Archive for the ‘books’ Category

#Reviewers Wanted   1 comment

Image result for image of a threatening fragility markhamA Threatening Fragility publishes November 7, 2017, and I’m looking for reviewers … for the entire series.

I’m willing to give FREE ebooks for an honest review.

This is the third book for a libertarian-influenced apocalyptic series that asks “How would the people of a small Midwestern town survive if brought to a breaking point?”

If you’re interested, email me at lelamarkham@gmail.com with “Review Offer” in the subject line.

Posted November 6, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in books, Uncategorized

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Rape of the Mind   Leave a comment

Image result for image of rape of the mind“… The development of a kind of bureaucratic absolutism is not limited, however, to totalitarian countries. A mild form of professional absolutism is evident in every country in the mediating class of civil servants who bridge the gap between man and his rulers. Such a bureaucracy may be used to help or to harm the citizens it should serve.

It is important to realize that a peculiar, silent form of battle goes on in all of the countries of the world — under every form of government — a battle between the common man and the government apparatus he himself has created. In many places we can see that this governing tool, which was originally meant to serve and assist man, has gradually obtained more power than it was intended to have.

… Governmental techniques are no different from any other psychological strategy; the deadening hold of regimentation can take mental possession of those dedicated to it, if they are not alert. And this is the intrinsic danger of the various agencies that mediate between the common man and his government. It is a tragic aspect of life that man has to place another fallible man between himself and the attainment of his highest ideals.” –The Rape of the Mind

Posted October 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in books

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Genesis of “What If … Wasn’t”   Leave a comment

Way back when I was in college (35 years ago), I read a news article about a young man who was being sentenced to 25 years to life for killing his sister in a boating accident. The details faded over the years to where I only really remember the sentence, that it was off the coast of Long Island and that his father was rich. I didn’t know this guy. I don’t remember his name. He simply became one of the stories we writers collect for future examination.

At around the same time, a friend who was a Vietnam vet told me his story about PTSD … seeing stuff that isn’t there, but was once part of his daily existence, feeling blood on his hands … being caught on a horror that is long past, but just will not let you go.

Come forward 15 years and a friend of ours killed someone in a drunk driving accident and went to jail for four years. Brad and I became involved in prison ministry because of that and we helped our friend and several others reenter society after their incarceration. We walked these folks through their reentry.

My husband is a recovering alcoholic, so 12-Step is a part of our lives.

These are just building blocks to a story that finally coalesced about 15 years ago into a story about a Long Island trust-fund kid who went to prison for killing his sister in a drunken boating accident and is now being released after five years to find his way in the world carrying that horrible baggage with him.

 

Twisting Interpretations   Leave a comment

Well that and people bursting into flames.Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite writers whose name is synonymous with one book, Fahrenheit 451, a novel set in a twisted future version of America where books are banned and burned. My dad made me read it when I was 11.The book is well-regarded as a literary classic and it has been studied by academics for decades. I remember reading it in highschool and getting an interpretation that I had not gotten when I read it at age 11. It turns out that I may have understood Bradbury better than the scholars do.

Under “Makes you say ‘hmmm’, some would-be scholars once told Bradbury that he was wrong about his own book. 

 It has long been believed by people studying the novel that it is a clever commentary on censorship. There have been thousands of articles and dissertations written on the subject and I’m not going to dust-off my inner geek and bore you with the details about how academics have interpreted the novel over the years, because they all say the same basic thing. Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about censorship.
Except Ray Bradbury claimed the book wasn’t about censorship at all. You’d think he’d know what the book was about because he wrote it. And, yes, he wrote it during any era when actual book burnings had occurred within recent memory. Still, he always insisted that the main theme of the book is the role of the mass media and its effect on the populace, in particular television and how it makes people less able to digest more complex forms of media, like books.
I find it odd that scholars ignore this as the true theme of the novel, even though the author says that is what he meant. Bradbury himself experienced this slavish adherence to a false doctrine while giving a lecture on the novel to a class of college students. He casually mentioned that the theme of the novel was the dangers of television and someone loudly exclaimed “no, it’s about censorship!“.

Bradbury then tried to correct the student, pointing out that he wrote the novel and ought to know the message he meant to convey, but the rest of the class chimed in and agreed that the novel was about censorship.  Bradbury became so pissed off at the sheer pig-headedness of the students that he walked out of the lecture and vowed he’d never give another lecture on the book.

Sometimes it seems a little unfair to say college students and literary scholars are all full of themselves, but then I remember that a group of them once literally tried to argue with a guy who wrote the book they were studying and made him leave out of frustration when they wouldn’t believe his interpretation of his own book.

I think I know what Bradbury felt like because I feel the same way when I discuss the Bible or the US Constitution with some people. They will insist that the plain language of these documents under discussion does not really mean what I think it means. There’s a more nuanced interpretation that means something entirely different from what the text actually says and only they really understand it. If Jesus Himself were to step back into human history to tell them the real meaning of the Bible, they would insist God didn’t understand His own words. If James Hamilton were able to visit for a day and explain the Constitution to them, they would insist he didn’t know what he was talking about.

Because, hey, we know that scholars know so much more about everything than the actual writers do.

Losing Freedom   3 comments

Writers of dystopian literature usually are readers of dystopian literature. I spent some time this winter re-reading 1984 by George Orwell and finally plowed all the way through the Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Last year, I re-read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s scary how much these works parallel modern reality.

Bradbury predicted wall-to-wall media home rooms, ear buds, and the decline of reading. In The Veld, he predicted virtual reality and its potential for harm.

Solzhenitsyn wrote history, of course, and from a painfully personal perspective. The parallels between the Soviet Union of his day and the United States of our own will make your hair stand on end. The measures the Soviet Union used to crush and control its population are manifesting today in the United States.  The rule of law has been subverted and courts now reflect the decision of the regime. Government policies substantiate the business interests and provide kickbacks for military contractors. Laws serve political and corporate interests. Most lawmakers themselves do not represent any of their constituents, preferring to enrich themselves by thievery, selling out their country and drowning the populace in debt and strangling regulation.

The police departments have largely been “federalized,” with budgets and procedures increasingly dependent upon federal rather than local or state policies. Sheriffs who follow their appointed roles as elected law enforcement officials upholding Constitutional guidelines are being “phased out” of existence.  The changed demographics of government-sponsored “immigration” of illegals and “refugees” are rapidly negating the remainder of the two-party system to ensure that the Democratic party takes control for the future.

Orwell envisioned this.  His work of fiction foresaw mass surveillance increasing by the day.  The “internet of things” is primed to allow “telescreens” to watch our every movement, with a camera on every corner to cover the public areas.  Orwell hated totalitarianism, having personal experience with it. He recognized man’s propensity was to move toward the enslavement of his fellow man.

The world’s situation is directly paralleling “1984” as three great spheres of influence are being formed by the powers that  be. We see those shifts of influence into the divisions outlined by Orwell now, as the nations jockey for position and power.  In 1984, the three powers shifted alliance as needed, but even two of the super-states in alignment and concerted efforts could not topple the third.

Populations are being conditioned (and largely are ready) to accept the coming totalitarianism. In fact, most would gladly embrace collectivist thought and socialism.  We see the blending of government and corporation today in virtually every facet of life. Elections are an illusion provided to keep the citizenry dulled into believing we are choosing this state of affairs.

The more I watch freedoms disappearing day to day, the more I wonder if there is a way to stem the tide.  Orwell and Solzhenitsyn gave us blueprints to follow…frameworks that detail what is befalling us. I’ve got to wonder – will people in the future refer to the brief period of freedom enjoyed by the American people as a “work of fiction” nobody is allowed to read?

Posted April 5, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in books

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Cover Evolution   9 comments

I debuted a potential cover for Mirklin Wood months ago, but I’ve been playing with the concept. I welcome feedback.

Which do you prefer?

Front Cover        Front Cover Red

Posted October 16, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in books

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Do You Enjoy Techno Thrillers?   1 comment

Ted Cross announces a one-week-only 99 cent sale of The Immortality Game
Ted Cross's photo.

http://www.amazon.com/Immortality-Game-Ted-Cross-ebook/dp/B00PGW5YZ8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445026662&sr=1-1&keywords=immortality+game

Ted Cross announces that starting today and for the one week only, The Immortality Game will be .99 on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, and GooglePlay!

Please share if you have any friends who enjoy this type of technothriller

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