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Category Archives: Posts Either Written By Me or Written About My Work

Review of Courier by Alma Kadragic

Terry Irving knows how to write a story so fast moving and gripping that the reader can’t stop. His first novel Courier is first of all a chase story featuring motorcycle rider Rick Putnam who repeatedly escapes the bad guys on a big bruising BMW or a sleek fast Kawasaki. But Courier is much more than that.

Irving recreates Washington D.C. in late 1972 when American B-52s were bombing Hanoi, the peace process to end the Vietnam War seemed stuck, and a robbery at a Washington D.C. apartment complex called the Watergate was something that no one seemed to care much about.

via Terry Irving.

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Another way to keep from writing — Match Stick Rocket

 

Match Stick Rocket

SUBJECT: Rocketry

TOPIC: Propulsion

DESCRIPTION: A small solid propellant rocket is made from a match and a piece of aluminum foil.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Steve Culivan, KSC

EDITED BY: Roger Storm, NASA Glenn Research Center

MATERIALS:

  • 2 match book matches or wooden stick matches
  • Small square of aluminum foil
  • Paper clip
  • Safety pin

PROCEDURE:

  1. Take one match and wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around the match-head. Wrap the foil tightly.
  2. Make a small opening in the foil wrapped around the match head by inserting the point of a safety pin and bending upward slightly.
  3. Bend the paper clip to form a launch pad as shown in the diagrams. Erect the match stick rocket on the pad. Make sure the pad is set up on a surface that will not be damaged by the rocket’s exhaust such as a lab table. Several layers of foil on the lab table work well.
  4. Ignite the match by holding a second lighted match under the foil until its combustion temperature is reached.

Caution: Be sure the match rocket is pointed away from people or burnable materials. it is recommended to have water or some other fire extinguishant available. The foil head of the rocket will be very hot!

DISCUSSION: The match stick rocket demonstrates Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion as they relate to rocketry. Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an opposite and

English: Low-res simulation of c-slot propella...

equal reaction. The exhaust of the fire products from the burning match (smoke and gas) is the “action” and the movement of the rocket in the other direction is the ‘reaction.’ The action thrust is produced when the match burns in an enclosed environment. The aluminum foil acts as a rocket combustion chamber. Because the opening in the foil is small, pressure builds up in the chamber that eventually escapes as a rapid stream of smoke and gas.

English: Schematic diagram of a V-2 rocket des...

English: Force diagram for rocket engine thrust.

In an interesting variation of the experiment, try making holes of different diameters to let the combustion products out at different rates. A larger opening permits the smoke and gas to escape before it has time to build up much pressure. The escape of the products will be slower than produced by a match stick rocket with a smaller opening. Isaac Newton’s second law states that the force or thrust of a rocket is equal to the mass of the smoke and gas escaping the rocket times how fast it escapes. In this experiment, the mass of the smoke and gas is the same for both cases. The difference is in how fast it escapes. Compare the distance traveled with the two match stick rockets.

via Match Stick Rocket.

English: Isaac Newton: Principia Mathematica E...

“Courier” by Terry Irving (Motorcycle-Riding Vietnam-Vet, Watergate newsman)

There’s a GREAT story behind the story here, Indie Authors and Indie fans. From Irving’s blog:

“Courier” by Terry Irving (Motorcycle-Riding Vietnam-Vet, Watergate newsman).

The Passing of the Grown-ups.

I only met Ben Bradlee once—when I was in charge of a brigade of ruffians who invaded his beautiful house in Georgetown with cables, lights, and electronic gear so that his wife, Sally Quinn, could have an intimate chat with Ted Koppel—but I mourn his passing. He was one of those leaders I have come to call “The Grown-Ups.”

The sort of boss who might not be your favorite person but who would have your back in times of crisis and, if necessary, wait until the office door was closed to read you the riot act. Who would release a statement like “we stand by our reporting” and then just ignore the opinion pages.

After I’d been a motorcycle courier for ABC News, I suffered through six months as a paralegal at the biggest of the Washington law firms while I was trying to get back into television. One of my jobs was to attack a six-foot high printout of television program logs and create a table of every minute that a Washington Post station had broadcast “Kimba: The White Lion.” Nixon’s supporters had gone after their broadcast licenses claiming that weren’t paying the mandated attention to the public interest. We were proving that, indeed, “Kimba” was an educational children’s program and it counted towards the mandatory 3 hour minimum.

I’m not trying to defend “Kimba,” or for that matter the long-lost idea that broadcasters have a duty to work in the “public interest”—I’m just demonstrating how much pressure the Nixon White House was putting on Bradlee and the Post. It wasn’t just “t** in the wringer” insults and “nattering nabobs of negativism” speeches. Every aspect of the Washington Post was under attack, from advertisers to broadcast revenue, IRS audits, and investigations of sexual preferences. It was an all-out attempt to crush the paper and Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham withstood it with determination, grace, and a sense of humor.

Others weren’t so lucky. A correspondent at ABC News did a story on campaign money being laundered through Bebe Rebozo’s bank in Miami. His bosses were much more pliable—some of them having worked for the White House under Eisenhower—so he was told to recant the story, he refused, he was fired, and the anchor recanted for him.

Much later, I was the executive producer of Don Imus’ program on MSNBC. I had a few difficulties with things Imus would say (by re-airing one of them, I cost NBC $32, 000,) but I knew that Bob Wright was at NBC and Mel Karmazin was at CBS. They’d been through this sort of thing before—in the case of Howard Stern, many times before—and they were used to it. They knew that the job of a shock jock was to be outrageous and controversial and so, when they were outrageous and controversial, the bosses sucked it up, ignored the outraged commentaries and indignant protests, and went right on with business.

(Not everyone was so calm. I landed at LaGuardia one afternoon after a show in Boston and my pager showed dozens of messages. I got to a pay phone and called in to one of the top executives at MSNBC. He asked frantically, “Terry, what’s going on? Imus called the President of NBC News a fat liar today.” I responded, “You haven’t been listening. Don has called that guy a ‘fat liar’ twice a day for months.”)

The point is that Wright and Karmazin were Grown-Ups. Like Bradlee, they knew when they were in the right and weren’t about to be pushed around by anyone. Sadly, these men and women are passing from the scene.

When Imus made his infamous statement about the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, I was no longer on the front deck. I might have hit the Dump button on the 7-second delay because I knew that attacking people who were not “public figures” was a Really Bad Idea. On the other hand, I might not and I would have defended that decision.

What amazed me was how quickly all the executives caved. Within hours, Imus was gone. They didn’t consult the Imus production staff, they didn’t talk to Imus, and, as a matter of fact, they broke his contract which contained very specific clauses in case the man hired to say shocking things said something shocking. I could be wrong but my memory was that CBS eventually had to pay millions to Imus for breach of contract.

OK, that was a case where the comment was seen as anti-black and anti-women and I guess I could understand the brass getting righteously upset. On the other hand, they could have asked the Executive Producer (who was black) or the Show Producer (who was a woman) if they were offended (they weren’t) but let’s not quibble.

What was really disturbing was when MSNBC correspondent and occasional anchor David Shuster used the term “pimp out” in a question about Chelsea Clinton’s campaigning and was summarily suspended and soon fired. In context, the phrase was a bit over the top but I thought it was completely within the bounds of political discourse. Once again, the brass threw him under the bus but, rather than just eliminating a rude shock jock, I am convinced that their lack of backbone was due to fear of a political backlash and that’s a death knell to any truly honest political reporting.

I could be wrong but that’s my opinion.

Regardless, I’ll bet their reaction sent a message to everyone at MSNBC. Since it was clear that, if they got the slightest push-back on a story, management would fold like a cheap suit; they knew not to take chances, not to be tough on politicians, and not to be aggressive. I’ve seen it at all the other networks, young managers wilting under the smallest amount of pressure and leaving their reporters and producers in the lurch.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would never have written the stories that brought down a president we now know was corrupt and completely without a moral compass without the support of their bosses. People who’d been in a brawl or two and knew how to take a punch as well as give one.

People like Ben Bradlee.

2005 Tsunami Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Indonesian Visa and International Certificate of Vaccination for Hepatitis, Typhoid, Diptheria/Tetanus and Polio.

2004 Visa and Shots for Banda Aceh Tsunami

(Try finding a doctor to administer shots on New Year’s Day!)

Review of Courier/Only slightly truncated.

Review: Cover is pretty cool.

Originally posted on Koeur’s Book Reviews:

cover43300-mediumPublisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 9781909223806
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 2/5

Publisher Description: It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge. Rick Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and motorcycle courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Review: Cover is pretty cool.

View original 305 more words

[Terry: Yes, I’m just fooling around. He hated it.]

Getcha Free Copy of Courier Right Here! Extra! Extra!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Courier by Terry  Irving

Courier

by Terry Irving

Giveaway ends April 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Book Trailer for Courier

Actually, life in 1972 was a lot like this–black and white, hyperspeed motorcycles, crashing.

It’s a fairly accurate representation of Rick Putnam’s story.

It’s UP! COURIER is now online for Reviewers, Friends, and Innocent Bystanders

“Kudos to one of television’s best producers for writing the thriller of the year.”
– Sam Donaldson, White House Reporter

“If the phrase ‘a crackling good yarn’ evokes an era before Twitter, Facebook, cell phones, videotape, DVD’s or cable television, welcome to Terry Irving’s fast-paced thriller.”
– Ted Koppel, anchor for ABC Nightline

Description

Get ready for the ride of your life…

It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge. Rick Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and motorcycle courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Before Twitter and Facebook, the fastest way get a story on the news was on a BMW R50/2 motorbike. It was also the fastest way to get killed…

Courier is a political conspiracy thriller as exciting as Three Days of the Condor, with a lead as cool as Easy Rider, all set in Nixon-era Washington.

Written by a four-time Emmy award-winning writer and producer, this is a killer blend of action and surprise twists, certain to appeal to fans of James Ellroy and Dennis Lehane.

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Our imperative is to design programs and features that help professional readers be effective influencers, and provide more information to publishers about how early reading ignites buzz and promotes sales.

NetGalley is a service to promote titles to professional readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request, read and provide feedback about forthcoming titles. Your feedback and recommendations are essential to publishers and readers alike.

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“…the truth leads directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”–Courier: Terry Irving

OK, It’s only pre-order but it’s THERE!  Sign up for the mailing list and be eligible for a free SIGNED copy!

“This is a goddamn big story. It’ll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand.”It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Enlisting the aid of friends who have discovered a way to hack into the government’s computer databases, and a beautiful young Indian Rights activist, Eva Buffalo Calf, Rick races full throttle through the streets of the nation’s capital to stay ahead of his pursuers as he searches for answers. When he discovers the killings have been orchestrated by a rogue CIA agent and his team of assassins, Rick isn’t surprised when his road to the truth leads directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Courier: Terry Irving: 9781909223790: Amazon.com: Books.

My Long Night With Hunter Thompson

the last word

The Last Word — Worst TV Show EVER

Long ago and far away (or at least in Florida), I was a field producer for the Worst Program on Television.  Many programs have vied for this title and, yes, there are quite a number that come pretty close, but ABC’s The Last Word was the hands-down Winner. They had to retire the Morton Downey Cup after that year and replace it with the Jerry Springer & Dr. Phil Dual Memorial Ball-Gag.

Irving & Shaplen: Covering the Nation

I said I was “a” field producer for The Last Word. In fact, I was the only field producer East of the Mississippi. Peter Shaplen, with his suave good looks and smooth Continental manner, covered everything from the Pacific to Chicago. The reason that there were only two of us to produce material for five shows per week was the result of the same complete failure of planning or, arguably, an absence of any indications of rational thought, on the part of the crack production team who had created the program.

You see, this was in the “good old days” of television known as the “Feudal Period” or the Daimyo Dynasty. All television programs and all television producers had been divided into fiefdoms run by a small group of powerful men (there might have been a woman or two later but I was never in their entourage). As a mid-level samurai seeking new quests after the 1980 presidential campaign and the usual complete emotional breakdown that followed, I was a loyal member of the Family L (all names have been replaced by easily-recognizable letters to protect…well, to protect ME.). That meant that L would seek to protect and keep me employed and, in turn, I would work 18 hours a day for him and periodically permit him to exercise droit de seigneur with new interns.  Without this protective relationship, I would have had to become a ronin (masterless samurai or freelancer), wandering the television wastes without meaning, regular pay, or health benefits.

Usually, this was a exquisitely functional relationship. Of course, my fortune rose fell along with L’s as he fought for power against Clan G, the Protectorate of W, and His Royal Doofus, Lord K.  This was in the period before the rise of the Gray Eminence of The Desk, Lady MM, and the destruction of the feudal system and all it’s lords and their vassals.

Yes, you may well ask the purpose of this digression into the politics of Television. Rest assured that it was central to the ineffable Awfulness of The Last Word. Originally, the Sun God –whose red and shiny visage had brought Light and Heat (and Ratings), had assigned L to produce a program to follow Nightline.  High Protector W rose in wrath and strode to the Head Office and demanded that the glory of a new program was rightfully his. His petition was heard by the Sun King. It was a bit odd how well L bowed to the inevitable and handed over the reins of Executive Production to the usurper.

(Jeez, I can’t write like this much longer. Hang in there.)

So The Last Word was given to W who immediately realized why it had come to him so easily.  It was a dog.

W instantly took on a new tactic: wandering the halls of 47 West with his eyes on the sky. If asked about The Last Word, he would usually respond with a vague, “Huh?” and then quickly change the subject to how well Barbara Walters was looking today.  I believe his plan was to be so distant from the program that he could successfully pass it off as the product of another corporate division and, possibly, another network.

The end result was that this small program was graced with 4 Senior Producers (two appointed by L and two by W), a Director who was also a Senior Producer (which meant that he wouldn’t listen to any of the others, one anchor in New York (a correspondent who had be recovered from Woodstock after 5 days despite desperate efforts by his staff to ensure he stayed there–even if it meant extending the concert) and one anchor in Chicago (who came with his own Senior Producer and an adamant determination to do nothing except his daytime program with different colors on the set).

It would have worked out much better if the Senior Producers had followed the time-hallowed CBS method of “Sharks in the Tank” and destroyed each other in true Highlander fashion. At the point when There Was Only One, the show might have had a central focus.  It would have been enough if you could have described it as anything but “The 30 Minutes that Follows Nightline.” Sadly, the Seniors (all of whom were best friends of mine) were insufficiently vicious and agreed to take turns–producing one program a week.  A typical week under this arrangement went like this:

Continue reading →

Answer to Quora Question on Online Journalism

Should we expect better standards from Internet News Sites that are the offshoot official mainstream news sources?

Terry Irving, Online since 1980, developed some of the basic techniques in online news, blatantly claims to have written the first ‘newsblog.’ Edit Bio

First, please tell me when the “old school of ‘just the facts, ma’am’ journalism” existed?During the period of the American Revolution when all print outlets were owned and operated by political parties or factions?

During the Hearst / Pulitzer period when newspapers created stories, ignored well-known facts about celebrities (like the fact that FDR couldn’t walk), and generally would print anything that would bring in sales?

During World War 2 when government censorship in US media was complete and the psychological censorship by editors and writers in support of the war effort allowed journalists to ignore the terrible losses at Tarawa, the bombing of Allied troops in Normandy, and the fact that the majority of US soldiers in Europe were badly-led children because of the loss of a trained cadre in Africa? (The sainted Edward R. Murrow later headed the American Government’s Propaganda operations–they only invented ‘public diplomacy’ after he died. He was always very honest about what he produced after the War)

During the 50s, when Hollywood crumbled under government pressure and blacklisted some of our best writers and journalists published the latest communist witchhunts without question?

During the 60’s when the support for the Vietnam War was a united front until the very end?

The Golden Age of Journalism (as far as I’m concerned) was when, by happy circumstance, the television and radio outlets and the major newspapers were owned by very rich families who enjoyed talking about their prize journalists at parties and protected them from the realities of life. I’m talking about the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Wall ST. Journal, and the three networks under their oligarchic ownership. All of this ended as soon as a news organization was under the control of a corporation.

OK. I’m overdoing it but the question is a great example of Golden Age thinking–there must have been a time just a couple of decades ago when it was all so much better. Yeah, it comes from the fact that your memory of what the world used to be is that of a child . Crime is down, children are safer, poverty and abuse are at the lowest levels in history  but that can’t complete with your memories of life when the world was new and your parents didn’t bother to tell you about all the problems.

Back to Journalists. There are exceptions (Ben Bradlee, Sy Hirsh, John Hersey) but the great span of journalism of any kind is about the same–a large number of hacks who put out stories that present very complicated issues as simple facts, another large number of pseudo-journalists who use facts as building-blocks to prove a pre-determined ideology, and finally, a very small group of real investigators who are generally poorly-paid and usually fired as soon as someone complains about anything they write or say.

OK, all of this is mere preamble to answering the question. Will online news sources in general be better? Probably not. There is a positive component to “crowd-sourcing” and the fact that anyone can put up a webpage and report. The downside can be seen in Reddit’s total fail in the Boston Bombing or in webites like Daily KOS or Breitbart where facts take a backseat to ideology.

The advantage that websites have over independent operations is ‘curating.’ Oddly enough, a journalist’s job is NOT to just give the facts. That’s done by 300 page government reports or expensive data-collection firms. A journalist takes a fact and decides
a) is it true? ,
b) who is presenting it and what’s their angle?,
c) how can he or she create a complete picture of the fact in the time or space available?
d) how important is that fact?

That’s what you want from a journalist and, although you never see it, it’s enforced by a group of dedicated people who work as editors, fact-checkers, editorial boards, standards and practices attorneys, etc. The raw material of the day’s events are first filtered through the experience of a reporter then usually filtered two or three more times before it gets on the website. (If they are good, this happens in minutes). These are usually people who care fiercely about the news, who resist corporate intrusion, who are difficult to identify as Liberal or Conservative, who are inevitably identified as Liberal or Conservative by Conservatives and Liberals, respectively.

However, they need to be paid. If they are going to keep doing this work, raise their kids and all that stuff, they must be paid. Posting on the internet is free but it would be nice to eat as well.  The end result is that a news website that is connected to a major news organization will be able to pay reasonable (but not great) salaries to the curators who keep them reasonably accurate. An independent website will not.

So, yes, you should expect better standards from large, corporate news websites. And, in fact that’s what you get.

You know how you can tell? They tell you about their mistakes. When was the last time you saw a retraction or an apology from a small feisty independent site?

JDC, Israeli Relief Teams Headed To Phillipines | The Jewish Week

JDC, Israeli Relief Teams Headed To Phillipines

During the buildup to World War II, JDC ensured the emigration of more than 1,000 European Jews escaping Nazi persecution to the island nation. The story of European Jews who took refuge was the subject of “Rescue in the Philippines,” a recently released documentary. It followed the remarkable story of how one family – the Frieders – together with the JDC helped bring hundreds of European Jews to Manila, saving them from near certain death in the Holocaust.

With the death toll in the Phillipines soaring, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has begun collecting aid for the thousands of lives ruined by Typhoon Haiyan over the weekend.

Representatives of the agency are also gearing up to assess the situation firsthand.

“Or team of disaster relief and development experts [will] assess damage, consult with local partners and the Jewish community, and see where our help will be most impactful, a JDC spokesman, Michel Geller, told The Jewish Week.

At the same time, an Israeli force of relief workers is to assist with medical and other needs.

Arutz Sheva, citing an announcement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry said a search and rescue team experienced in searching damaged buildings and a medical team would be dispatched to the area.

Also, the Israeli disaster relief organization IsraAid is sending an emergency response team.

The nonprofit group’s team of medical professionals and trauma and relief specialists are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines  Monday, working primarily in Tacloban City in Leyte. A larger team is expected to land by the end of the week, according to IsraAid.

Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most severe storm in recorded history, battered the Phillipines with winds of up to 195 mph, leaving a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead, and at least half a million people have been left homeless.

“We immediately activated our network of global partners and will leverage our previous experience in the region to provide immediate, strategic relief to survivors in their time of need,” said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s chief executive officer.

“These efforts are especially poignant for us given the Philippines’s life-saving actions during the Second World War when the country offered safe haven to more than 1,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi onslaught. It is our privilege today to honor that historic debt.”

As damage reports and casualty rates continue to grow, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos remain inaccessible, without power and shelter in the wake of Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, according to JDC.

The American Jewish World Service also launched a relief fund. “Towns and villages are leveled. There is no water to drink or food to eat,” said the group on its website. “We are collecting funds to provide urgent aid to local groups in the Philippines that know their communities and what they need to help survivors. ”

The organization already has a history operating in the Philippine after having assisted with post-typhoon cholera through an Israeli partner in 2009 and working to enhance emerging Jewish community life through the inclusion of the Filipino Jewish community members in pan-Asian Jewish events.

During the buildup to World War II, JDC ensured the emigration of more than 1,000 European Jews escaping Nazi persecution to the island nation. The story of European Jews who took refuge was the subject of “Rescue in the Philippines,” a recently released documentary. It followed the remarkable story of how one family – the Frieders – together with the JDC helped bring hundreds of European Jews to Manila, saving them from near certain death in the Holocaust.

JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, and the United Nations.

JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.

To make a Contribution go to  www.jdc.org, or call 212-687-6200/

Checks, sent by mail, may be sent to JDC Typhoon Haiyan Relief, P.O. Box 4124. New York, NY 10163.

To donate to the American Jewish World Service fund, make checks payable to: American Jewish World Service, 5 West 36th Street, 11th floor  New York, NY 10018-7904, or call 212.792.2900.

via JDC, Israeli Relief Teams Headed To Phillipines | The Jewish Week.

Twitter Conversation as Found Art

  1. Eka @ekaterinagomez1 1 Oct

    @terryirving Alguien me dijo que #emprender era un #camino de quienes se revelan al #sometimiento ajeno, lo crees también?

  2. @terryirving warum? Ich würde gerne Ihre Meinung wissen. regards!!

  3. @ekaterinagomez1 weil ich keine Ahnung habe, was du sagst!

  4. @ekaterinagomez1 OH you said @ terryirving Someone told me that # undertake was a # way # who are revealed to alien subjugation, / Sure.

 

grass toots grains

I just wanted to share the fact that someone found my blog by searching for

“julie montagu grass toots grains”

Which could well be a true fact in several different ways.

But which doesn’t really reflect the beauty of Old Friend, Julie Montagu

The Flexi Foodie

Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burgers

P1050321So the snow has fallen in abundance in London causing the schools to close and all four of my children to be at home! My kids are so active and into every sport imaginable, therefore chaos is the norm in our house. For this reason it’s not very often that the six of us are all together at the same time so what a treat it was to be snowed in! I relished the opportunity to get them all cooking together in the kitchen and that’s where this week’s recipe was born.

My kids are definitely lovers of veggie burgers. They’re the kids who order them at burger restaurants, at pool side cafes or even birthday parties and I’m so proud of them for it! Eating a wholesome veggie burger is like getting an injection of so many nutrients rather than cholesterol and saturated fat. So it was a unanimous decision – we would make their favourite and my speciality, Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burger….served, of course, with a side of sweet potato chips and green peas!

If you’re getting ready to make this dish at home yourself then first you’ll need to raid the supermarket for the following ingredients:

125g or 3/4 cup of whole-wheat couscous
100g or 1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp. whole meal flour
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 a bunch of coriander
1 courgette, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon, tahini
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper

Once you’ve gathered the necessary ingredients you can begin by putting all of the couscous into a bowl and pouring 200ml of seasoned boiling water over it. A simple bouillon is perfect for this and will really flavour the couscous. Quickly mix together before covering and placing to one side.P1050292

You can then rinse your half a cup of lentils and place in a pan with 300ml of water and bring to the boil. After about twenty minutes in the pan, the lentils should have become soft so it’s now time to drain and chuck them into your food processor. Now is also the time to include the diced onion, carrot, courgette and tomato along with all of the spices and herbs.

Once all of your ingredients are blended together you can remove the mixture from the blender and add it to the bowl of couscous that you prepared earlier. You must now mix the two concoctions together vigorously with your hands. As soon as your couscous combination is ready, you can wet your hands and have some fun moulding the mixture into burger shapes. With the amount of ingredients used you will have enough burger mix to make four burgers, or alternatively you could make more slightly smaller burgers.P1050299

Your burger patties can now be added to a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and cooked for three or four minutes on each side. As soon as they’re ready you can pop them out of the pan and into wholemeal baps. Garnish in any which way you like and enjoy!

The combination of vegetables inside these burgers is a great mix and provides a generous amount of nutrition in each portion. Tomatoes are an amazing source of antioxidants, especially lycopene which protects the body from those nasty free radicals. Courgettes are also prized for their antioxidant values as well as their high potassium count which is great for your blood pressure. Similarly onions and carrots are rich sources of vitamins and nutrients, especially beta-carotene for the latter which helps maintain your vision.

Although the burgers are technically cooked, the amount of time they are heated for will allow for lots of nutrients that are normally lost through cooking at high temperatures to remain.

If you want to find out more about nutrition then click here!

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Why did 80% of soldiers in WW2 combat NOT shoot? How do you write about killing?

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression A...

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression Among U.S. Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Between Oct 2001 and Oct 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a novel and had the editor resist the way I portrayed my character’s reaction to killing. (He hated it–a negative personality trait in a conventional thriller).

However, I have a problem with novels that are really dressed-up comic books. I don’t think that anyone knows how hard to hit someone on the head to be SURE that his victim won’t have a subdural hematoma and either die or be permanently disabled. From what I read, a “bullet graze” carries a strong danger of violent infection and hitting someone in the face with a bare fist is a great way to break your hand. Cops who fire a weapon face months of evaluation, they don’t hit the streets the next day.

I don’t think that normal people kill others without carrying that fact with them forever.

In the process of developing a character, I’ve been reading “On Killing” by Lt. Col Dave Grossman, which in turn is based on the ground-breaking studies of Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall (“Men Against Killing”) who found that only 15 t0 20% of infantryman in World War Two would actually fire a weapon at an enemy. They were brave, they would perform other duties under fire, they would load for others, they just wouldn’t fire or they would deliberately fire over the heads of the enemy.

"Gun Threat Target" Illustration from bodyguard.bgSilhouette targets are one of the key training tools that a modern military uses to break down the instinctive human desire NOT to kill another human and it has been monumentally successful. A modern military will alway defeat one trained in “classic” methods. The British defeat of the Argentine military in the Falklands is a great example.

However, as Grossman points out, soldiers who are put in positions where they either kill or have to confront killing another human have far more cases of PTSD than soldiers in equally dangerous situations but where they do not have to actually SEE the target that they are shooting (i.e. Artillery). As I read articles about PTSD and the 20% of the military returning from our current wars with some combination of concussive brain injury and/or PTSD, the more I realize that the casual use of killing in the novels we write is grotesquely incorrect.

Yes, good people can kill and go on with their lives but only real psychopaths can kill and not have some psychological injury without significant training to break down the instincts and-usually-replace it with the desire to protect and be respected by their “buddies.” Most people who are trained and placed into the sort of close quarters, house-to-house fighting that we’ve had in the past 20 years are going to suffer some degree of long-term, possibly permanent damage.

Once, this is stuck in your head, it starts to appear everywhere–especially in the comments of troops who have returned from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They don’t have nightmares of the times they were in danger, they see the people they killed, the civilians they almost killed, the monsters they feel they became. THIS is what they can’t tell their wives, this is what you’d drink to forget, this is what never leaves you.

If anything, the bravery of someone who fires to kill an enemy or to save another from danger is MORE honorable and heroic than currently portrayed. They face a lifetime of life with this event and, by choosing to do it from patriotism, love, or duty; they deserve real praise.

Someone who kills and walks away is a sociopath at best.

Any comments are more than welcome.

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
Throwing Lead: A Writer’s Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)

EXCLUSIVE: The First Time… Nick Wale Introduces The Novel Ideas E-zine | Novel Ideas

Nick Wale Introduces The Novel Ideas E-zine

Exclusive, Politics by nickwale

Nick Wale as pictured by artist George Vega.

We are currently undergoing a revolution in the book world. We the People are the ones who have to decide where this revolution is going to go. We the People are the drivers of the car, and the car is the publishing industry. The publishing world would have you believe that there are rules and regulations that you must follow. There are none. Let me reiterate that. There are no rules and no regulations. We the People can take control of our own writing efforts and publish them ourselves for free. There are no rules to this process. You take your manuscript and you upload your manuscript to one of the many free book services. You then create a front cover or you hire a designer to make your cover a reality. You even hire an editor or proofreader to make your book the greatest product that it can be. You can do all of this without submitting a single document to a publisher and waiting endless weeks or months for an answer. We the People have control of the book industry, and We the People do not have to conform to the rules of a few dying companies who have higher return rates than sales.

We also have the greatest opportunities to create ever-growing success in our deregulated book world. There’s a clear cause and effect within the traditional book world. It is as predictable as it is fallible. As more and more readers of traditional books turn away in disgust, the professional writer finds his liberty at stake. The independent world, led by writers of all styles, declarations and creeds, grows more powerful and potent with each new release. It is time now for the people to start looking beyond the constricted, rule-ridden world of the traditional publisher and to embrace more and more independent books. It is true that every single day sees an increase of independent books that are making it. It is also true that the traditional publishing industry is running scared and turning away hits. It is also true that this evil empire of traditional publishers wants to manipulate We the People into believing that their product is better, stronger and more entertaining.

This, like the words of any dictatorship, is a lie. The independent world has turned out great books, and I wish to showcase some of them for you. I want you the reader to go out and find yourself great independent books that will entertain you. Additionally, I wish to educate writers who are caught in the trap of believing they must sign away their lives to become published—those days are well and truly over. The evil empire of traditional publishers is cracking, and the revolution is being carried to the depths of humanity.

I find that the whole idea of an author being “self-published” is ridiculed by the traditional publishing world. The independent author is shot down at every turn and made to feel inadequate. We the People are told by the traditional publishers that great works by authors come to us only through them and anything they have not touched is somehow less valuable. I believe it is their work that is lesser. I have not yet seen a self-published author producing books by celebrity non-entities and poorly written biographies. Now we find that the traditional publishing houses are cutting themselves into the self-published business. That one action tells me that I am right in my assumption—the traditional publishing world is reeling as the ‘fad’ they denounced devours their business.

My name is Nick Wale, and I promote authors. I have created hits, and I have seen the damage the traditional publishing world can do. I have seen the way publishers have hindered success—creating free giveaways when a book has started selling, taking money from writers to publish a book they will never promote. I have seen the egotistical traditional book world in its true form, and this is a warning. Like any warning, you can take heed or you can ignore me. I just believe that We the People have the opportunity to rid ourselves of an aging, over-regulated world that will never allow you to have a bestseller on your terms.

I entered the book world to empower writers and readers. I myself tried to get a book published and lived the harsh reality of a book industry that has no love for writers. An industry so hardened by self-created rules and regulations that they would not even read a manuscript unless it was formatted, edited or posted in a certain way. A book world so riddled with insecurity and dangerous contempt for the intelligence of readers that they would always go for the dollar rather than the praise. I fought to create a business that would create careers for writers who couldn’t get through the red tape of the traditional publishers. By God, we did it, and I can proudly say that the majority of my authors sell books.

It is my firm belief that the future of our great business will depend on the brave men and women currently self-publishing books. We the People have heard the facts, and now we must act. Like any great revolution, it takes one person to stand up and a nation to enact change.

My best wishes to you. If you are an author or independent publisher with vision and would like to be in a future issue of this magazine, or if you would just like to contact me, please email me at Nick@nickwale.org

Nick Wale

The new Novel Ideas E-magazine “Novel Reads” will be released later this week.

 

via EXCLUSIVE: The First Time… Nick Wale Introduces The Novel Ideas E-zine | Novel Ideas.

The only proper way to celebrate…

NSRW Rudyard Kipling

 

“Fids! Fids! Oh, Fids! I gloat! Hear me gloat!”
They spun wildly on their heels, jodeling after the accepted manner of a “gloat,” which is not unremotely allied to the primitive man’s song of triumph, …
Ti-ra-ra-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!” Stalky, still on his heels, whirled like a dancing dervish to the dining-hall.
Ti-ra-la-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!” Beetle spun behind him with outstretched arms.
Ti-ra-la-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!” McTurk’s voice cracked.”
Stalky & Co. Rudyard Kipling

 

Yes, I have sent WARRIOR, my second novel about the daring Rick Putnam, his Best Girl Eve Buffalo Calf, and his Three Electric Housemates, off to the publisher.

 

On Time.

 

Proofed (thanks for the inimitable Dr. Alma Kadragic)

 

and Approved (by the incredible Ann Alison MacFarlane).

 

Look for it in your local bookstore in the Summer of 2014.

 

(Assuming, of course, that there ARE any local bookstores left by the Summer of 2014)

 

Thank You For Downloading The Last American Wizard!

 Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy of 
The Last American Wizard. 

I cracked the top 100 in Action & Adventure (Free, of course) which is very high praise.

To those who downloaded the book, PLEASE give me a review on Amazon. I frankly don’t care if it’s positive or negative. (I’m a big boy, I can stand the pain.. Sniff, Sniff….SOB!)

 

3RD DRAFT OF WARRIOR

TIME/DATE    EDITED / UNEDITED    WHAT’S HAPPENING         MUSIC


5P/824     4,440 / 89,961    DESERT DRIVE        LES MISERABLES
3P/825     9,758 / 84.661    WOUNDED KNEE FIGHT  KISS THE GIRL 
6P/825    14,482 / 79,620    PRAIRIE RUN         IN THE BOONDOCKS 
8P/825    24,150 / 70,420    BLACK HILLS         KATY PERRY  
10P/825   29,221 / 65.379    NEEDLES RUN         SHAWN COLVIN 
9A/826    35,002 / 59.620    ARRIVAL DC          DIXIE CHICKS
4P/826    50,060 / 44,293    COSMO COURIERS      SILENCE
830P/826  62,227 / 31,755    HANG GLIDER         MARTINA MCBRIDE 
630P/827  67,426 / 27,083    SUMMIT POINT        ADELLE 
8p/827    74,305 / 20,236    MANSION ASSAULT     SILENCE 
11p/827   77,227 / 17,416    BAZOOKA             SILENCE
(8/28 SPENT EARNING MONEY AS CONSULTANT TO STARTUP TV SHOW)
(8/29 SPENT MORNING EARNING MONEY- ONE HOUR WRITING AT 6AM)

4p 8/30           95,668 / 0            FINISHED     

Calling Johnny Dollar!

What Does It mean?

So I check LinkedIn for my daily voyeuristic check on who has looked at my resume (not that there is ever a job, God Forbid!

And I see this:

 

ScreenClip

Now, What Does That Mean?

Terry

(P.S. Anyone who looks at my profile is almostly exclusively another unemployed friend who wants to check that I’m still unemployed—or as we say on LinkedIn, “independent”)

You want me to be a movie star?

This morning I got an email to be in a MOVIE. I had Stars in my Eyes! BookCoverImage

(In case there is anyone who might read this who doesn’t know, I began my career in TV as a motorcycle courier and my first novel is titled, oddly enough, “Courier” (Exhibit A Books, May 2014)

Hey Terry,
I’m doing a film that starts shooting in September. One scene has a motorcycle courier in it. It’s a speaking role. Just one line. Question is do you still have any of your gear, helmet / clothing. Any desire on your part to be a movie star???
lemme know! I’ll give you more details.
Mike
Geographically Desirable Movie
“Nicole’s Future is Waiting. She Just Has To Wake Up.”

Geographically Desirable

Nicole’s Future Is Waiting…

She Just Needs To Wake Up.

An Independent Film

In Production Now

www.geographicallydesirable.net.

Sadly, I had to respond honestly.

Sure

However, my daughters stole and wore out my leather jacket years ago and the motorcycle helmet might be in storage. Most importantly I’m twice the man I was when I was a courier–literally. Old and fat.

Terry

So much for Dreams of Celluloid Glory.

 bikerboi 2012-04-13 17.38.41

Slugging On

Side Jobs (novel)High Hopes

Well, I had high hopes for The Last American Wizard.   Alas, it’s a bomb at the box office.

Writing is like William Goldman‘s Hollywood–”Nobody Knows Anything.”   I wrote a surefire best-seller.   A mix of Jim Butcher and Tom Clancy.  Even my wife liked it.

Sales in the low dozens. Not going to make the mortgage this month

And even Lyft.com has put me on the wait list…no pink fuzzy mustache.

Oh well, nothing for it but to Keep Slugging.

Courier warrior

15 more days to rewrite Warrior — the sequel to Courier, .

Let’s see, lets call it 100,000 words divided by 15 days…Hmmmm.

Do you think it’s a Sign that that comes 6,666 words a day?

Well, it’s all just  one step after another.

Writing is like everything else.

Terry

Nixon’s resignation letter – Boing Boing

[Terry: I know this reminds me of something, but I can’t quite think of what. It’s right on the tip of my brain…]

via Nixon’s resignation letter – Boing Boing.

OH YEAH, NOW I REMEMBER!

MY BOOK “COURIER” IS ABOUT WHY NIXON RESIGNED. CLICK HERE

I Can’t Help It. I’m Getting Such A Kick Out of This.

I Can't Help It. I'm Getting Such A Kick Out of This.
The Last American Wizard (The New Abnormal)

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