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BasedCon Book Sale

Hans G. Schanz has been putting these books sales together for a while. Most of the books are $.99; some are free. I tend to grab a couple of books if I can find something that piques my interest that I haven’t already read. Unfortunately, I’ve read most of the authors I like in this group. I will highlight a few of those in a minute because you might not have. First, I’ll put up some links: Book Sale; About BasedCon.

Most of the authors in the sale are modern and currently publishing; there are a handful of classics on the list. I like most sci fi classics, such as H.G. Wells, but I’m writing this post to promote the authors trying to make a living at this gig today.

My favorite current author to read off the list, then, is Robert Kroese. I appreciate Kroese because he manages to be cerebral, absurdist and/or funny, and adventurous all at the same time. It’s my favorite tone for books, albeit I’ll go for weird in that middle slot instead of funny. And I’ll be honest, if the first two descriptors are present, adventuresome isn’t mandatory. But an author that can manage all three gets two thumbs up from me! I don’t have three thumbs….

Fenton Wood is not bad, either. He manages to be cerebral and weird and adventurous in his first book, Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves. That book also has the heady thrill of childlike wonder, as the characters start off as children. By the next book, they are no longer children, and the plot isn’t as solid. I actually like the second book in the series simply because it’s so technical; there is wonder in that, too. But not everyone enjoys the feel of nonfiction in their fiction. Nonfiction just happens to be what I read most of the time — well, not exactly. I read it constantly, though, in between my fiction. A chapter here, a chapter there — and then I see an enticing work of fiction and will buy it and read it all at once. This entire series is worth giving a try. Fenton Wood has a unique voice, and I’m grateful for the ease of indie publishing because traditional publishing rarely chooses good weird these days.

One of my favorite author personalities on the list is Jon Del Arroz. His books are good, too, especially the series that starts with Justified (the book he has for sale at BasedCon). I’ve at the very least started most of his series of books. His latest release is The Stars Rejoined from the Aryshan War series. I purchased this book but haven’t yet read it. I admire Jon because he doesn’t just produce good books; he’s also hardworking and constantly producing content: new series, comics, and videos. He’s one of those people who would be kind and magnanimous to all people [or most, probably] … if they would allow him to. The world is full of haters, though, and can’t cope with people who are both open and conservative. Openness is a trait in the Big 5 cluster of personality traits. When I examine the world around me, I realize that the only people I really get along with well possess this trait. But it’s both sad and strange that openness, which used to cluster around oddball conservatives and people who call themselves “liberals”, is difficult to find in a world hunkering down in their black and white spaces. Have they become checker or chess pieces? I don’t know. I hate hunkering, though.

I didn’t mean to get philosophical. I apologize. Go check out the list of books for sale. There are many more authors I appreciate there, and others I won’t read due to their 17+ rating. I’m sorry. I don’t read books with explicit sexual content. I don’t find it healthy, as reading goes directly into the cerebral brain, where lust might worm its way in under the demons of intellectualism. For the record, when scrolling through, I saw only a couple that fit into 17+.

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Order of the PenTriagon is available…

…for preorder. I’m working on being a regular author who publishes in a timely fashion and puts up books for preorder. Well, I managed this time to put it up for preorder five days ahead of the pub date. That doesn’t give me a lot of time to get ahead of the game, but I’m not that concerned about that now. It’s ready! That’s what I care about. I have made one more step toward the publishing schedule I’m aiming for, which is one book a year from now on. If I could manage it, I would do two books a year. This is like exercise to me, though. I’m going to start with the weight I can manage to bench press and not the one I can’t even lift off my chest. There will be no stress here.

This is my Amazon description:

When the Alien Peace brings nothing but war…

…it takes the world’s ragtag youth to fight it. Two of them, anyway.

Under the bright sunshine of the innocuous town of Roswell, New Mexico, the aliens landed their ships for the first time, leaving behind a virus that eventually swept the globe. The spread was curbed through a series of vaccines that also cured the Earth of violent men. This curious global stability has come to be known as the Alien PeacePeace, that is, for all but a lonely few whose minds, damaged from the vaccines, now taunt them with unrelenting noise.

Talat is one of Roswell’s vaccine damaged. After her caretaker publishes censored information about the aliens and ends up dead, Talat flees before the authorities can force her into foster care. This lonely flight ends when an equally damaged young man, Robert, shoots a government official to protect her. Now fugitives, they escape their hometown together…and run right into the aliens’ trap. What was once noise is now clear: the aliens’ prophecies must be fulfilled.

Order of the PenTriagon is the first of a two-book alien adventure series. Get your copy today!

Here is my cover with a link to the preorder page if you click on it:

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I Am Livid, But There is Hope

Yes, I am, and no amount of good things will cover it over. I am livid that our president is in bed with big pharma and is now enacting an executive order to force millions of people in the US to get Covid vaccines. Honestly, I normally don’t know what to do with my frustration but to work harder and longer. That’s what I’ve been doing all day, preparing my documents for the September 20th publication date and tutoring. [By the way, my pub date is still on, though I think I will only have the ebook ready. The reason for that is I need to order a proof, and I don’t yet have a cover. I can’t order a proof without one, obviously. But I can put up the cover art for the ebook in a jiffy.]

Somehow, the frustration, borne by helplessness, creeps in anyway. Do you want to know what I heard on Catholic radio this morning? A vaccine shill spouting his nonsense — it was as if the propagandists were sent out thither and yon to ensure the populace was prepared to accept their tyranny later in the day. I really believe this. The only Catholic station in Roswell is now called Relevant Radio. That should tell you all you need to know.

When I first moved here, it was Immaculate Heart Radio, and I would listen to Catholic Answers even though I was not yet Catholic, as well as a few other great shows that were cancelled when the station became “relevant”. Never — and I do mean never — trust a Christian company or organization that puts the word “relevant” in their title. It means they are not relevant to the faith and have given way to the world and now hold antichrist values. I have continued to listen to Relevant Radio, mostly for the Patrick Madrid show and the Rosary Across America. I’m not going to listen to them anymore, though, not after they put on a Covid propagandist. As an example of the many lies and distortions he told, my favorite was that the delta variant is as contagious as chicken pox. For those of you who don’t know, chicken pox is one of the most contagious diseases known to man. Even NPR wrote an article disproving this wild claim of the CDC, and yet, it was put out like a puff of hot gas on Relevant Radio.

Before I turned off the radio for good, an elderly woman called in to ask why the world around her was so different from what he was saying. “My entire family is vaccinated,” she said, “and now we all have Covid.” She went on to talk about a cousin who died of Covid after vaccination, and another one who is currently in the hospital and probably would not make it. Most people in her neighborhood were vaccinated, she said, and yet Covid was sweeping through, seemingly unaware it was supposed to skip the neighborhoods of vaccinated folks. She wanted to know how she was supposed to reconcile the discrepancy between what was happening around her and what she was being told.

Now, please believe me; I’m not one for putting stock in single anecdotal cases. But what that woman was describing is the same reality I’m experiencing. And many others are experiencing it, as well. When what the propagandists are saying becomes completely flip-flopped from observable reality, that is a sign the propagandists are lying to us, not that we’re irrationally believing in our own anecdotal experiences. See, the thing about science is that it isn’t a pure entity. Only a fool “believes in science” unless that science conforms to observable reality. If the propagandists tried to tell you they’d had a breakthrough and you can now jump off your roofs and come to no harm because gravity has been subverted, would you believe them? I wouldn’t because gravity has been observable reality my entire life, sometimes in very painful ways. That’s why I don’t ever just “believe in science.” Science is only as good as the people conducting it, which means they would have to have no ulterior motives. No profit motives. No power or control motives. No preconceived biases that cause them to dig in their heels even when the evidence does not support them.

Because that show was on at six a.m., my day started with a bad taste in my mouth. It’s as if every organization has stepped into line for our new tyranny-to-be. And then Biden* came out with new vaccine mandates, and now I am silently screaming. I want to drink or eat potato chips (it’s my thing, okay? Everybody has that one food that has to be kept out of the cupboards) or keep working and exercising like a lunatic. It did occur to me that, even if the irrelevant Catholic radio is now spewing statist garbage (they actually have been for a while, but it has never hit this close to home), I am still a Christian. And what should Christians do? Order a case of vodka online? No, they should pray and continue following God’s purpose for their lives. If it’s one thing I’m absolutely sure of, we were created to live in such a time as this. God does not make mistakes. This is our time, right now. This is the only time we have to respond to what is going on in the world and to respond to others’ needs.

*I was harder on the radio shill than Biden. What do I think of Biden? He’s pathetic. He gaslights and makes threats, veiled and otherwise, but he’s unconvincing. He’s at the point of Soviet propaganda when it was so wild nobody believed it any longer.

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Cosas Que Me Gustan, Parte Dos

I was captured by clickbait! This clickbait particularly: Selena Quintanilla: el video publicado por Marco Antonio Solís donde se le ve junto a la cantante. If you don’t know Spanish, it basically translates as Marco Antonio Solís published a video where he is seen with Selena Quintanilla. That’s quite a loose translation, but I’m all about getting the quick sense of a phrase when reading. That’s how I became a fluent Spanish reader years ago, by the way. When I had to translate Sor Juana’s poetry for an honors dissertation later, I took more nuanced care, obviously. Academic work is not fluency work — remember that.

In my wildest dreams, I imagined the video was one in which they were singing together, but that was, alas, not to be. She is shown as the host of a music awards ceremony, one of which he won, and she proceeds to hand him his award. This is the sort of video that hardcore fans will collect and obsess over, especially since Solís put up a teaser before he posted the video. As the article states: Este hecho generó gran emoción entre los fanáticos de ambos famosos. This is a fairly easy translation for even non Spanish speakers, I think: This fact generated great emotion among fans of both stars.

It caused me to click on the link! Let me explain a little about these musicians. Selena is a legend. Most Americans have heard of her by this time; after all, J Lo played her in a blockbuster movie. More recently, Netflix has been making a Selena show, but it is really awful. Beautiful, voluptuous, brown-toned Selena, with her charm and stage presence, is played by a scrawny white Latina vegan who completely lacks stage presence. I only bring up the vegan part because the actress looks unusually skinny, which prompted me to look this up — as in, I guessed she was vegan by her physique. But this post is not about the show, which I do not like (it’s honestly just boring). This post is about things — or people, rather — that I like. Selena has a gorgeous voice and made all manner of interesting, catchy tunes, mixing in music from her and her siblings’ eighties’ childhoods with traditional cumbias and conjunto ballads. Although her brother was responsible for much of this innovative mixing, I’m sure she had some artistic input. And she certainly brought the songs to life with her singing and dancing.

While Selena was American, Marco Antonio Solís is a true-blue Mexican singer. For that reason, you might not have heard of him. He is also not a gen-Xer who was cut down in the prime of musicianship as Selena was; he is a boomer, which means he has decades’ worth of music out there. I don’t like all of it, as some verges on easy-listening. But his voice! Él canta como un angel. Yes, he sings like an angel with all the proper array of emotion and drama. I love him so much (as a musician, obviously)!

If you scroll all the way down in the article, you will see the video of the two singers together…not singing, much to my tristedad. I’ll let you figure that word out. Despite that it wasn’t my wildest dream, I’m sure it’s a great memory for Señor Solís. I’ll also leave you with a video of Solís singing…it’s hard to choose a song, though. He’s done everything from singer-songwriter with a guitar and/or keyboards to traditional mariachi and cumbia. Ah, well… I’ll go with a traditional mariachi because, you know, I love everything that is very Mexican:

No, I won’t be posting every day. In fact, I should be doing other work right now. But of all the things I like, these two musicians are somewhere near the top.

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The Things I enjoy

Because what’s going on in the world is so very prescient right now, I’m going to post a few links for your perusal, two of which should be inspiring because they are calls to action (the first and the third). The second is what a lot of people have been saying all along: basic immunology is still true. If you catch Covid-19, you development long-lasting immunity to it. I was floored anyone was arguing otherwise at the start of this pandemic back in 2020. 1. http://The Road to Totalitarianism – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) 2. http://Harvard Epidemiologist Says the Case for COVID Vaccine Passports Was Just Demolished – Foundation for Economic Education (fee.org) 3. http://What the Church Needs to Know about Covid-19 – by Jeff Childers – ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2021 🦠 (coffeeandcovid.com)

Now that I’ve gotten that over with, I’m going to proceed writing about something I enjoy and forget about the state of the world for a few minutes. Is that possible? I believe it is. What do I enjoy? Exercise! But like anything else one can do, it comes with its own set of challenges and moral quandaries. In my case, the two are related.

I started exercising regularly in high school to get outside my mind and to develop my muscles so that I was no longer just the skinny girl, but the skinny muscular girl. I didn’t have a ghost of a chance of putting on weight back then. Trust me, I tried. Since then, exercise has become a point of pride for me. That is, unfortunately, my moral quandary. I’m prideful about my ability to continue exercising after thirty-odd years.

Not everyone can or will. Many get sick, tired, or suffer from an injury and give up. I’ve suffered from multiple injuries over the years and haven’t given up. When I observe the world around me, I see that the people who injured themselves and gave up have deteriorated beyond their initial injuries, while those who didn’t give up have not. Because I’ve managed to “fix” my injuries through continued movement, I tend to fall into the kind of pride common to those who can crack codes that others can’t, even if that code doesn’t take a lot of brain power.

I was thinking about this because it was hard to get back into exercise after I was sick. I didn’t exercise for three weeks, and when I started again, I could only manage short walks and twenty-minute workouts made for women who are above the age of fifty. It felt as if I’d advanced in age five or more years. It was frustrating. It got me wondering if I’d ever be back to normal. And then I wondered what normal was when life isn’t static and age progresses into degradation rather than strength. While it’s possible at any age to improve one’s situation, that situation is constantly in flux.

Now that I’m back to my normal exercise routines, the front of my mind has largely forgotten these philosophical thoughts. Meanwhile, the back of my mind is still processing them. I suppose this is the hazard to sliding too close to fifty for comfort. But to the core of my being, I still believe that giving up at any point, at any age, will be worse for my body and mind than continued movement. So for the moment, I’ll do what I can manage. And then if I arrive at a point where I can’t manage it, I’ll adjust my exercise to meet the new reality, and then I’ll readjust as necessary. The chiropractor is also useful at times.

What does it mean to readjust? It means finding exercises that are specifically meant to strengthen and stretch injured areas of the body so that the body can heal. Sometimes the body will need a rest, but if that rest goes on too much longer than a week (in my case), it’s going to be harder and harder to heal. I’m obviously not talking about broken bones, here, but I did break my tailbone when I was about thirty while rollerblading, and after an adjustment at the chiropractor, it felt better to walk than to sit until healing was complete. I’m not sure the same would hold true for a broken leg or foot bone, however. That is not the kind of injury I’m talking about. I’m talking about strained ligaments, spills that might dislocate something (a couple of years ago, I dislocated my shoulder and fell on my hip while I was at it), aching knees, hips, or backs, and pinched nerves.

Clumsiness aside, many of my injuries have been caused by exercising too much in one specific way, improper stretching, and ditching all my stability work for cardio because I was bored strength and stability. This string of errors caused an injured knee, an injured hip, and sciatica. For the injured knee, I stopped doing exercise that put stress on my knees and wore a knee band for a while. This took me several years, but I no longer have to wear the knee band, so I guess it worked. For the injured hip, I did flowing stretches rather than static stretches. Although I no longer do yoga because it’s a religious practice associated with Hinduism, at that time, I did yoga for two months straight. The pain passed, but it does come back from time to time, and I have to address it once again through fluid stretching. For the sciatica, I had to do exercises that were focused on stretching and strengthening the back, abs, hips, etc. After about two weeks, I’ve had no reoccurrence of pain associated with a pinched nerve. The sciatica was very painful, by the way. I don’t ever want to have a reoccurrence of it.

My focus right now is on accomplishing a rotating series of exercise types: cardio, strength, and stability (this last is usually core and balance work). Since I exercise six days a week, I simply repeat this series of three twice in a week. Also, I believe walking is very important to maintaining health and will walk seven days a week. This seems to be working for me again, now that I’ve recuperated from my illness. I can’t change my clumsy nature, but I can try to keep my body from becoming cramped and gimpy. I should add that I recently invested in an expensive pair of workout shoes, too.

The problem with accomplishing healthful activities (that work) is that they can be a source of pride, as I already noted. E.g. I don’t eat garbage food, either, like those people do. God does not want us to compare ourselves to others. The opposite of envy is smugness, which is frankly a trait most people find intolerable. The Bible has a lot to say about both envy and pride. On the other hand, healthful living can be a source of satisfaction instead of pride. No human being is invulnerable, but exercise has kept my lab numbers normal for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. I’m also never been out of my BMI range, not even close. I’m not chiseled, to say the least. I wish I had a slimmer waist, for example, but I don’t. I didn’t when I was eighteen, and I certainly don’t in my forties after giving birth to four children. That is, I guess, where the envy might come in…except I’m at an age when I don’t care nearly as much as I used to.

There you go. I wrote about something I enjoy instead of Covid-19 and the creeping totalitarianism. I know — all I have to do is reach out my hand just a little, and I’ll touch that topic with this one. Exercise. Obesity. Immunity.… Nope, I’m not going to do it. Exercise is fun. I recommend it. Just don’t give in to the kind of pride that will deceive you into thinking you’re invulnerable…because even if you’re not a clutz like I am, your pride will eventually cause you to fall. That’s the state of life and its degradation until we arrive at the end. (But exercise is still fun!)

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