Divorce: Don’t forget the cake!

Two Hollywood guys, both young and happy, did something odd: They wrote a screenplay about divorce. The film debuts in June 2018 and Lane Garrison’s and Mark Famiglietti’s  The Divorce Party: 12 Steps to Celebrate the New You!  is now available on amazon! 

With 12 short chapters, Garrison and Famiglietti lay out all the elements of a perfect end to anyone’s marriage — a really great bash done the exact way you want it to be. After all, it’s about you now. Let ‘er rip.

Here’s some of the many details you must consider:

Location Location Location – Don’t just have this in your living room like every other evening ever. You are announcing to the world a new you, complete with new energy and a new outlook. This about booking a private room in a a restaurant, or its entire bar.  Love to bowl? Reserve as many lanes as your budget allows and have a blast. Book a spa weekend with your bestie or chase tiger fish across Africa.

Confection Selection – You’d have to be in a coma not to notice the amazing divorce cakes in the pages of glossies and lifestyle websites. Pastry chefs say this divorce dessert business is growing exponentially every year. It’s your chance to make a profound statement and eat it too. Pinterest is a great place for design ideas.

Make a Break-Up Playlist – Every party is about great music and yours will be no exception.  The end of love enthralls songwriters and you have a vast library to choose from. Here’s mine:

You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt

Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyonce with Jack White

You Outa Know – Alannis Morrissette

It Ain’t Me Babe; Idiot Wind – Bob Dylan

We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals

No More I Love You’s – Annie Lenox

Get Back – The Beatles

Love the Way You Lie – Eminem with Rhianna

I Feel Free – Cream

Bye Bye Love – The Cars

So Cruel – U2

I Need A Lover – Pat Benatar

I Can See Clearly Now – Jimmy Cliff

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

 

If you are divorcing, celebrate the ending and beginning of a new you. If you have a friend or family member uncoupling, slip them a copy of The Divorce Party and help them start planning a bash and fun and hopeful as their future. Gather together and make a little lemonade.

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THE CREEPS ARE FROM AROUND HERE

Nick Redfern has a remarkable career. He’s written over 20 books on everything from Slenderman to Bigfoot and he’s not stopping anytime soon. In addition, he travels the world hunting down monsters and appears regularly on The History Channel and SyFy, reporting on his findings. He also writes for the London Daily Express, Fortean Times, Fate, UFO Magazine, and Mysterious Universe. Nick is a busy guy.

Lisa Hagan Books is proud to publish this wunderkind’s series of men, women, and children in black, a bone-chilling look at dark entities that show up at the door and start knocking. Don’t open it;  they have an agenda and it isn’t nice.

Some folks like the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones M.I.B. characterization, but it could not be further from the truth. The M.I.B. are often threatening and always deeply weird.  (We’re talking a lot worse than Stephen Miller and his awfully large forehead.).Their legs jerk and their suits flap off their bodies, five sizes too large. They use equipment from the 1930s and 40s and can’t taste food.  They’re everywhere.

Why? Redfern, in his final yet-to–be published book on the MIB, WIB, and Black-Eyed Children phenomenon (Lisa Hagan Books, April 2018) introduces the idea of the tulpa, the Tibetan belief that thoughts can become real.  No longer will you be safe if you just stay away from strange activity; you can be a victim by just having a thought! 

As you read these books, you’ll have more questions than answers at the end and that’s the point. Nothing is ever wilder than our wildest imaginings, as Redfern has repeatedly pointed out.

Order Nick’s MIB series and plan to stay up late. The shadows will move and the floorboards will groan because just picking up one of these books invites them in to your head and your house. Be prepared for creepy all around.

To order Men in Black (ebook on sale for $2.99)

To order Women in Black (ebook on sale for $2.99)

To order 365 Days of UFOs (ebook on sale for $2.99)

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The KEY to Great Job Interviews

Bill Humbert, dba recruiterguy.com, is a corporate recruiter who has dedicated much of his life to matching talent with employer.  In Employee 5.0, he tells the job seeker what it takes to get into managerial roles and corner offices, all in an organized sales system sure to generate job offers in 90 days.  If you’ve been spit out of your corner office during downsizing, Humbert shows you how to dust off the uniform and get back on the field.

After a career of reading thousands of resumes, conducting thousands more interviews, and negotiating on every side of the table, Humbert says that one element of a job interview launches it from good to great:

Storytelling

In the book, Humbert asks you to make a list of your “impacts” and create stories around each one.  The people who interview you don’t say, “remember her great skirt?” They say “remember that woman who told the great story about doubling walk-up business with her phone?”

Which of the following would you remember?

“I sold 233 units in the first quarter, 233 in the next, 275 in the third and 299 at year’s end.”

“Last year, my final sales were up 33%. so I bought my wife a boat.”

Learn how to sharpen your professional career search skills while creating a warm, human approach to all you encounter on the hunt with Employee 5.0: Secrets of a Successful Job Hunt in the New World Order

The first step to getting that offer is getting them to remember who you are: Tell stories.  Not only will stand out from the crowd, you’ll soon be employed.

 

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/by Beth Wareham, editor in chief   @giantsweettart 

 

 

 

 

He’s left me. Let’s party!

It’s true; you’re divorcing. Whatever signaled the end – a loud booming fight or a harrowing lawn mower flight – it’s time for you to gather yourself, think about the future, and throw a damn great party to show the world you know how to take it on the chin with style.

Enter two young filmmakers, Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison, and their movie tie-in THE DIVORCE PARTY: 12 Steps to Celebrate the New You!.  In one nifty little book, they dish on marriage – and it’s dissolution –  factoids as well as history’s great divorce parties. In twelve clear steps, they show anyone how to plan and execute a divorce party that proclaims, “I’m an individual and here I am!”  It’s an ending, sure, but it’s a great beginning as well.

All over the world, reports of life-changing divorce parties are rolling in. Here’s just a sampling:

1. A woman in Cornwall, England rented a hot tub for her divorce party. It was so much fun she started a business renting and installing hot tubs all over Cornwall.

2. “Take It Back” ceremonies abound. Sometimes called a “reverse wedding”, a divorcing “bride” or “groom” walks through the marriage vows in reverse order, undoing their promises and releasing themselves – and their former partner – to the greater world.

3. “Never Scared” parties include skydiving, pole dancing, surfing and hang gliding. Many use the divorce as a moment to try a risky sport. Why not? Nothing more dangerous than marriage.

4. “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My…” parties usually take place at a spa or retreat-like setting where women can symbolically exfoliate an ex and come home radiant and ready to rock and roll.

Pick up a copy of The Divorce Party:  12 Steps to Celebrate the New You! and start planning. Better yet, buy a copy for a friend and jump-start their joy. Today really is the first day of the rest of your life. Meet it with a smile on your face and an open heart. This time is for you.

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Divorce Parties Make Marriage Worth It

Ever been to a divorce party? Often times,  they’re much more interesting than the marriage whose ending they mark.

In The Divorce Party: 12 Steps to a Celebrate the New You , filmmakers turned first-time

authors Mark Famiglietti and Lane Garrison give every divorcing person 12 simple steps to creating the most fabulous, funniest party to mark an end and celebrate a beginning.  And why not? Everyone who has made the finish line KNOWS they deserve a party.

Publishing right into the heavy divorce time (it starts up every year the day after Valentine’s Day) and in plenty of time for the companion film’s summer release, The Divorce Party is sheer how-to with a wink and a smile, a reminder to make that lemonade in the face of struggle.

While this party has many of the aspects of other parties, it is unforgettable in most other ways — invites, dress, decorations, and mood.  The “ex” might be a part of the scene or never mentioned. A Las Vegas party went on for three days and included countless changes of clothes. Another divorce party was on a fishing boat (aluminum fishing boat).

Any spot can be the site of a great divorce party. All it takes is the will and imagination. And, if you can go to all the trouble of getting married, put some effort and get unmarried with style.

Grab a copy of this nifty little book or buy it for a friend and help them start planning. It will take their mind off of who gets the house.

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The Readiness is All: Layoffs

“Be looking for your next opportunity all the time,” says RecruiterGuy Bill Humbert in his new book, Employee 5.0, “because layoffs are the new normal. Employee 5.0 keeps the the job search on a simmer so that you can drive your career through whatever is going on.”

Retailers amazon and  B&N announced layoffs this week, sending hundreds of families into crisis management. But, does it have to be this way? If we know that corporations have adopted layoffs as an annual strategy to their stockholders, why not be ready?

Here are a few tips to keep your job search going even while you’re on the job:

  1. Keep a running list of your “impacts” at your current positition — the strengths you bring to the effort and the results of those strengths — as you do the job.  When you work hard, it’s easy to forget all the things you do that make you valuable to an organization. If the organization didn’t notice, that’s on them.
  2. Take calls from recruiters, hiring managers and job candidates. Offer assistance even if the call doesn’t immediately impact you. If you are helpful to someone, odds are, they’ll help you should you call.
  3. Network. In the new normal, we are all looking for a job all the time. This doesn’t mean you hit the cocktail party circuit, but you should show up every so often at industry events. Stay current and stay in touch with colleagues.

Employee 5.0 offers a new way in the new world, a 12-step program that results in job offers in 90 days, and puts the talent back in the driver’s seat.

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Powerful Words for the Downsized Soul

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In veteran corporate recruiter Bill Humbert’s new book, Employee 5.0, he confirms that we have a new normal. As markets shiver, so do the hiring and untiring practices of modern corporate America.

Most of us will find themselves in the “unhired” category sooner or later and it is at that moment, says Humbert, that you begin to heal. How! By celebrating your strengths. The first step in getting that next job is incredibly simple and incredibly powerful: Make a list of what you do well. Sit down for 20 minutes with a legal pad and begin:

  1. Turn your legal pad sideways; you’ll be writing in three columns across the page. On the left hand side, list your skills. It should look like “organized”, then underneath, “building creative campaigns for brand recognition”, then underneath that “managing creative teams.”
  2. In the middle column, cite the actual projects: company-wide calendar to create synergy; devised ten branding campaigns, and assembled and managed more than five teams.
  3. On the far right, write down the positive outcomes – or “impacts” as Humbert calls them – of your skills. Again, be specific. You might write, “created events with three other departments in company to create cross-promotions and cross-selling synergy”; “increased five clients’ brands by an average of 54%”; and “hired A-level creatives while saving more than 22% on expenditures. A list of awards for these campaigns includes…..”

Humbert, (aka Recruiterguy) goes on to lay out the next eleven steps to getting job offers in 90-days. Pick up a copy of Employee 5.0 and start using the new world order to get what YOU want out of your career.

 

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#writering: listening to the world’s music

This is a guest post by Bernard Holland, author of Something I Heard.

What keeps the stars from falling on our heads? Is some kind of heavenly geometry in play? Does it steer the planets along their predictable paths, keep them more or less collision free. And what takes those ever bigger bites out of the moon each month?

Modern science tells us with some authority (and with a bow to gravity) what holds the planets up but no explanation is quite so seductive as an idea that has held Western imagination since the time of the Greeks. It is called the Music of the Spheres _ an ancient astronomy that tells us that the skies can not only be seen but heard. It bids us put down our slide rules and calculators and then let it sing to us. How dry celestial maps appear in comparison.

The Music of the Spheres suggests that as we sit at our pianos and pick out progressions from, say, g-minor to D Major we are emulating in microcosm the measurements of the heavens. Pythagoras is our ground zero for this thinking, for not only did he promote the Music of the Spheres, he measured sound vibrations here on earth and in ways that gave us the musical scales on which several thousand years of Western music are based. The ancients and not so ancients took all this seriously. If music education today adds a little culture to our lives it was once believed to be essential and taught alongside mathematics and geometry. What better way to represent the universe at work?

What does this musIc sound like? We scarcely know. Plato says we hear it from birth but push it to the back of our minds.We know it’s there but its musicology escapes us. Maybe animals hear it better. Maybe we might pay more attention.

Shakespeare said, “The earth has music for those who listen.”

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Journalism and the price of progress

This is a guest blog by Judy Wieder, former editor-in-chief of The Advocate, the first woman to hold that position; and author of the memoir Random Events Tend To Cluster, a look at her life in the tumultuous years of fighting for human – and animal – rights. 
Research for Random Events Tend To Cluster

Necessity truly is the mother of invention. This includes the biggest invention of the millennium: the World Wide Web.  Slowly revealing itself as a miracle of communication—though one that’s hell-bent on replacing all other communications—the miraculous WWW has many sides, some bright as the sun, others murky as the night.

Officially established in the late 80s, by the early 2000s, a series of global catastrophes (natural and man-made) thrust the web into our lives like a speeding ambulance. Whether using its communication tools to find people lost amid the rubble of deadly terrorist attacks, or buried under the boulders of sudden earthquakes, or stranded on their rooftops after hurricanes, or swirling in the aftermath of  tsunamis—our need to locate and rescue each other made the Internet an information hub of unsurpassed  proportions.

Then the internet began speeding up the news coverage. The minute something happened anywhere, people knew about it everywhere. But is that always good? Something got lost in the immediacy of absolutely everything. And that something was our understanding.

Excerpt from chapter 10 of Random Events Tend To Cluster:

“Thankfully, amid Hurricane Katrina’s worst screw-ups in the history of emergencies, some agencies and individuals respond heroically. The Coast Guard rescues 34,000 stranded survivors. The Humane Society and other animal groups save more than 15,000 animals left behind by evacuees who thought they’d only be gone for a day.

From the ashes of government failures, new technologies for better crisis response are created. Emergency websites, maps, blogs, chat rooms, and help lines are posted and updated—all creating one online disaster community that will soon facilitate the rescue of so many people buried in 2010’s Haiti and 2015’s Nepal earthquakes; as well as those caught in 2017’s Hurricanes, Harvey and Maria.

As tech becomes the story of the new millennium, for me it becomes a good door through which I can leave my work of nearly 15 years. An LGBT Internet company buys our parent company. As with most online media, the “editorial wall” standing between content and advertising, blows over completely. Everywhere I look this once paramount wall is replaced by some mercurial gibberish ushered in by computers, the Internet, cellphones, tablets, and social media. The “highway of information,” as the Internet was once called, is now a shifty piece of work snapping up sound bites of things that have already taken place. For a nanosecond, we think we know something; we even pass it along to others who are grateful because now they think they know something. But, really, we’re all just echoes. What does it mean if we don’t understand it? And how can we understand it without context, backstory, investigation, questioning, and real analysis by professionals who know something to begin with and are willing to study to find out more? Without the connections that surround each breaking-news event, awareness goes on a very undernourished saga. Uncontextualized content is a moody, excitable thing that will leave us all anxious and starving.

Privately, I continue wondering how long we journalists are going to be okay with our content fighting for air amid a playground of advertising and product placement. Without authentic anything, who is going to be our Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) who grabs the media before it plunges way past mediocracy and crashes hard into clear evidence of a society in the toilet.”

Excerpt (c)  Random Events Tend To Cluster

Published by Lisa Hagan Books, 2017 www.lisahaganbooks.com

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#writering: shattered ceilings

Above: Judy Wieder, author of Random Events Tend to Cluster, and 5-year-old Janet Jackson.

What a life. Judy Wieder is the unicorn; a smasher of ceilings every which way. She was the first female editor of The Advocate, the oldest LGBT publication in America, where she published talent such as Ellen Degeneres and Melissa Ethridge.

In a world of no women, she wrote pop songs and hit number one. She was so talented, she was soon working for Motown. Can you imagine, female AND white at the hit factory in Detroit? Did she and her colleagues understand they worked in a place that – like Sun and Abbey Road studios – would become a monument to music? Something big was happening there and the air had to be charged with rock and roll energy. Let’s do an interview with Judy and see what it was like…….

The title – Random Events Tend to Cluster – is the perfect way to sum up a life. In Judy’s case, her life does not seem so random. Far from it. Each step has been towards the right to be an individual, to be equal, respected and free. She marched through one of the wildest times in 20th century America – the 60s, 70s and 80s – and came out the other side. She helped shape the world of women’s rights and the LGBTQ community in more ways than we can ever know.

Thank you, Judy. We owe you a lot.

Beth Wareham is the editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books, a writer and editor based in New York City.

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#writering: eat the memoir

Beth Wareham is the editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books and this is a random blog for anyone interested in books, writing, editing and publishing. 

People read memoirs to find out about interesting lives. I read them for the recipes. Think about Nora Ephron. Teaching Carl Bernstein how to make the salad dressing and then walking out haunts me. (Plus, I can now make it myself.) Now that was a woman, mixing dressing and walking out of a marriage and into an  extraordinary, successful and creative life.

Below is a recipe from one of our best, HIVE-MIND by Gabrielle Myers, a late summer jewel from her blog (click on her name above):

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Summer’s last swing in California weighs in figs hanging so low you bang fruitfulness with your head as you walk down streets. Fall fruit reminds us of life that we are just stupid to ignore. Smell the fat belly hang of a fig and wake up to life. Be here with the pollen’s sticky aroma and fecund life. Cut figs into eighths, lather them in Balsamic, olive oil, and mint, and sprinkle relish richness into the fatty folds of roasted tri-tip. Live, and poison everything with your version of life

1/2 pound Candy Strip figs, washed, stems removed, cut in 1/ 8 ths
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon mint, thinly sliced

1. Wash, dry, remove the stems, and cut the figs in half and then in quarters.
2. Gently place the fig bits into a small bowl.
3. Add the Balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt, and fold the ingredients together.
4. Set the fig relish aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
5. Right before serving, thinly slice the mint and stir it into the fig relish.
6. Spoon the relish over grilled tri-tip or eggplant slabs, pan-roasted pork or salmon.

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#writering: publishing disasters, part II

Beth Wareham is editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books, an independent publisher. #writering is a random blog about all things publishing, writing, and editing.

The first post on publishing disasters led to requests for part II. I aim to please. Enter Mary Carlomagno, former national events coordinator for Barnes and Noble. Mary was our “go to” person to get the ear of the then giant retailer. Mary had the power to assign your author to a plum store in New York for a signing or a strip mall ten miles outside of Boise.  Mary could make you look like a marketing genius or just another cube lurker. You didn’t mess with Mary.

In addition to brokering events nationally, Mary oversaw the big signings at the flagship store in New York.  Movie stars. Sports icons. Presidential candidates. These events often included a lot of cameras and lines that snaked around the block. NYPD had to manage the street with barriers. And there was Mary, curls flying, keeping it all in order.

Feels like those days are gone, but maybe not. Someone always comes along that seizes the imagination and a new line forms. Whether this event is about theater, art or celebrity, it doesn’t matter. It’s still a lot of fun.

Here are some of Mary’s favorite memories for her life working the lines:

“I went to the back of the store to see if he was ready. He was. He stepped out, a 7-foot basketball player, in a wedding dress with full make-up. He asked me if he looked pretty and I said, ‘of course you do, honey. Now go sell some books.”  The same man went on to attempt getting North Korea and the U.S. to be “Sister” countries. The project failed.

“Hunter S. Thompson required a bottle of 75-year old Scotch and Cabernet all day long. If it ran out, everything stopped.”

“I was working with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith when a woman approached me and rambled on for many minutes about the last time she saw me in the student center. Then she walked off.  Steven looked at me, laughed and said, ‘you have no idea who she is, do you? Happens to me all the time.’ Then he pulled me to him where he sat and kissed my side. I’ve not washed it since! I LOVED that guy!”

“A former First Lady, turned Senator, turned Secretary of State turned Presidential candidate needed something soft to stand on as she shook hands with each person in the line – she had signed her name on the books beforehand. I had to run to Bed Bath & Beyond down the street to find a ‘soft landing’ for her campaign-weary feet. I grabbed what looked best – a bath mat – and that’s what the New York Post wrote about the next day: the bath mat.”

“Whenever Whoopi Goldberg signed, she liked to answer the phones in the store for awhile. She was amused by callers reacting to her distinctive voice.”

“Cindy Crawford demanded hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in the green room. She wanted other things I’ve long since forgotten but I remember no one but the staff could touch anything.”

“I almost had to call 911 several times when women were fainting at the sight of L.L. Cool J.”

So, that’s Mary. She’s got a lot more but isn’t spilling. So I’ll throw in a few of my own:

I was pulling up my Spanx in front of my desk when Stephen King walked in and kissed me on the neck.

I went to the bathroom and there was Leonard Nimoy, lost.

I went to the bathroom and there was Yogi Berra, lost.

The cast of Jackass pitched me a book and the one who had been on “World’s Stupidest Criminals” asked me out.

Now that the cubicles have so taken over the business, all of this wild activity might be gone. I hope not. Publishing was and can be EXHILARATING, almost as good as a raucus party in hotel suite overlooking New York City.   There is glitter and thought and crazy and chaotic and I say it was just really good for the industry, all this “show business” of yesterday.

I say, let’s get our goofy on.  Throw some heat and create some energy. Everyone still loves a good performance. Get out of your cubicle and get it on.

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#writering: Don the Bomb

#writering is a random blog blathering on about writers, books and publishing

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by Beth Wareham of Lisa Hagan Books, an Indy publisher.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of a “literary gathering,” you do not know the wonder of a room of fashion victims trying to beat one another over the heads with words. I listened to two New York Times critics go down for the count over whether France was on the uptick, culturally-speaking, or not.  I got bored, wandered away, and there was Michi, describing a performance piece where monkey brains were consumed. (You should have been around when Art Garfunkel asked Michi out. What a to-do.) It was a party, Michi, and you just made my cheese spread and cracker look unappetizing.  Nothing has more “literary” pathology for study than one of these events. The war is always on and it’s all words.

Enter the man above. When he walks in a room, even those that have not stopped taking for decades shut up.  The very definition of “walk softly and carry a big stick”, “don’t open your mouth unless you have something to say,” and “outsider artist” ooze from this man.  He’s not your plaything or your patsy; he doesn’t perform for the mob. He’s in a leather bomber amongst the bad tweed and sensible shoes. He works his way across the room and all the posers and nattering nabobs part. They know the King of the Jungle when they see him.

Random facts:

*Don DeLillo has never gone online. He sees it as a complete assault on his individuality and his life: He does not know there are ebooks of his work. He may know now, but he didn’t for years.

*He was obsessed with the image of a man falling through space many years before he wrote Falling Man. (He wrote that book using a simple chronology, didn’t like it, and rewrote it starting in the future and backtracking to 9/11. Don’t try that at home, kids.)

*When Underworld was first published, critics received no additional information about the book. How could you capture the 20th Century with a press release? The book, however, is the finest novel about that most violent 100 years in human history.  The last word of the book is very famous.

*His editor and publicist almost came to blows over what kind of condiments Don liked on his sandwich. Silly? You bet. But that’s how ridiculous it gets around this great American novelist. Everyone wants to please him because he is great. Oblivious to all of these machinations, Don DeLillo lives in a part of the atmosphere where we can’t get.

*DeLillo is obsessed with the 1951 MLB playoffs when outfielder Andy Pafko ran to the left field wall and watched Bobby Thomson’s 3-run homer fly over his head. DeLillo opened Underworld with this scene, wrote about the event for Harpers Magazine, and published a novella entitled Pafko at the Wall in 2001.

If you haven’t read the great man’s books, I humbly offer my reading list: White Noise (the first book I read and simply the best with its “airborne toxic event”); Libra, a novel imaging Lee Harvey Oswald on his journey toward a world-shattering act; Falling Man, his novel of 9/11; and finally, a sweeping look at the 20th Century, Underworld.

“A writer’s writer” does not describe him. DeLillo is a law onto himself and will remain so forever.  DeLillo is the consummate individual, a term I think he would like.

Do right by Don DeLillo. Turn off all the gadgets that allow you to read this and sit down with one of his books. Don’t read criticism or look to the opinions of others. Don’t natter with nabobs about him, ever. This read is for you, the one thing that cannot be replicated. Let your particular arrangement of molecules collide with DeLillo’s story and see what comes about.

Because all truth must reside in one individual before it spreads, DeLillo wants you to step up, quit bullshitting and walk the walk. He wants you to read and think, activities in short supply these days. (See references to “the base” in mainstream reporting…)

Yup. That guy is the real damn deal and he’s not letting anyone off the hook. Think for yourself, folks. Read. Stop acting like cows. We are individuals responsible for ourselves and our actions. Anything else is just nattering and nonsense, a series of “literary gatherings” filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Ask DeLillo, he knows.

 

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#writering: Meeting Jeannette Walls

#writering is a periodic posting of blather about writers, books and publishing by Beth Wareham of Lisa Hagan Books.

 

Jeannette Walls

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I met Jeannette a long time ago (a decade ago!) in a tiny room in the center of an airless midtown tower. She was with a young colleague signing stacks of her first memoir, The Glass Castle which would remain on the bestseller list for 7 years.  A childhood remembered, it is by turns delightful and horrifying as her family bounced from desert shack to a dilapidated mountain shanty.  Jeannette and her siblings slept in cardboard boxes rather than beds. Her father – often drunk – and her mother –  depressed and refusing to get out of bed – seemed unable to care for their children. And just when you believe you can’t take it any more, Jeannette takes you to her father’s boyhood home, examines his mother, and this hell makes more sense. Jeannette’s love for her family is unwavering, even to this day. All of Jeannette’s childhood is bearable to us because it was bearable to her: She emerged full of human grace.

Somehow in that sad little book-filled room, Jeannette looked like she does in the photograph above, a yearling at the edge of a field, sun back-lighting her . Maybe it’s that  mane-like hair. Or it’s the eyes that have that equine ability to be look deep while scanning the perimeter for potential predators.  She gave an impression of being vulnerable and she was very kind. Her gaze was direct and strong: In retrospect I’d even describe it as unbroken. In fact her third book was called Half-Broke Horses.

I remember thinking, she’s no gossip reporter.  She’s already a writer, a philosopher, something quiet, dignified, not reporting on Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. I don’t know how long she kept at that job, but I can’t think of a more improbable pairing. I see Jeannette in that sunny pasture walking among her horses, blending into the sunlight.

I am hoping the movie version of Glass Castle remains true to the book; the trailer makes it appear like happy Hollywood malarky. It’s the darkness of that book that makes the story so amazing: Those two deeply flawed parents raised remarkable children.

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Q&A With UFO Researcher Nick Redfern

www.LisaHaganBooks.com

or Nick Redfern’s World of Whatever 

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(Look carefully at the photo above. Can you spot our visitors from another world?)

 

Q) Do you have favorite “days” in the 365 Days UFO book?

A)  On the night of October 25, 1973, there was a very weird Bigfoot-UFO encounter in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The weirder side of the Bigfoot phenomenon interests me a lot. Also, the crop circle phenomenon is one that interests me a great deal, too. There are 4 or 5 such cases in the book of crop circles.

Q) Are there stories and reports that just keep drawing you back in?

A) Yeah, I would say the Men in Black-type cases. That whole phenomenon (MIB, Women in Black, Shadow People, etc) is my favorite to investigate and write about. I keep coming back to it and probably always will! It’s very different to the MIB of the movies – much creepier and weirder.

Q) Have you always “believed” or has there been an episode in your life you couldn’t explain?

A) Well, I try not to get caught up in belief systems too much. I try and work on facts and evidence. But, yes I have had some weird experiences over the years. I have had a lot of very strange synchronicities. I also had a very strange experiences with a ghostly pet back in 2003, Charity the Sharpei, who was a great friend and still missed.

Q) What is the most disturbing aspect of UFO phenomenon? The most hilarious?

A) The most sinister aspect, as I see it, is when people get manipulated by the phenomenon and it can have a big, adverse effect on them. I think there is a dark side to the phenomenon that manipulates people deliberately and it can cause a lot of havoc. Some of the most hilarious stories are those from the 1950s, the era of the Contactees. One of them, Truman Bethurum, told of meeting an alien woman named Aura Rhanes. He described her as being “tops in shapeliness and beauty!” There are lots of wacky stories like that!

Q) Do you think we’ll ever find out what happened at the most famous of sites/crashes?

A) It’s hard to say. Roswell is the most famous crash case and, even with the 70th anniversary now looming on the horizon, we still don’t really know what happened. And no files have ever surfaced. So, it’s very difficult to know for sure what happened. I’m not sure with Roswell if we will ever get the proof of what happened. It may be in lock-down mode forever.

Q) If you could stand at any moment during all we know of the history of ufo sightings, what moment would you want to see?

A) I would go back to the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico in early July 1947. That was when and where the Roswell craft came down. Ideally, I would be right there as it slammed into the ground and I would know what really took place.

Q) If I saw a UFO, I’d run. Is that the correct response? (I’m thinking, “never run from a lion, they’ll think you’re prey” here…)

A)I think the ideal thing to do is stay there and take it all in. But, some people are definitely traumatized by UFO encounters, and it’s hard to predict how people might respond when faced with a UFO.

Q) What’s the scariest place you’ve ever been? I was afraid of the monster on the Mekong in your book. Whoa that thing scared me.

A) I don’t really get frightened on expeditions, etc. For me, it’s more of an Adrenalin rush. I have had a lot of good times on Puerto Rico searching for the Chupacabra. The island’s El Yunque rain-forest is a mysterious and cool place!

We have a special promotion to celebration Nick’s work, the perfect “big picture” UFO, monster-hunting, crop circle whirling tour-de-force through every day of the year through history:  365 Days of UFOs by Nick Redfern.

If you haven’t read Nick Redfern, it’s time. Try 365 Days of UFOs as a perfect introduction and, once you are hooked (and you will be), journey into Men in Black: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures and move on to the even more evil Women in Black: Creepy Companions of the M.I.B.

All from Lisa Hagan Books.

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WE WENT VIRAL. IT WAS WEIRD.

ON SALE MARCH 15 the HAIR CLUB BURNING pitch got over 120,000 views on Facebook. Maybe more. Weird. Exciting. Alarming. And it’s all about the racial harmony and  integration. The integration that matters: FRIENDSHIP.

We made this short pitch tape for a famous Hollywood director so he could critique us. He told me to keep my hair out of my eyes.

www.shadowteams.com

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Make The Words Go Faster

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/beth wareham

In my long, lonely corporate publishing career, I read way too much. Some of it still haunts me, strange sexual longings and random violence that popped up in the strangest of manuscripts and proposals. But most of it just bored me silly. I remember reading this long passage of a Hollywood “Dermatologist to the Stars” who rushed to a starlet’s house to pop her pimple with a Q-tip so it didn’t read on the camera the next day. And we wonder why movie folk get so infantilized.

But that pimple was a good day. I still remember it, right? What I don’t remember are long, meandering stories with little plot and lots of author ego. I remember novels (my colleagues’ favorites) whose prose had been picked clean like a European forest. Perfect. Beautiful. Bloodless.

Give me blood. Give me fast and raw and take me somewhere. I don’t want a perfect 2 hour moment of strolling though the Vienna Woods, I want to feel, move, challenge, fight, fuck, love, retreat, surge forward, and maybe win, maybe not. I want life.

How to convey that speed, that rawness? First, get the right story. Only you know what the right story is. It’s the one that gets your blood up, the story you want to rise to and conquer. Next, read other stories  you admire. Watch how writers write raw and fast. It’s plot, word choice and length of sentence, graph, chapter, book. If you can’t get it done in 60,000 – 80,000 words, rethink it. And, I’d even shoot for a shorter book: 50,000 sounds good these days.

Get real. Your competition is Homeland on Showtime and Fargo on FX. Your competition is 24 hour war coverage, the weasel that dances atop Donald Trump’s head, and all the shiny things the internet throws up that keeps you surfing for hours.

Here is a short list of books that changed the way I thought about the velocity of narrative. Or, as my husband says, “they know how to write clean.”

My Traitor’s Heart by Rian Malan

Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The White Album by Joan Didion

There many more. I hope you tell me some of your favorites because I’ve been watching way too much on-demand. And just as I had to change for my health and eat clean, my brain needs a’washing and I want to read clean. Help me.

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Skinny Green Smoothies

Aliens. Drug lords. The Beach.

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/beth wareham

As a publisher and editor, I am not renowned for my alien drug cartel books. In fact, this is my first one. So, at 55, I lost my virginity and finally took the plunge into alien drug cartel novels. I had to: The book is that good.

You might know Joshua Warren from his many non-fiction books, including the bestselling USE THE FORCE: A Jedi’s Guide to the Laws of Attraction. Or, you might know him from his frequent appearances on The History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy. You might even have wandered into his Asheville Mystery Museum in North Carolina. Wherever you first encountered his work, one thing is for sure, you’ll never have a wilder, more hilarious, page-turning ride than with Warren’s foray into fiction, THE GRINGO MANIAC MURDER SPREE.

Set in Puerto Rico, smack dab in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, Dick Peck (our hero) is fighting the insidious alien infiltration into the drug cartels of the island. To solidify power, these alien drug lords have kidnapped the greatest consciousness in the Universe and are holding it hostage. Until Dick Peck arrives, that is, and begins to take them out one by one.

Filled with gratuitous violence and hair-raising adventure, this R-rated story is a colorful grab-bag of UFOs, aliens, spirits, MIB, cryptids, ESP, and a kaleidoscope of inter-dimensional phantasmagoria, capped with cold-blooded wit.

This book will be a movie; mark my words. In the meantime, it is the perfect, page-turning, page-burning, two-hour read to get you through the boredom of air travel, the sluggish narratives of on-demand television, or even a long business meeting. (You put the book under the table and read, looking up occasionally and nodding. Worked for me.)

But don’t believe just me. Here’s a quote from a really cool film guy about the read:

“This is the most insane fun I’ve ever had reading a book in my life.
I called in sick so I could finish it.”

– T. Beckett Scotland, Film Producer, The Devil of Blue Mountain

Just click on the title to buy: The Gringo Maniac Murder Spree. You just can’t have this much fun for $10.00 ANYWHERE. If you can, prove it!

Come romp on twitter @shadowteams @skinnysmoothies @giantsweettart

Or post a smart remark on Facebook at Shadowteamsnyc,  Skinny Green Smoothies, Beth Wareham or Hair Club Burning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A HAUNTING CULINARY MEMOIR FROM A POET, MEMOIRIST, FARMER AND CHEF

L I S A  H A G A N  B O O K S

THIS WEEK WE DELIVER THE GIFT

OF

A GREAT RECIPE… READ ON

Hive-Mind novel by Gabrielle Myers, organic farming, cooking, California organic produce, Chef

Gabrielle Myers author, cook and chef releases  Hive-Mind with Lisa Hagan Books/ShadowTeams

“In powerful lyric prose that sometimes can’t help give way to poetry…

Gabrielle Myers sings her own, very personal love song to the soil under all of our feet. The voice in Hive-Mind is complicated, edgy, vulnerable and deeply in love with fig trees, cherry tomatoes, and the sound of crickets on a hundred and ten degree summer day.  In these dark, environmentally catastrophic times, we need books like this one to shake us out of our slumber, remind us where we came from, reconnect us to what we are.”

Pam Houston, Author of Contents May Have Shifted

 

“It’s gorgeous. The writing is so precise and riveting that you can’t tear yourself away from any moment. Myers is a writer of elegance and heart, and also of extraordinary intelligence. I’m not quite sure how you create this hardhearted and yet spiritually elevated work; but she has somehow managed it. It’s a remarkable experience to read this book. So please do.”

Wesley Gibson, author of Personal Saviors

  The quotes above will hopefully convince you of the writing in Hive-Mind. Now we want you to know that Myers can also cook. This puree will become a go-to dish for entertaining or that magic hour of just sipping a drink at day’s end.

And really, how much hummus can we eat?

     Lemon-White Bean Puree

“I suggest using following recipe as a base bean puree recipe. From this basic recipe, you can add chopped olives, tomatoes, spinach, or capers, crushed fennel seed or cumin, or even sautéed ribbons of kale and escarole. While you can lather the puree on a toasted baguette and top it with a generous drizzle of olive oil and pinch of parsley, this smooth mix also acts as a healthy alternative to the ranch and sour cream dips often served with crudité. Try this savory puree as a substitute for the often canola-heavy mayonnaise in your favorite sandwich.”

3 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans

2 lemons, zested

1 lemon, juiced

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 to ¼ cup water, depending on consistency

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

 

1. If you use canned cannellini beans, rinse the beans in a colander under cold running water until the starchy residue is removed. Allow the beans to drain until all the excess liquid is gone.

2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick and the ingredients aren’t easily blending, add a few tablespoons of water.

3. Season the puree with salt and pepper. If you like more spice, consider adding an additional 1/8 = 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper.

4. You can serve the puree immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

-Enjoy!

Gabrielle Myers

(This  recipe originally appeared in the Prostate Forum Blog in September 2013: prostateforum.com)

 

REMINDER: YOU COULD WIN

A Two Hour Consult with“The Startup Whisperer”

CHRIS HEIVLY co founder of MAPQUEST

and THE STARTUP FACTORY

Chris Heivly Author of Build the Fort. Whether you are launching a book, building a business or managing a huge project, Build the Fort’s 5 simple steps will help you create something where there was once just a dream. He’ll help you accelerate growth and strengthen connections as you build your fort in the New Economy.

Simply add your email below and a winner will be chosen at the end of November.

WRITING SHORT: He Wasn’t Born With It, He Learned.

After 27 years at the New York Times, the incessant need for space was like water running over a stone and Holland, through the sheer practice of his craft, learned how, as the San Francisco Chronicle so eloquently said, the
“remarkable ability to conjure up the essence
of a composer or a piece of music in a few deftly Bernard Holland New York Times, Something I Heard, music critic, Yo-Yo Ma,
chosen words. He is, I think, an aphorist of
unparalleled virtuosity.”

But don’t believe us. Read the book. See how he does it. Learn by watching; there are few better teachers than this one. Click here: Something I Heard

And until the book arrives, he’s given three solid pieces of writing advice below to get you started on the short life, writing for the age of social media. Never before has it been so important to boil your idea down to the essence and in the process, concentrating its message and power.

Writing Short Tips from a Master Bernard Holland, Something I Heard, Chopin, music critic

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NOVEMBER GIVEAWAY FOR OUR READERS

L I S A  H A G A N  B O O K S

AND

 S  H  A  D  O  W  T  E  A  M  S

NOVEMBER GIVEAWAY

Win a 2 hr consultation

with

   “STARTUP WHISPERER”

CHRIS HEIVLY

“Every publication is a startup”

Our favorite business author, Chris “The Startup Whisperer” Heivly, has donated a two-hour consultation to a lucky winner who wants to get somethin’ started.

Chris and his partners sold MapQuest to AOL for over 1 Billion dollars and now mentors budding entrepreneurs at The Startup Factory. His book, BUILD THE FORT, takes 5 simple steps he learned building forts as a kid and turns them into a clear roadmap for building any project, whether it’s a startup tech company or the launch of a book.

Here’s Chris’s piece from Inc.com on becoming a first time author: inc.com/chris-heivly/curious-how-to-write-your-first-book.html

Here’s what are the parallels he found between publishing and startup: shadowteams.co/2015/10/11/every-publication-is-a-startup-a-qa-with-chris-heivly-the-startup-whisperer/

This is a once in a lifetime chance to speak with Chris Heivly about your startup project, your book or business venture!!

H O W  C A N  Y O U  E N T E R  TO  WIN ?

By simply signing up to receive our newsletters.http://www.amazon.com/Build-The-Fort-Lessons-year-old-ebook/dp/B0157GPRHW

One lucky newsletter entrant will be selected on Nov 30

Get Our Latest Updates and Enter to Win a private session with Chris Heivly!

BUY

Build the Fort, Heivly Chris, Durham, Startup Factory

Learn how to build a successful start up with the Startup Whisperer

LISA  HAGAN  BOOKS

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Author and Former New York Times Chief Critic Interviews Himself About His Quest for Doing Nothing

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Q AND A

BERNARD HOLLAND: What were your goals in life? Have you achieved them?

BH: From an early age my life’s ambition was to do absolutely nothing. After 60-odd years of obstacles and detours I am nearing my goal.

BERNARD HOLLAND Who was your role model?

BH: Friends of D.H. Lawrence say that he would sit in a chair for four or five hours at a stretch, immobile and silent. I’m not a big fan of his books (I do love “The Sea and Sardinia”) but he’s my kind of man.

BERNARD HOLLAND: What have you been reading?

BH: Georges Perec’s “Life: A User’s Manual” _ a huge encyclopedia of things that interest me; Knausgaard’s “My Struggle” – I read one volume, and rush to the next;. At the moment Joseph Roth’s delicious little newspaper items from 1920s Germany (“The Hotel Years”) ; Next for me is Houellebecq’s “Submission” and Edward St. Aubyn’s newest.

BERNARD HOLLAND: What books on music do you read?

BH: Very few. I admired Ian McEwan’s “Amsterdam” for nailing the contemporary music community (spot-on, uncanny}.Thomas Bernhard’s fantasy Glenn Gould (“The Loser”) is fun too

BERNARD HOLLAND: Do you read critics?

BH: I always keep up with Alex Ross. I’ve read things by Justin Davidson I admire. I like the depth and civility of British music magazine writers but they are usually engaged in a kind of Consumer Reports (this performance is better than that one). I try not to listen that way. Every performance is different; learn from each of them. The New York Times has some interesting new stringers.

BERNARD HOLLAND: How are you coping with retirement?

BH: During my working years I was surrounded by connoisseurs and experts always happy to lift me to their stratospheric levels of wonderfulness. Retirement has freed me from the chains of excellence. Mediocrity interests me. My scotch is at the bottom of Johnny Walker’s color chart. Great wine gives me hives. I doze in the arms of the second-rate. Oh how happy I am.

BERNARD HOLLAND: What are you listening to these days?

BH:. Silence. It’s very powerful.

—– to order your copy of Holland’s Something I Heard, click on the title.

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THE ART OF WRITING SHORT

TIPS FROM A MASTER

Former New York Times Chief Critic Bernard Holland, author of

SOMETHING I HEARD, is much celebrated for his ability to capture a composer or performer in, what the San Francisco Chronicle called, “a few deftly chosen words.”

In an almost 30-year career at the New York Times, Holland had to make 400-word reviews sing nightly.

Few can do it.

(Another great practitioner was the late architecture critic at The New Yorker, Brendan Gill.)

In age of twitter and wordpress, you best be able to write short too.

Here are a few tips from a Master, or Maestro, whichever:

1.  Never state the obvious. For example, don’t start your piece with “I went to an important concert last night” We know it’s important or why would you be there?

2.  Write it, Read it. Cut it. Mercilessly (Awk! An adverb.) Take out every extra word that does not forward the action or thought.

3.  Use words, of course, but use the right word. Don’t use an obscure or big word to impress. Don’t use long phrases and write around the point. Choose the word that gets right on top of what you want to say – provocative or not – and press the button.

(Or in this case click on the book)Bernard Holland New York Times, Something I Heard, Bach, Mahler, music critic, music appreciation, classical music critic, Linda Ronstadt, American Orchestras, Yo-Yo Ma, The crowd shouted more Holland
We respond.

http://www.shadowteams.com/#!bernardholland/c17zu

http://shoutout.wix.com/so/cL38kuqT

FORMER NEW YORK TIMES CRITIC KEEPS IT CLEAN

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www.shadowteams.com

/beth wareham

Despite repeated requests by his editor to write something dirty about classical music, former New York Times Chief Critic Bernard Holland refused, saying “classical music showers daily, just like me.”

To read more of Mr. Holland’s thoughts, check out http://amzn.to/1S9AQIV. You’ll hear the music. No way you can’t. I even loved it and baby, I’m a rocker.

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First Verified Photo of Former New York Times Critic Bernard Holland, author of Something I Heard

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Beth Wareham talks to Something I Heard author, Bernard Holland

1. You’ve been away from the New York Times for 7 years. Why did you release this book now?

Two close friends – Richard and Dee Wilson – (Richard Wilson is a composer/pianist and holds the Mary Conover Mellon Chair of Music at Vassar) came upon the piece on Glenn Gould and said I should think about a book. It was some kind of tipping point for me and seven years after leaving the paper, I thought “yes, I’ll do a book.”

2. A google of your by-line puts your contribution to music criticism at the Times to over 4600 articles and reviews. How did you begin to approach what you wanted in this compilation?

I remembered certain reviews and started rereading them together. I began to appreciate the work more. Before, I just wanted to enjoy being retired. Now, I can look back at a career and think “it was a wonderful job but there was too much of it.” I needed to put it all aside. I was overloaded.

3. As a writer, you are known as a skilled “aphorist.” How did you get to be that way?

I say it in the book. I had to write hundreds of short reviews. I had strict boundaries and that allowed me freedom. Boundaries are liberating. You know exactly where you are and it really makes you think. I became good at throwing out any word I didn’t need.

I had to operate within a space and that space only. There’s a quote from Stravinsky that says – and I paraphrase – when I begin to compose, I have limitless opportunities. It’s up to me to choose one.

As a writer, you can’t sprawl, you can’t run everywhere. I feel the same way musically about Mahler. I think sometimes in his symphonies, he abuses his space.

4. I have to ask it: What are your desert island pieces?

Haydn’s “Last Seven Words of Christ”
Wagner’s “Parsifal”
Schubert’s G Major Piano Sonata
Liszt’s “The Fountains at the Villa d’Este”,
Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”
Debussy’s “Iberia”
Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony
Astor Piazzolla’s “Maria de Buenos Aires”
Any Nelson Riddle arrangement of Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt.

5. And finally, what’s your favorite part about being married to me?

You like Jimi Hendrix and I’m cool with that.

Get more of the music in Something I Heard by clicking here on the title.

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Food of the Hive-Mind

Hive-Mind, Gabrielle Myers, organic farm, memoir, Tip Top Farm, Laura Trent

To Purchase Hive-Mind click on cover

www.shadowteams.com

excerpt from Hive-Mind
by Gabrielle Myers

“When I go into the kitchen, the sun’s started to angle itself at Mount Vaca. The golden light casts a reddish filter on my knife work as I thinly slice the halibut filet, fish so fresh the white flesh looks slightly blue and feels sturdy under my knife. After I cut the halibut into tiny cubes, I place it in a stainless steel bowl on top of an ice bag, grate a pinch of lemon zest, sprinkle sea salt and mix in a good amount of olive oil. All the time I maneuver around the kitchen’s gravel floor and awkward cutting boards that jut over the table at weird angles….

Baker walks across the herb circle to the kitchen; her leg brushes a tarragon plant the size of a small citrus tree.

We each do our bit of tidying, and set the table. Gina arrives smiling, flush and tan from her day in our fields. I begin to disk the okra with my sharpest knife. I gently mix the tartare and arrange a thin circular layer on each plate. I distribute five disks of okra on each circle, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the whole plate and sprinkle wild fennel pollen that I harvested near Lake Berryessa last weekend over the tartare.

Tartare: beef, lamb, tuna, halibut; all I have to do is cut, put sea salt on, pair it with a good olive oil and garnish. The tender fragile quality of the meat or fish plays against the texture present in each bite. Tartare was my favorite dish to serve at Oliveto. We’d fry capers until they were stiff star-like flowers, or take nasturtium petals and dot them over eye of round, ground and moist with oil so the dish looked like a Monet painting…

To purchase Hive-Mind, click on the title.

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Every Publication is a Startup: A Q&A with Chris Heivly, “The Startup Whisperer”

Unknown

/Beth Wareham

Chris, when I read your book about how to get to yes in the startup scene, I was relieved that the startup I was working on – in this instance, a publishing company – had made many of your moves instinctively. It turns out that I was building my own publishing fort. I also realized your book, Build the Fort, was about startups and each publication was a microcosm of that launch.

1. Do you view your book as a fort-building experience?

Yes very much so. I can even take it a step further and share that I viewed the book as a startup in itself. So if fort building is like startups . . . you get the picture. Like every startup, I had a concept that I thought people would enjoy. I also experienced highs and lows as I built out the product (the book) and now I get to enjoy the feedback (good or bad) from my customers (readers).

2. In Build the Fort, your 5 essential steps for startup success are presented as a parable about building a hideout in the woods with your friends when you were young. The analogy works. Step 1 in Build the Fort is to socialize the idea. Many a book has failed because it could not be described succinctly. How should an author “socialize the idea”?

The first thing is to go talk to your target audience and share the concept and point of view. In Build The Fort, I had a thesis that there are no books that concentrate on the months leading up to your decision to leap. So, I asked a bunch of people about that and determined that I was right. Interestingly, I also used the socialize the idea to talk to potential publishers, agents, other writers and industry people so I could understand how this was going to play out and what my options were.

Writers need to be matched to publisher carefully or the entire project can derail. How do you recommend, as you do in your book, that a writer find the right people? Obviously, information is power and the only way to get information is to talk to as many people as possible. Or Step 1 in the parable. Some talk to too few and others dont talk to as diverse a group as they should. I talked to major publishers, agents, hybrid publishers, 1st time writers, freelance editors and startup publishing services folks. Sound like a lot? It is easy when you have no fear and nothing to lose.

3. Every author confronts the same difficult beast: marketing and promotion. Can you talk about how you gather the assets closest to you to move your book sales.

Yea, this is the biggie for me right now. I decided early on that ultimately the success of the book was going to be on me. I heard that from everyone during my socialization tour. Turns out that writing the book was the easy part. The marketing assets are a mix of mine and others. My assets were the 6,800 email contacts I had amassed over the last 5-6 years. It took me all weekend to get them into one email database. I also started turning every one of my speaking opportunities into a Build The Fort story a year ago. Every public opportunity was a chance to tell people that a book was coming out. Call it brand building. I also researched a ton of ideas on marketing a book and took the ones I thought I could execute and put them in a spreadsheet of ideas. I am still adding, subtracting and rolling those out.

4. Create short term goals is perfect for the independent authors. Many get discourage when their book doesn’t perform immediately, but it is a process for the tortoise, rarely the hare. Can you talk about your short term approach for Build the Fort?

This makes me laugh as I am struggling with this right now. Let’s start with the actual writing of the book. I have a full-time gig so I needed to give myself permission to only write 3-4 times per week for 1-2 hours per sitting. My overall goal was to finish by the end of 2014 (I started writing in April). My near term goals were to write 1,000 words per sitting.

In terms of sales and marketing, I set a personal goal for sales and then asked the publishing team their goals. I then readjusted mine down. But, like any startup, I am not satisfied with the pace. That will never change for me. The one point I will make is that with 2 other businesses (The Startup Factory and Big Top Reverse Job Fair) the book comes in third on my priorities. To that end, I needed to give myself permission to execute at 30-40% of what was possible. Time is my enemy. I told me to not beat myself up for not executing everything that was possible. Knock off the big items one by one when I can. That is good enough.

5. At what point in your publication will you be satisfied that you have Built a Fort?

I have already built many forts, and look forward to building more, it is my passion. Now, I have a published book that thousands of future entrepreneurs are reading. It is an exciting life.

To order, click on the title, Build the Fort

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Is Classical Music Funny? 25 Ideas from SOMETHING I HEARD by Bernard Holland

 

Something I Heard, Bernard Holland, music critic for New York Times, classical music criticism

To order SOMETHING I HEARD, click on the title or cover

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“Holland has a remarkable ability to conjure up the essence of a composer or a piece of music in a few deftly chosen words. He is, I think, an aphorist of unparalleled virtuosity.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

“No one today can match the limpid elegance and intellectual precision of his style…”
— The New Yorker

/Bernard Holland

CRITIC’S CREDENTIALS
The day I put “music critic” after my name people started asking me about music. Before that no one asked my opinion about anything.

ON GLENN GOULD’S “WELL-TEMPER ED CLAVIER.”
He is the most interesting Bach player in memory, but when taken as a model of how Bach should sound, he is a catastrophe. People who blow up buildings get our attention, and sometimes their messages clean out our heads, but we don’t let them be architects.

ON THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
They will no more grow than Mother Nature will take the liver spots off my hands. We have grown old together.

SYMPHONIC BLACKNESS
There’s a more relevant question behind the one that asks why so few black musicians go into classical music, and that is: Why should they want to?

ON EARLY MUSIC
If the early music movement taught us anything it is that all music is contemporary.

TANGO
The tango is sublimated warfare. It rarely smiles. Elegance, ritual and a deep dignity win out over darker impulses. In a single Argentine dance form the universal paradoxes of romance between two human beings seem to gather.

ON AMERICAN MUSIC
I would trade some Strauss, most of Hindemith and even a little Brahms for the first eight bars of “April in Paris.”

ON ELLIOTT CARTER AND HAYDN
One wonders what kind of music Carter would have written had he, like Haydn, lived his teenage years in frightening poverty.

SCHOENBERG ON HIS CRITICS
“My music isn’t modern. It’s just played badly.”

FARRAKHAN AND HIS VIOLIN
In the green hills of North Carolina on Saturday night, the lion lay down with the lamb. A reputed sower of discord communed with a maker of harmony. Louis Farrakhan, meet Felix Mendelssohn.

ON CASTING BAYREUTH’S “RING.”
Gabriele Schnaut’s Brünnhilde bore down on the helpless listener like a sopranic freight train threatening derailment at any moment. Her Siegfried (Wolfgang Schmidt) could offer only strangled desperation. When we were lucky, Mr. Schmidt landed on no pitch at all, creating a kind of 19th-century German Romantic rap.

HENRY BRANT INDOORS
The Brant aesthetic, when brought under a roof, shrinks to a form of encirclement. Here the audience, Custer-like, receives incoming fire from every direction.

RING FOLLOWERS
Wagner lovers are besotted people, like the sharers of some extraterrestrial visitation who are compelled to gather in cities like Seattle, Vienna, New York, San Francisco and, of course, Bayreuth to trade sightings.

RING FOLLOWERS II
When doom is announced on Monday but does not arrive until Saturday, the “Ring” and its audiences are captives in time, forming a kind of space capsule in which listeners are as much crew members as the performers.

PETER SELLARS AND EL NINO
Mr. Sellars takes his usual role as honorary member and emotional spokesman for the oppressed and the slighted. It must gall him at times to be so showered with attention and success.

OUTIS AT LA SCALA
The brothel scene steams with bare skin, gyrating pudenda and simulated (I think) copulation.

ON THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WEATHER
The sorrows of this story’s title lie in togetherness and loneliness made to stand side by side.

GIACINTO SCELSI AND HIS BLACK HOLE
A Beethoven sonata begins at the front door, takes a trip, meets new friends, goes home. A Scelsi piece closes the front door and digs in the basement.

CASTING WOES AT THE MET
Gorgeous to look at but virtually uninhabited, the Metropolitan Opera’s new ”Traviata” seems to have been the victim of a neutron bomb.

ON AVERY FISHER HALL
This building is cursed and should be leveled. It doesn’t need an architect. It .needs an exorcist.

ON HIGH PAY AND THE THREE TENORS
Perhaps a more apt title for these events would be “Three Tenors, One Conductor and Four Accountants.”

ON BRUCKNER AND CLASSICAL STYLE
Bruckner is a Mozart sonata that ate too much.

ON BLOGGING
All of us should go home, find a dark room, sit down and be silent.

ON MUSIC APPRECIATION
That leap from ”understand” to ”appreciate” is long and blind.

ON CONDUCTING MAHLER
You do not keep “Das Liêd von der Erde” together by snapping your fingers like Harry James.

ON ACOUSTICS AND LISTENING
Good acoustics, like a good haircut, go unnoticed.
Acoustics are to music what bookbinding and typeface are to Faulkner. If our minds are doing their work, Faulkner’s voice will sound the same in the roughest, smallest and most unwelcoming old paperback as it does in the most luxurious special edition.

MYSTERIES OF CONDUCTING
Look no farther than Leopold Stokowski who managed to pack his dessert-like sound into a suitcase and carry it from city to city.

RELUCTANT CRITICISM
The critic’s duty is to report that Mr. Bocelli is not a very good singer.

MOZART FROM MINOR TO MAJOR
Just as we put up our umbrellas, the sun comes out. We don’t know whether to be happy or sad, and so we are both.

ON CRITICISM
Critics may speak German or English but they can’t speak music. Music is sublimely illiterate

ON RELIGION
Messiaen invented a Christianity with no missionaries and a congregation of one.

To order, click on the title Something I Heard.

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WE SUBMIT FOR YOUR APPROVAL: Books to Make You Smarter, Books to Entertain

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Dear Friend: Shadow Teams now powers Lisa Hagan Books, an independent publishing company working in the United States, Canada and the U.K. We now believe everything everyone told us about how hard you must work on a startup.
We are extremely proud of our first group of books. We offer them below.

Simply click on the title of the book to order.

Please forward on this email to family, friends and other readers. We would love your feedback and help in spreading the word. http://www.shadowteams.com

Anyone who signs up for our email will get three chapters of our next release for free. (What is the book, you ask? It will be a surprise, just like all presents.)

If you wish to review the book — for print, blog or possible interviews – or for potential inclusion in curriculum, please email beth@shadowteams.com

ADULT NON-FICTION

SOMETHING I HEARD
b9thnolinelargery Bernard Holland
New York Times Critic Remembers 1981-2008

For twenty-plus years, music critic Bernard Holland heard it all. He reviewed and interviewed many of the most celebrated classical artists – singers, conductors, instrumentalists, composers and the avant garde – of the twentieth century for the New York Times.

Reporting both sides of the culture war between music history and radical change, Holland writes critiques on Philip Glass to Verdi, Messiaen to Bach, Peter Sellars to Zeffirelli, and Linda Ronstadt to The Three Tenors.

Along the way, the reader chats with Herbert von Karajan, takes a plane trip with Yo-Yo Ma, joins in with the boos at Bayreuth, and walks the slow walk with Robert Wilson.

“No one today can match the limpid elegance and intellectual precision of his style, which recalls the heyday of
Virgil Thomson.”
-The New Yorker

MEMOIR

Hive-Mind
by Gabrielle Myers
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With the lyrical precision of Annie Dillard and the exquisite food writing of M.F.K. Fisher, Gabrielle Myers takes us on a Northern California idyll – an internship at the Tip Top Farm and Produce in Vacaville.

Here, the beauty of the land – light streaming through fig branches; carnelian tomatoes exploding in front of rows of sweet peas – is tended by the mysterious frenetic Farmer and her companion, Baker. Together with their intern Gabrielle, the trio tends a landscape full with sustenance and life. Their days are filled with back-breaking farm labor and their nights are alive with the freshest, most creative meals imaginable.

At night, Gabi lays in her yurt pondering her mother’s suicide attempt, working on stories to tell herself to make it alright, while just up the hill another mind, busy as a hive, fights a storm of loss and sorrow that threatens to shatter their eden. And what of these stories we tell ourselves? Myers asks.

Sometimes, they can’t be rewritten.

“The voice in Hive-Mind is complicated, edgy, vulnerable and deeply in love with fig trees, cherry tomatoes, and the sound of crickets on a hundred-and-ten degree day. In these dark, environmentally catastrophic times, we need books like this one to shake us out of our slumber, remind us where we came from, reconnect us to what we have.”
– Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

Order now from Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

PARANORMAL

Men in Black:Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures
by Nick Redfern

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Nick Redfern’s new, and third, book on the Men in Black is filled with the very latest revelations on the sinister and deadly MIB. Never-before-seen witness testimony combines with papers from some of the leading figures in UFO- and paranormal-themed research to provide an outstanding look at this creepy and disturbing phenomenon.

Men in Black: Personal Stories & Eerie Adventures takes the reader on a mysterious, macabre, and menacing journey into the world of the dark-suited silencers. It’s a journey that encompasses tales of UFO conspiracies, government agents, strange and bizarre monsters, the occult, demonology, and psychic attack.

“Reading and reviewing the always-fascinating writings and research of author and “unsolved mysteries” lecturer Nick Redfern, for more than a decade, has allowed me to gain new insight on conspiracies and paranormal subjects. And Redfern refuses to let up…..”

– Red Dirt Report

Order now through Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

BUSINESS

Build the Fort: 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10-Year Old Can Set You Up for Start-Up Success
by Chris Heivly

In Build the Fort, Heivly breaks down his childhood personal fort-building experiences and uses them as an analogy to his journey as co-founder of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2 billion) as well as The Startup Factory (a seed-stage investor & mentorship program).

Build the Fort outlines five basic elements that are common to both fort-building and startups:
• Socializing Your Idea without fear or inhibition,
• Identifying and Marshaling the People You Trust,
• Gathering the Minimal Resources Closest To You,
• Acting on the Smallest and Simplest of the Idea, and
• Build the Fort.

Build_The_Fort_cover_final
Whether you are 16 or 60, Build The Fort will provide the reader a better understanding of the earliest micro-steps of starting your own business by overlaying Chris’s 30 years of experiences in startups, investments, big-company intrapreneurship and community development.

“Chris is a ‘been there, done that’ kind of guy when it comes to startups. From his own highly successful startup, to leading a venture capital firm, to running a successful accelerator, to personally mentoring hundreds of entrepreneurs, Chris is not only someone who knows his stuff, but is the kind of person who truly cares.”
– F. Scott Moody
CEO of AuthenTec (sold to Apple)

Available on Amazon.com by clicking on the title above.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Motherless
by Gabriel Horn

An island appears and disappears. A mysterious animal stands at the edge of the forest, watching. A door becomes a portal to the deepest secrets of the ocean. Through the darkness, a wolf strikes for life.

Born in a downpour that breaks a record drought, she is named Rainy. A young Native American girl, orphaned at 5, she lives with her grandfather on the white sandy shores of the Florida coast. As she approaches adolescence, Rainy struggles with her love for the Earth and the horrors inflicted on our natural world, facing questions of loss and identity, and the very essence of the human spirit. They are questions that hours spent in classrooms, and even her grandfather’s ancient wisdom, cannot answer. Exasperated, a storm rages inside of her, ultimately releasing her own spirit to the storm raging outside, and lifts her into a dream that is more than a dream.

Beyond this dream, in a place where the ordinary and extraordinary merge, Rainy Peek realizes her destiny and what it truly means to be MOTHERLESS.

“…insightful and eloquent”
– The Tampa Tribune
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HOW TO PUBLISH YOUR HUSBAND AND AVOID DIVORCE COURT

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To order book or ebook, click on title: Something I Heard

/Beth Wareham

Being married to a legend has it’s downside. When our wedding announcement ran in the New York Times, a publishing colleague remarked “I didn’t know you knew Bernard Holland.” Yeah, lady, I knew him. Every inch. But I wasn’t pitching him books. I had bigger fish to fry.

When I traveled with him, people would elbow me out of the way to get at him. Young music students would trail him at events and I would whisper in his ear “you make me famous, I suck your dickee.” No one thought I was funny but me and I kept myself amused at the edges of these “high culture” events.

As his wife, the legend took me everywhere and taught me how to be a woman of the world. I stood at the Bebelplatz in Berlin where Hitler’s brown shirts burned thousands of books just before I walked into the Staatsoper to hear Wagner. I sat on the water at Puccini’s house on a tiny lake in Italy where he lived, composed, and hunted ducks. He took me to Havana for a string of concerts with the visiting Milwaukee Symphony; I met Royalty on the manicured gardens at Glyndebourne and then watched the bloody despair of Berg’s Lulu inside.

Fast forward twenty years. I own a publishing company and it was time to put out some of this huge body of work. BUT WAIT! The New York Times owns 4600 of my legend’s bylines. That’s about a 2000 page book right there, I thought. I rolled my eyes. I would have to penetrate the Times wall to get permissions, a task that even Pinch Sulzberger would find hard. But luckily, we found the great Sam Sifton and he, well, sorted it out.

Next came assessing all those critiques into a larger whole that would paint an incomplete picture of classical music albeit a tantalizing one. Working with my legend, we chose reviews whose music led to discussions of real life: love triangles, serial killers, power grabs, lying, cheating, love, and loyalty.

I learned that music lives above words; it is impossible to capture again once released. No two performances will ever be the same and the best music is that which lives in your head, in memory. It can not be pulled out of the rest of you any more than your soul can.

And there it is. There was no divorce, no fighting, only a deeper understanding of what my marital legend had been blathering on about for the last twenty years. The writing is beautiful with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s (the writer he most reminds me of, stylistically) elegant, lilting language.

And now I’m going to turn off the Stone’s “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” and change the pace. Today, I’m going to listen to Tristan und Isolde and see what it does to my soul. I could use it.

To order, click on title: SOMETHING I HEARD

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A STRANGE STORY OF ROSEMARY’S BABY, PT 1

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by Nick Redfern, author of Men in Black
www.shadowteams.com

Peter Beckman is, to put it mildly, a notable character. Having grown up in northern California, as a youngster he gravitated towards the arts and acting and was soon involved with local theater and production companies. In his early twenties, Peter attended the California Institute of Arts, where he studied screenwriting alongside Alexander Mackendrick, of The Man in the White Suit fame. His movie appearances include Chud II, Orson Welles’ unfinished The Other Side of the Wind, and Echo Park.

Beckman is the voice of General Wolf in the SyFy Channel’s series, Monster; he worked as a voice-artist on Street Fighter 4 and 5, and is the author of a highly entertaining paranormal-themed novel, Dead Hollywood. In addition, Beckman is the male voice in Josie Cotton’s recordings of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! And, if like me you’re a big fan of the Ramones, you’ll be interested to know that Peter had a starring role in the video for the band’s 1983 single, Psycho Therapy, in which he receives a kicking in the head, courtesy of a psychotic punk-rocker!

Continue reading here: http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/10/a-strange-story-of-rosemarys-baby-pt-1/

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The NEXT 15 Points of Wisdom from ‘The Startup Whisperer” Chris Heivly’s New Book, BUILD THE FORT

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Chris Heivly sold MapQuest to AOL for 1.2 billion and entered a rarefied group of startup kings. He’s also handled more than 75 million in investment capital on behalf of other companies. Instead of building a big house in Hawaii, he started The Startup Factory, the largest seed investment firm in the Southeast.

From Chris Heivly’s new book, BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success

16. There will never be enough public data available to you that moves your brain to a place where it says – go do this, it is a safe bet.

17.Questions from your inner brain are evil.

18. Fear of failure is the mother of all fears.

19. Fear of future failure prevents good ideas and good founders from ever making the leap.

20. You cant execute month 30 without surviving month 3.

21. When I look back on every company I have ever run, I have just one regret; that I did not spend enough time on developing customers.

22. Spend too much time on product – your vision has outpaced the time allotted and your ability.

23. Cross co-founder support is a pretty cool ingredient early in the company formation and is easy in the honeymoon period.

24. Get to a place where you all feel comfortable exposing what’s rumbling around your head no matter how trivial.

25. Regardless of whether you are a first-time founder or if this is your third rodeo, advisors can help shape your vision.

26. Good advisors have this ability to see through the noise and help you find the core of what you are trying to do.

27. Determining the MVP unlocks your brain to identify the resources required now – not a year form now.

28. It is imperative that you build into the product, on day one, the hooks to track activity.

29. Being a CEO is about finding creative ways to gather resources with little or no cash.

30. I will never make a seed or early-stage investment based on research from Gartner, Forrester or IDC.

For even more wisdom from a startup great, read BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success and explore Chris’s Inc. Magazine articles
ChrisHeivly.com

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15 Points of Wisdom from “The Startup Whisperer”

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In Build the Fort, author Chris Heivly breaks down his personal childhood fort-building experiences and uses them as an analogy to his journey as co-founder of MapQuest (sold to AOL for 1.2 billion) as well as The Startup Factory (a seed-stage investor & mentorship program). The result: BUILD THE FORT: Why Five Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10-Year-Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success. (click on the title to buy)

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1.Most would-be founders stay inside the dream and never make the leap into reality.

2.Some entrepreneurs make the leap with unrealistic notions of how to maximize those first delicate steps.

3.By, definition, first-time founders have no context, feeling or understanding.

4.I am not aware of one business that exists solely inside your own head.

5.Over half the features you are thinking about will never be used yet paid for.

6.Your job is to find the most productive and efficient path to success for your product and business.

7.Pushing your idea out into the world gives the idea a life beyond just you.

8. Each socializing opportunity is a chance to hone your words.

9. Overwhelming me with detail before I have a chance to understand the big picture works against you.

10. The world is littered with decent products that never find a customer.

11.Your task as CEO is to garner the resources necessary to execute on your vision.

12. At its core, networking is a pay-it-forward exercise.

13. Entrepreneurial DNA has a built-in give-back component.

14. As an investor, I want to see that you need to make this idea work at any cost.

15. Your risk should be commensurate with my risk.

Want more Chris in addition to buying Build the Fort? Read his articles for Inc. Magazine here: http://www.inc.com/author/chris-heivly

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WHEN BOOKS BECOME DANGEROUS, PART II

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Albert Bender

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by Nick Redfern, author of Men in Black: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures

Part-1 of this article began as follows: (QUOTE) “There’s no doubt that over the years I’ve written some weird articles on equally weird subjects. But, this 2-part one just might be the strangest of all. In the last few years I have seen a trend develop that seems to be increasing. It basically goes as follows. I am getting more and more reports from people who have read my books and who, as a result and in the direct aftermath, were seemingly targeted by the very same supernatural phenomena I was writing about. No, I’m not kidding.” (END OF QUOTE)

And here’s part-2.

On the morning of July 16 of this year, I opened the Word document of my new Men in Black book, to finish up the final edit before it went to publication. At that very same moment, I heard a noise from one of my rooms, so I checked it out. For an hour or more, the maintenance people had been working on something on one of the exterior walls of my apartment. And, the vibration of their hammering and power-tools shook 1 of 8 framed pictures off my interior side of the wall. It had fallen to the floor, shattering the glass in the process.

TO READ THE REMAINDER OF THE ARTICLE, GO TO http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/09/when-books-become-dangerous-pt-2/

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To order Nick Redfern’s terrifying MEN IN BLACK: PERSONAL STORIES AND EERIE ADVENTURES, click on the title.

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AND DON’T MISS NICK TONIGHT ON COAST TO COAST RADIO

WHEN BOOKS BECOME DANGEROUS, PART I

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www.shadowteams.com
/by Nick Redfern

There’s no doubt that over the years I’ve written some weird articles on equally weird subjects. But, this 2-part one just might be the strangest of all. In the last few years I have seen a trend develop that seems to be increasing. It basically goes as follows. I am getting more and more reports from people who have read my books and who, as a result and in the direct aftermath, were seemingly targeted by the very same supernatural phenomena I was writing about.

No, I’m not kidding.

It all began back in 2010, when I was promoting my second book on the MIB, titled The Real Men in Black. One of the things I dug into in the book was the matter of MIB and telephone interference. We’re talking about strange voices on the line, weird electronic noises, and hang-up calls. Several people contacted me to report they were experiencing the exact same thing – but only after they had read the book.

READ MORE
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/09/when-books-become-dangerous-pt-1/

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To order Nick Redfern’s newest MEN IN BLACK: PERSONAL STORIES AND EERIE ADVENTURES – click here. And be CAREFUL of those that come to visit.

Look for “When Books Become Dangerous, Part II” tomorrow.
Visit Nick Redfern at Nick Redfern’s Whatever

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“The Startup Whisperer” Gives It Up in His New Book, Build the Fort

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/Beth Wareham

Chris Heivly has earned his place at the startup table.(http://www.inc.com/author/chris-heivly)

He sold MapQuest to AOL for 1.2 billion and is now a co-founder and director of The Startup Factory, a seed-stage investor and mentoring program in the exploding East Coast start-up environment.

Below are just a few of Chris’s wise observations. The only way to have them all, of course, is to purchase BUILD THE FORT. (Click on title to buy.)

This book is so simple and clear, you could use it to start a lemonade stand or begin manufacturing rocket engine parts. Chris uses the simple analogy of putting together a fort with his childhood friends and how the same principals guide how he builds companies today. It’s part Who Moved My Cheese?, part Lean Startup.

Being a CEO is about finding creative ways to gather resources with little or no cash.

I will never make a seed or early-stage investment based on research from Gartner, Forrester or IDC.

Data is awesome and your first chance to separate your idea from the other startup ideas.

There is a large benefit — at this stage of the company — to have everyone within shouting distance from each other.

I have the same passion for office furniture that some women have for shoes.

Shoot too big and you never get enough data, traction and momentum to get anyone interested.

Think in three month chunks and ask yourself, “what do I need to get me to that three month milestone.

. . . yes you can solve every single one of your mini-walls but eventually you run out of energy.

Find a way to gather the critical parts as quickly and cheaply as possible.

There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think to myself, “Chris — you needed to spend more time on acquiring customers.

Feel secure in the opportunity to create customer momentum with a realistic number of initial customers.

Raising investment dollars on an idea today is foolish.

The rest of us need to raise money based on data and traction.

Dreamers fail because they could not execute fast enough.

Winners optimize time by concentrating on the parts of the business that are critical at this immediate moment.

Your asset gathering tasks must be in sync with what the team can accomplish without losing energy, traction or momentum.

There is no room in a startup for perfection freaks.

Your vision as perfect as it appears is unattainable at this startup moment.

It takes an awfully self-aware startup CEO to navigate these waters effectively.

The more I jump the easier each jump gets.</strong

If you can’t actually go through Chris’s program at The Startup Factory ,
buy Build the Fort. It’s the next best thing to being there.

NICK REDFERN’S NEWEST MEN IN BLACK: PART I

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www.shadowteams.com

By Nick Redfern
Reprinted with the permission of Mysterious Universe

Right now, I have a new book out titled Men in Black: Personal Stories & Eerie Adventures. This is my third book on the MIB phenomenon, the previous ones being On the Trail of the Saucer Spies and The Real Men in Black. Like most of my writing on the Men in Black, the new book demonstrates that despite widespread assumptions that the MIB are from “the government,” they clearly are not.

Of the thirty-plus chapters in the book, only two are suggestive of a government connection to the MIB controversy. The vast majority of the cases take things down very weird paths. They are paths that lead towards the domains of the occult and the paranormal. And in some cases there is absolutely no UFO link at all. In those cases, we’re seeing nothing less than full-blown supernatural activity.

READ MORE on MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE

To order MEN IN BLACK: Personal Stories and Eerie Adventures, click here

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Just Reading the Table of Contents Scared Me: Nick Redfern’s Men in Black

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imagesClick on MEN IN BLACK: PERSONAL STORIES AND EERIE ADVENTURES to buy

Introduction
1. “Men in Black types have pounced on humanity”
2. “Looking up at his room, were the three men”
3. “Some witnesses report that the skin looks ‘artificial’”
4. “I noticed a kind of change in the air, a shift, a weird shift”
5. “My encounter with an ‘Old Man in Black’”
6. “The MIB seem just a little off”
7. “Something is wrong with this man – dangerously wrong”
8. “There was nothing friendly about the way he was grinning”
9. “You will not discuss what happened”
10. “The MIB seem to be able to drain a person’s energy”
11. “A short man in a black cape and top-hat”
12. “All I could hear was static”
13. “Men in Black are neither hallucinations nor hoaxes”
14. “He was staring right into my soul”
15. “I was to be visited by these strange men in the dead of night”
16. “This shadow wore a black fedora”

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17. “It was like something out of The Exorcist”
18. “Beings that don’t quite fit the mold”
19. “Feeling a little paranoid I quickened my pace”
20. “The voices revealed themselves as the MIB”
21. “His eyes were black and his skin a Mediterranean olive”
22. “It occurred to me that I could make contact with the MIB”
23. “Perhaps the black car was my guardian angel”
24. “What you doing out here all dressed up like that?”
25. “I will ask you one more time to leave now”
26. “I was waking up unhappy and shaken”
27. “He had a narrow shrunken face”
28. “They looked odd and retro”
29. “His staring eyes are lit up with a disturbing glare”
30. “I remembered thinking: I don’t think they had pores in their skin”
31. “Nothing entities like Men in Black say or do should be trusted”

UnknownTo keep up with Nick, click on NickRedfernFortean.blogspot.com

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Children and Grief: An excerpt from Gabriel Horn’s novel MOTHERLESS

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To order Motherless, free on KINDLE UNLIMITED, click on the title.

by Gabriel Horn

… love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
– Khalil Gibran

She was five and half years old….

It hurt to see his only granddaughter so gloomy, but it was her right, for everyone needs time to grieve. Even him. Still, it was heartbreaking, observing her little form on occasion, gazing through the screen door, her brown eyes following the trail past the front yard that snaked toward the mailbox where the pink lilies were getting ready to bloom. She was looking at them now….

“You know, when you were still forming in your mother’s belly, she planted those flowers.”

She shook her head, but kept her eye on the lilies. “They’re pretty.”
“In a few days, they’ll be stunning and yet so subtle….”

He explained that the lady who owns the beach shop, Irene Glassman, had given them to her mom. “They were so small and kinda sad lookin’ in these big pots. Didn’t have flowers. I remember your mom carrying those pots up to the mailbox. One at a time. There must’ve been six of ‘em. ‘Maggie,’ I said, ‘let me help you carry those pots.’ But she just shook her head, face sweatin’ and all, and instead, insisted she do it alone. It was a hot day and she worked for hours plantin’ those flowers, digging holes along that ditch….”

The young girl’s eyes strained.

“Ye can’t see the ditch because the flowers are tall now.”

She glanced up at her grandfather, then again looked up the driveway at the lilies.

“Can’t ever forget how she cut herself while plantin’ the last one.”

“How’d she do that?”

“She’d told me that she knelt down heavy on a shard of sharp shell. She was wearin’ a sundress at the time. The shell cut her knee open pretty good. She bled a lot. Needed stitches as I recall…. wound up with a small scar.”

The young girl with long hair like her mother’s, but auburn brown, not black, stared up at the road, and half a world away from where she’d been, still expecting, still wanting, someone to appear.

What could be sadder than a child’s grief?

AND WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF THE EARTH….

Dead is dead, the bus driver had said. And she knew he was right; the tiny tree frog was dead, and a little girl was learning that death means never coming back. The pretty frog would not be listening to the singing of the male tree frogs that night as an angry off-shore storm, responding to their mourning songs, would bring a deluge of rain that would fall and finally free the dead frog from the corroded barrel, and in the little girl’s mind she could see in that instance of pouring rain, the small stiffened body sliding down the ugly drum into the once purified water that all her life had sustained her. The little girl could even see beyond the dump site, the tiny lifeless form carried in the night songs of the other tree frogs with the rushing water on towards the womb of the great mother of all life, the Ocean.

DEATH TEACHES US HOW TO LIVE

Rainy was in third grade and was sitting at the kitchen table. Grandpa was leaning against the kitchen counter. She wanted to know more about her father who was not Indian….

“What about my dad?” she asked, sliding a chunk of mango in her mouth.

“Your father,” he said, taking a drink of coffee, “he still felt that tribal connection. He still had not lost touch with his Indigenous spiritual being. Which was probably why he fell so in love with your mother, and she in love with him.”

Then he sighed, a slight sound of air leaving with his breath that he didn’t mean to make, something that loss and remembered grief can cause you to do sometimes when you’re not even aware of how much you still miss those you loved….

GRIEF: IT’S A PART OF THE HUMAN CONDITION…

Rainy was just completing eighth grade at the time, and had taken the news of Mrs. Kingsley’s passing hard. Sadie couldn’t seem to console her, nor Koda, nor Grandpa. After weeks had past, finally, one day Grandpa and Rainy sat together on the porch steps after school. Koda sat behind them, sensing something in the air. The bamboo wind chime Grandpa had bought at the beach store was playing it seemed its first music in the sudden arrival of a tropical breeze from the South.

“Rain,” Grandpa began, “we’ve each known grief. It’s a part of the human condition. It’s a terrible feelin’. But it’s a necessary part of healin’.”

She was looking down and running her fingers over the turquois edge of the step. Before the renewal she might’ve gotten a splinter from the rough wood, but Grandpa had sure smoothed it out.

“I know,” she said.

“I know ye know. But please hear me out…as I love ye, and I understand you’re hurtin’.”

He paused and settled alongside her, and like always, trying to find the right the words. The bamboo chime played above them and the brown oak leaves rustled on the ground and bird sounds permeated the air.

“Grief can cling to ye, Granddaughter. It can stick to you like the sap of an oak in winter. “Stay stuck with ye all day. You can’t wash it off. You sleep with it at night. You wake up and it’s still there in the mornin’.”

“I know, Granpa. I’m sorry,” she said, a warm soft breeze lifting her hair. “I’ve been sad too long for my own good.”

“You got nothin’ to be sorry for, sweetheart. I’d been more worried if ye didn’t hurt. The world lost a great teacher. You lost a special friend.”

She shrugged and nodded and smiled just a little…. “I’ve not been a pleasant person to be around,” she said, turning her head to face the wolf.

“I’m sorry to you too, Koda.” He acknowledged the sentiment, but was still tuned to the air. And to the spirit that had arrived.

Rainy stared ahead at the rutted driveway, snaking towards the road, the mailbox at the end. She saw that the lilies were blooming. After the shadow man had run them over, they came back…. After all these years, she thought. But some things don’t come back…. Yet she was learning that they can, just not in ways we might expect….

“It’s only that Mrs. Kingsley’s dying raised up all these feelings I used to have, Granpa, and I feel bad she doesn’t get to teach anymore.”

“Grief can trigger those kinda memories and feelin’s, Rainy. But ye got a young heart, and it’s a strong heart. As ye get older in life, you’ll need a strong heart because you care so much and love so much. Those ye love get older too, and they die. It hurts every time, but just be certain that you’re grievin’ Mrs. Kingsley’s absence in your life, and not grievin’ for her. You can even grieve for the children who will never know her, but do not grieve for her. She’s in the Mystery.”

Rainy didn’t want to think beyond the moment, couldn’t think beyond it, but Grandpa’s words played in the notes of the bamboo wind chime. And he glanced up at it, his eyes gleaming, and then looked at Rainy who was also looking up at the hollow bamboo tubes of different lengths playing music in the gentle southern breeze.

“Mrs. Kingsley was pretty like that, and her words played in your ear, gentle like that too.”

“They did, indeed,” Grandpa said. Then he stood and stretched and put his face closer to the wind chime. “The road never gets easier, Granddaughter,” he said, speaking as much to himself as to her. “You just learn to cope better…understand a little more.”

Sitting back down on the step, he glanced up again at the music of the chime, and he smiled.

He took two fingers of his hand, the forefinger and the middle finger, and he touched Rainy’s heart. “All those ye loved, Rainy, are inside… here,” he said. Then he touched her forehead. “And in here…. In your memories. In your stories.”

Then he kissed the top of her head.

The bamboo tubes played above them in a warm southern gust of salty air.

“They’re a part of everything.”

He leaned his back against the steps, gazing with more than his eyes past the driveway, past the jungle of trees, across the road construction, and the steel and concrete support beams of new development. His vision sailed over the remaining dunes and last of endangered sea oats, and out to the turquoise sea.

“We have to let go at some point, as their spirit must continue the great change,” he said, “not hindered by our grief….

“As for the livin’,” he said, gazing back prophetically into the soft brown eyes of his granddaughter, and taking her hand, “the living must carry on for all those beings we love in this life who are still here.”

To order MOTHERLESS, click on the title. It’s free on amazon’s Kindle Unlimited
Visit Gabe at www.nativeEarthwords.com

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UFOs and Half-Hearted Media Coverage

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By Nick Redfern
www.shadowteams.com

A few nights ago I was interviewed on Richard Hoagland’s radio show and we spent a lot of time discussing one of my recent articles here at Mysterious Universe. It was the one on UFO Disclosure, the complete and utter naivety of those who support it, and my “seen it all before” comments. It was this article that led us into another, somewhat related, topic. Namely, how come the media – given its attention to breaking and/or understanding Watergate, Iran-Contra, the WMD situation, and the Edward Snowden affair – has never been able to blow the lid off the UFO secrecy and secure the disclosure so many seek and hope for?

The skeptics and debunkers would say – and they have said – that this glaring issue of the world’s leading journalists not having cracked something like Roswell, is because nothing of an extraordinary nature occurred back in the summer of 1947. That’s not true. And the outrageous thing is that those same skeptics and debunkers know exactly why the mainstream, influential press has not solved Roswell. They prefer, however, to spin and weave as they see fit.

To read the rest of the article, log on to Mysterious Universe at http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/09/ufos-and-halfhearted-media-coverage/

Look for Nick’s newest book in mid-September, the pretty dang scary

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Gabriel Horn takes on the Many Kinds of Bullies in MOTHERLESS

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How do you teach a child to combat bullying? How do you teach a child to even identify and understand it? Native American author has experienced his share of bullying – obviously as a Native American he fights for the timeless identity of his people – but as a conservationist and defender of Mother nature. Here are his thoughts on bullies – seen and unseen.

To order MOTHERLESS FREE on Kindle Unlimited, click on the title anywhere in the piece.
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THE BULLIES OF MOTHERLESS

By Gabriel Horn
White Deer of Autumn

Bully: overbearing. Intimidate; domineer. Cruel. A man hired to do violence. One who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. To be loudly arrogant…. Terrorize, tyrannize.

In MOTHERLESS, bullies come in different forms. The shadow men in the cover of darkness who dumped toxic waste into a creek, killing indiscriminately, and crushing the hearts of a little girl, and a bus driver from Jamaica. “Ain’t notten’ gonna bring God’s little creature back,” he said. “It’s dead. It got stuck tryin` to hop itself outta dat –” and he couldn’t think of a word that wasn’t swearing to describe what he was seeing and smelling in that ditch. “Wi don’t know why sum’ady done dat…. Oh Mon, I am so sick ah dis. Now, come on, Sweet child, it ain’t good wi breedin’ dis shit.”

Bullies can be kids.

The school day began with an assault at the bus stop, not a physical assault, like somebody punching and kicking another human being, or hurting an animal for no good reason, but the kind of assault that uses words to hurt you personally. Words to demean and belittle you. Words shot into your brain that can never come out….

“You’re only part Indian, not a real Indian,” declared Terrance Walcott, standing on the highest point on the sandy shoulder of the two-lane road. He was an eighth grader, who some say should have been left behind in seventh like he was in third.

“Look at your skin,” he said, and pointed with his fat finger at the sixth grade girl. “It ain’t even red.”

With her fists clenching, her lips pressed together, Rainy raised her dark brown eyes and looked up at Terrance. Though she appeared more than angry at the ugliness of what he had said, the betrayal felt worse, as did the embarrassment. Bullies.

They can be parents.

“And why the hell would you care about Indians, Chubby? You’re not sweet on that little half breed squaw I heard you talkin’ to your mom about?” Terrance smirked and shook his head vehemently. “No,” he said.

His stepfather reached into his pocket and held a wad of bills. Slipping a ten out, he gave it to Terrance. “Now here. Go by some war paint or somethin’. Get yourself some burgers.” He snickered. “I hear squaws like their burgers like they like their men.”

Terrance stared at the money. Couldn’t make sense of his stepfather’s gibbering. “Thanks,” he said, wide-eyed with possibilities.

“Now, bring me another tall one before you head out and do something stupid.”

Bullies. They can be school administrators and principals….

“I told Rainy about genocide, Dr. Lawson…. But I didn’t tell her all of it.” Dr. Lawson’s face flushed red, like she could’ve blended in with the stripes on the miniature flag near the phone on her desk, and she cleared her throat. “Yes, Mr. Peek, but Rainy is not a full Indian, only part, am I correct? You did legally change her last name?” She sorted through some related papers on her desk: memos, school records, and letters.

“Yes, the idea was to make it easier for her in school.”

“Of course, Mr. Peek. We realize she has no parents.” She lifted one page from the shuffle. “A question of negligence apparently came up when she was in fourth grade.

I understand there was an incident.”

He stared at her. “Yes, there was an incident, but I never heard of a complaint against me.”

“Well, it was probably something over that age old discussion of whether grandparents were capable of raising small children, and you being a single grandparent….”

Bullies. They can be teachers.

“No, Sir, indeed,” he said, standing upright, like a big bellied soldier at attention, holding a textbook instead of a gun, the dark frames hiding his bushy grey eyebrows, the shiny bald head reflecting the light from the ceiling. His thin lips tightened, so that it appeared he didn’t have any, and his head nodded agreeably. In his mind, he had reestablished his dominance….

Disturbed at what she was doing, the Colonel had stepped in front of her desk and leaned over so close to her face she could smell his creamed coffee-stale breath.

“Miss Peek, is it?”

He knew her name…. just by acting uncertain of who she was, he could make her feel less significant to him. Not empower her. Keep her off balance. His intention did not go unnoticed. His smelly breath, his violation of her space, and his obtrusive cold blue magnified orbs staring from behind the thick glass lenses in black frames, enabled her to already assess the kind of man he was, just as Koda would have done, as wolves (and a lot of dogs) will do with all men they can see, men they can smell, or hear, or sense in any number of ways, the ones not hiding behind a rock or a tree a football field away, downwind against their pale faces, concealing their human scent and malice, their dead eye taking dead aim through a telescopic scope….

“Yes, Sir,” she said, glancing up at his blue gumball eyes….

“You should have better things to do than doodling, Miss Peek,” he said in a low hard voice, his mouth inches from her ear, and pointing to an image on the paper.

“What is that? My Lord, is that… a snake?”

“It’s Kulkulcan, the Feathered Serpent.”

“No matter what you call it, Miss Peek, it is doodling” – if not downright improper and heathen, he was thinking but didn’t say.

Bullies. They can be fat cat politicians on the take.

He had heard it on the local news from the detached anchorwoman before the announcement of the storm …, Influenced by big oil, state legislators push to lift the ban restricting offshore drilling.

When the words first struck him, he closed the Mayan art book in his lap and let out a painful moan, like a person expressing sudden deep grief after learning of a loved one’s death and not wanting to believe its truth. Then he clenched his fists.

“Greedy bastards,” he murmured to himself. “It’s never enough for them. Never enough….”

He spoke in a low primal growl, almost as low as his breath, so that Rainy could not hear above the rolling thunder of the shaking sky. He would step out onto the front porch, as she lay in bed, his heart pounding in his chest the way a heart pounds when something terrible has happened, and he would step down into the front yard and over to that special place where he had found the eagle feather, and where he had made tobacco offerings while speaking to the Great Mystery, and he would collapse to his knees as the weight of his anguish became too much for him to bear, and, embracing the need to be closer to the Earth, he bent further until one side of his face pressed against the sandy ground.

A light rain would begin to fall, his fingers clutching the sand, his tears mixing with the rain, a weeping grief-stricken child that is an old man grasping hold of the Mother that he loved with all his being, and, for the moment, feeling too small to protect her from more of what was coming, and what she had already begun to know of those who didn’t know the Way to live.

Drilling….

Bullies. They can be as cruel as anything on Earth.

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The answer to bullies? Fight with your mind, your body, your life:

“Your rescue of endangered sea turtles, and other marine life, at the risk of your own, was nothing less than heroic.”

The faculty seated in their swivel chairs, and in their sympathetic civility, could not hear the terror in primal voices on that blazing dark night in the Gulf. They could not hear the honking of great herons and egrets, the squealing of the gulls, the terrified panic of pelicans flapping wings too heavy with oil to fly. They could not hear the turtles in their screaming silence burning in water that was on fire.

Coastal fishing and shrimp trawlers had used tubes and buoys to make another burn box, encircling a large area of the water, and trapping the oil. The bird and animal rescue crew shouting back from their smaller vessel that there were birds and dolphins and turtles trapped inside. The BP ship’s captain yelling at the rescue crews to “get out!” and then shouting the orders to the trawlers, “Light it up!”

The faculty could not hear in that horror of flaming darkness, the warnings of the other rescuers and the crew for her not to dive in; “Rainy!” they cried. They could not know what had mysteriously protected her as she rescued the turtles, drawn together desperate for refuge, until a rescue net tossed from the bow of the boat began dragging her own body back as she rolled in near unconsciousness over a dead dolphin towards the desperate and outstretched hands of her anxious sea mates and friends. They could not know why her skin hadn’t charred beneath her wet suit, why her beautiful hair did not singe in the searing water, why her heart remained still beating….

Bullies are the MOTHERLESS.

“If they don’t stop their behavior soon, if they don’t stop violating her body and learn to respect her, and they don’t stop taking from her without love, and without gratitude, then the energies of all that they have destroyed will return…. And all their anger; their greed; their violence; their prejudices and intolerances. The carbon. The plastic. The toxins. And the spirits of all the innocent….

“The Ah-nuh must protect the water…. It is what we must do. It is the purpose of our existence.” There was of burst pulse, like another soft squawk, and another whistle ….

“Maybe then they will listen….”

TO ORDER MOTHERLESS for FREE on amazon prime, click on the title.

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The Mystery of a Man Who Shot Himself

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By Nick Redfern
http://nickredfernfortean.blogspot.com

Back in June of this year I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe titled “The Mystery of the Marconi Deaths.” It began as follows (QUOTE): “To many, it might sound like the ultimate plot-line of the equally ultimate conspiracy-thriller: dozens of scientists and technicians – all working on highly-classified programs, and all linked to one, particular company – dead under highly controversial and unusual circumstances.

“It’s a controversy that ran from the early 1980s to 1991 and remains unresolved to this very day. And it all revolves around the top secret work of a company called Marconi Electronic Systems, but which, today, exists as a part of BAE Systems Electronics Limited. Its work includes the development of futuristic weaponry and spy-satellite technology.” (END OF QUOTE.)

To read the remainder of the article, log on to http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/08/the-mystery-of-a-man-who-shot-himself/

Look for Nick Redfern’s newest book on the Men in Black this Fall.

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VELOCITY: Writing for the On-Demand Generation

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I currently have a book out for sale. This in itself is an amazing vote of confidence in a dying industry but I have a film company that wants to do a feature. So, the book moves on to it’s next stop: the publisher.

What the movies (and by that I mean any film, tv or on-demand network) wants is action. Of course. Movies are about pictures; books are about thoughts, ideas and sometimes pictures, if the writer if really really good.

But my big problem with most writing is the boredom. The scene takes too long; the interior monologue is predictable and I can rarely see how the insides of these characters act when put in the crucible: That’s why you read.

Men love thrillers and the speed with which they read. Men write them, men read them. (Gone Girl was a wonderful anomaly but once again tied to a cliche idea: my man is cheating on me and I want revenge. How about walking out and getting on with your life, Missy?)

Women write “thrillers” too – Patsy Cornwell, Janet Evanovitch, Kathy Reichs. I will read all three when left in an airplane seat, but would never buy one.

Why? Not hard enough. Not rough enough. Not weird enough. This is an on-demand world where story-telling has a real edge, where action is so fast and the pictures so vivid, it is unforgettable.

That’s what I want for a book: You read it like a shot, an entertainment. You react and then over time, you will respond to it’s deeper ideas.(Yes, thrillers have lots of them.)

In a decline from a publishing company, the young editor said, “It moves so fast I can’t keep it straight.”

That gave me a good laugh. A friend of mine spent an entire flight to Italy reading Harold Robbins and when we landed, she said, “I didn’t get who that Alpha Romeo guy in the book was and more importantly, what was he up to…..”

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

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AMAZON: YOU BETTER HOPE YOU’RE BETTER THAN THE REST

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In a shocking expose in The New York Times, the mega-corporation amazon.com was outed for being a really craven crappy place to work.

So why not just go all the way and adopt the tactics of 15th Century Europe. That’s right. No one expects a Spanish Inquisition!

Image little Jeff Bezos in his jaunty khakis turning the wheel on the rack and screaming “Did you program this in the crapper? Looks like it! Smells like it! Works like it!” as one of his minions is stretched into a 6’7″ cubicle worker.

Mechanical Turk breakdown in Department C3? Jeff is there with the Spanish Donkey and The Saw Torture to sort things out. Once sorted, the CFO calls “Bring out ya dead!” as he trails Jeff, off to HR for fresh flesh.

What goes on at amazon is no different than what goes on at countless corporations in America. Amazon and Jeff are watched a little more closely because of their ham-fisted, We-Won’t-Negotiate-With-Your-Ass mentality. It is a fort where conference rooms are at the front of the building (I don’t know who goes deeper inside but you probably won’t) and many departments will not even talk to a consumer about essential publishing problems. You’ll just get an email in a few days that you may or may not understand.

Our tech team lives on the phone with amazon, often solving problems days before they do. And of course, my tech team being a reflection of me – calls and jeers at them. I encourage it, in fact. Because if you are going to throw your weight around and put your employees in the public stocks for having an idea, you just perpetuated the ethos of every small-minded manager everywhere.

Ugh, amazon. Just UGH.

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INSTAGRAM, BOEING, AND VIRGIN AIR INSPIRE YOUNG ERIN DAVIS TO FLY AROUND GLOBE IN SINGLE ENGINE PLANE

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Everyone at www.shadowteams.com love women who love adventure. When we heard about young Erin Davis and her dream of circumnavigating the Earth in a single engine plane, well, she got our Amelia Earhart and Beryl Markham ringing inside us.

In a world where everything is virtual, we salute a young woman grabbing the realness by the tail and living a life filled with challenge and wonder.

1. How old were you when you started flying? Who taught you?

I first gained my love for flying when I was 7. My uncle (who works for Boeing) had an airplane and the first time we went flying and I was able to take the wheel. In that moment I fell in love. My training started when I was 19 and I switched my major to Aviation Science at Utah Valley University. I got my Private Pilot License with the help of my instructor, Marcos Garcia.

2. Was it love at first flight?

Flying was something that I knew I was meant to do, so when I took my first training flight I was overjoyed. I was also overwhelmed when I found out it was going to be harder than I thought.

3. When did your dream of flying a single engine plane around the world take hold? When did it move from dream to reality?

I came across the Instagram profile of the last woman who achieved this feat while sitting through my brother’s graduation this July. I leaned over to my parents and told them I wanted to beat her record. It instantly became a reality when my parents jumped on board and I decided that I could do it no matter what other people said.

4. Your age group is home playing video games and you are undertaking a real, huge adventure that seems a throw-back to the last century. It’s thrilling. What would you say to more young people about real-time challenges?

I came across the Instagram profile of the last woman who achieved this feat while sitting through my brother’s graduation this July. I leaned over to my parents and told them I wanted to beat her record. It instantly became a reality when my parents jumped on board and I decided that I could do it no matter what other people said.

I would tell the youth of my generation to be passionate about something, something wholesome that will push you to achieve your dreams. Don’t take your goals to the grave with you. Think big, bigger than you have ever thought before! When I decided I wanted to achieve this flight I knew some habits had to change. Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. I wake up at 6 and leave my apartment by 7:15. You need to be productive in your day to accomplish your goals.

5. Have you begun to plot your route around the planet? Can you tell us a little about how you plot the route of flying a small plane around the world? Refueling? Staying away from certain geography, no-fly zones, etc?

The route will depend on the international clearances that I receive. The ideal route is starting in Provo Utah; Florida; N/E Brasil; Africa (the country depends on the clearances), Africa is where the clearances get tough and avoiding certain geography starts. After I get through Africa I will be “island hopping” through the Pacific Islands; Hawaii; California; and back to Provo.

6. Are you afraid of being lonely or scared during the flight?

During this flight I will be able to have a navigator with me (hopefully my uncle, or another pilot that I know), so I won’t be too lonely. My biggest worry for the flight is mental and physical fatigue. The average day will consist of eight hours of flying which can take a toll on your body. My plan to fight this fatigue is exercising, training in longer flights, and having food readily available during the flight.

7. Who are your favorite authors who write about flying? James Salter, Beryl Markham, Antoine de St-Exupery, Richard Bach, etc. Do you have favorite movies about flying?

My favorite author is Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin companies. I have been motivated by his determination in starting his businesses, which include the Virgin Airlines. He taught me that even though you may be small or young, you can accomplish great things if you set your mind to it and work hard enough.

8. What do you hope your trip does for young women when they read about it? Create more explorers? Dream bigger? Grab the world by the tail????

Through my flight I want to bring attention to how few women are in aviation, but most importantly I want to inspire the youth to get out and dream. They don’t have to dream about being a pilot (although I would love that), they just need to think big. They don’t need to fit into a mold these days. If they want to break a record, go for it. If there isn’t already a record, who is stopping them from creating one? I want youth to be their own person and to be the best they can. My goal is to inspire those who never thought they could achieve something great because they feel average. My message to them is to look in the mirror, realize that you are not average, tell yourself that you don’t have to be what others make of you, and go out and be great. Find something every day that you like about yourself or something that you are accomplishing, and let others see that in you.

TO FLY WITH ERIN:
Facebook page is Erin Davis, Aviator (www.facebook.com/ErinDavisAviator)
Instagram is emdavisaviator (www.instagram.com/emdavisaviator)
Twitter is @EDavis_Aviator (www.twitter.com/EDavis_Aviator)
Website is davisaviator.wix.com/erindavisaviator

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To fly with us, follow on twitter @shadowteams @skinnysmoothies @Giantsweettart

Yack on Facebook at ShadowteamsNYC Skinny Green Smoothies or Beth Wareham

Elusive Streetlights Confronts her Rape by a Student and the Road to Reclaiming Life in Tea and Madness

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http://www.shadowteams.com
Q&A with C. Streetlights, author of Tea and Madness
(Click on the title to buy the book.)

1.The idea of “know thyself” has existed since the ancient Greeks and here you are in 2015 telling us there is no real, authentic life without knowing yourself. Can you explain?

We live in a time with information readily accessible to us and yet we are no wiser for it. We are information rich but knowledge poor with no real ability to gain the wisdom needed in order to truly authenticate our own existence. I don’t fault anyone for this; in fact, I think it is part of the natural process for us to seek outward influences when shaping who we are. I’ve seen this as I’ve birthed and raised my children – as babies they sought out my voice to find peace, as toddlers they mimicked my actions and phrases. And yet, somehow as we age and move beyond these early childhood development stages, we can’t seem to disregard entirely the need to find other voices or actions to mimic. Instead of finding peace from a mother’s voice, we feel stressed because Google returns over 2.67 billion hits in .44 seconds on the search “How to be real”. Instead of evolving into higher level introspects, we are instead becoming more reliant on outside sources to tell us who and what we should become. The answer to being real and authentic won’t be found in any digital form; the answer is always found when you honestly evaluating yourself and becoming your soul’s best friend.

Until you’re able to hear a stranger’s footsteps in the hallway at night and finally recognize them as your own spirit’s, then you won’t be able to discern who or what is influencing your life’s path.

2. What was the journey you took to self-awareness? Was the book a part of it or a reporting of your journey?

Tea and Madness is a collection of pieces I wrote over approximately 3-5 years. All but I think one or two originally appeared on my blog, Streetlights Imagination when I had no idea or real intention to publish a book. A book had never even crossed my mind! So really, this is a presentation of my life as it unfolded during a time period when my life had fallen apart into unrecognizable pieces and I had to either rebuild or give up. The only life I had known before – a successful and professional teacher, working wife and mother, highly respected in the community – had been completely taken away from me once my sexual assault at the hands of a former student came out. I had no idea who I was anymore. The coping strategies I had created to handle my depression and anxiety disorders disintegrated, my agoraphobia returned, and I was contractually bound by a gag order by my school district. I was forced into living almost a double life that was necessary at the time for survival. I had to not only protect my family from malicious rumors but I also had to protect my reputation from any possible damage if I fell apart outside of my house. Writing gave me freedom, however. I adopted a pen name and the anonymity gave me the security I needed to reclaim my life again.
While I never made a real effort to hide my blog from anyone, I also never expected to promote or publicize it much. Once I opened my Twitter, I hardly ever tweeted a link to anything I had written. I wasn’t ashamed by anything I wrote or even felt insecure. My life at the time was incredibly tumultuous and anxiety-ridden. I didn’t think to share my words. And so I began writing incredibly raw and unfiltered, sometimes feeling desperate to set down a truth I couldn’t share anywhere else. I hesitate to call it “journaling” because I was not recording life events or attempting to play therapist with myself. I was seeking out an understanding of just what the hell had happened to me and most importantly why?

Watching my book come to life was experiencing my voice being heard for the first time. As a rape survivor who never reported this was enormously validating. I could feel a shift in the cosmos as if my planets realigned themselves back to their original course. The district’s gag order had expired some time ago yet due to state school board politics and an unsupportive teacher association, I still have not been permitted to request a hearing for my license to be reinstated. Again, I understood what Lazarus must have felt like the morning after he rose from the dead to have my own voice out in the world for the first time in five years

This book, if anything, is a product of pain and unexpected joy.

3. ‘Know thyself’ seems to speak to the core of taking responsibility for what one thinks and does. How does “know thyself” have ramifications on the larger world?

There seems to be a fear in the world at large to be responsible for spiritual greatness. I don’t mean ‘spiritual greatness’ in terms of an organized religion’s spirituality, but the spirituality of understanding the relationship a person has between herself and the Universe. I remember once being on a highway in Arizona and seeing the Milky Way for the first time. It wasn’t clear or defined but there it was and I was both incredibly insignificant and powerful at the same time. Insignificant because I was nothing compared to something so vast and far-reaching, yet powerful because in all that far-reaching spilt puddle of stars I realized there was only one of Me – no duplication. What was I going to do with the gift of my existence? I truly believe if people recognize that by even existing in relation to the enormity of Universe, and feel in awe of that, there would be such a vibrational shift in society’s effectiveness.

But somehow instead of encouraging each other to take the reigns over their own lives, we have perpetuated a Peter Pan ideology that on our quest to “finding ourselves” it is okay to hurt other people, be reckless with other people’s emotions, or to be reckless period. The opposite is true. We’ve distorted and bastardized the idea of introspection as being inward mobility instead of it actually being outward projection. Thoughtful introspection and reflection shouldn’t move a person to selfishness or even isolation. It should move a person to an understanding of how he or she fits within a more Universal frame and then help that person move forward along a path.

4. If you do not “know thyself,” is love possible? Is happiness possible?

The only real sin is to not be true to who you know you are or can be. According to DMR: Digital Marketing/Stats/Strategy/Gadgets, in 2014, there were an estimated 45 million boards and 176 million pins dedicated to beauty on Pinterest. In the same time frame, there were 4.5 billion pins associated with fashion along with 30 million users who have pinned something fashion related. 94% of all Pinterest activity is by women. I’m not picking on Pinterest because I have an axe to grind; I happen to love Pinterest. I use Pinterest to illustrate the insatiable need we have to fix ourselves when we don’t need fixing. We need to love ourselves; every single ounce of messy shit that happens in our lives is a part of who we are and we don’t need to pin an affirmation to make it true, damn it.

We have to stop being selective in our celebrations of humanity and start recognizing that too much energy is wasted on public packaging.

I needed to share my experience with other women because I know that if there is something women have in common it is the ability we have to undermine our own joy. Women will either break each other down to strengthen a false sense of validation or they will break themselves down so they won’t feel happy at all. There is no misery award. Nobody wins a prize for who can be the most wretched. If you fall into one of these two categories you need to look at yourself in the mirror and honestly say to yourself, “What the hell is so wrong with me that I can’t let myself or other people be happy? Because frankly I am a bitch.” Until someone truly fixes that for herself she won’t ever give herself permission to experience joy from any kind of sorrow.

5. As a teacher and communicator, what do you teach your kids about self-awareness?

I loved being in the classroom with a passion. I always insisted to my colleagues that students would rise to any expectation we placed before them and my students never failed me. From the first day of school to the last, if they knew failure or missing assignments were not an option than they knew the expectation was to turn in all assignments and to do their best work at all times. It doesn’t mean I never had students who pushed limits or boundaries. I did. But it also meant that my students knew they would have to talk about it. I only ever had a handful of “class rules” to discuss at the start of the year, the primary rule being to “be aware of yourself and others”. They weren’t required to raise their hands because I thought that was childish. I didn’t have to raise my hand when I needed to speak to other people, why should they? However they did need to learn how to be respectful of other people’s boundaries and couldn’t speak over voices. If they wanted to add to the discussion or ask a question they needed to wait until another person was speaking, including me. After a couple days of school they learned.

My kids also knew they would have to work for their grades, not only the assignment but also in how they were graded. Essays were submitted with a reflection sheet telling me what they struggled with in particular while writing that the essay and why they thought it was difficult. They also had to identify two specific areas in the paper they wanted my personalized feedback on and then describe what they plan on doing in the revision process. I wanted most of all to move beyond the mentality of “just fulfill the requirement” and step into the role of introspective learner. For the most part it worked.

Above all, my students knew they always had second chances because I believe in redemption. I always accepted late work, most times without penalty. When I asked them what they felt was and fair and reasonable point deduction, students would be fair with me and with themselves. If the assignment was late due to an illness, they would say, they felt it was fair to have no points deducted. I agreed that was reasonable. One student turned in a large project two months late and when I asked him the same question he very honestly replied he shouldn’t earn more than half of his total score. I felt that was reasonable to. Because my students knew I believed in them they believed in themselves. Slowly.

Many times it came through example. I had a student transfer to my class from another school that was labeled as “trouble”. I’m sure she was at some point but I could also see she was a sad girl. She skipped class constantly, was belligerent to staff and other students. She was hurting. Finally one day she walked past my doorway, blatantly showing her presence but refusing to come to class. I had had it. I was about to lose my temper, which was exactly what she wanted. Instead I calmly took attendance, had everyone leave their backpacks and grab our class novel and told them we were going on a field trip. Students were confused – this was definitely not our normal day. We went down one hall and then down another until we finally found her: sitting against the wall in an alcove where the janitor’s office was. I told her that if she didn’t come to class then I was bringing class to her. We all sat down and I began to lecture and read with my students. This happened about two or three more times until she finally began coming on her own every day, but not before one of the popular kids in my class asked “Why are we doing this for her? If she doesn’t come that’s her problem not hers!” I looked at him and scolded, “No. If one is lost we are all lost. That’s why we do this.”

I miss being in the classroom.

To buy Tea and Madness, click on the title.

Follow us on twitter @Shadowteams @SkinnySmoothies @Giantsweettart
Or talk on Facebook at Shadowteamsnyc Skinny Green Smoothies or Beth Wareham

Careers have changed. Have you?

www.LisaHaganBooks.com

He’s the RecruiterGuy, Bill Humbert, author of Employee 5.0, and he says the new normal requires that everyone have a job search on simmer.

Why? Because when markets tumble – and oh boy do they tumble – corporate leaders close ranks and begin shedding employees to collapse expenditures. Even after a career of great strategic moves, odds are in today’s world, you’ll find yourself on a job hunt you didn’t anticipate.

How can you find your power in such a powerless situation? ALWAYS HAVE A JOB SEARCH ON SIMMER, says Humbert. That’s right: No matter how much you might love your current job, keep looking.

Here’s are three ideas to give you a running jump on your next job search::

  1. No matter where you are in your career, take phone calls from recruiters and human resource executives. If you aren’t interested in the job, cultivate the contact and provide some great names for them to pursue. Stay in contact.
  2. Continually update your list of skills and impacts as you acquire more and more success in your position.  This helps you stay strong and confident in your skills while creating an important list for you to build upon for your next job search.
  3. Keep networking. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go to two industry cocktail parties a week. This means you stay involved from time to time, show yourself, and offer support and ideas to others.

Humbert has made a bold promise in his new book Employee 5.0. In twelve steps worked diligently every day, Humbert says you’ll have a job in 90 days. We believe him; he sure has the clients to prove it.

Log on to www.LisaHaganBooks.com

Follow us on twitter @LisaHaganBooks

Chat on Facebook at Lisa Hagan Books 

 

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