Dueling iPads At Dawn

We can forget – or we choose maybe to try to overlook – how competitive writing can be. Given the nature of the craft, that isn’t surprising: some authors will invariably achieve more success than others. Clearly, though, as in other walks of life, chasing success can also bring out the worst in some people.

There used to be a time that when honor was deemed at stake gentlemen took to the dueling field with pistols to settle their scores. Today, we’ve moved on. In our more egalitarian world, we ALL can throw dirt at each other on social media.

In the writing realm, those in the same genre seem the most likely to go head to head. If you ever find yourself in the line of fire between feuding authors, the best thing to do is run. At the very least, try to take whatever cover you can find.

Free Stock Photo: Soldier in gas mask with cloud of smoke.
Free Stock Photo: Soldier in gas mask with cloud of smoke.

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See You Next In The 18th Century

It is a great way to start the new year: yesterday, the light bulb went on over my head. I don’t recall precisely what had led my mind down this route. However, one irritation certainly helped encourage me.

We see this a lot. Recently on Twitter, I encountered yet another person who authoritatively tweets easily debunked false/misleading Thomas Jefferson quotes. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this person do it, and, fed up with saying nothing, when I finally pointed one out to him as provably false evidently he thought joking about it justifies messing around with the historical record. He chose not to delete, or even to amend, that tweet, and as of today it remains up for his “100,000” Twitter followers and anyone else to stumble upon as “fact”:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Seeing that nonsense may have helped clarify my thinking. I know now what I’m going to try to do for my fourth novel. After my mind focused on the idea, I clicked around on the net to scope out any similar books and I’ve seen nothing exactly like it so far.

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“Keep the Faith and Believe In”

Having been mostly in a generally downer (and I admit, sometimes foul) mood due perhaps unsurprisingly to my uncle and then my mother dying two weeks apart in October, Patrina Morris has been a great musical discovery. It’s tough to stay miserable with music like this coming out of your iPhone. How about some Sunday bossa nova:

What we can stumble on thanks to social media. Her site is PatrinaMorris.com. She is also on About.me, as well as Twitter and elsewhere. Keep the Faith and Believe In and other songs are available on Amazon and iTunes.

Given this is relatively off topic compared to what I normally post, why have I told you that?

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Trump-ed Up Hysteria

In recent days, we have all encountered it on television and the internet. We are lectured by bombastic voices that all people holding the Islamic faith overseas should not be allowed to set foot in the U.S. (temporarily, of course, we are also dutifully informed by some) because it’s a religion that includes terrorists. At a single stroke, a billion people have all been decreed terrorists by faith association.

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Yes, a tiny number of Muslims born in the U.S., and recent immigrants, have turned to a terrorism they claim they undertake in the name of Islam. Some of those have even moved abroad to join terror groups. I’m unaware of anyone in the U.S. government asserting that troubling issue should be ignored.

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Advice To Start Your Day

If you’re local – meaning you also visit the Catskills here in upstate New York – unfortunately there’s not much snow here yet. Windham Mountain had been making snow, but it rained yesterday. I grabbed this photo a little while ago from the lounge window:

Windham Mountain's ski trails. No appreciable snow yet. [Photo by me, 2015.]
Windham Mountain’s ski trails. No appreciable snow yet. [Photo by me, 2015.]

As we know, we can’t do anything about the weather. As we also know, though, social media is full of self-help suggestions and “gurus” sharing with us how we can be happier inside of ourselves. We stumble on them constantly.

But do we really take their sage advice to heart?

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Vanished “Stars”

With the flick of a switch, Twitter changed an entire social media convention that had arisen since the site opened: the favorite “star” has been replaced suddenly by a “heart.”

Left to right on Twitter below on a tweet:
Left to right on Twitter below a tweet: “Reply,” “Retweet,” “Heart” (which used to be a “Favorite” star), and a drop down menu for more.

As you know if you visit here regularly, my mother and my crime novelist uncle both died in October. So I’ve not been using Twitter much in recent weeks, of course. But last night, as I browsed it, I noticed quite a few people aren’t happy about the change.

And I agree. My biggest complaint about the change is it’s retroactive: all of my past “stars” are now suddenly “hearts?”

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A Motorcycle Journey Down Memory Lane

I know it’s not like me, but I have no “profound” post in mind for today.

I suppose I still recovering from the house move.

So, how about this? I saw this yesterday on Twitter:

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We All Face Terrorism

Miami Herald and CNN commentator Frida Ghitis tweeted on Saturday:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Tweeting her in response, I politely noted – just pointed to one example – her view being decidedly, well, not quite right:

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U.S. Servicemen Help Prevent Murder Spree

Their bravery cannot be commended enough. They should be invited to the White House. Yesterday these men – 2 U.S. servicemen (one not pictured), a long-time friend, and a British man – sensed trouble on a high-speed Thalys train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. In Belgium, and unarmed themselves, they reacted decisively:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

Reports state one of two servicemen involved (the one not pictured, presumably because he had been sliced with a boxcutter during the melee and was under medical attention) in subduing the assailant is based at a U.S. air force base in Portugal’s Azores.

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