Q&A With UFO Researcher Nick Redfern

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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 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.

Failing through Busy-ness? Stop.

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from Nan Russell’s It’s Not About the Time 

There are many types of pain. Feeling overwhelmed, chronically exhausted, or unable to stretch non-elastic time to t what needs doing is one kind. So is wanting to do one thing and having to do another; knowing the people you love most feel low on your priority list; or giving up hope you’ll ever move toward that life dream.

When you believe you can time-manage yourself out of that kind of pain, which is what I tried for years, life tends to offer its version of a wake-up call: head- aches, illness, anger, outbursts, insomnia, overeating or drinking—you name it. If the pain gets bad enough we seek change.

Consider whether you’re ready:
1. Do you want to move away from the pain of over- whelmed and busy-busy-busy?
2. Are you willing to try something other than more time-management techniques that treat only symptoms?
3. You consider with an open mind that your time- problem isn’t about time.
Consider the statements below. If you’ve had enough and want to change it, check it. If it’s out of control sometimes, but more okay for you than not, leave it blank.

  1. I’m tethered to work 24/7/365; people can reach me via cell anytime and they do.
  2. I use at least part of the weekend to catch up on work.
  3. My life and responsibilities are over owing my ability to get everything I want done.
  4. I don’t have any time to think or be creative and that hurts the quality of my work.
  5. I have out-of-control numbers of unopened emails and just ignore some.
  6. I need to delegate more but have no time to train or hire anyone.
  7. My New Year’s resolution was to improve work-life balance and I broke it in weeks.
  8. Significant others in my life complain about my lack of time and attention.
  9. I feel at the end of my rope more days than not.
  10. I can’t remember the last time I unplugged and relaxed, even on vacation.
  11. I feel compelled to check my phone every few minutes to make sure I don’t miss something important.
  12. I know that stress and pressure are affecting my health and well-being.
  13. I keep hoping things at work and home will change.
  14. 14. There are so many things I’d like to do, but I just don’t have time to do them.

Self-scoring: Only you know if something is too much, too little, or just right for you. However, typically if you checked eight or more, i.e. more than half, there’s a consistent problem that time-management alone is unlikely to solve.

To enter to win a 1-hour consult with Nan, go to twitter and retweet @shadowteams

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RETWEET: WIN 1 HR W/TIME EXPERT

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Nan Russell is a business-time management consultant who has met her share of talent in need of direction. Her latest book, It’s Not About the Time  will help you harness your talent and put it on what matters to you the most.

Stop twirling and learn to prioritize and say no. Learn what has meaning and where you should put your focus, never allowing just anyone to pull you off your course. Life happens. But with It’s Not About the Time, you have new tools to accomplish YOUR wants and needs.

In your hour consult, you’ll talk about:

  • Your goals, immediate and long term
  • How you spend your days
  • How you should spend your days
  • How to set boundaries and use time
  • How to do what you love for more hours everyday
  • Have a good life that matters to you and the people you care about

Is this a conversation you need to have?

Email Beth@LisaHaganBooks.com or Lisa@LisaHaganBooks.com to join the contest.

Entries should be received before March 15, 2017.

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#Cliches are not good, but… #writing

 

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from Keep It Short by Charles Euchner

#CLICHES

To give clichés life—to make them fresh and original again— find something surprising to add to them.

Too often, we use familiar ideas without really under- standing their meaning. We repeat phrases and ideas carelessly.

When we overuse expressions, we live in a fool’s paradise. We cannot hold a candle to the halcyon days, our salad days, when we suited the action to the word and revealed the naked truth. But we give short shrift to language, writing with neither rhyme nor reason. And we lose such stuff as dreams were made of, at’s neither here nor there, since these expressions are dead as a doornail. Coming full circle, we realize, more in sorrow than anger, and it’s a foregone conclusion that overuse of such terms is a fatal vision. So, in one fell swoop, we throw cold water on it.

All of those expressions come from Shakespeare. ese expressions once expressed ideas with freshness and originality. But used over and over, they have lost their vitality. Too o en, we use these clichés not because they express ideas well, but because they o er a simple way to say something. ey let us say something without thinking.

Remember you want to make the reader see, feel, helpless, harmless. Milo’s dead.” By using the slack, disinterested tone of a gumshoe, Lynch moves us away from sickly sentimentality.

 

Samuel Beckett uses clichés in playful ways to make them fresh. He writes: “Personally I have no bone to pick with graveyards.” And then, describing the odor of graveyards, he added that he will breathe in the smell of corpses “when take the air I must.” In her memoir of family suicide, Joan Wickersham freshens a stale image: “Cal may have had pots of family money, but my husband didn’t even have a small saucepan.”

Whenever possible, though, avoid clichés. Lush detail—observation of sights, sounds, smells—helps to create original expressions.

Nack could just say, “I thought about that horse day and night. I couldn’t get Secretariat out of my mind. It popped up no matter where I was or what I was doing” Zzzzzz. Instead, Nack uses compelling images to show how Secretariat shaped every minute of his life.

Write like Bill Nack. Always look for the fresh images—ideas that are familiar, but which other writers have not used before—to help the reader experience the scene –

smell, taste, touch, imagine—and think of more familiar the images, the less you will engage your reader.

“Cliches,” Geoffrey Hill notes, “invite you not to think.” Cliches give use easy, lazy was of expressing our- selves. As Hill notes, “you may always decline the invitation.” When you feel tempted to use a cliché, stop. Get in the habit of considering how to state a point simply—or think of a fresh, original way of making a point.

To avoid the dreariness of clichés, play with them. Start by looking at its literal meaning. Porter Abbott explains:

When the orator urges his or her auditors “to strike while the iron is hot,” how many of them see the sweating blacksmith at his forge and feel his magical transmutation into new meaning? The answer is none. But when one tramp suggests to another that “it might be better to strike the iron before it freezes” the original vehicle is revived in its literal state.

Taking words literally reveals the cliché’s original insight. When you do a genealogy of clichés, you discover vibrant images that can be revived.

When you change the context of cliché, you can give it new life. In a memoir of his life as an undertaker, Tomas Lynch writes about the death of a neighbor: “Milo is dead. X’s on his eyes, lights out, curtains.”

 

For more details on Keep It Short, click on the title.

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Write with the Body

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…excerpt from KEEP IT SHORT by Charles Euchner 

#SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Reading is a sensual experience. So use the senses to connect with the reader’s physicality.

Consider the following questions:

You are in a store, checking out backpacks. You are looking for a leather one. How do you go about checking whether the item is made of leather or man-made materials?

You are riding in a cab. A nostalgic, sad song is playing, followed by one with an upbeat rhythm and a sexual pulse. How would the music affect your mood?

When you are in an art gallery, in what manner do you look at the paintings?

Do you enjoy petting furry animals (allergies aside)?

You are given a bouquet of flowers. Your first reaction would be…

You are a completely alone on a private island and there is a crystal-clear lake. It’s hot and you could use a swim. You …

You have set out to furnish your living room. What would best describe the type of furniture that you choose?

 

Whatever you write, think consciously about the physical words you use.

Sight: What do we see when we see? We see brightness, color, shapes, texture, and proportions. We see relation- ships between things.

Often, when I am working on research or a draft, I need to visualize what I’m thinking before I understand it. So I draw pictures—shapes showing relationships, levels of importance, movement, and more.

If you can get your reader to see your subject, you have won the battle. It’s as if you’re side by side, look- ing at a painting in a museum, like Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” See those lonely people in the diner? It’s late. Nothing’s happening outside. Everyone looks so alone. But the couple—they’re together, right? Are they on a date or just getting a smack after a long night at work. They don’t look intimate. The soda jerk is paying attention, though. What about that man at the end of the diner? He’s really alone. Once you start to see the pictures, you start to tell the story—and interpret what it means.

Also give your writing color. The colors’ many qualities—primary or secondary, dark or bright, simple or complex—contribute to a mood. In music, color describes a piece’s emotional feel. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony evokes darkness, while his Fourth evokes brightness.

Colors also conjure emotions. Red evokes power and sexuality, yellow intelligence and joy, blue tranquility.

 

How do you feel about things like the smell of a spring breeze, the air shortly after rain, a brisk winter wind, the ocean, or a sunny day?

How often do you engage in meditation or deep breathing exercises?

When walking down the beach, do you take off your shoes or sandals?

When you read a novel, do you picture the scenes in your head as you’re reading them?

These questions are part of a sensuality test that Psychology Today posts on its website. (Take it yourself at http://bit.do/sensualitytest.) The test helps you to under- stand just how physically you experience the world with your senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell.

My purpose here is to get you to write physically. Even when exploring dry and abstract topics, I want you to think sensually. When you do, you can connect with your reader—capture her attention, hold it, get it to consider your ideas wholeheartedly, and remember and reflect what you want to convey.

Language, I submit, is a physical experience. When you use language well, you can make your audience con- nect with the topic physically. A description of cold cre- ates a shiver; of music, a sense of rhythm and time’s pac- ing and feel; of texture, a tactile feeling of smoothness or roughness or slipperiness or more; of light or shapes, a sense of appearance.

 

Sound makes us pause, lean in, and listen. Sound makes us attentive. Think of the times in your life when you stopped doing something … because … you heard something. “What’s that?” you asked. You could not con- tinue until you learned something about the sound. You needed to find out whether it mattered.

The power of language is really the power of sound. Alliteration—the repetition of the same consonant sounds—somehow evokes meaning. S’s sometimes sound slithery, sometimes soft, and sometimes hissing. K’s sound hard and abrupt, almost like a collision or an attack. L’s sound lilting and lithesome, light and uplift- ing. P’s sounds somewhat silly, plopping and plunking and puffing along. We could go on.

Don’t think too hard. Just listen to the sounds you write and pay attention to how they make you feel. You’ll know when there’s a fit and when there’s not. Now look at these images: blue is patience but also coldness and depression, orange – courage and confidence, endurance and friendliness, and green money and nature.

From Keep it Short by Charles Euchner 

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3 WAYS TO MAKE PEACE WITH STRESS

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from It’s Not About the Time by Nan Russell, Lisa Hagan Books, 2017

 

While we don’t react to stress the same or feel the same things are stressful, most of us still get stress wrong. We believe it’s harmful, when in fact, the right kind of stress is helpful. Consider these facts:

  • The right stress is good for you! Stress expert Bruce McEwen of Rockefeller University identified three types: good stress, tolerable stress, and toxic stress. The stress most of us have, most of the time, isn’t “tolerable” or “toxic” stress, but good stress. Stanford researchers found: “a confrontation with a co-worker, the pressure to perform, a to-do list that’s too long— are not the toxic type of stress that’s been linked to serious health issues. Short bouts of this type of everyday stress can be a good thing.” Who knew an impending project deadline could be good for you?
  • There are benefits to stress. Firdaus Dhabhar, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University, along with a team of researchers, found not only that moderate, transient stress heightens our immunity, but “short bursts of stress can paradoxically enhance memory and learning.” We optimize these benefits with no stress periods

Life Happens—Dealing with Stress, Change, & Being Overwhelmed

interspersed with “regular hits of acute stress,” i.e. short-lived stress. While chronic stress can be toxic, acute stress can be protective and helpful.

• How you view your stress matters. Studies involving 30,000 civil service workers in Britain found “heart disease and mortality rates increased steeply with every step down the ladder.” Low status and lack of control were key factors in that disparity. But, even more interesting was their discovery on beliefs. Those who believed stress impacted their health, regardless of their job or initial health, were found within the 18-year follow up to have double the risk of heart attack. A large U.S. study found the same result about stress beliefs and health. Bottom line? If you view your stress as detrimental, it’s more likely to be. If you believe stress provides you with life’s energy or consider it “a kind of engagement with life,” as health psychologist and author Kelly McGonigal puts it, that thinking will serve you better.

To read more about the book, click on the title It’s Not About the Time. To engage the author, click on the name Nan Russell.

 

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Join our twitter conversation every Thursday with the #hashtag #ThursdayWrites

 

 

We Serve Writers #ThursdayWrites

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Lisa Hagan Books

We are a publishing company owned by writers and agents, a new experience in a new world order. The internet made it possible. The writers make it fly.

Our ideas are simple:

  1. Help writers write.
  2. Connect writers with other professionals that can help them write and publish.
  3. Put books together with core readership.
  4. Live in the world of ideas.

Yup. Four things we want to achieve. Just 4. These 4 ideas were formulated after decades in the biggest publishing houses in the country, an experience that drew us FURTHER away from the reasons we got in this business in the first place. We love hands-on work with creative minds. We love the joy of seeing those ideas made manifest in two covers and a bunch of nicely trimmed pieces of paper. Or, better yet, tiny pixels that allow us to take a library anywhere we go.

We use a distributor based in Chicago for those works that need traditional distribution. Still others are tailored to work solely online. Depends on the subject and what the author hopes to achieve.  In today’s world, more is possible and we are reaching further to offer different types of reading experiences that suite different needs.

Talk to us, we’re always here.

@Shadowteams  or @GiantSweettart on Twitter

@ShadowteamsNYC on Facebook

Or, send us an email: Beth@LisaHaganBooks.com or Lisa@LisaHaganBooks.com

We mean it. And join the conversation every Thursday when writers, agents, and publishing professionals chime in about their projects, tell you what they are searching to publish, and solve writing problems right there in the twitter feed. #ThursdayWrites 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Sins of Bullshit Writing

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from Charles Euchner’s KEEP IT SHORT: A Practical Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (click on title to read more)

If you don’t know what your ideas are, if you haven’t flushed out details or set your purpose clearly, you might commit one, two or all three sins of bullshit writing. And that, says Euchner, is when “things get ugly. When we try to bull our way through sentences and paragraphs.”

The 3 deadly sins of bullshit writing are:

•We repeat ourselves.

•We use vague phrasing – adjectives and generalizations – instead of clear crisp logic                and details.

•We ramble, piling words and phrases, with a hope we will discover some telling detail  or concept, but usually moving further and further away from the point.

 

When you feel any of this creeping in, you know you’ve lost the grip somehow. Backtrack and flush the idea, plotting, character development, background research and how you are going to tell you story. We suggest beginners start with the beginning, move on to the middle and then give us the end.

If you see any of those those 3 deadly sins popping up a lot in that book in your hand, you may want to put it down and go get another. Life’s short and there are just too many great books to read.

Join us every Thursday on Twitter with the hashtag

#ThursdayWrites and tell us what you’re working on. 

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WRITERS: LEARN THE ART OF #YO-YO

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/BethWareham

In Charles Euchner’s fine new book on writing, KEEP IT SHORT: A Practical Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, he talks about the #yo-yo, a device for moving between physical action to backstory then backstory to action and so on. #Yo-yo back and forth to keep it interesting and surprising for the reader.

“If you don’t give your reader variety, you will get stuck in long and overwhelming passages. So yo-yo from long to short, specific to general, physical to cerebral,” writes Euchner.

Think of a garden. “I hate a style, as I do a garden, that is wholly flat and regular,” said William Shenstone, an English poet and also one of the first landscape architects. “It slides along like an eel, and never rises to what one can call an inequality.”

To understand what he means, go to Central Park. You’ll see hills and fields, a lake, rock outcroppings and copses throughout the land. It varies from high to low, open to forest, dry to wet.

That’s what your writing should do. Sentences should vary in length between powerful subject and verb, one-two punches, and longer, more expository sentences. In short, keep it interesting. #Yo-yo it.

The best writing moves back and forth, from the density of exposition to the openness of narrative. We need the pack of information the exposition gives us. But we also need the journey that stories give us. As Frank Sinatra crooned about love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other.

#yo-yo it. Your writing will soar.

To order, click on the title here: Keep it Short .   You’ll find step by step #yo-yo instructions along with everything else you need to be an enthralling writer in this brave new world.

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Chat on Facebook    ShadowteamsNYC      Beth Wareham

 

 

 

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