Nassau’s Negligent Murderers

/bethwareham

Psssst! Something happened to me and I saw the future. The end is not nuclear and its not aquatic. It’s human beings willfully leaving their brothers and sisters to die, for money.

Let me explain. I was taken off a passport line in Nassau, Bahamas, suffering from severe dehydration. American Airlines would not let me fly and rightly so. They put me and my husband in an ambulance to Princess Margaret Hospital, the great killing machine of the Bahamas.

In the waiting room, gurneys are everywhere, end-stage AIDS and Alzheimer’s patients, smeared with their own feces, lay groaning and screaming. They get up and wander around and all the nurses and doctors do is call security. I saw a dead man on a gurney – no way that man was a color that could have sustained life – with his dinner of baked chicken leg and rice strewn all over his body.  In fact, bodies are stacked up in every hallway, waiting to be delivered to another part of the hospital or to the morgue.

After 5 hours, a little man – he’s a nurse it turns out – appears all sweaty and beleaguered and begins taking blood pressure readings and everyone’s temperature. It is the first time anyone has asked my name — in five hours. He turns my rehydration tube back on – it’s the first liquid I’ve been given in 5 hours – and that’s it. I will find him again before I leave and tell him what I think of him.

They take me to the back of the hospital and once again ask me my name and begin filling out a form. A mother is chasing her son who is wrapped in bloody bandages up and down a hall. A janitor, complete with milky eyeball, pushes a broom in front of me, asking me to pick up my feet every two minutes.  Then, I have the vision thing.

THIS is how the world ends; doctors who no longer care if people live or die. THIS is how the world ends, with a country whose GDP is 40% tourism, but lets cab drivers and boat operators and waiters die without a thought to them. This is how the world ends, with a Prime Minister, a Minnesota educated physician. who comes home to kill his people.

So this is it. The poor die by the road like a donkey. The middle class save all their lives so they don’t have to die by the road like a donkey, and the rich jet into Nassau for rarefied medical treatment unavailable in the United States. Yeah, that’s how it ends.

In the sixth hour on the killing room floor, I went and found my sweating nurse. I asked him how much longer and he said, “at least 2 hours.’ I blew sky high. Rage, tears. Even security was frightened. I found my husband who shouted over the writhing bodies, “WE’LL CHECK INTO A HOTEL AND TAKE JET BLUE OUT OF HERE!” I whirled around toward Nurse Sweaty and ripped him a new one.

I recovered with the help of  $60 in gatorade and a case of bottled water. And at every meal, the wait-staff told me their stories:

“My little brother went into the Princess Margaret Hospital one morning and by evening, he was dead.”

“My father checked in with a huge stomach like a pregnant woman. In three days, he died and no one knew why.”

And on and on it goes. Even in our hotel room, we could not escape. A local cable channel station ran death announcements and guess where every death had taken place: Princess Margaret Hospital.

The young people of the Bahamas want to do something; I talked to at least 20 of them while I was rehydrating. They brought me their friends who had stories after telling me their own. Napkins with scrawled phone numbers were slipped to me as I stood in the buffet line. “She has a story. So-and-so lost her baby.” The suffering was unspeakable.  The people of the Bahamas – dignified, hardworking, deeply spiritual, kind and funny — deserve so much better than this.

The beauty of the country was thrilling but I think I’ll steer clear of the Bahamas going forward; I’ve seen their killing machine. Africa was kinder to me when in distress and even in the remote bush, there were better medical facilities for human beings.

I don’t know if Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis took the Hippocratic oath; he was educated at the University of Minnesota before going on to medical school in Jamaica. I know he did his residency at Princess Margaret Hospital (OB/Gyn for god’s sake.) I also believe that just as a doctor should be sued for malpractice on an individual, he should be sued (or put in jail?) for MALPRACTICE ON A COUNTRY.

And by the by, Dr. Minnis’s personal wealth is estimated at over $10 million. Not bad for a doctor, eh? And believe me or not, on a one website, he relaxes playing the cowbell. I’ll bet it’s one hot cowbell, swiped from the hands of people who need healthcare.

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Real Monsters

by beth wareham, Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Hagan Books

I don’t believe in monster monsters; there are just too many horrifying people to get past.      I believe what you see can hurt you so don’t worry about beasts in the forest. (Nor the fins in the sea; shark attack stats are stacked high in your favor.)  I moved through the world without fear.

That’s before I walked into the room where my husband was watching a documentary about the Menk, the Russian Yeti, or Big Foot to you. In 1959, nine students in Siberia set off on a camping trip and never returned. Rescue parties found them later, scattered half-way across a plain before the land rose up toward the Mountain of the Dead.

The tent had been ripped open from the inside; none of the students were there.  One group had run into the tree-line; another in the other direction. One group was slumped around remnants of a fire, as if they had been trying to stay warm.  The cause of death would later be judged exposure. The other group was scattered about. All died of  internal injuries; it was almost as if they had been tossed in the air and brought down on a rock. One young woman had her tongue pulled out.

The bodies and their belongings were brought down out of the mountains and examined.    A camera with film — all the shots taken – was found and developed. This photograph (above) was the last one on the roll. (If you ever find yourself in Siberia, there is a museum dedicated to this event. You can even see the negatives.)

Tonight, Wednesday April 3, our favorite monster hunter Nick Redfern joins The Travel Channel’s new series In Search of Monsters, traveling to the spots in the United States where you are most likely to catch a glimpse (and hopefully that’s it) of our Menk, Big Foot. Here’s some recent data on sightings from the Big Foot Field Researchers Organization:

Washington                 2032 registered sightings

California                     1697 registered sightings

Pennsylvania               1430 registered sightings

For more information on Big Foot\ destinations, tune into In Search of Monsters on The Travel Channel.

Check out Nick’s books on monsters and the paranormal.

Visit his publisher on Facebook at Lisa Hagan Books or tweet to us at @LisaHaganBooks

 

 

Searching for a Lost Son

Joe McQuillen is just a regular American dad who, after his son’s early death, embarked on a journey to reconnect with his lost child, soul to soul, in any way possible. His journey became a great love song to the bond of father and son, a relationship that extends far beyond the line between life and death.

Visit Joe McQuillen, author of My Search for Christopher on the Other Side https://mysearchforchristopher.home.blog

Q     When you were meeting with mediums since Chris’ death you kept very good notes.  Did you know you would eventually write a book?

A     Absolutely  not.  I thought I was keeping notes so that at some later time sitting on a porch  in a rocking chair I would have something to refer back to.

Q     Did you buy into mediums from the beginning.

A     From the beginning I was given enough evidence to know that I was communicating with someone I loved on the other side.  The more evidence I was given the more convinced I became

Q     Did you ever meet with a medium and flat out strike out

A     I did.  It was on his birthday about 3 ½ months after he crossed.  But I wasn’t about to throw in the towel.  Like chefs and relief pitchers I believe a medium can have an off day.  I also believe spirits are more comfortable with some mediums than others.  And the reason for that is …… I have no friggin Idea.

Q     Give me a few examples of mediums telling you things no one else could know.

A     On June 30th 2016 I met with Andrew Anderson for the first time and he told me Chris acknowledged that I was planting something recently at his grave and that I was wearing a bracelet Chris gave me.  I was in fact at his grave that vey morning planting shamrock seeds.  I had also put on a bracelet Chris gave me in Disney World when he was 5 or 6 years old.  I hadn’t put in on in 16 years but it was indeed under my right cuff.

Q  Writing had to keep you in grief.  Did you ever consider just walking away from it

A     Not once.  While the writing at times did keep me in grief it also kept me connected to him.  And although sometimes the grief felt overwhelming it was worth it…. Every time.

To order My Search for Christopher, click on the title 

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Book People

Lisa Hagan Books

When I first saw this picture, I fell out. I cried and cried, inexplicably, and spent days sorting through my reaction.  Here was my business partner’s grandmother paused in the shop she owned – now long closed –  book clutched to her chest while staring into the middle distance.  What was she thinking? Was she dreaming about the life she wanted to live next? Was she full of regret? A little of both?

Was she thinking, “if I were Madame Bovary, I would have just split…” or “if the Greeks had worked out as much as the Spartans, they wouldn’t have lost.” Maybe she was pondering using living room curtains for a dress to impress Rhett or the fact that Gatsby was alive in East Hampton. But she’s not talking and that’s the point. Books are someone else’s dreams that you get to hold, change and make your own. Books start the conversation between you and your God about who you want to be, what life you want to live.

This woman brought the book life to her small rural corner of Virginia; a town called Bracey. Her daughter would grow up and move to New York City, became a literary agent and pioneer a genre on her own. Her daughter’s daughter joined her there, three generations of Virginia women building a massive legacy in books. I admire them all.

This picture, this picture. She is certainly in her golden years but could also be 10 or 12, under the covers with a flashlight learning about all the things that are out there beyond her room.   She only got as far as Washington D.C before marriage pulled her back home to the tobacco farm.  Thank goodness it did because if it hadn’t, she wouldn’t have opened a bookstore and taught Bracey how to dream some new dreams.

 

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WEIRD EDITING

On June 5, 2018, Lisa Hagan Books publishes the latest from the master of weirdness, Nick Redfern. THE BLACK DIARY is a book so dangerous you’ll conjure THEM up just by opening it. And I should know.

I hadn’t thought of ghosts and the paranormal since the days when we held  flashlights under our chins to tell a late night story. I lived in the daylight; business in Midtown, fluorescent lights, swimming pools, beaches.

Then my business partner and her client, the great monster hunter and weird meister Nick Redfern, entered my life. The first Men in Black manuscript arrived and within a week, they began popping up in my world. All the cliched Men in Black characteristics were there; endless telephone interference; black-suited men with pale skin,  fedoras and sunglasses, jerking in and out of view, and strange photographers arriving to snap pictures of the house.  In the midst of a telephone call to Los Angeles, I was talking about a deal getting done and a rasping male voice said “you just think so”  when I remarked it would go forward. My callee did not hear him; the deal fell apart in days.

Being me, I got mad. Things got quiet until one night, I was looking into a mirror and saw two pairs of those skinny, jerky, black-suited legs running down the hall behind me.  I did what any red-blooded American woman would do: I told them off, loudly and with swear words. They didn’t come back. No, those particular ones did not come back.

After Men in Black  was published, Nick sent in another manuscript, Women in Black.  Great, I thought. Now a bunch of skinny women in dark suits will jerk through here. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The process was peaceful, uneventful, boring almost. The women weren’t interested in me, I thought. Phew! We published the book.  I felt that great sense of accomplishment I get whenever another book launches out into the world. It wasn’t until Nick was doing his publicity that I saw her across the street on the stoop. She looked to be an octogenarian or older and was dressed like a 19th century Sicilian widow, all black lace and long black skirts. I jumped into the street and charged toward her, calling “ma’am! ma’am!” just as a Comcast van bore down on me. It passed and she was gone.

Did I make her up? Did I make all of them up? Am I that suggestible? I suspect I am. At the same time, I find it thrilling to think about parallel realties, one where everyone wears black and knows the future. But be forewarned; opening this book will open you up to something. Its origins? No one is sure.

To order your copy of THE BLACK DIARY, click on the title

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TIME FOR SUMMER

From Gabrielle Myers, celebrated chef, poet and author of HIVE MIND.

“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 Contents May Have Shifted

THE RECIPE

The late spring BBQ season comes with a rush as cherry trees flush with fruit and tall grasses tangle against our ankles. Rather than rely on additive and sugar-packed store bought BBQ sauces, follow this recipe to make your own savory sauce. Ridiculously easy to make, BBQ sauce should accentuate the fattiness of the falling off the bone rib meat. Instead of the odd and likely chemically processed liquid smoke, use naturally smoked paprika to give the sauce a smoky kick. The lycopene in the tomato paste and the Manganese and Magnesium rich molasses make this sauce leap with health benefits.

Rub for the ribs:
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
½ teaspoon black pepper
Salt, to taste

BBQ Sauce:
7 ounces organic San Marzano tomato paste
2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons smoky paprika
½ teaspoon garlic paste (make fresh)
Salt, to taste

1. Put all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl.
2. Mix the ingredients well.
3. After the ribs have cooked for 1.5 hours at 315 degrees Fahrenheit, lather the sauce on both sides of the ribs.
4. Turn the ribs about every 30-40 minutes as they cook for another hour or hour and half. Add more sauce to cover the ribs as necessary. Once they pull away from the bone, the ribs are done. If you like to grill, place the ribs on a low flame and gently grill them for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.

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Beware of Acquisition Synergies: Lay Offs

by Bill Humbert, RecruiterGuy.com

“U.S. companies are poised to launch a merger and acquisition spree fueled by the recent tax overhaul, reports the Wall Street Journal. A new Ernst & Young survey of 500 major company executives showed 73 percent plan to “accelerate” deal-making strategies with 48 percent of them willing to pay more for acquisitions in light of tax reform.” (Corridor Business Journal)

Over the past 37 years as a recruiter, I have seen a pattern that appears to be repeating. It is an interesting pattern that impacts many professionals in a negative way.

With the new tax laws in place, professionals do benefit with increases in spendable income. Unfortunately (or fortunately in some cases), it gives corporations more profitability.

How can that be a bad thing? Those companies will have more profits to acquire other companies. They will take advantage of “synergies” created by the acquisition.

What are synergies? Let’s look at the acquisition of one bank by another. If both banks have a branch at opposite ends of a shopping mall, will they keep both branches open after the acquisition? No, not if they are taking advantage of the “synergies” created by the merger. What does this mean to the workers at one of the branches? They need my book to find their next job.

Continuing to use the banks as the example, will they need two Demand Deposit IT organizations? No. Will they need two whole Personal Banking organizations? No. Will they need two Vice Presidents of Human Resources? No. Will they need two Chief Financial Officers? No. You can see how this process flows.

Unfortunately, especially since companies tend not to have success metrics in place for their annual reviews, excellent performers are released at the same time as poor performers.

Certainly, some of you reading this blog have been caught up in one of these reductions in force. Over the years, I either recruited or career transition coached some of you.

How do you avoid becoming one of the victims of these synergies? Become Employee 5.0. This is a person who ALWAYS has their search for a new position on simmer, ready to turn to boil as soon as the rumors of an acquisition begin to swirl around their company.

The choice is yours. Be the victor or be the victim. Now is the time to start plotting your next career move, not when the corporation tells you to.

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Getting a copy of Employee 5.0 is a really good start. Use this simple system and you’ll have job offers in 90 days, guaranteed.

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Poets & Food

Below is a recipe from author Gabrielle Myers, author of the HIVE MIND, the story of a doomed love affair set on a farm in Northern California. Myers is as good with grilling tongs as she is with selecting the perfect word.

PRAISE FOR HIVE MIND
“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 Contents May Have Shifted

Hedgehog Mushroom, Green Garlic, Pistachio Relish

This relish accentuates the wild Hedgehog mushroom’s delicate woodsy flavor with a backdrop of spicy green garlic and pistachio’s round buttery crunch. When wilted, the creamy yellow and orange ‘shroom turns brown as the flavor gets concentrated and the water in the flesh evaporates.
Hedgehogs have a long growing season and are widely available for a wild mushroom. These fungal gems also contain high levels of vitamin D and selenium (Baldy).
Spoon the relish over the crispy skin of pan-roasted chicken breasts or thighs, marinated tofu, or a juicy rib-eye steak. You can prepare this relish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, but don’t add in the chopped pistachio until right before serving—this will help retain its crunch.

1.5 cups, sliced Hedgehog mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil to cook the Hedgehogs
1 tablespoon, roasted and chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon, chopped sage
1 teaspoon chopped Castelvetrano olive
1 teaspoon finely chopped green garlic (or shallots)
¼ teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to finish
Salt, to taste

1. Heat up a medium fry pan on high heat, add the olive oil, and throw in the sliced Hedgehogs.
2. Shake the pan and stir the Hedgehogs as they cook. They will lose their liquid and then start to brown. Once the liquid is released, turn the heat down to medium. Aim for a slight golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. Right before the Hedgehogs are done cooking, add in a pinch of salt and the green garlic (or shallots), cook them for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the chopped sage for a final minute of cooking.
4. Set the pan aside to cool.
5. Once the pan is cool, add in the Balsamic.
6. Right before serving, add in the chopped pistachios.

Baldy, Meagan. “Fall in Love with Fungus.” News from Native California, vol. 29,       no. 3, Spring2016, p. 19. EBSCOhost,proxy.deltacollege.edu:8080/login?       url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=113773061&site=eds-live&scope=site.

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#writering: Hey Harper Lee Estate, Why Care Now?

#writering is an occasional column by Beth Wareham, co-founder of Lisa Hagan Books.

 

I’m calling bullshit on the Harper Lee estate. I know some of the actors – and I choose that word carefully and correctly – and their greed at the end of Harper’s life took Atticus Finch away from us.

Let me explain. Harper Lee published one book in her lifetime – To Kill a Mockingbird. She did not publish – nor would publish – another book. She also never allowed another film version of the book because she loved the Gregory Peck one so much.  When she died, her estate whipped out To Set a Watchman, the prequel to Mockingbird, and Harper Collins raced to publish.  It was a multi-million dollar deal, big by publishing standards.

The problem? To Set a Watchman was about the racist, unconscious Atticus Finch. (And God knows, we have plenty of those characters, imagined and real.) When her editor at Harper Collins read it all those years ago, the editor said, “go back home and try again.” Brilliant words, it turned out. A wonderful couple in New York City paid Harper’s expenses for a year and she wrote her masterpiece. America now had Atticus and he is an important figure in all our imaginations, a morality that goes where we do.

So now, the estate is swooping in to control the Broadway play that Aaron Sorkin is mounting.  That’s all fine and good – it’s their property – but don’t come to the aid on Harper’s behalf. You already sold her and Atticus out for money, something she managed to avoid in her lifetime. The play was produced everywhere by school children because again, money wasn’t her thing.

Because Harper was a great artist – she took a huge societal cruelty and fought it with a story – and her “estate” is a bunch of moist-handed “businessmen,” I’m going to skip the Broadway play – if it happens. I skipped the second book and To Kill a Mockingbird is here on my beside, where it will stay.

How about this, everyone. Stop messing with To Kill a Mockingbird and let future generations discover To Kill a Mockingbird by reading it. Let the Atticus feng-sui cover them like warm caramel as they begin to feel their own moral center, a world based on fairness, kindness, and the idea we are all innocent until proven guilty.

More Atticus, I say. Less everything else.

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#writering: Forget Coal, It’s Publishing

Photo: A group of editorial assistants strike out for lunch at Chipotle, New York City, 2018.

#writing is an occasional blog about writing, editing and publishing by Beth Wareham, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books.

Yup, we’ve gone down the rabbit hole. No longer is a complete sentence of value to much of anyone. Shouts, blurts, name-calling and a general idiot wind are the order of the day. And everywhere, glorious coal waves as they chip away at the cilia in our lungs. (Land in Beijing and their coal dust-saturated air triggers a chest infectionin in MINUTES. Wow! That’s coal!  Let’s also celebrate what coal does to our drinking water too. Yummy!)

As coal spreads out, the “John Q Editor has left the company” email rebounds across the electrified universe at an alarming rate. Agents, writers and editors stare into space and murmur, “does ANYONE still work in publishing?”   An actual publishing company seemed to disappear overnight and everyone was left holding every kind of bag. Heck, everyone I know left except the ones that weren’t any good at it.

I feel bad for coal miners. They were made obsolete through technology. So was the steel worker. You can make a ton of steel in an hour with just one person because of automation. I feel bad for the publishing worker too; but less bad because he or she is supposed to be smart — and I’m not talking about the ability to talk about Henry James.

Technology has overrode much of publishing too. Get rid of that ridiculous office and layers of nonsensical workers and take to the machines. That’s all you need to make a book. Focus on the language, strengthening it for future generations. Focus on subjects the world NEEDS, rather than your idiotic and vague suppositions about what you think will sell. Develop GOOD and it will sell. Take the time you spent in manufacturing and join the 21st century. Make the writing as good as it can get.

That’s the hard part; great writing. “Fire and Fury” is not going to do it. Something big, meaningful, profound. Just because so many great stories have gone visual doesn’t degrade the imagination; images enhance it. Watching Netflix is not the enemy; focusing on it as the enemy is the enemy.

No, you’re not a coal miner. You’re a writer or an editor or a publisher. Work harder on your words. Delight someone. I swear, words burn hotter and longer than coal and don’t give you a lung infection.

You’ll be writing and dreaming years after the last vein has been tapped out and the last miner rips off his Davey Lamp, enters the cage and rises up. Coal will truly be over – as it should be – and publishing will still be okay because our need to learn and connect through stories will never go away.

I am hopeful that coal will pass (it’s not healthy for human or planet!) and publishing will finally ride those machines and be of interest to many.  Then, the publishing overlords (not cool ones like in Game of Thrones, believe me) might let some of these workers live. Publishing could use the extra hands.

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