Luxury Cruising

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There is a widow who makes her home on a luxury cruise ship sailing around the world.  Eight years ago she sold her five-bedroom home, said goodbye to her children and set off. Her story in the Washington Post made me so happy … Continue reading

How to Spot a Sex Slave

Dr. Cyndi Romine was in the Philippines when she saw a foreigner raping a preschooler he’d just purchased from her parents.  Witnessing this horrific scene made her so angry that she started the non-profit Called to Rescue, an agency that saves children from being  a sex slave.

“It’s not the economy,” she told me, “that makes sex trafficking the second most profitable industry in the world, after drugs, for 32 billion dollars.  It’s the demand of these perverts.

“When a child is trafficked, they are picked up by a handler and taken to an unfamiliar city to be offered to paying customers.”  And,.yes, she says, “You can find pages and pages of fiction and non-fiction titles on sex trafficking.”  Here are a few, including hers, Called to Rescue: Real Stories of Global Sex Tafficking Survivors and the Woman Who Fought and Dared to Save Them.

Not for Sale: The Return of Global Sex Trade and How We Can Fight It  (David Batstone)A Walk Across the Sun (Corban Addeson) set in India about two girls sucked into sex traffic after a tsunami);  The White Umbrella – Walking with Victims of Sex Trafficking (Martha Frances Bowley).

Called to Rescue is located in Vancouver, WA., along the I-5 corridor which Dr.  Romine says is a prime location for moving missing children between Mexico and Canada.  With her organization, last year 1300 children were saved by the help of her affiliations along with local police, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, etc. and volunteers.

You, too, can be on the lookout for a kid who might be out of place in a shopping mall or bowling alley or other public place.  Watch for a kid who doesn’t make eye contact and often has their head down.  Their handler makes a kid avert their eyes from everyone except them.

Should you see a child that fits the profile tray to engage them in conversation and ask, “What school do you go to?”  Children being moved across state lines aren’t likely to know the name of a local city or school.  Get license number if it involves a car and the description of the handler so you can report what you’ve seen to local authorities or Called to Rescue.

Want to know more?  Called to Rescue has task force training.  Go to their web site or call the hot line:  855-646-5484.

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Summer in a Forest

 

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“I don’t think people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”    Joseph Campbell

Here’s one of my favorite writing spots.  It’s a little open cabin on top of a small hill, a spot away from visitors and phones.  This is where I’ll discover what happens in the last chapters of Casanova Cowboy.  The surprises that just “happen” are enough to keep me there writing and forgetting that it’s time for me to go to the house to make lunch.

 

I may pause to plan a booth display for one of Bud’s Courage Beyond Expectations at the July Rendezvous in Colville or the Indian Pow Wow the end of August in Spokane.

Or, I may be imagining a candle-lit music night at the Lazy Bee in mid-June when there may be floral breezes and people dancing on the front deck.

It may be a long fire season again this summer.  Last year it meant that firemen and women were on sent on fires many times. Fire District Ten’s crew went out five times within a few days.  Friends of Fire District perhaps will be glad that we are planning another fund-raising picnic in August.  Last year our contribution brought the new mile markers which make it easier for firefighters to find locations.

Spring temperatures are already in the mid-seventies.  Last year when our charity AAUW garden tour was taking place June 27, the temperature was l06 degrees.  This is the first year I’ve planted seedlings.  Trees have been taken down near the garden so there will be more sunlight for the plants.  I’ll be out early in the morning to patrol the weeds if it’s going to be another summer of record highs.

Perhaps I’ll find an upgrade to replace the convertible which has l96,000 miles.  It’s proved to be fun way to drive to yoga or to bridge game.  With that many miles (and a few odd sounds from the motor) it’s not a safe feeling to go too far in it.

Summer truly means relaxing with family and friends, meals out of doors, especially for a neighbor who donated manure for my garden.  It’s the time of the year to be fully alive, glad to be living in a forest with mountains all around in community of benevolent neighbors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious Feelings

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The joy of discovering that something ordinary has become extra-ordinary!

Kanab, Utah, is a little town which might have been overwhelmed by the nearby  mighty canyons.  However, what stands out for me is the Rocking V Café.

An artist has a gallery upstairs in an historic two-story building . The café on the first floor is a blast of color on the huge old walls.   Rustic red, peaceful orange, vibrant green with a blue painted floor bring eating to a new level.

Especially if you’ve ordered their award-winning whiskey bread pudding: moist and tasty as its three sauces, Carmel, Whiskey and Cream.

When my food magazine, All Recipes, arrived with a recipe for Whiskey Bread Pudding, I jumped for joy just as the girl is doing in the photo above.  The café may even have inspired me to paint a few walls in the downstairs bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

An Enchanting Place

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Hello Again.

It feels good to be sharing moments with you after my long trip to the south of the U.S.  One of the don’t miss places I visited is a garden of beauty fifty miles from Flagstaff, AZ.

It’s one of our national parks – Montezuma’s Castle.   A happy place where the white hundreds year old sycamore trees still bear cellular memory of the Sinagua people who made their homes in the cliff dwellings above.

A pathway meanders below and signage explains their tranquil lives.  Harry Seavey’s award-winning flute music followed our footsteps.  He plays daily as a volunteer and donates his music albums to the park.  “When I came back from Vietnam,” he told me, “I left the chaos of the city to follow a new way of living, learned to make and play and teach flutes.”

The grandeur of life as it appears is with us very day if we only notice.  My next blog is about a café in northern Utah.  It’s tells of a man who says on his business card that he is a “fearless leader, a maniacal articator and benevolent overlord.”

Thanks for dropping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find More Energy

 

 

A Writer Suggests Ways to Stay Young

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l)  Maintain zest for life by starting each day with a sterling attitude. Ask: Do I want to be a growly bear or a loving one?

2) It’s my belief that if you add new friends while maintaining former ones and seek new places to explore, you can keep up the momentum for inner happiness.

3) Defeat does come.  But have a few tricks under your belt to deflect and learn from these experiences.  They’re in life to help you grow.  Those who keep growing are the happiest (so says research).

4) If you get hurt physically or emotionally, listen to uplifting music, whatever works for you.  I particularly like the solo piano music of Remembrance.

5) Stay up more than you sit down.  Walking, showering, scrubbing things, help launch creative ideas. They keep you moving. One writer likes to clean out her chicken coop when she is blocked.

6) If you see find that you are talking yourself out of making an effort, for example, to plan a trip, or you can’t think of anyone you’d like to invite to do something with you, seek out a person who you know gives you energy.  Then, put on an item– red  in color– and make the contact, best in person, for unexpected good results.

7) In thought:  If you see that you are thinking more about the past  than what’s happening NOW or in the future, stop.  That is unless you are writing a memoir about one aspect of your past, then you are forced to be there.

8) Can’t declutter?  Read a Gretchen Rubin book about her happiness quests and you may see that it’s because you don’t want to give away an awkward bit of yourself.

9) If you don’t like the holidays anymore, none of us feel the same excitement as when we were a kid, spruce up the front door or buy a few flowers.  Their scent and beauty may add the aspect that’s missing and bring back the delight a holiday can bring.

10) Are you adding more gray, black or brown colors to wardrobe or home?  If you are, please accompany them by adding the energy of the more vivacious colors such as forest green, amber, rose, red, peach, orange, purple. Watch UTube’s Advanced Style for clothing ideas. They’re wild but so MUCH fun to put into action.

11) If you journal, go ahead and rant and rave but end in a voice of gratitude. “Things may be back, but not if I give thanks for . . .”

12) Angry at someone?  Replace the thoughts with positive ones about the person. Works to rebalance the scales of good feelings.

13) Pick out your favorite “happy” song.  Sing out the words from one of the musicals such as Oklahoma’s “O’ What a Beautiful Morning” to bless the new day.

( With these ideas in mind, I head into the unknown.  A book tour starts Sunday; I can’t wait to put camera and notepad to work. What I learn may be helpful.  For whom? Who know?  Only the shadow, as the long ago radio program would ominously say as it ended.”

See you when spring returns.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson from the Chinese

Chinese InsightThird Chinese Rule

Chinese methods for dealing with conflict and competition are indirect.  The traditional Chinese method is to bide time–for decades if necessary–until external factors are favorable, use spies and counterspies to gather information, disrupt the enemies alliances, sow discord among his followers, frustrate his strategies, and use the strength of another.

These are realities that Westerners need to learn how to deal with the Chinese and to do business with them successfully.  Tim Clissold has worked and done business in China over twenty years and in his book, Chinese Rules, we learn many other things, too, such as a history of how Mao came to power and how he never brushed his teeth, which were black, and that he loved to play bridge.

According to the New York Times, “‘Chinese Rules, Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China,’ is a wonderful read . . . one might not expect such poetry from a banker.”

Complaining that it’s somehow “unfair” is the equivalent of the Brits grumbling that in the American War of Independence, the Yankees wouldn’t wear red coats to make it easier to shoot them.

“Melons ripen,” Mao said.  “Don’t pick them before they’re ripe.  When they’re ready, they’ll fall off of their own accord.” So, to overcome an opponent says Clissold is to build up a psychological position that is so dominant that the outcome of any conflict becomes a foregone conclusion.  The indispensable preliminary to battle is to attack the enemy’s mind.

Says Clissold, “Western methods of dealing with conflict rely mainly on the use of overwhelming firepower at a decisive moment in a direct physical attack; blast open the gates and bomb the enemy back to the Stone Age” with devastatingly superior weapons.

“Chinese concepts of conflict are the polar opposite; they rely not on overwhelming firepower but on silence, stealth, surprise, manipulation and deceit.”

And now, you see, as we welcome the Chinese currency into the world basket of currencies, Mr. Clissold offers many insights which can be a guide to global businesses.  He can give guidance to Westerners and show how the Chinese use specific lessons to do business as they have been for over two thousand years.

It’s a book which I’ll read for instructive pleasure again. (Please excuse the information shown in the photo as I am unable to read Chinese.)

 

 

 

 

 

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My Journey with Captains Lewis and Clark

I once took part in the Lewis and Clark expedition in the West.

The reenactment of this historical event took place in June of l984, but our portage around the Great Falls had us cross countryside that looked and felt the same wilderness as it was in June of 1805.  No people or buildings at all, just open land.

I had come to Great Falls in January to take a new position at the Red Cross chapter and was asked post haste to be a member of the planning committee

Captains Meriwether Lewis and William C. Clark, portrayed by Richard Martin and Ronald Paulick told me, “We need two women to portray members of the original party.  We think one of them should be you.”

Every week three committees met under their sergeant to make preparations, to learn from experts as much as possible about the Expedition and its members, to get a feel for countryside we would be crossing in our portage around the Great Falls with three loaded canoes build with trees from the forests nearby.

In our outfits made of two deer and one elk skin, the party members looked as if we had stepped out of history.

The  Captains wrote me a letter prior to departure.  In it they said: “As you portray Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse during these next few weeks. We hope you will pour into your role the strength of your own character in which we have the utmost confidence.  There will be many rigors ahead< and both physical and mental challenges for you.  But there will be opportunities for you to meet and exceed these challenges.  And with success you will benefit greatly in unaccountable ways.”

(More about the challenges of that journey and how the remembrance of it brings to mind the ones which might be expected on the journey I soon begin.  In the next blog, more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the lessons it taught.)

The Lifespan of My Lebensborn Novel

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An author produces a book.  Many, especially book of fiction, are works that take years to write, rewrite and edit before being released.  Then, the daily marketing efforts begin.

As long as an author continues to breath marketing into the creation, the book stands a change of aging well.  But with all things, death comes.

My signature work, Lebensborn, was researched before the internet came into being.  I went to France when creating the first book.  During the writing of the second part of the book, I traveled to Germany to see and feel with my own eyes, authentic bits of the past.  Lebensborn did well for three years.  It received good press, interviews, radio interviews, a gold medal in fiction, plus a royalty grant for an audio book.

It went overseas.  To the book shelves of China and into the hands of e-book readers.

Two years ago a publisher who liked the book asked me to join his team.  “I love your book.  Wouldn’t change a word in it.  I feel it never received the exposure that it should have.”

I liked his enthusiasm and changed publishers.  This took the book out of production.  Time passed before he phoned again to ask if I had any new work.  “Of course.  In my author’s trunk, there is Snowbirds,”  A cover artist was assigned.  Snowbirds arrived and is a fun ride.

A few weeks ago, an artist sent me a cover draft for Lebensborn and said it was based upon an historic poster for the Lebensborn program.  A healthy looking blond youth in a Hitler Youth uniform is shown over a strip of photos of Lebensborn babies and young women.Lebensborn cover DRAFT 4 OCT 20

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When I saw the cover, my heart sank.  I wrote the story because I was fascinated by the Nazi’s state of the art publicity and their other ways of promoting their plans: the speeches, night parades, architecture, uniforms, and wanted to show HOW this played a major role in seducing an entire nation (well, that and their fear tactics).  I envision a “fairy-tale” for the next cover because so many women of high status believed it enough to produce a baby for the Fuhrer.

Lebensborn, the book, remains adrift in the sea of historical fiction.  Before looking for a new cover artist who understand my vision, I’ve asked the publisher to ask a few experts to see if the book deserves another chance.

The jury is out.