason you are not listened to and you are not being believed.” — Lee Child, quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Kafkaesque
Source: whynameitthat.blogspot.com

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-language writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in the 20th century. Kafka’s work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.

My Take

Relativity July 1953 Woodcut 28.2x29.4cm
Source: westkengibbsgreen.wordpress.com

When I first saw the Word of the Day by Merriam-Webster, I said to myself, WTF? I mean, why create a word associated with a person. Granted, Kafka is not just any person. He was a gifted communicator of the bizarre and complex.

Then I went about and searched for images. I found a plethora of them, thousands. Some I recognized, most I did not. Once again, I found products using the word in either their marketing efforts or the company name. I found lots of artwork and books on the subject. And let’s not forget the numerous cartoons.

You know what? I like bizarre. I like complex. I like to make logical appear illogical as well as the reverse. My stories tend to border on the bizarre but nothing on the order of Kafka.

When you boil it all down, I don’t know what to make of the word. I doubt I’ll use it in conversation or in my stories, but at least I am aware of the word and the meaning behind it. What do you think?

If you share this post via Twitter, you will receive a sexy bonus picture related to today’s word.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: nictitate

Word of the Day: nictitate

Nicitate banner
Source: unknown

Nictitate (verb NIK-tuh-tayt)

Definition

1 : to close and open quickly : to shut one eye briefly : wink

2 : to close and open the eyelids

Examples

“Dermaq’s third eyelids nictitated over his corneas as though to wash away the image, and momentarily he looked away, then back at his superior.” — Charles L. Harness, Firebird, 1981

“The hump shifted, raised a hairless head of chitinous scales. Almond eyes of burning gold nictitated to life. A broad chest of angular plates swelled with breath.” — Ian C. Esslemont, Night of Knives, 2004

Did You Know?

Nictitate didn’t just happen in the blink of an eye; it developed over time as an alteration of the older verb nictate, which also means “to wink.” Both verbs trace to the Latin word for winking, nictare. The addition of the extra syllable was apparently influenced by Latin verbs ending in -itare, such as palpitare and agitare (which gave us palpitate and agitate, respectively). Today, nictitate has a special use in the animal world. Since the early 18th century, scientists have used nictitating membrane to describe the so-called “third eyelid”: the thin, usually transparent membrane in the eyes of birds, fishes, and other vertebrates that helps keep the eyeball moist and clean.

My Take

Imagine my surprise when I saw this word. I had no idea what it meant, and when I read the definition, I thought to myself wow!

I mean, why have such a big word for ‘Wink?’

Sarah Palin Wink
Source: ar15.com

As I sat at my keyboard, I tried to figure out ways of using it. Was it an interesting term? It might be to some people. Was it a sexy word? Not to me. Can you image the famous image of Bettie Page nictitating at the base of a Christmas Tree? Or how about Sarah Palin’s nictitate so often imitated by Tina Fey? I also think some people ‘nictitate’ better than others. Case in point, George Clooney vs. Betty White vs. Beyonce? Who’s nictitate is better? It’s a matter of personal preference.

Wink Magazine Summer 2008 Cover
Source: pyramidgallery.com

So I say, let’s just use the word ‘Wink.’

It just doesn’t sound right to me. I don’t see me using the word. I predict that it will disappear from the English language within the next century. What do you think?

I hope you like the images I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

mw_logoBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Winter has arrived, the next day

Winter has arrived, the next day

Winter Snow Fun
Source: 7-themes.com

I’m sitting at my desk, writing. Looking out the window, I can tell you, it’s not pretty out there. Not that we got much snow, mind you. It’s that the wind is whipping around, knocking over trash bins, picking up garbage and recyclables and tossing them around the neighborhood. It’s not pretty and I suspect, when it’s all over and done with, I’ll be picking up trash from other people’s homes.

Garbage pickup day in winter
Source: mississauga.com

Yup, today is garbage pickup day. I tried to bring my stuff out to the end of the street, but then brought it all back in. I hadn’t left my barrel out for more than a minute when the wind knocked it over and began tossing around its contents. Even with my back to the wind, my hood up, I was being tossed around like a baby chicken. Enough of that shit, I thought as I brought it all back in, closed the door and poured a cup of coffee.

Ah, coffee! Just what I need to write. Back to the novel. It’s coming along nicely.

Word of the Day: meshuggener

Word of the Day: meshuggener

Meshuggener
Source: unknown

Meshuggener (noun) muh-SHUG-uh-ner

Definition

: a foolish or crazy person

Examples

“What kind of meshuggener would apply the small plates concept to Jewish comfort food, which is all about abundance and appetite?” — Tracey Macleod, The Independent(United Kingdom), 16 Dec. 2011

“Whoever decided to remake The Producers in 2005 was a meshuggener. There will certainly not be a remake of The Frisco Kid, a film from 1979—[Gene] Wilder plays a rabbi who rides into trouble in the Wild West. Don’t go there!” — David Robson, The Jewish Chronicle Online, 1 Sept. 2016

The Meshuggener of Kfar Chabad
Source: thebetzalelgallery.com

Did You Know?

From bagel and chutzpah to shtick and yenta, Yiddish has given English many a colorful term over the years. Meshuggener is another example of what happens when English interprets that rich Jewish language. Meshuggener comes from the Yiddish meshugener, which in turn derives from meshuge, an adjective that is synonymous with crazy or foolish. English speakers have used the adjective form, meshuga or meshugge, to mean “foolish” since the late 1800s; we’ve dubbed foolish folk meshuggeners since at least 1900.

My Take

Alright, I admit it. It was hard finding images related to today’s word without insulting someone. So, please forgive me. I selected what I thought were safe images. They include artwork, cartoons, and a safe banner image.

The Fools Jester
Source: newhopeinternationalministries

I will admit, as someone who grew up in the New York City metropolitan area, I was introduced to the term early in my life. I have always thought of it as slang, so seeing in in Merriam-Webster’s word of the day shook me up a bit.

I grew up with people who used to insult or ridicule a person or group. That’s not my style. Personally, I have never used the word, except as an exercise in using it in a sentence. I probably won’t ever.

I hope you like the images I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: lambent

Word of the Day: lambent

Lambent
Source: unusedwords.com

Lambent (adjective) LAM-bunt

Definition

1 : playing lightly on or over a surface : flickering

2 : softly bright or radiant

3 : marked by lightness or brilliance especially of expression

Examples

“It’s an early May morning and the air is cool and still and filled with lambent light.” — Christopher Norment, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 May 2015

“There’s nothing like the swell of a powerful pipe organ in the right room. You can feel the lowest pedal notes in your stomach, or the lambent whisper of the tiniest pipes, with their delicate, shimmering sound.” — T. R. Goldman, The Washington Post, 31 July 2016

Did You Know?

Fire is frequently associated with lapping or licking imagery: flames are often described as “tongues” that “lick.” Lambent, which first appeared in English in the 17th century, is a part of this tradition, coming from lambens, the present participle of the Latin verb lambere, meaning “to lick.” In its earliest uses, lambent meant “playing lightly over a surface,” “gliding over,” or “flickering.” These uses were usually applied to flames or light, and by way of that association, the term eventually came to describe things with a radiant or brilliant glow, as Alexander Pope used it in his 1717 poem “Eloisa to Abelard”: “Those smiling eyes, attemp’ring ev’ry ray, Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.”

My Take

Fire dancing
Source: unknown

Whoo hoo! As soon as I saw today’s word and its definition, I knew just what two images I would use. I already had them in my inventory. Of course, I searched for others, just in case. So, I hope you like my selections. One, of course, can only be seen by Tweeting this post from one of the Twitter buttons on my page.

I found so many relates to the word, that once again, I had to filter my selections. After all, I am not publishing a photo gallery, just a commentary about a term that is part of the English language.

Lambert Leggings
Source: michellino.com

Feel free to travel the same path as I did in researching the word. I found a particularly interesting piece of artwork that had me spellbound. I found an MP4 of the perfect representation of the word but at 8+mb in size, a bit too daunting for this article. Once again, I found several companies and products incorporating the word. Since I felt one was interestingly enough without promoting a company, I included it in today’s article.

When I think of the word, one of the first things that came to mind was my first book, ‘The Taste of Honey.’ Yep, I’m back to that. Why not? There is a relate to the word in the book, which you’ll have to read if you want to find out. The cover photo is a hint. ‘The Taste of Honey’ is available right here on my website, or at Amazon.com, BN.com or your favorite eBook retailer. It is also available in paperback from Createspace.com.

Beautiful Full Lips, hot with arousal
Licensed from Adam Radosavljevic

“Light playing softly over her skin, marked by lightness and brilliance, her lambert expression depicted the heat of arousal building in her lips.” Sounds to me like an erotica novel. Shall I go on?

I had fun looking for images related to this word. I hope you like the ones I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Don’t you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

mw_logoBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: obfuscate

Word of the Day: obfuscate

Obfuscate
Source: maltawinds.com

Obfuscate (verb) AHB-fuh-skayt

Definition

1 a : darken

b : to make obscure

2 : confuse

3 : to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

Examples

“Time and again he has shifted, shaded or obfuscated his policy positions—piling on new ideas, which sometimes didn’t fit with the old.” — David Fahrenthold and Katie Zezima, The Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2016

“It was the trademark of San Francisco psychedelia to never put the year on a concert poster, and to obfuscate important details.” — Sam Whiting, The San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Oct. 2016

Obfuscate cartoon
Source: wordinfo.info

Did You Know?

To obfuscate something means to make it so that it isn’t clear or transparent, much like dirty water makes it hard to see to the bottom of a pond. The verb shares its ob-root (meaning “over, completely”) with obscure, another word that can refer to the act of concealing something or making it more difficult to see or understand. The rest of obfuscate comes from Latin fuscus, which means “dark brown” and is distantly related to our word dusk.

My Take

Obfuscate, I like this word. If one knows its meaning, it’s easy to use in common language. I can even see me using it in my novels. Any of my plots can darken obscure, confuse or evade the real action. While my writing is explicit, I like to hide undercurrents of thoughts, beliefs or opinions into my scenes.

The Taste of HoneyTake for example my book, ‘The Taste of Honey.’

Did you know that while most of the characters are not spiritual at all, the title character is very much so. She believes in life after death, and she believes in a higher power. None of the other characters do. In essence, the characters in the world I created in these books has lost all touch with religion, spirituality and the idea of life after death.

Not to obfuscate the plot but Honey intends to help her community in life and after. She believes that a higher power will allow her, through ritualistic means, to literally live on after her death and help her family and friends to overcome adversity and thrive for eternity.

Why Do I Feel Like My Path is Unclear
Source: highexistence.com

For the rest of the characters, their paths through life are clear and well known. They have no concept of life after death. Little by little, Honey is changing that, so that the main character, Mona, questions herself, her life and her role within the community. Her path becomes unclear as she tries to resolve the conflict of her upbringing with the ideals of her best friend, Honey.

‘The Taste of Honey’ is available right here on my website, or at Amazon.com, BN.com or your favorite eBook retailer. It is also available in paperback from Createspace.com.

I had fun looking for images related to this word. I hope you like the ones I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Don’t you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

Have a great day.

Merriam-WebsterBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: jejune

Word of the Day: jejune

Crossroads between dull and boring
Source: rentaltonic.com

Jejune (adjective) jih-JOON

Definition

1 : lacking nutritive value

2 : devoid of significance or interest : dull

3 : juvenile, puerile

Examples

“I have not, however, been a fan of the Broadway singer … in the past, and her jejune performances here—complete with some tap dancing that belied the lyrics of ‘I Got Rhythm’—did not convert me.” — Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, 22 Sept. 2015

“He complains about wasting his talent ‘writing songs for frogs’ (he is a composer of jejune melodies for a children’s television show called Mr. Bungee’s Lily Pad).” — Nancy Chen, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 Oct. 2016

Did You Know?

Starved for excitement? You won’t get it from something jejune. That term derives from the Latin jejunus, which means “empty of food,” “meager,” or “hungry.” Back in the 1600s, English speakers used jejune in senses very similar to those of its Latin parent, lamenting “jejune appetites” and “jejune morsels.” Something that is meager rarely satisfies, and before long jejune was being used not only for meager meals or hunger, but for things wanting in intellectual or emotional substance. The word most likely gained its “childish” sense when people confused it with the look-alike French word jeune, which means “young.”

My Take

Uninteresting Straw
Source: imagict.com

Well, mark my words. Finding images for this word was tough. After all, who wants to photograph dull, uninteresting subjects. I know that I don’t. So, I hope you’ll forgive me on what I did choose.

After searching for uninteresting images, I tried to find images related to ‘lacking nutritive value.’ It seems that the search engine totally ignored the word ‘lacking’ and display hundreds of highly nutritious foods. Even a burger and fries has some level of nutritive value. I wanted something that had zero value. The closest I could find was straw, which we as humans cannot digest but cattle can.

Juvenile, puerile
Source: phocabulary.com

Lastly, I moved on to ‘juvenile.’ There I found lots but few that interested me. Apparently, they were jejune to me.

When it came time to search for my bonus image, I struggled once again. Therefore, I decided to find an antonym for the word. No problem there, except for filtering out millions of images. So, I included the term ‘jejune’ that from that, I found this one. You can see it by retweeting this post by clicking on my Twitter button.

Today’s word was an exercise in patience and perseverance. I won’t mind if you don’t read all the way through this post. After all, it is jejune.

Have a great day.

mw_logoBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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