The Clinton’s Basement

/Beth Wareham

Poor Chelsea. All kids make out in their parent’s basement and she must have looked so unappetizing in the pulsating blue. Or perhaps she looked more beautiful, blue eyes bouncing back the shiny azure of the server light.

I never cease to be amazed at all the stupid shit the rich and famous need and want – air-pressure chambers, fish toxin injections, panic rooms (though I have one in my head), hair wranglers. But I must say, this “server-in-the-basement” thing is a fantastic new wrinkle in the game of the rich and powerful.

What would I put on my basement servers? Well, it wouldn’t be dick picks. Hillary probably got group blasts of those from congress. I’d put my financial information, most personal exchanges with people I loved and medical information. The stuff that matters.

Hillary is just too damn smart to not have good reasons to have servers in her basement. She has been a target of some of the most humiliating take-down attempts in the history of the Presidency. She’s got a right to be a bit more discerning than most. Whatever you think of her personally, she has served her country tirelessly and deserves our respect and thanks.

So, I say to Hillary, RELEASE AND REDACT whatever you need to; You have served us so well.

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Can books save your life? Seems for Jason Derfuss, the answer is yes. Caught in the crossfire at Florida State University’s shooting, his copy of “The Oxford Context of Wyclif’s Thought” took the shot. Literally. The other two books in his bag slowed it down.

Because this said Mr. Wyclif, author of the book that stopped the shot, was a writer on religion, Mr Derfuss believes that God intervened, not the books.

Perhaps Mr. Derfuss is mistaken: God lives in books and just stepped forward as required.

Remember, it’s all just Point of View.



So, the Man Booker Prize has a crowd-funded, crowd-chosen finalist in this year’s prize. The setting is the UK in 1041. But oh, did it rock the house. Even Jennifer Lopez voted for it.

What happens when rarefied, highly educated, highly prejudiced, highly self-involved gatekeepers give way to the maddening crowd? We are about to see. But I do know this: the Man Booker Prize is helping, along with amazon and other institutions that use electricity to make and distribute books, in making the world a more interesting place.

No, I’m not going to read about muddy England in the 2nd Century. But damn, I’m glad that I CAN if I WANT to. IF I WANT TO, I can put on a deeply cut jumpsuit – just like J Lo – and spend days lost in the world of 1041 England.

Thanks to the crowd, our histories live.

Shadow Teams Creates Publishing-House Experience for Indie, Self-Published Authors

New York City (July 16, 2014) —The self-publishing industry has grown exponentially in the last six years, increasing over 400 percent since 2007 and over 50 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a recent Bowker analysis. Yet authors who choose this route are often on their own in editing, designing, and finishing books to the high standards demanded by today’s readers.

Shadow Teams is stepping up to fill that service gap by providing an affordable and humanized way for authors to self-publish with the expertise of a publishing house.

To meet this rising tide and to address self-publishing authors’ need for quality, Shadow Teams has gathered professionals including content specialists trained in top-grossing publishing companies in New York City and tech experts in Silicon Valley. Together, these behind-the-scenes teams create an efficient and effective experience for authors.

“It’s about story. It’s about information transmitted to a hungry mind. Shadow Teams created a bridge in the publishing process–a perfect partnership with the best tech and editorial worldwide –that will help self-published authors fly,” says Beth Wareham, Founder and CEO

Shadow Teams can handle the marketing and publicity aspects of the book business, offering services from experts who can advise authors on up-to-the-minute best practices in these areas. Other experts in project management and electronic publishing provide information on SEO optimization, big-data mining, state-of-the-art design, blog tours and long-tail publishing.

“A book is an investment of time, money, and dedication for an author,” says Wareham. “And you want an investment to pan out. We provide the expertise that can make the difference between a successful book venture and a frustrating experience that wastes time, money, and quality.”

Shadow Teams is an author-based, results-driven, SEO publishing management company created and run by book and tech-industry experts to help writers self-publish their works with the expertise of a publishing house behind them. All employees are virtual.
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Unknown-1I didn’t expect Ruth. Odds are, if her son had not been a now-famous doctor I met when he was not famous, I would not have Ruth. I certainly wouldn’t have her if I still worked for a trade publishing house. Nobody would publish Ruth: She’s 85. But I do not work for a trade publishing house and that’s where the beauty lies: I can publish Ruth and I can do it brilliantly.

          In all this blah blah blah about amazon, that company made Ruth possible. That company became such a brilliant retailer that heads spin, no one can keep up, and everyone gets angry. So, whats the big deal? Try to keep up as best you can.

        Like the mongoose in Hawaii, amazon has no predators. But it will. It’s nature’s way. Right now, good heads are at work. Incursions will come. It’s capitalism, baby, so don’t whine out of both sides of your mouth, book publishing. No one owes you a living. Innovate.

       But I don’t care about them. I care about Ruth’s story: She’s a wife, mother, teacher, high school principal, community volunteer and smuggler. It’s 1953 and she is in Berlin, smuggling for the “people of the forest” – Jews that survived the concentration camps.  They survived because they were young, strong. They ate bark off the trees, stole goods when they could, did anything they had to do to stay alive. They came to the edge of the trees to meet the car, standing around in ragged clothes.  Her husband Saul is a philanderer. They run dangerous missions across borders for the forest Jews in a hollowed out Mercedes.  They never get caught. This is non-fiction. 

         I look up from the manuscript and can’t believe it. Characters have left the room and Ruth’s voice isn’t in my head, matter-of-factly telling me what she learned about human beings by running gold over International borders after the Holocaust.  She is Jewish and “wanted to do what she could.”

         I can’t believe we almost lost this story and that’s the miracle: Companies such as amazon have given countless people a place to tell stories that never ever would have seen the light of day – and that matters. A whole bunch. 

        Viva amazon. I say. And I can’t wait for that drone to deliver my stuff in 30 minutes.