Remember to Register and Vote

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If you are one of the people who was horrified by the recent tragedy of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and you wish to do something to enact changes in gun legislation, there is one crucial action or actions you should take: if you are not registered to vote, register immediately, and then vote.

There is no excuse for not voting–none. And if you want to enact gun control legislation, then do your research and find out where the candidates stand. The population of the United States consistently polls that it wants gun control, so act on your convictions.

Voting is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, tools in our democracy, and I hope the young people who are leading this fight also register to vote when they are 18 and then vote. If we, who want gun control legislation, do vote, then our voices will be heard, and the narrow special interest that is the NRA will have its influence nullified.

Be sure to vote!

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The Old Lie

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Please, in the name of the victims of the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, let us begin to do something to change the national insanity of gun deaths.

Stop with the old lie — “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” It is illogical, fallacious, wrong, and stupid. Guns are weapons and are designed to expel bullets that are intended to kill. That is their purpose. That is why they exist.

Guns kill people.

Guns are not used to make paintings; they are not used to drive screws into wood; they are not made to make omelets; they are not created to write letters; and they are not aimed at making sculptures.

Guns are made to kill. That is their purpose.

The United States has a history of gun ownership based on the 2nd Amendment. As  I would say to my students, please do a close reading, parse the language, and understate what it says. If you do, then the phrase “A well-regulated militia” is crucial to understand. The militia of today is the National Guard–that is the militia of the United States of America. If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, then you should enlist in the National Guard.

Guns do kill people. Let us never forget that. And let us stop accepting the old lie.

Quotations on Political Courage and Political Cowardice

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Given the circumstances of the horror of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the hypocrisy of politicians in bed with the NRA and gun-makers, and their inaction about even considering reasonable gun legislation, I wanted to offer three quotations to consider:

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“There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”

                                                        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

                                                       President Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

                                                      Albert Einstein

Cowardice, Hypocrisy, and Corruption

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Those who follow my blog know that I try to keep politics out of it, but I can not sit by and ignore the utter insanity of the events that keep happening–of the never ending mass shootings in our country. Then politicians, the President and many in Congress, come out and offer their prayers and thoughts, while they take blood money from the NRA and the gun manufacturers.

How many innocent people, how many children, both elementary and high school children will have to die and be wounded before action is taken to correct the situation?

When will Americans say, in a united voice, that this will happen no more, that we will hold politicians who do not enact reasonable gun legislation responsible for their increasing cowardice, hypocrisy, and corruption? I have never been a one policy voter, but now I will never vote for a politician who does not support gun legislation, and I hope the majority of Americans say the same thing. Only then, can real action be taken, and the situation can be changed.

I am not arguing that Americans should not be able to have certain guns for self-protection or hunting, but no citizen should be allowed to have an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.  They exist only to kill as many people as possible in a short a time as possible.

And for those who would scream out “The Second Amendment,” I suggest you read it, parse it, analyze it, and understand its intention. We have a military now, and a militia is no longer needed.

As a nation, we need to grow up and act as responsible adults. We need the United States of America needs to be a civilized nation where children and teachers are safe in school, where people can gather to enjoy an evening out, and where attending a concert is not an act of bravery in the face of danger.

We need responsible gun legislation now.

How many will join me in voting against any politician who will not support such laws?

INTERVIEW (PART 2) WITH K.D. DOWDALL, AUTHOR OF THE STONE ARCH SECRET

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It is my honor to interview K. D. Dowdall, the author of the new romance mystery novel The Stone Arch Secret. This post is part 2 of my interview with this talented writer. The Stone Arch Secret is as an excellent book, which demonstrates K. D. Dowdall’s skills with character, setting, and plot. As mentioned in part one of this interview, I will soon post my review of her novel, but I can say that I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Again, I thank K. D. Dowdall for agreeing to the interview. So, let us continue:

 

What books are you looking forward to reading?

Oh gosh, too many to count, but, The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels, A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, and IPagan, edited by Trevor Greenfield.

 

Religion and its corruption are a major theme in your novel. What brought you to deal with that idea?

The occupation is not significant in-itself. Rather, it is those that use their corrupted, inhuman nature to gain power over others by using religion, or other forms of power, as a weapon to control others with fear, sexual manipulation, and even murder, to fulfill their deviant ambitions to their own evil ends.  

 

Your characters are very strong and well-rounded. Do you have a particular approach in creating characters?

To write believable characters, I believe, a writer must be an observer of human nature, engaging all his or her senses, by watching facial expressions, a turn of a phrase, tone of voice, body mechanics of movement, and listen carefully to their life stories, what they believe, how they treat other people, what their dreams are.  Did you see them kick a dog, spank a child, throwaway the garbage in the morning and never look up to the sky or help someone cross a busy street? Observations of human behavior are key to personality traits and strong authentic characters. 

 

What are some of your future writing plans?

I am currently writing a paranormal series with a witch, a ghost, a dark alchemist, and time travel. It is a love story, it is comical, and deadly serious.

 

Do you have advice you would like to give to beginning writers?

Read lots of well-written books in a genre you love to read. Be who you are when you write, be authentic and honest in your writing. Also, write what you know by choosing something that matters to you.

 

How do you approach the often difficult task of revision?

Have a good editor, do at least one more draft, several Beta readers and read each word   you have written aloud. Put your completed novel away for a week or two and then comeback and reread every word and revise again if necessary.

 

Do you have any questions that I have not asked that you would like to pose for yourself to answer?

Don’t be afraid of writer’s block, use that time to think about your characters, who they are and what they represent, sometimes that clears the path and you are writing again. Also, never give up, complete whatever story you are writing, it is always better than you think it is.

Once again, I want to thank K. D. Dowdall for agreeing to this interview.

You can find more information about Karen’s writing at these sites, and please treat yourself by getting a copy of her novel, The Stone Arch Secret. If you know anyone who loves mysteries and romance, this book would make an excellent present!

The Stone Arch Secret is available on Amazon

https://karendowdall.com/

https://www.facebook.com/karenddowdall

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Interview (part 1) with K.D. Dowdall, author of The Stone Arch Secret

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It is my honor to interview K. D. Dowdall, the author of the new romance mystery novel The Stone Arch Secret. This is a wonderful book, and I will soon post my review of her novel, but I can say that I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

First, I want to thank K. D. Dowdall for agreeing to the interview. So, let us begin.

Some writers have very particular schedules and places for their writing. Do you have a particular approach?

I have a writing/library room where I read, takes notes, develop ideas for writing the next novel and then I write.  I usually have most of the story, the beginning and the end in my mind before writing, very much like a synopsis and then the characters take over. 

 

When you think of your readers, what do you hope they get from your novel?

A book that is well-written, interesting, authentic, heart-felt, and honest. And, maybe come away with a new perspective of the world around them.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

I write with a poetic touch, generally, inasmuch, as I love to write very descriptive scenes  for emotional responses to different backgrounds, whether it is a church, a country road, a forest,  or a river running swiftly under a bridge. Often, I do this so that the reader can visualize a past memory or experience about what they are reading in my story.

 

Do you have a particular genre that you enjoy reading?

I like most genres, but I suppose I favor Historical Fiction.

 

Who are some of your favorite writers?

Some of my favorites are: Stephen King, Umberto Eco, James Joyce, Jack London, Joseph Conrad, Harper Lee, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Anderson, Libby Hawker.

 

What books are you currently reading?

I am currently reading, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown, and Catling’s Bane by D. Wallace Peach.

 

What books and/or writers have inspired you?

On Writing by Stephen King, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, Dubliners by James Joyce, The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London, To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Tidewater by Libby Hawker, Far From the Maddening Crowd, by Thomas Hardy, The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and poets like John Keats, E. E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Sara Teasdale, and of course, William Shakespeare.

Once again, I want to thank K. D. Dowdall for agreeing to this interview. Part 2 will be posted soon.

You can find more information about Karen’s writing at these sites, and please treat yourself by getting a copy of her novel, The Stone Arch Secret.

The Stone Arch Secret is available on Amazon

https://karendowdall.com/

https://www.facebook.com/karenddowdall

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Quotations on Reading

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“And reading itself is an amazing activity: You glance at a thin, flat object made from a tree…and the voice of the author begins to speak inside your head. (Hello!)”

                                                              Carl Sagan

 

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“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”

                                                              Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”

                                                               Joyce Carol Oates