I Feel Fortunate

Happiness is relative

I feel fortunate this is not meThat’s right; I feel fortunate. In fact, very fortunate. Why? Worldwide, this year’s flu season is a particularly nasty one and depending upon your authoritative source, with the flu shot being only 17% effective.

During the second half of January, I was laid up with a nasty upper respiratory virus infection. Commonly called a cold, I was very cautious, looking for signs that I can the flu, such as fever, nausea, and dizziness.

I took my temperature several times a day and didn’t once register an elevated temp. I did get my flu shot back in October, but frankly, I was worried I might be hospitalized.

I’m happy to say; I successfully steered clear of the flu. My cold did migrate to the early stages of bronchitis which I am still dealing with the aftereffects. My doctor fixed me up quite nicely. Thanks, Doc.

Research

U.S. Virologic Surveillance:Still, I am astounded by the volume of stories and news reports regarding flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. Some are quite tragic, such as a healthy mother going to the ER and sent home a short time later with a flu diagnosis and appropriate medicines only to die a few hours later at home. 63 children have died from the flu. WTF?

In researching this article, I visited the CDC.gov websites related to the flu. I didn’t know that there are so many varieties of the virus out there. I thought that there were relatively few but each had multiple strains due to mutation. Was I ever wrong. Oh, my heavens.

The following numbers relate only to the United States. World-wide, the numbers are even more staggering. To keep it simple though, let’s just look at the 2017-18 flu season, beginning Oct 1, 2017, to Feb 3, 2018. In the past week alone 16,641 confirmed tested cases were documented, bringing the seasonal total to 666,493 cases using samples tested by clinical laboratories. Among public health agencies, add 1453 new incidents for the week and 27,667 for the year. In the state where I live, each week we break a new record for the number of confirmed cases.

The long and the short, I feel fortunate?

I wonder when the virus might let up. I wonder more whether this is just the beginning for the human species. Are we in for a long stint dealing with out of control viruses? I’m happy that what I caught was just a cold. Actually, I feel fortunate to only have caught a bad cold. These influenza statistics are just too unreal. Maybe I should rewrite my ‘Taste of Honey’ books to use the Flu as the catastrophic event rather than my fictional protein purge plague.

Writing and other things

Documenting facts and figures.

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.

Good Morning World

at the computer with a delimma

Good Morning World

This morning, as I sat at my desk wondering what to write to you about, I struggled. With what you ask? Good question.

at the computer with a dilemmaI keep looking to resume my Word of the Day takes and yet, every time I start, I put it away and do something else. I enjoyed doing them. It’s true. I’m also bored with doing them. Well, not so much bored but undriven.

I started them as a way of consistently putting out content in a time when my web host and another vendor struggled to correctly publicize my posts. If they failed to be forwarded to my social sites and email subscribers, then so what. I could always repost it easily enough, or just move on. The thing is, I didn’t what my regular posts disappearing and short changing you, my audience.

The problem went on for months, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know the background. They say they fixed the problem, but I am not entirely convinced. Yet, the only way to test it from my end is to … drum roll, please … post articles.

The Trafficking ConsortiumWhat I’m struggling with right now is that I have a dilemma. I have a desire to start a new novel, now that The Trafficking Consortium is finished. I have several ideas cooking in my brain which I’m excited about and would like to get started. On the other hand, I could finish up Lucky Bitch which only needs a chapter or two before I send it out for editing. While I like writing to you in my posts, I enjoy writing my stories so much more. The writers and artists out there know just what I mean.

Part of the problem with Lucky Bitch is that I am losing interest in the series. I had originally planned at least five books in the series. However, if I abandon the overall storyline established in Broken Steele, many questions and mysteries will be left unanswered and unsolved. If I stop now, I can use the end of Lucky Bitch to respond to the unresolved issues.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the characters as they live their lives within their community. Let’s look at it this way. They live in a world where recreational sex is the norm. Not just enjoying sex in bed but also in public, on the streets, at the club, and during office meetings. There are no issues of unexpected pregnancies, disease, or maladies from enjoying sexual relations. There are no social norms or moralities that interfere with the practice. On the contrary. To them, it is inconceivable to think of a monogamous relationship such what our society is based upon.

It’s every adult of both sexes dream. They recharge their batteries by sharing orgasms on a regular basis and among various partners. As a result, they never get bored, and they spread their DNA around a large pool, preventing issues from inbreeding. Damn, can I guy a ticket on that train, please?

Broken Steele Still, the storyline is getting convoluted, and I’m not sure I want to figure it out. I am thinking of scraping the drafts of Lucky Bitch and starting over. Would that be so bad?

The problem? What to do about the Bloodline, which somehow became an integral part of  the main character, Mona in her world in Book 2, Broken Steele. I need to resolve it or find a way to kill it off completely.

Part of me wants to do the later which will allow me to write new stories for Mona and her friends that standalone from novel to novel. I had originally wanted to do that, but somehow, I got excited by creating an even bigger conflict that would affect the entire community.

I have to give it more thought. Any ideas from you reading this article would be greatly appreciated.

So, it’s back to writing and living. And damn, it’s 8 degrees F (or -13 C) out there and very windy. Brrr, it’s cold out there and the prospect of going out and getting the paper is daunting. Bundle up!

Hey love, be a dear, and put on a pot of coffee, please?

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Word of the Day: Scion

Scion: A graft, a descendant, an heir
Scion: A graft, a descendant, an heir
Source: blueberrytalk.wordpress.com

Word of the Day: Scion

Scion (noun) SYE-un

Definition

1 : a detached living portion of a plant (as a bud or shoot) joined to a stock in grafting and usually supplying solely aerial parts to a graft

2 : descendant, child; especially : a descendant of a wealthy, aristocratic, or influential family

3 : heir

Examples

“The duke was the billionaire owner of swaths of central London, a friend of Britain’s royal family and the scion of an aristocratic family stretching back to the Norman Conquest.” —The Boston Herald, 14 Aug. 2016

“The vibe of the place is a mixture of old-school cool and Brit eccentric. There are poems etched onto the wall by the artist Hugo Guinness, … a scion of the famous Anglo-Irish brewing family.” — Christa D’Souza, W, September 2016

Did You Know?

Scion derives from the Middle English sioun and Old French cion and is related to the Old English cīth and the Old High German kīdi (meaning “sprout” or “shoot”). When it first sprouted in English in the 14th century, scion meant “a shoot or twig.” That sense withered in horticultural contexts, but the word branched out, adding the grafting-related meaning we know today. A figurative sense also blossomed referring to one’s descendants, with particular reference to those who are descendants of notable families.

My Take

Well, knock me down with a feather. While I knew the word in everyday life (the car), I did not know its meaning. I did not know it meant grafting or its relationship to an heir.

In researching the word, I came up with thousands of relevant photos, most of them of the car. Since I don’t promote products in this forum, I needed to dig deeper. It was in this digging that it truly hit me, to graft one onto another. In it view of a descendant, examples are all around us, from the heir to a throne, to being the descendant of our ancestors. As implied in the photo, the branches of our genealogical tree can intermingle and intertwine, spreading out or coming together over the ages, merging before taking separate paths. It reminds me that we, the residents of this planet, are all related to each other.

In my Mona Bendarova Adventures, there is a scion on the way. Honey carries the heir, or scion, to Lee Marks. They commonly call him the ‘Little Master.’ Assuming he survives to adulthood, he is most definitely the scion to the Mark’s estate. He may not, but Honey is sure he will. I look forward to writing his story in later books within the series.

Please share with me your comments. I enjoy reading them.

Brought to you by Merrian-Webster, Word of the Day.

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Word of the Day: Invective

Invective
Invective
Source: Vocabulary Pics

Word of the Day: Invective

Invenctive

noun | in-VEK-tiv

Definition

1 : an abusive expression or speech
2 : insulting or abusive language : vituperation

Examples

“The ongoing collapse of responsible broadcast and cable journalism and the explosive role that social media has assumed in this campaign have made for a nasty brew of invective, slurs and accusations….” — Susan J. Douglas, In These Times, July 2016

“At a moment when American political discourse has descended to almost unimaginable levels of … invective, we need our teachers to model a better way to discuss our differences.” — Jonathan Zimmerman, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 Aug. 2016

Did You Know?

Invective originated in the 15th century as an adjective meaning “of, relating to, or characterized by insult or abuse.” In the early 16th century, it appeared in print as a noun meaning “an example of abusive speech.” Eventually, the noun developed a second sense applying to abusive language as a whole. Invective comes to us from the Middle French wordinvectif, which in turn derives from Latin invectivus, meaning “reproachful, abusive.” (Invectivus comes from Latin invectus, past participle of the verb invehere, one form of which means “to assail with words.”) Invective is similar to abuse, but it tends to suggest not only anger and vehemence but verbal and rhetorical skill. It sometimes implies public denunciation, as in “blistering political invective.”

My Take

It’s a shame really. I think everyone, at one time or another, have been either the victim or abuser of invective language. I don’t care to use it, and I can’t recall a particular instance over the last several years where I have used it. However, I do know that I have, as the feelings I sustained at the time, remain with me to this day. Push comes to shove; I will fall prey to using it. I have also been the victim of such language. For me, it can be degrading, demoralizing, and an outright assault upon my psyche.

That said, it’s a word that I intend to strive to remember and avoid practicing. Searching for an appropriate image found numerous examples, most of which are products such as guns, which I will not promote. Finding a generic one was harder. Persistence prevails so that I may bring one to you.

In my writings, you will find little invective speech, especially in the Mona Bendarova Adventures. Sure, there is coarse language, flavorful language, descriptive, and erotic language, but little in the way of abusive language. Oh, sure, a couple of my characters may utter short abusive outbursts, but they usually don’t last more than a sentence or two. Perhaps I should incorporate more of invective language in my stories.

What do you think? I would love to know. Feel free to share your comments with me.

Brought to you by Merrian-Webster, Word of the Day.

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