Thursday, May 30, 2013

Then I Realized... My Main Character is a Failure!

Originally - he was
something like this
By JccKeith

I had some grand plans.  Let me lay it out for you how this all went down.  I had this great idea for a story.  I had this kick-ass, great looking, good natured, sarcasticly funny, amazing in almost every way main character all planned out.  He was the quintessential good guy that I love so much in stories.  He always knows what to do, always saves the day, always makes the right decision even if it is not the best decision for him – always puts the good of the team first and well, you know the type.  He was a lawful good guy with stunning good looks and a great sense of humor. 

Now mind you, I did say I love these guys in stories because let’s face it – lawful good is only an alignment in stories.  No human is lawful good.  People make mistakes. People do what is good for them sometimes without regard for the greater good.  People are selfish.  People have a desire for self preservation.  People are… well, people.  Humanity is inherently flawed.

Anyway – having said that – let’s get back to my dilemma.  I had this incredible idea for a character and a story to match.  So I did what any writer would do.  I wrote.  Duh.  What did you think writers do?  After writing, I went back to edit.  I made a few corrections here and there with the story line and a few of the supporting characters.

Then today, as I was going over my latest addition to the story to finish it up – this part of it anyway – I discovered what was amiss.  I had this feeling all along that there was a problem.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was so I went on with my work.  I went on and I went on and I added and edited and edited some more.  The story is sound for the most part.  It is interesting and consistent.  Well it was, until I discovered at last the big problem I had until now been missing.

Going over the second to last part of the story it occurred to me that I was missing three people.  I had killed these people off in the beginning.  They were total red shirts.  Problem was, when my main character got back to headquarters, no one mentioned these three missing characters.  Apparently, these three characters were unimportant to everyone.  The only important things about these characters were their deaths. But even this is not the most important thing that I realized.

In discovering I had killed three people and no one cared at all, I also discovered my main character sucks.  See, he is the leader of a team.  His team travels to other places to get certain things, they encounter danger, etc.  In their first mission, three of the five members of the team are slaughtered.  Having the majority of your team get killed first time out reflects poorly on your leadership skills.  Clearly, as a leader who always saves the day – my character failed.

Then when he gets back to headquarters – not only does his leader not ask,
“Hey, by the way, where is the rest of the team you were responsible for?”

But my character does not offer any information in the way of explanation as to why now he is missing three
of the original team members.  So, as a gifted communicator – my character failed.

Before he returned to base, my character gets his ass kicked a couple of times.  As a kick-ass fighter – my character failed.  In addition to this, my character has magic abilities, very powerful magic and yet he does not know how to use them – fail!  And lastly, throughout the story my character continuously puts himself in harms way and often due to an emotional overreaction.  Sure he is usually defending someone else in some way but the fact is that putting yourself in danger is dangerous for those around you.  It is always best to keep your cool in any situation, so this means, you guessed it – when it comes to always doing the right thing or always knowing what to do – my character failed.

So let’s sum this up, my character is a very flawed person.  He is not the incredible hero I had planned him out to be.  This guy is a total failure it seems at everything he was supposed to be – and yet, I like him more now than I did when I started.  He has a good heart and he is fun to follow.  Great characters are like that in my opinion. 


As much as I love lawful good guys in stories, they’re a little boring at times.  I’ll take the screw up who learns something along the way over the perfect hero every time.  Although – if three of your five team members are killed on a mission – you should probably offer an explanation to superiors.  

Who's On Top: Children's Books


This Week's Spotlight:
Picture Book:
THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! 
by Mo Willems

That Is Not a Good Idea! is a hilarious, interactive picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems, the creator of books like Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Knuffle Bunny series, the Elephant and Piggie series, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, and many other new classics. Inspired by the evil villains and innocent damsels of silent movies, Willems tells the tale of a hungry fox who invites a plump goose to dinner. As with the beloved Pigeon books, kids will be calling out the signature refrain and begging for repeated readings. The funny details in the full-color illustrations by three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems will bring nonstop laughter to story time.

Book Cover & Blurb: Roxana's Revolution

powell 04 29 13
New International Suspense Thriller : Roxana’s Revolution
Washington DC – Author Farin Powell announces the release of her new novel, Roxana’s Revolution.
When the media frenzy over the hostage crisis of 1979 worsens and anti-Iranian sentiment surges all over the United States, Roxana, a Wall Street attorney has no choice but to return to Iran. During a stop in Paris, she reunites with her two childhood friends and meets Steve Radcliff, an American reporter with a tenacious attraction to her. Back in Tehran, where circumstances are nothing less than volatile, Roxana learns that revolutions while exciting and historic on pages of a book are painful to endure.
As one crisis after other spins out of control, the government imposes wearing of a mandatory veil. This harsh revolutionary rule and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran diminish Roxana’s hope to have a normal life. She rejects Steve’s marriage proposal and refuses to leave Iran with him. But a near- death experience and loss of her freedom in a border- sealed Iran propel her to enter a marriage doomed from its inception.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Classic Literature Quote

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.

Jessamyn West

Who's On Top: Nonfiction



This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
THE DUCK COMMANDER FAMILY 
by Willie and Korie Robertson with Mark Schlabach

Faith. Family. Ducks—in that order. This book gives readers an up-close and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the family in the exploding A&E show—Duck Dynasty. This Louisiana bayou family operates Duck Commander, a booming family business that has made them millions. You’ll hear all about the Robertson clan from Willie and what it was like growing up in the Robertson household. You’ll sample some of Willie’s favorite family recipes from Phil, Kay, and even some of his own concoctions; and you’ll get to know the beautiful Robertson women. You’ll hear from Korie about the joys and hardships of raising a family, running a business, and wrangling the Robertson men while staying fashionable and beautiful inside and out. Discover more about the family dynamics between brothers Willie, Jase, Jep, and parents Phil and Kay. You’ll even meet a fourth brother who isn’t in the show.

The popularity of Duck Dynasty is skyrocketing, garnering a Wednesday-night top two finish in all of cable. The book releases in time for season two of the show in October 2012



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Winner of Bits N Pieces The Challenge



This part of the competition was for winners of the Bits N Pieces Contest 1 and Contest 2.  Finalists were given The Challenge which was:

Use the following word, “defenestration” somewhere in the story.

Use the topic and genre of your choice.  Show us your talent! 

*750 word limit.  You do not have to use all 750 words but if you go over you will be eliminated.  

__________________________________







And Now... Our Winner ... Jon Jefferson!  Congratulations Jon on being our grand prize winner of the Bite My Book Bits N Pieces Award Badge and a $50 Amazon Gift Card.  Here is the winning story entitled Out the Window:

Out the Window
“You know I can’t tonight, Rick,” she said into the phone. “I have my meeting every Thursday and you know it.”
His reply couldn’t be heard in the crowded subway. Other than her phone to her ear it sounded like a one sided conversation.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” she said. “I said I would didn’t I? Listen, if I say I will call you I mean it.” She clicked a button and hung up on him. Hanging up on someone with a cell phone didn’t have quite the same flourish as it used to have with a traditional phone. You can’t slam a cellphone onto the base. He didn’t call her back.
She hadn’t told him what her meetings were for, it was simply too embarrassing. Even though she inherited it from her mother, she never did like talking about it. Though maybe one day that might change. Rick was a sweet guy, she could see settling down with him at some point. Though he did have moments that infuriated her.
The subway car was crowded, this wasn’t her normal route. She was coming from work to her meeting this week. Normally she was able to stop off at her apartment between work and the meeting. But this was end of year inventory and she was working later than normal.
The train pulled into the 8th street station. She had to scramble to make the door before it closed. The phone call threw her off and she almost missed her stop. As late as she was now she would have missed her meeting if she missed this stop.
It was a brisk 3 block walk to get to the meeting center. She wanted to get the exercise in, the cabs were ignoring her anyway.
The meeting center appeared to be an abandoned building at first glance. Mr. Tibbs the organizer, ran this as a non profit. It didn’t help that they weren’t getting many new members for the group so the government was cutting their funding. They were given the excuse that obscure malady groups didn’t get any special benefits anyway.
She had started a campaign but they found no one really understood what the DA was all about. It just wasn’t as glamorous as alcoholics anonymous.
At first she found it odd that the group met on the second floor of an old brownstone building. The more time she had spent with the group she found it more an ironic jest.
After a short elevator ride, and trip down a dark hallway, she made it to the session room. By the look of it they hadn’t been going for too long. There were a couple new faces, and then there was Rick. He was sitting with rapt attention for the girl speaking about her first time. No one noticed when she came in.
She waited for the new girl to finish and sit down before she walked into the room. She made a bee line for the empty chair next to Rick.
He stood up and offered her the chair next to him, waiting for her to sit down before he sat down as well. “What are you doing here,” she whispered.
He smiled, “I told you I wanted to spend time with you tonight.”
“These people need help,” she said. “I don’t think this is a great idea for a date.”
He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He then pulled out a card and handed it to her. She immediately recognized the Defenestration Anonymous logo beside his name. “I am recovering still,” he said. “Used to be cats for me. I’ve been clean for 2 years now.

*Author retains all original rights and privileges associated with the story.  Bitemybook reserves the right to publish the winning story on the bitemybook website.

Who's On Top: Fiction



This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
DEAD EVER AFTER 
by Charlaine Harris

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...


Casting An Eye At The Pods: Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4

By: William G. Muir

I am an Anglophile! For those who do not know what a Anglophile, it simply means I am a great admire of England and all things English. Why I am telling you the reader all of this? Well because it is related to today's podcast review. We are going to be looking at the Friday Night Comedy From BBC Radio Four.

Like other podcast that I have review in the past, this podcast is actually a rebroadcasting of a radio show. To be honest The Friday Night Comedy... is not like the podcast of radio shows I have reviewed in the past. This podcast is a rotation of more than one BBC Radio 4 shows.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Who's On Top: Movies


This Week's Spotlight:
Fast & Furious 6

Your auto insurance policy probably has clauses specifying whether you are covered for damage from missiles, falling objects, riots, civil war, earthquakes, hail, radioactive contamination, discharge of a nuclear weapon. But it’s time once again to check that it also addresses whether you are insured against accidentally driving onto the set of a “Fast & Furious” movie. If you blundered into the shooting of “Fast & Furious 6,” for instance, you are almost surely walking now: If the flip-your-car-over speedsters didn’t wreck your vehicle, the giant tank surely did. — Neil Genzlinger 




Top 10 Box Office:
1. Fast & Furious 6 
2. The Hangover Part III
3. Star Trek Into Darkness
4. Epic
5. Iron Man 3
6. The Great Gatsby
7. Mud
8. 42 
9. The Croods
10. Oblivion
 
 Disclaimer: List and blurb come from NYTimes.com.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Picture: Incredible Painting

Today I searched for amazing paintings.  This was one of the search results.  At first I thought it looked like a photograph or some altered version of a photo. To my surprise - it was a painting by Iranian artist Iman Maleki.  Simply amazing, the detail is extraordinary.


A closer view of the details:




I do not own the rights to these pictures.  I found this painting and the detail image on http://www.indiaonrent.com/view/t/the-amazing-paintings-of-the-iranian-artist-iman-maleki-amazing.html

I Wanted to Be Cool


By JccKeith

Recently I was very, very – as in words cannot describe my elation – excited to have tracked down the blog of a specific person.  And the best part is it was by accident.  I wasn’t exactly searching the internet looking for this person’s blog.  I was looking up something else to do with Stargate for some other reason.  Then in a search result was a comment made by Joe Mallozzi on an old blog.  I followed the trail to his new blog on wordpress.

Joe Mallozzi was a writer and executive producer for all three Stargate series.  Which means, in my book, he is in the upper echelon of people I would care to read the thoughts of.  He is not a superhero or anything like that but then last time I checked, they were make believe and did not have blogs.  This guy is a real person who was intimately involved with my most favorite shows of all time.  If he had an action figure, I would probably own one.

Anyway, this post is not about touting the virtues of this guy.  This post is a rant about my lack of coolness.  I have been following Joe Mallozzi’s blog for a couple of weeks now.  I have been reading the comments of others like me who are big fans of the shows.  I figured, being the intelligent, witty person that I am – my comments would be among the ones that were different.  My comments would be regarded as the ones people, or more notably Mr. Mallozzi, would want to read due to their wit and wisdom and seeming coolness.

Well, that dream died when I started reading the comments.  Not only was I not as well versed in the television industry as some of these commentors – who obviously have worked in some way in the field – I was also not as much of a foodie as Mallozzi or his followers.  I am woefully ill-informed when it comes to food and special dishes and preparations and other such fancy food items/terms.

I have no desire to be informed on fancy foods or bizarre dishes.  I figure, if I can dowse it in garlic salt then I’m good with it.  If it grows in the ground and is classified as a vegetable of some sort – chances are good I will like it.  If it is a fruit – chances are also good I’ll like it.  If I can dip it in a sauce of some kind –ranch, barbeque, soy, eel, whatever – odds are I might like it.  Now on the other hand, if it is slimy and/or smells like a creek bed then chances are good I won’t like it or even try it.

That being said about the food – this guy posts a lot about his ‘projects.’  His projects are television and movie related things.  I realized, reading the comments, that I do not know near as much about the industry as I would like.  I also realized – much to my dismay – that I lack any funny or cool sounding things to say that someone else hasn’t already said in some much cooler way.

So this is my rant today.  I have found the blog of someone I like, whose work I love.  I like reading about his life and his projects but I am far from one of his coolest followers.  I really, really wanted to be one of the cool people for a change.  I figured, hey, among science fiction show followers, surely I would be among the cooler crowd.  I am not.  Apparently, I am just as nerdy and awkward as I feared.  When it comes to comments, I am just as geeky as everyone else except a select few really neat people whose blogs I have also now begun to follow.  I think I am beginning to qualify as a stalker of these trendy peeps. 

Anyone else out there have any similar experiences?  Ever follow someone’s blog that you suddenly realize has followers who are much more experienced than yourself?  Ever start following their blogs too in an effort to catch up?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Who's On Top: Music


This Week's Spotlight:
Pop:
Come And Get It
by Selena Gomez





Book Cover & Blurb: Doctor Bob

doctor bob
New Biography Tells the Story of Internment-Camp-Captive-Turned-Cardiologist, Doctor Bob
Gainesville, FL – The Japanese internment camps of the Pacific War were hardly the place where young hopes and dreams were nurtured. But one Dutch boy rose from the deprave depths of the concentration camps to prominence in the medical field. His miraculous journey is told in the new biography, Doctor Bob, published by Outskirts Press.
Lodewyk H.S. Van Mierop was born in Java to Dutch parents and was later interned by the Japanese in concentration camps for two brutal years. There, he and his family suffered beatings, starvation and other physical deprivations. Deprived of an education during his internment, young Lodewyk completed high school and medical school in Holland and a seven-year surgical residency in Albany, New York.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Who's On Top: Graphic Novels

This Week's Spotlight:
Hardcover:
UNCANNY AVENGERS, VOL. 1 
by Rick Remender and John Cassaday

The Marvel Universe's greatest era starts NOW!, as the all-new, all-different Avengers assemble! Captain America creates a sanctioned Avengers unit comprised of Avengers and X-Men, humans and mutants working together...so why is Professor Xavier's dream more at risk than ever? The Red Skull has returned - straight out of the 1940s and full of hatred - and his rebirth will alter the Marvel Universe forever! What are the Skull's new powers? Can Havok and Thor defeat the spreading influence of Honest John, The Living Propaganda? As Rogue and Scarlet Witch find themselves trapped on the Isle of the Red Skull's S-Men, Wolverine and Captain America investigate the worldwide mutant assassination epidemic! Uncanny Avengers Assemble! Plus: from the ashes of AvX, the funeral of one of Marvel's greatest heroes!
COLLECTING: Uncanny Avengers 1-5


Book Cover & Blurb: The Molina Curse

molina curse
New Travel Mystery thriller for review: The Molina Curse
Author Charles Fields announces the release of his newest mystery thriller, The Molina Curse.
The Molina Curse is the sequel to Tainted Dish and the fifth book in the Charles Stone Travel /Mystery /Thriller series. The protagonist faces several assassination attempts and a life threatening encounter in Australia’s Outback. His dog, Daisy is reintroduced along with characters from previous stories. The reader will be reminded of our country’s history through walks on Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Bad Guys Take Over the World

By JccKeith


Whatever happened to the good old days of television where the bad guys were always easy to spot because they wore the dark glasses and had sinister laughs?  I’m sitting here tonight watching Fringe and I can’t help thinking that Agent Francis is a bad guy. 

Agent Francis is a nice looking guy, he consistently helps the lead character in her investigations. He always does the right thing – or they portray him as a good agent I mean.   He has done nothing except be helpful and useful… and yet, something about his niceness, his devoutness, his good guyness, his always there to helpness – something about it just screams bad guy to me. 

Does this mean that I am cynical?  Am I suspicious of people who seem too good to be true?  Or is this my nerdiness coming through loud and clear?  Am I so versed in science fiction television shows that I recognize the signs of a bad guy no matter how bright and shiny they make him look?  I’d like to think so.  Now, I haven’t looked up the plot and whether or not Agent Francis is a bad guy, he may not be, I may be completely off base.  It’s happened before.

Fringe is a strange show.  Some of the people are easy to see through.  Most are not.  The show continues to throw little loops and kinks along the way.  I also have my suspicions about several other characters.  I just focused this post on Francis because I have my suspicions he or his character will at some point be used as a bad guy.

Maybe my suspicion of people who are a little too helpful, a little too always there, a little too nice is based on the world today.  Nobody is perfect and the world is full of bad people.  I read news story after news story about the terrible things people are doing to each other.  It seems never ending the atrocities committed every day.

I find the news channels like to focus on the most horrendous story available.  I rarely read stories about the everyday good deed.  I rarely find stories about heroes as much as I find them about villains.  It is a sad state of affairs we are in when news channels feature terror and murder more because they are more sensational – more appealing to the masses than feel good stories.

I suppose those reading this post might think I belong to the masses who find such terrible stories more appealing.  I am watching a show all about the evils of the world and the people in it.  I am suspecting several of the characters of having ulterior motives and bad intentions. 

The truth is – I watch this show because it is full of imagination and scientifically imaginative ideas.  I find them fascinating.  The blood and gore is what I don’t like about it.  I suspect the characters but deep down I hope that I am wrong.  I hope they turn out to be the good guys they seem to be.  I am somewhat of a dreamer in that way.  I like it when everything works out for the best.  I like happy endings.  I like fluffy, soft, sweet endings to tragic events.  And when that is not possible – I at least want the good guys to win. 

What about you?  Do you like it when good guys turn out to be bad guys?  What about when the bad guys turn out to be good?  Do you like happy endings?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Down In A Hole

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit"
 J. R. R. Tolkien

By: William G. Muir
Some  of our readers might recognize this as the opening line of The Hobbit. What you may not realize is that Tolkien got the idea for the book while he was grading student exams. He wrote that line down on a blank piece of paper. And as I heard it put on a NPR program I was listening, he then decided he needed to figure out what a Hobbit was.

I got to thinking about this when a friend of my told me she had an idea for a new story. At the time all she had was a character and a rough notion of what the first chapter was.. When she shared this with me I thought back to the day I was driving down the highway and the talk show host was discussing the upcoming The Lord Of The Ring movies.

New Book Release: Off the Record


Off the Record
Sawyer Bennett
Expected release date: June 11, 2013
ABOUT THE BOOK:

The sparks of dislike burn hot, but the sparks of mutual attraction burn even hotter.

Ever Montgomery suffered the ultimate betrayal by the one man who she should have been able to count on for anything. It has left her hurt, jaded and incapable of forming relationships, but it also means that she can spot a liar a mile away.  These traits are earning her a reputation as a reporter with a keen nose for a good story and a complete understanding of the extreme power of the written word.

Lincoln Caldwell, is the hot goalie for the New York Rangers. At twenty-four and a rising star, he works hard and he plays even harder. He’s gorgeous and carefree—the ultimate charmer.  Ladies fall at his feet and the single life has never been lived the way Linc Caldwell does it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Classic Funny Quote for the Day

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top."

-English Professor (Name Unknown)
Ohio University

Who's On Top: Nonfiction

This Weeks Spotlight: 
Hardcover:
HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY 
by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach

This no-holds-barred autobiography chronicles the remarkable life of Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty star, from early childhood through the founding of a family business.Life was always getting in the way of Phil Robertson’s passion for duck hunting.

An NFL-bound quarterback, Phil made his mark on Louisiana Tech University in the 1960s by playing football and completing his college career with a master’s degree in English. But Phil’s eyes were not always on the books or the ball; they were usually looking to the sky.

Phil grew up with the dream of living the simple life off the land like his forebears, but he soon found himself on a path to self-destruction—leasing a bar, drinking too much, fighting, and wasting his talents. He almost lost it all until he gave his life to God. And then everything changed.

Phil’s incredible story tells how he followed a calling from God and soon after invented a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family. With great love for his country, his family, and his maker, Phil has finally found the ingredients to the “good life” he always wanted.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What They Said: Different Rooms?

 So today I watched, alongside my loved ones, a very beautiful woman, in life and death, move on from this world. It was odd in some ways. I know every family, every culture, every funeral home all have their methods of this, so in this time of grief and loss, I too was forced to think along lines that people normally don't feel all that comfortable treading on. Life and Death. In my opinion, funerals are truly for the living. For it is the living who feel the need to express themselves, their love, appreciation, fondness, and yes, even sadness and pain. The funeral isn't for the dead. The dead are no more on this level as we exist. But I must say that this dear woman, if she is, or was capable of seeing from whatever plain she is on because we all have our different beliefs and I care not on proving my belief or contemplating on yours...I believe she would have been (or was, or is) pleased. She was very much loved. And she IS very much loved.
Because she may be gone...but how gone is she really. When someone moves on from this state of being, are they really truly gone. My husband spoke during the funeral and what he said resonated inside my mind for quite a long while. He said something along the lines of when we view a loved ones tombstone you see their name, perhaps a quote or sentimental name and you see two dates. A birth date and a death date. But if you truly want to know a person you don't really gain much information from those two dates. It is what is, or was between those dates that can tell you what you seek to know.

Who's On Top: Fiction


This Week's Spotlight: 
Hardcover:
DEAD EVER AFTER 
by Charlaine Harris

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart...

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...


Book Cover & Blurb: I Love My Doctor, But...

gold 05 07 13
I Love My Doctor, But…by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.
Grass Valley, CA - I Love My Doctor, But… deals with serious healthcare matters in a lighthearted and entertaining manner.
Dr. Gold emphasizes patient-physician interaction as a starting point in the healthcare debate.
 
You have questions for your physician, but don’t ask them?
Your physician has questions for you, but he/she doesn’t ask them.
That’s one hell of a way to run an airline, a railroad, a government, or a medical practice.
 
Who’s at fault is beside the point, but difficult or painful questions unasked or unanswered threatens your health and compromises the physician’s ability to care for you.
 
You have something that you want to confide to your physician, but you don’t. You sigh with relief when he/she doesn’t ask.
 
You’re a physician and you need the answers to important questions that might make your patient uncomfortable. You’re relieved when he/she isn’t forthcoming or you run out of time.
Patients and physicians are often wrong when they predict which questions will be offensive.
If it’s important to your health, ask.

If it’s important to your job as a healer, ask.
 
I Love My Doctor, But… empowers patients and their physicians and offers common sense answers to important healthcare questions.
 
The book deals with important issues about being a patient or a physician in this tumultuous healthcare environment. Dr. Gold doesn’t join the chorus in the healthcare debate over financing, but he does make suggestions at the patient-physician level that offers hope.
 
Dr. Gold makes specific suggestions about:
  1. Talking with, and getting along with your physician
  2. Medical malpractice
  3. How much care is enough
  4. Matching patient and physician
  5. Finding a physician
  6. Online information
  7. Take away suggestions
  8. When to go to the emergency room
  9. Glossaries: medical terminology and medical specialists
About the book:
I Love MY Doctor, But…by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.
ISBN: 978-1484110942
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publish:
Pages: 98
S.R.P.: $6.99
 
About the author:
Dr. Gold is a retired physician (nephrologist) and long-distance cruiser. He is the author of First, Do No Harm(2007), No Cure for Murder(2011), For the Love of God(2012), and The Sixth Sense. Dr. Gold is the author of four screenplays. Rage won an honorable mention in the 80th Writer’s Digest contest.

What???


By JccKeith

Alright, just so you know, this post was entirely unplanned.  I had no idea what I was going to write about.  It is ‘what they said’ Monday for me.  Now this is not to say I don’t encounter plenty of things said by other people.  I do.  I watch my sci-fi shows every day.  I watch cartoons with my kids.  I listen to the news, I listen to music and I browse the occasional internet site.  So I have plenty of sources for something someone said.  Problem is, most aren’t worthy of an entire blog post.

Desperate for something to write about that either made me laugh or at least made me take notice, I relied on the internet.  I went to google and typed in “something someone said.”  This led to some music video that I didn’t watch.  So I tried again.  I typed in “somebody talking.”  Bingo!  Ding Ding Ding!

I have no idea why but the urbandictionary.com popped up on my search results.  It was a set of postings that appeared to give a meaning for the phrase “somebody’s talking.”  I thought I already knew what “somebody’s talking” meant – that it indeed meant that someone was speaking.  I had no idea it could be taken a different way. 

So I clicked on the search result to see how else someone might interpret “somebody’s talking.”

This is where things took a different turn.  The page revealed the meanings of the word “doig,” “wha de f#%@ I hearing,” “illuminaughty,” “run it,” and my personal favorite:  “talkin’ tacos.”

I have never had anyone use the phrase “talkin’ tacos” unless perchance it occurred in reference to visiting Taco Bell or perhaps a Mexican restaurant or Tumbleweed or some place which serves tacos.  Apparently, I am out of touch.

This is the meaning I was presented with on the site:

If somebody is talking about something different than what you are talking about. It usually implies that if you continue to "talk tacos" while I am trying to push across a certain agenda, violence will ensue

I had no idea.  Talkin’ tacos sounds like some serious business.  I wouldn’t want to ever be talkin’ tacos while someone else was pushing across their own agenda. 

I will however, probably be using this phrase quite often from now on because

a. it made me laugh out loud and

b. I will give it a different meaning entirely.  I will use it whenever people around me are talking about nonsense. 

So if I should describe an event in the following way in the future, “This fool was talkin’ tacos…” you will completely understand my meaning.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Who's On Top: Children's Book

This Week's Spotlight:
Picture Book:
THE DARK 
by Lemony Snicket

Laszlo is afraid of the dark.

The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn't come into Lazslo's room. But one night, it does.

This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear.


Who's On Top: Movies



This Week's Spotlight:
Star Trek Into Darkness

There is some intermittent complaining, in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” about the militarization of the Federation’s Starfleet. You may recall that the historic mission of the starship Enterprise was “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.” While the crew on the first television series found its way into plenty of fights, the show itself always tried to stay true to the ideals of peaceful intergalactic ethnography. You get a bit of that in the beginning of the new movie, the second in the rebooted franchise directed by J. J. Abrams, which takes place before all the stuff we remember from television and the first six feature films. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is on the surface of a faraway planet overgrown with bright red vines and populated by primitive creatures with chalky white faces. For a few minutes, the nerdy, earnest multicultural vision of 1960s television is brought to life in the digital present, giving rise to an exciting sense of continuity. How great it would be to update the wit and sincerity of the original with the scale and velocity enabled by 21st-century moviemaking. That hope is not entirely dashed. Mr. Pine and the rest of the cast, with some important new additions, continue to pay sharp and playful tribute to William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and others who first made the voyage from small screen to big. The identity of the main villain cleverly connects the movie to some of the very best episodes from long ago. But all the same, it’s hard to emerge from “Into Darkness” without a feeling of disappointment, even betrayal. Maybe it is too late to lament the militarization of “Star Trek,” but in his pursuit of blockbuster currency, Mr. Abrams has sacrificed a lot of its idiosyncrasy and, worse, the large-spirited humanism that sustained it. — A. O. Scott

Top 10 List:
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2.  Iron Man 3
3. The Great Gatsby
4. Pain & Gain
5. The Croods
6.  42
7. Oblivion
8. Peeples
9. Mud
10. The Big Wedding

Disclaimer: The list and blurb come from NYTimes.com.


































































































Who's On Top: Music


This Week's Spotlight:
Pop:  
Heart Attack 
by Demi Lovato 




Book Cover & Blurb: Night Terrors

atchity 05 09 13
Best Selling Author Releases New Psychological Thriller: Night Terrors
Sherman Oaks, CA - From novelist Dennis Palumbo, a Hollywood screenwriter turned psychotherapist, comes Night Terrors (Poisoned Pen Press). The third release in Palumbo’s critically-acclaimed series featuring psychologist and police consultant Daniel Rinaldi, Night Terrors is available wherever fine books are sold.
Publishers Weekly hails Night Terrors as “riveting,” and adds that Palumbo “ratchets up the stakes in this psychological thriller [that] maintains emotional complexity, ” while Kirkus Reviews says, “Palumbo’s thrillers are strictly for late at night and for readers who have no pressing engagements early the next day.” BookList adds: "Palumbo uses all his professional experience to craft short, action- and tension-filled chapters and insightful sketches of people traumatized by violence," while Library Journal cuts right to the chase: “Night Terrors…is thrilling.”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Picture!!!

This is not my picture.  I did not paint it nor do I own the rights to it.  I came home from my busy day and realized I had not yet enlightened you people with a painting for today.  It's Sunday - so I am compelled to share a truly amazing, awesome painting with you.  In this spirit, I went to a search engine and typed in "Paintings that are awesome."  Here is the result:


Check that out!  I asked the internet to show me an awesome painting and it accepted the challenge successfully.  How awesome is this painting?  It has a unicorn - a must to be classified as awesome.  It has a cute little puppy with his buddy the kitten, there are a couple of ducks, some pretty, flowing streamy water, some flowers, some streaming sunlight through some trees and in the background a romantic little bridge.

The only thing missing is a cool castle but I'm sure there is one just beyond the border of the picture, surely there is a castle nearby.  Enjoy your complete painting!

Book Review: Blakewood



Blakewood

by

 


About the Book (from Goodreads)

Elizabeth Mason has always been a governess but never for a household as larger or as strange as the one at Blakewood Manor. Upon her arrival, she soon finds that her beautiful new home is owned by a family of vampires. Despite her fears, she fall for two of the mysterious men that reside there. But as she begins to unravel their darker secrets, she becomes a weakness to them both and threatens their safety and the very foundation that Blakewood is built upon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Idioms



By JccKeith

Hey, hey, hey – it’s Saturday!  Again.  That means I am going to rant or rave about something.  I know what you’re thinking – what’s it going to be?  Will it be a rant?  Will it be a rave?  Will it just be an opinion about something completely ludicrous and insignificant?  I just know you are on the edge of your seat with anticipation… so I’ll not keep you waiting any longer! 

Today is the day I rave about something.  Something we all use on a regular basis – idioms.  Yes, those cool, nifty little phrases whose meanings are not what you might think.  Just to be clear, for those not paying attention – I did not say I was going to rave about idiots.  I have a few opinions on idiots but they are fairly negative so I won’t post them here.

Idioms, according to Dictionary.com, are nouns.  Their definition is as follows as I quote:
1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one's head.

I like idioms.  I use them all the time.  Just today I was thinking about the recent rain and the phrase, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  I decided to look up this quaint little saying and find out where oh where it originated.  I’ll skip that part because frankly, how it originated is unclear and boring.  The part I want to share is that on one page, I found a person who felt it necessary to clarify that the phrase is not in any sense literal, “i.e. it doesn't record an incident where cats and dogs fell from the sky."  
Hmm… because you needed to be told that cats and dogs have never rained down from the sky.

Anyway, back to what I was going on about.  Idioms are fantastic!  I love using them in everyday life if for no other reason than because I can.  Unfortunately, I have become aware that the idioms I use everyday are not widespread.  Kick the bucket, bucket list, hang one’s head in shame may be universally understood but many used locally would not be.  An example of this, off the top of my head – or really from Burn Notice as I watch it quite frequently – is the phrase “catch a fey.”  According to the show, this is gangsta type talk for ‘catch a bullet to the head’ or just ‘catch a bullet’ or something to that effect.  See, only people who a. understand this specific type of talk or b. people who watch Burn Notice would know the meaning of the phrase.

This is because idiom can also mean “the language peculiar to a people or to a district, community, or class: dialect.”  So I have to be careful in my writing to not include idioms in the general sections.  In the dialect between characters, sure a character from a specific area would use certain idioms.  Or a character that belongs to a certain group of people, such as RPG players – note, if you don’t know what RPG stands for you clearly do not belong to the group of people who play them – might say, “Roll for initiative.”

The phrase “Roll for Initiative” does not conform to the first definition of idioms.  Its meaning is not unclear if you
belong to the group of people who play RPGs.  Its meaning can be deciphered from its components: Roll is because you will roll a 20 sided die, Initiative is a dexterity check made at the beginning of a battle or activity in RPGs.  The higher the initiative roll the sooner your character gets to take their turn.  This phrase is an idiom because it conforms to the second definition of being a phrase employed by a certain community of people.

Now you know and knowing is half the battle.  So the next time you use some phrase that either a. has an unclear meaning that cannot be deciphered from the individual components of the phrase or b. is specific to a certain community, group or area of people – celebrate because it’s an idiom.  And I like to say the word idiom.  Let me say it again, idiom.  Just don’t confuse idioms with euphemisms.  Euphemisms are words put in place of other words because the original words or phrase is unpleasant, unsettling, abrasive, disliked, inappropriate, you get the idea.  Yay for idioms!  Any other fans out there of idioms?