Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 3

Bobbing Around

Volume Fourteen, Number Three,
August, 2014

Bob Rich’s rave

email

bobswriting.com anxietyanddepression-help.com/ mudsmith.net/ other issues

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
Second Vipassana appraisal
Toward a sustainable lifestyle
My best radio interview to date

*Responses to past issues
Rayne Golay
Megan Williams

*Politics
Asylum-seeker children: self-harm ‘shockingly high,’ national inquiry hears
LAST CHANCE to avert a disaster
The Myths of Big Corporate Capitalism, by Ralph Nader
You MUST read this interview

*Environment
A battle for our forests
Kiribati is buying a backup
Rate of Arctic methane release twice that expected
…and increased storm penetration will worsen it
Pathways to Deep Decarbonization
Why nuclear is NEVER safe
Water, water…
The north is burning

*Good news
Swedish archbishop on our side
Solar has won in Queensland, by Giles Parkinson
World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment
Sun replaces coal in Britain
Are you in the USA? Do you want to switch to clean energy?
Planted for anyone: free food grown in Yorkshire town
Drinking water success

*Humanitarian
Happy birthday, Malala
Compassionate action continues

*Deeper issues
33 Things I Learned by Age 33 (…or 37 things), by Mindy
I is a paradox
The answer

*Psychology
Impact of stress on health
Keep praise realistic
My daughter hates me
Should I cut loose from my mom?

*Health
“Warm handoff” can chill, by Dr Oleg Reznik
Environmental degradation is bad for your health
Urban trees help you breathe

*For writers
Planning instructional nonfiction
Trouble with some words?

*What my friends want you to know
An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder
From Jan Sikes
Join Sea Shepherd
Carolyn Harris –> Rosamond Carter: It never rains, it pours
Working Alongside Men with Mindfulness: conference 22-23 August
Research: men sexually abused by mother
Michael Thal’s 99 c book promotion, August 1-5
Hypnotherapy conference, 13-14 September
Avaaz climate march, 21st September
Let’s Talk About It: Finding peace with death and dying in everyday life, by Lea Rose

*Reviews
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Megan Williams
The Buddhist, by Stephen Hazlett
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Stephen Hazlett
An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder, by Alfredo Zotti
The great first impression book proposal, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Postcards from Mr. Pish III: East Coast, by K. S. Brooks
The 90 Day Plan To Marketing Your Book, by Melissa Se

*A bit of fun
Fat lady, walking
I don’t know if this is true, but…


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.


“Nuclear and unclear thinking are the same thing.” Biff Rose


“You CANNOT streamline a systerm with NO profit margin by turning it over to a system that does the same (or worse) WITH a profit margin ON TOP of operating expenses. It’s a fantasy.” “Muskegon Critic”


From me to you

Second Vipassana appraisal
Toward a sustainable lifestyle
My best radio interview to date

 

Second Vipassana appraisal

1aloka
Since my original 10 day meditation retreat, which I’d reported on previously, I have had 2 3-day periods at the Vipassana centre near me.

You can read my second report.


Toward a sustainable lifestyle

This is a new page at my blog. Please leave a comment.


My best radio interview to date

dianewing
Wonderful writer and spiritual healer Diane Wing has interviewed me on her radio program. Our dialogue was fun to do, and having just checked it, I think it’s pretty good to listen to. It’s more like a conversation than an interview.

Diane has titled our talk Challenges for Humanity.

She has given me permission to have a copy on my web site, and it’s there now. Comments are more than appreciated, and if you liked what I said, please share the link around.

Responses to past issues

Rayne Golay
Megan Williams

 

Rayne Golay

Hi Bob,

An excellent issue of Bobbing Around. Particularly enjoyed the article on Relationships, why Bush went to war. What is news to me is Finland’s clean air policy; as a Finnish born, still a citizen, I’m very pleased that my birth country strives to be a leader in this very important issue. This is to mention only of the few articles I read and really liked.

Keep up the good work.

Best to you.
Rayne
Rayne E. Golay, Author The Wooden Chair; Life Is A Foreign Language.


Megan Williams

Dear Bob

Congrats on another great edition of your newsletter and recognition for Ascending Spiral, which I have just finished reading. What a ride! Thanks for including a review of my book Calm Ground, which first appeared on Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s great book review website. The generosity of you both toward a first time self publishing novice like me is heartwarming.

All the best
Megan


Politics

Asylum-seeker children: self-harm ‘shockingly high,’ national inquiry hears
LAST CHANCE to avert a disaster
The Myths of Big Corporate Capitalism by Ralph Nader
You MUST read this interview

 

Asylum-seeker children: self-harm ‘shockingly high,’ national inquiry hears

Self-harm ‘dramatically higher’ among children than adults in detention, Australian Human Rights Commission says.
kiddetention


LAST CHANCE to avert a disaster

The Australian government has just approved the biggest coal mine in Australia — but we still have a great opportunity to fight it.

The monstrous Carmichael Mine would cause four times as much pollution as New Zealand (yep, the whole country). It will mean massive dredging and dumping in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and send hundreds of coal ships through the Reef every year. Oh, and the company behind it, Adani, has a proven history of theft, bribery, and environmental destruction.

Here’s the thing. Adani may have approval, but it still needs to find up to $10 billion before it can proceed. Let’s all work together to keep up the fight against Adani, and convince investors around the world to walk away from this crazy project.

Our video exposing Adani’s environmental history is now going nuts online — it has been shared with over 950,000 people yesterday alone! It struck such a nerve with Adani that vested interests have even tried dirty tactics like fake copyright claims, to take it down.

Click here to check out the video. Share it to make sure you friends see it, and donate to make sure every investor and politician sees it too.

Tony Abbott has been telling the world Australia is “open for business” and he means it. Even our Great Barrier Reef is open to foreign businesses — and a history of bribery and environmental destruction is no barrier!

With government approval in place, the Carmichael Mine now comes down to one question: can Adani convince investors to sink $10 billion into destroying the Reef? Or can people like us convince investors that Adani is a company who cannot be trusted, and has no public support?

We’re already working together with campaigners across the world, and succeeding! Deutsche Bank has already ruled out financing the project citing environmental concerns, and Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC quickly followed suit.

Our video is so important for one reason — it works. It’s why we need to push it hard and it’s why vested interests are trying sinister tactics to hide it. But we also know there are so many potential investors who still haven’t seen it, and have no idea about Adani or what this project will do to our Reef.

If we can raise enough money, we can make sure every investor knows Adani can’t be trusted with our Great Barrier Reef. Can you join the fight?

https://www.getup.org.au/adani

The response from GetUp members has been amazing. We’ve already raised $120,000. We aim to raise $200,000 together this week before we make a plan with our media buyers.

We have the best media and online buyers in the country on our side. Their job is to make sure our video is seen by every potential investor of Adani’s. If we raise enough money, we can be sure everyone who researches Abbot Point or the Carmichael Mine will learn the truth about Adani, wherever they are in the world.

They thought they would walk all over us. They were wrong.

Let’s win.
Sam, for the GetUp team.

PS If you want to read more about the dodgy attempt to shut down our video, you can read the coverage here.


The Myths of Big Corporate Capitalism
by Ralph Nader

ralphnader
In his usual hard-hitting and well documented style, Ralph Nader demonstrates that today’s big corporations have nothing to do with the “capitalism” at the basis of people’s belief systems.


You MUST read this interview

Cecily McMillan was involved in the Occupy Wall Street protest. A policeman grabbed her breast, hard enough to leave bruises. In pulling away, she elbowed him. She was arrested, bail was refused. Relevant evidence was kept from the Jury. She was sentenced to 90 days of prison, and just been released after 58 days.

In this interview on truth-out.org, she gives an account of life in jail. She says she is nobody special, doesn’t want to be a leader, but… But the women inmates have elected her, like it or not.

Please read what she has to say.
rikers


Environment

A battle for our forests
Kiribati is buying a backup
Rate of Arctic methane release twice that expected
…and increased storm penetration will worsen it
Pathways to Deep Decarbonization
Why nuclear is NEVER safe
Water, water…
The north is burning

 

A battle for our forests

Where I live, the Victorian Government-owned business, “Vicforest,” is heavily subsidised by taxpayer money to destroy the forest. Most working days, 30 huge log trucks thunder through Healesville, and the forest has great gaping holes. They pretend they are doing it on a sustainable basis, but this has been disproven, time and again.

The noble purpose of this sacrifice is to keep the Japanese in woodchips for paper manufacture.

Here is a photo of the latest protest:
nolog

We are campaigning for the Great Forest National Park.
Facebook
Twitter


Kiribati is buying a backup

The tiny Pacific Island nation of Kiribati is all low-lying land, and is in an area where currents are raising sea level far faster than in most other places. Their food sources are already being destroyed by climate change.
kiribati-mapGraphic created by TUBS, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Gwynn Guilford, writing at “Quartz” has reported that they are negotiating to buy a large tract of land in Fiji. Initially the plan is to grow food, and later it may be where they’ll have to live.

The sooner international law takes note of climate refugees, the better.


Rate of Arctic methane release twice that expected

Read my essay, But there is no need for despair. My reasoning there has been supported by a recent study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “The seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated, according to new research results.”

This bland-sounding statement has enormous implications. Every time you burn up some coal or petroleum, you are melting Arctic sea ice that little bit more. And that ice is the shield between fossil methane and the air.

To add to the seriousness of the problem, another study has come to the conclusion that the Antarctic ice sheets hide perhaps 21,000 billion metric tons of carbon (more than 10 times the Northern carbon store), to be released as the ice shrinks — and as I previously reported, the West Antarctic Ice Shelf has started an irreversible breakup.

This is why we need measures such as a substantial carbon tax.

There are discussions about whether the American government should tax carbon. The idiotic Australian government has repealed an all-too-small carbon tax.

This reminds me of the four men in a lifeboat. A wave swamped the boat, and they were in danger of foundering.

Three of the men were desperately bailing out water. The fourth started to drill a hole under his seat.

When the others tried to stop him, he said, “What is it to you? It’s under MY seat!”


…and increased storm penetration will worsen it

You can read what a recent storm has been doing: bringing warmer air and huge waves to the entry to the Arctic.

With a major El Nino predicted, this summer could possibly see the complete melting of Arctic ice. Not only does this have a direct impact on global climate, but it also means a stepwise increase in methane liberation.

To preserve a future, we need drastic action 30 years ago. Not having access to a time machine, we still need to do our best now.


Pathways to Deep Decarbonization

A new UN report is necessary reading for everyone with a stake in the future. It is an interim report, but is useful in that it presents options for specific countries to examine in order to stave off global destruction.
un


Why nuclear is NEVER safe

Well, one of the reasons: what do you do with the waste?

A recent report at AlterNet states that in February, a drum has been leaking at the only U.S. underground, nuclear weapons waste storage facility near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Now, dangerous radioactive chemicals have dispersed into the environment, and the people in charge don’t know what to do.


Water, water…

A recent study has scared its authors: the aquifers in western United States are being drained, thanks to the 14 year drought. In the meantime, Nestle is bottling millions of gallons of water for sale in one of the most vulnerable locations.

Perhaps you could go out of your way to avoid buying Nestle products? If so, let them know why.
colorado Photo: US Bureau of Reclamation


The north is burning

A huge area of northern Siberia (and also of Canada) is on fire. A local official in Yakutia described the fires as “unprecedented,” a word we regularly hear regarding climate change.

This is part of the positive feedback loop. The fires are unprecedented because of climate change. They raise local temperatures, melting the permafrost. They burn off lichens and other low ground covering, which until now have insulated the soil, blacken the ground so it absorbs more radiant heat, and soot is spread wide, darkening ice. All of this releases more methane…

One commentator to the article offered a very apt quote by Lao Tzu: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

We can still save a future if we act NOW, with humanity united against the common enemy: the global economic system.

Read the report.
taigafire


Good news

Swedish archbishop on our side
Solar has won in Queensland by Giles Parkinson
World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment
Sun replaces coal in Britain
Are you in the USA? Do you want to switch to clean energy?
Planted for anyone: free food grown in Yorkshire town
Drinking water success

 

After Breaking Gender Barrier, Sweden’s 1st Female Archbishop Leads Church into Climate Change Fight

antje
There is a video, and a transcript for those who’d rather not watch.


Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn’t compete
by Giles Parkinson

gilesparkinson
In this article in the Guardian, Giles Parkinson presents evidence that in Queensland, solar now out-competes coal.
This is EXACTLY the kind of technical revolution we need to save a future.


World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment

350.org has reported that the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a fellowship of over 300 churches which represent some 590 million people in 150 countries, endorsed fossil fuel divestment this week, agreeing to phase out its own holdings and to encourage its members to do the same.
worldcouncil


Sun replaces coal in Britain

Three coal mine sites in Britain are being converted into giant solar power stations. Britain is not known for a lot of sunshine, but even there solar is now more than cost-effective.

The report states that Anesco, the company carrying out the work, is the fastest growing private company in the UK. More power to them — or more exactly, from them.
rainlondon


Are you in the USA? Do you want to switch to clean energy?

You can. Click here to find out about it.
windpower


Planted for anyone: free food grown in Yorkshire town

Read in the Ecologist how a small group of cheeky people led to culture change, of the kind I’ve been trumpeting about. They have reduced Todmorden’s ecological footprint, converted the town into a community, attracted tourism, and inspired others to copy them.
todmorten


Drinking water success

Dear Friends,

Tashi Delek!

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all those who supported our campaign to provide clean drinking water to Tibetan refugee children. You have made our first crowd funded project a success!

We would like to share with you the project’s success by providing you with a brief report and pictures upon its completion.

Be on the lookout for future projects on Indiegogo from The Tibet Fund. Thank you again!

The Tibet Fund


Humanitarian

Happy birthday, Malala
Compassionate action continues

 

Happy birthday, Malala

malala


Compassionate action continues

I am collecting instances of the culture change I want to see: people acting in ways greed and self-interest would consider idiotic. Here is another example: people giving up their time and money to provide free dental services.
dental

Please let me know if you encounter other instances of selfless giving.


Deeper Issues

33 Things I Learned by Age 33 (…or 37 things), by Mindy
I is a paradox
The answer

 

33 Things I Learned by Age 33 (…or 37 things), by Mindy

mindy
Mindy is an internet friend of mine who lives in Canada. This list of hers is well worth study, and emulation.

Check it out.

I don’t intend to match it with 71.5 wise sayings of my own though.


I is a paradox

“No man is an island.”
John Donne

I certainly feel like I was real. My body has sensations that no one else shares, or even can know directly. My perceptions of my surroundings cannot be shared. As the philosophy cliche has it, there is no way of knowing if your sensation of red is the same as mine or not; we can only agree on what the concept “red” refers to. Apart from the possibility of telepathy, my thoughts are private, and you only know about them through my words and actions. To myself and others, I appear to be an independent agent who is responsible for what he does. There is a definite boundary between me and the rest of the universe, for example the chair I sit on or the person I talk with.

And yet, Donne is right. I am not a unit, an entity, but a component.

The Buddhist analogy of the wave expresses it well. There is the limitless ocean. A wave arises. You can point to it, identify it as “that wave.” It has boundaries, it can affect objects, perhaps even overturn a ship. It progresses from one location to another. It is real.

However, the wave is not a unit, a thing, merely a deformation on the surface of the ocean. A body of water rises, then goes down again. Its energy is transferred to a neighbouring body of water, so that the energy progresses while the water doesn’t. (There may be a current moving the water along, but that’s independent of the waves. Only near the shore, where sea bottom undercuts the wave, does an actual physical body of water move.)

The wave has a duration of existence. After awhile, its energy ceases, or more exactly is transformed into something else, and the wave smooths out.

This is remarkably similar to me and my body…

Read on, and when you’ve thought about it, leave a comment.


The answer

hurt
This is exactly right, and is the theme of the latest book I have completed, Hit and Run.


Psychology

Impact of stress on health
Keep praise realistic
My daughter hates me
Should I cut loose from my mom?

 

Impact of stress on health

A journalist asked some questions about the impact of stress on health. My answer is too long for Bobbing Around, so I posted it on my psychology web site. You might want to look around while you are there.


Keep praise realistic

bradbushmanA recent study at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, reported in Psychology Today, shows that if a child with low self-esteem is given overly generous praise, the result can be a worsening of performance rather than an improvement.

Professor Brad Bushman, who wrote the report, says this may be because it makes the child afraid of being able to keep up a high level of performance.


My daughter hates me

My daughter hates me. She is the child I had with my first husband and the product of that really bad relationship. I left him when she was about 2 1/2 years old. She always saw him because of visitation rules. He was the Disneyland daddy — taking her wonderful places, buying her whatever she wanted. I was the eat your peas, do your homework, clean your room mom. I did everything for her — gave her as much as I could — but she always felt I preferred her brother from my second marriage. She and I rarely saw eye to eye on anything, while her brother and I had a good relationship. Therefore, because she and I had more cause to disagree than I had with her brother, she believes I prefer him to her. He was easier to get along with, but I did everything for both of them, possibly even more for her because she had more emotional needs.

But she doesn’t see that at all. We had a huge falling out about 4 years ago when she was 30. She moved in with her biological father where she remained until she married last year. Six months before her wedding, she started coming around again. I did a lot of things to make her wedding beautiful and she seemed very happy with that. However, she wouldn’t let me come with her when she picked out her dress. I didn’t get to go with her when she chose items for her registry. Now, she is pregnant. But she already told me she doesn’t want me there when it’s time for the baby to be born. She never shares anything about her pregnancy with me that I might enjoy knowing, like when she first felt life or what names she is considering. She has also moved out of the condo she was living in, but she won’t tell me where she lives now. I feel hurt, left out, used and totally helpless to change the situation.

So, I am so ‘stuck’. If I call her, she won’t pick up. If I text her, she doesn’t respond. She has cut me out of her life and I am destroyed.

When I think about my pregnancy with her what stands out most in my mind is that her father wanted me to have an abortion, his mother and sisters wouldn’t speak to me because they were angry and annoyed that I had gotten pregnant — even though I had been with her father for 7 years and was married to him when I got pregnant. She wouldn’t even be here if I had succumbed to their pressure to abort. I wanted her. I loved her. I took care of her.

When we divorced, I was granted sole and complete custody. She was my world and I did as much as I could, without trying to ‘buy’ her as her father and his family did. After she was born and she favored their side of the family in looks and personality, she was acceptable to them and I was the outsider.

I can’t reach her. She doesn’t appear to have any interest at all in repairing and having a relationship with me. I was not a perfect parent, but I did the best I knew how to do. She is like her father: appears to have the same mindset, both of them knowing what I need, what I want, what might make me happy or feel fulfilled and important, and a definite mind set to make sure I never get it. Why? How can anyone be this uncaring and hurtful?

I would like to know my grandchild when it is finally born, but I fear that I will be allowed little contact. I would like to have a decent relationship with my daughter, but I can’t do that alone. A relationship requires at least two people seeking the same end, and I don’t have that with her. What can I do to fix this? I am at a total, debilitating loss. I need help.

Julie my dear,

Of course it really hurts to be rejected by your child, whom you clearly love, despite everything. As you said, all her life you’ve done your best, and yet she treats you as if you’d been a terrible mother.

Suppose someone showed her this cry for help you’ve written. If she thought it was from a stranger, I am sure she’d be touched and feel a lot of sympathy for its author. But if she knew it came from you, she’d indignantly reject it as a pack of lies.

This is because we all live in the reality we create. You of course honestly believe what you have written. But suppose she wrote me a letter about her life, and in particular about her mother. I am sure I would not recognize you as the mother she would be referring to. She has created a mother in her mind that you would completely reject as applying to you.

I have encountered this kind of situation many times. For example, a client once brought along her mother and sister for a joint session. At the end of the hour, they were if anything more hostile to each other than at the start, despite everything I’d tried — and I am good at my work.

There are such hostilities within my extended family too, and within the cooperative community I’ve been a member of for 38 years.

I can think of one faint hope for reconciliation: finding someone she cares for and whose opinion she respects, who can act as an intermediary. The approach may fail, but is worth trying.

However, as well as that, there is something else you can do to improve the quality of your life. Your distress is not because of your daughter’s behavior, but because you want the situation to be different. The same is true for everything. Suppose I have a bad physical pain. If I can, deeply and truly, simply accept the pain sensation: “It’s there, it’s allowed to be there and I can live with it,” then I have an uncomfortable sensation, but not in pain; not hurting.

Your situation is as bad as any physical pain. It can be handled in the same way. “I love my daughter, and she rejects me and has cut off all contact. This is her choice, and I can live with it.” As long as you manage to believe this, deep in your heart, you are not suffering. If this only lasts 10 seconds and you return to your current reaction, then that was 10 seconds of inner peace.

A second way of presenting exactly the same tool is to look at your situation as a Life Lesson. Suppose that, before you were born, you and a Superior Being designed some Lessons you needed to learn, and organized events designed to give you the learning opportunities. (The Superior Being can be God if you are religious, but the concept is useful even for an atheist.) And suppose your daughter’s treatment of you is one of those situations. OK, “What are the Lessons I need to learn as a result of her rejection of me?”

You see, we only learn and grow from suffering. When everything is just right, there is no need for change. So, you have choices, although until now you didn’t know you had them. There has been an automatic process: “1. I love my daughter. 2. She is rejecting me. 3. I want this rejection to stop. 4. It may never stop. 5. Therefore I am in despair.” You can instead choose another reaction.

It is not for me or anyone else to design what that should be, but I can give you an example. A client who saw me because of an industrial injury told me of an event 20 years previously. His wife came home one night and said, “I’m leaving. I’ve been having an affair, and now want to live with the other man.”

The husband, as he told me 20 years later, couldn’t help tears coming to his eyes, but he said, “I love you too much to hate you for this. I wish you a good life.” He then ensured a fair division of their possessions, and did whatever he could to ease her transition.

As a result, he grew, and became a better person.

I hope you can be inspired by his example and use this opportunity for growing also.

Love,
Bob


Should I cut loose from my mom?

Hi there, hoping to get some advice on a long overdue question.

Since the age of 9 I have been severely emotionally and mentally abused by my own mother.

My parents divorced when I was 9 years old due to their irreconcilable issues (mainly being very young, unprepared for a child, her excessive spending and his inability to be emotionally available to her and the list goes on). At that point in time, instead of stepping up to the plate and owning her decisions, she decided to party (get drunk, do drugs, have strange men in our house, have parties at our house, leave me unattended to cook and clean and be the adult) for the next 4 years. Then, she met a man named Joe who was psychotic and totally abusive to her physically, and mentally abusive to the both of us.

At the age of 18, a month or two after I became a legal adult, Joe attempted to rape me. I luckily had enough sense and adrenaline to literally escape the situation. But, when the police were notified, my mother opted to accuse me of lying and said she was “scared to leave him” — so I ended up moving out of our home onto the floor of a mice infested recording studio that I was sharing with a few friends at the time.

A few years passed and I was able to get on my feet and get my own apartment/take care of myself. The charges were never formally laid on Joe due to me having no physical evidence, and no support or guidance from anyone involved. I could not afford a lawyer, so it basically got thrown out of court. Like I said, a few years passed and I just learned to live with it. All of my romantic relationships failed and ended up being abusive as well, just an FYI to you the reader.

Then, at the age of 23-24 years old, after Joe and my mom separated, she met another man named Danny. This man was one of the leaders of a notorious biker gang — i.e., he was very dangerous. He was very inappropriate to be around, constantly drunk and messed up on drugs, and so was she. We were invited to a cottage of his, so my friend, my mom and Danny all went up. Around 3 a.m. on one of the weekend days, we woke up to my mom screaming — Danny had beat the living crap out of her. We had to leave the cottage at 4 a.m. that night just to escape. My mom begged us to let her stay with him but we removed her from the situation.

So here we are again — she has put me in another disastrous situation.

I am now 29 years old and after three different therapists, and a lot of working on myself, I am a functional adult — but with a lot of emotional issues. I have a temper that flares at the drop of a pin, I am depressed, struggling with my weight, career, and everything in between.

She is STILL abusive, emotionally un-supportive, critical, judgmental and overall a terrible mother to me. Basically, she is the same as she’s always been.

So I ask — TO OWN, OR TO DISOWN?

Perhaps the issue is my own inability to cut the tie. I have been advised by not one but all THREE therapists I’ve seen to disown her and cut her off. Instead I cut the therapists off, go figure.

Hi Carol,

If you re-read your message, you will see that you have answered your own question, in the last paragraph.

Even when you were a little girl of 9, you chose to hold the household together. While your mother was acting the naughty child, you cooked and cleaned and acted the adult. The two of you have maintained the same relationship since. Time and again, she put herself and you in danger, and no doubt there were many other instances of unwise actions on her part. Whenever you could, you were the one to fix the situation, such as running away from Danny.

Your three therapists made the mistake of giving you advice. I won’t repeat that. My advice is to go with your own decision, and feel comfortable being you.

You and your mom are very different people, and my guess is that this difference was already there when you were born. Think of her as a very young child, inside an adult body. Think of yourself as a mature person, even when you were very young. Does that make sense?

If you were a mature, loving mother, and your child was absolutely impossible, naughty beyond belief, you would still continue being the loving mother, and would do your best to protect and guide your child. For all your life, this has been the relationship between you and your mom, except for the power difference: a mother has the power to restrict the child’s actions in order to ensure safety. A daughter can’t do that to her mother.

The reason you rejected the advice of your therapists is that it goes against your very nature. You are a Protector, a Carer, a person with inherent feelings of decency and responsibility, and you can’t cut loose. You feel obliged to be there for your mom, whatever other idiocies she may do. Am I right?

If I am, the question becomes: how can you stay her protector, without undue distress and danger to yourself?

Work on that problem.

Love,
Bob

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response to me.

You are 100000% right in your response, and multiple friends have told me the same. I am the adult in this relationship and it is and always has been that way — and likely will always be this way. I can see the patterns here. I am the adult, I am angry that I’m the adult and she just cannot grow up and be a parent, and I lash out accordingly. I am livid that I have to be a parent when I don’t even have a child of my own.

Your commentary about me being a care giver and caring person in general is also dead on. Every romantic relationship I’ve had has resulted in putting my own needs aside (or not even acknowledging them) so I could take care of a man who is not able to grow up and take care of himself. The exception here is my current relationship where I’m finding that we take care of each other — and it’s definitely the most happy and healthy and in love relationship I have experienced to date.


Health

“Warm handoff” can chill by Dr Oleg Reznik
Environmental degradation is bad for your health
Urban trees help you breathe

 

“Warm handoff” can chill, by Dr Oleg Reznik

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA “warm handoff” is current jargon for referring a patient to a mental health professional by inviting that specialist into the session, and introducing the two of them.

It is thought to expedite mental health interventions. Many potential benefits are cited such as having the mental health professional intervene when most needed, using an opportunity of need to introduce the professional, thus making a transition more personal, initiating the treatment that otherwise may not take place, and expediting crisis intervention.

While all of those are potential benefits, there is a flipside. When the patient is emotionally vulnerable, the doctor is in effect saying, “your situation is too much for me.” This person has come to the doctor with trust, and may feel let down. The doctor, no doubt under enormous time pressure, loses an opportunity offered to him by the patient, and is to some degree betraying the patient.

The “warmly handed-off patient” is suddenly pressured to meet another professional, for the first time. This stranger is to take care of a part of his needs. This increases fragmentation of treatment. The “multidisciplinary team approach,” while effective for some problems that require major interventions from the health care system, is less likely to be effective for the everyday “bread and butter” human suffering.

More importantly, the multidisciplinary approach affects the patient’s self image, for the patient is given a message that he ought to fragment his own needs to be met by the appropriately qualified persons. These qualified persons will treat him not as aids to himself or to his “primary care provider” but in parallel, with no one taking full responsibility and everyone deferring something to someone else. This system of treatment encourages avoidance form its providers — “you should talk about that with your specialist,” we say, as we evade taking responsibility for our true opinion.

It also discourages patient self-responsibility. “If my doctor can’t cope with it, how can I?” is the usual message reinforced by the insurance restricted 6 session limit, during which the mental health professional is supposed to “set the patient straight,” basing treatment on the time limit and the “problem identified by the referring provider” rather than opening to a broader perspective. Incidentally, the term “provider” should be changed, since it implies dependence.

The mental health professional sustains the most irreparable damage to a position of healer. There is loss of autonomy, becoming an extension of a rather impersonal system. S/he is not there due to the patient’s choice but is an imposition (albeit a careful imposition). This role becomes similar to a law enforced counselor mandated for drug and alcohol treatment programs. The patient is not there by choice, but is surreptitiously cornered into this by the system, and is there at best to please the doctor. Therefore, it is extremely hard to transform the dynamic of dependence into one of authentic autonomous shifts into healing.

The alternative is the old way of sticking with the patient through the tough moment and providing the usual referral if one cannot deal with the issue. The freedom to cancel or “no show” (which is frequent), has to be allowed without any judgment and coercion. The true autonomous wish for transformation is more likely to surface when resistance to change is respected.

A patient once praised one clinic by saying that it runs like a “well oiled machine.” I thought the analogy was right on the dot, though I did not share that patient’s enthusiasm. While machine aspects are inevitable in the modern care environment, they can widen the rift between the source of true healing and a person’s awareness.

Another alternative could be integration of treatment by the “provider” who has a sufficiently developed therapeutic relationship with the patient, by offering additional time and consultative help. While this type of relationship between patients and their doctors was once more common, today’s streamlined efficiency and the use of assembly line models have left that possibility behind.

Incidentally, I think that both a substantial number of patients and their providers would prefer that model. It might even reduce cost, since a large part of health care expense is reassurance of the patient who can no longer trust his fragment of a “provider” and now prefers the magic of an MRI to be reassured that he is OK, and a daily pill in place of an occasional heartfelt conversation.

Oleg is a board certified family physician, trained in New York. He subsequently worked in various practice settings, rural and urban, and on faculty at Oregon Health and Sciences University; authored a book and other publications; and currently is a physician for the employees and families of Jackson Laboratory — a genetic research facility in Maine. www.olegreznikmd.com.

He is one of the contributors to Cancer: A personal challenge.


Environmental degradation is bad for your health

There is more to what we are doing to ourselves than climate change. A recent report lists several ways in which public health is impacted by the changes we see around us.


Urban trees help you breathe

A recent study by the US Forest Service has demonstrated that trees near people reduce the incidence of respiratory problems. The more trees near you, the cleaner the air. They remove fine particulate matter from the air.
urbanforest


Writing

Planning instructional nonfiction
Trouble with some words?

 

Planning instructional nonfiction

For years now, several lovely people have been pestering me to write a self-help book on writing. Having just finished writing a novel, I’ve buckled under and started. I thought it might be helpful for other writers to look over my shoulder while I do so.

The first step is to have a concept: what is the book to be about? I’ve immediately put this into a single sentence, which can be the tagline — and the title: “The Art of Writing: An editor’s advice on creating page-turner fiction and effective nonfiction.”

This follows Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s hint on titles. Have a pithy but descriptive title, then a long subtitle that contains lots of keywords. Perhaps I should expand this even further, mentioning grammar, word use, punctuation… Trouble is, that’s more like a chapter summary.

Second, you can only write a “how-to” book if you are an expert on the topic. This almost certainly means that you already have writings on the subject. I do. The archives of my newsletter Bobbing Around http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html contain a great many writing essays I’ve written. This gave me a shortcut to the necessary second step: a bulleted-point list of topics, in some sort of logical order.

This can be done without previous essays of course. It is an important step in order to avoid rambling, missing essential topics or duplicating material.

Having produced a list of chapters (topics), and put them in order, my third step is to produce a brief summary of the content of each. Some are complex enough to require me to repeat the procedure: a title for the chapter (no need for a lengthy subtitle though!), and a list of points, each of which will be a section.

Then, only one thing remains: to expand each bulleted point into brilliant writing. Of course, in my case, the stock of essays again comes in handy, although I prefer to write the same content in new words rather than to copy and paste.


Trouble with some words?

grammarhttps://www.facebook.com/grammarly?fref=photo
Actually, I’ve often heard “Liburary” and “Burgular” too.


What my friends want you to know

An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder
From Jan Sikes
Join Sea Shepherd
Carolyn Harris –> Rosamond Carter: It never rains, it pours
Working Alongside Men with Mindfulness: conference 22-23 August
Research: men sexually abused by mother

Michael Thal’s 99 c book promotion, August 1 – 5
Hypnotherapy conference, 13-14 September
Avaaz climate march, 21st September
Let’s Talk About It: Finding peace with death and dying in everyday life, by Lea Rose

 

An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder

alfredobook
This book is the result of ten years of constant search for answers while I was trying to understand my Bipolar Disorder, and, at the same time, while I was trying to communicate with many sufferers online.

What I have discovered is that many sufferers with mental disorder have no power to help themselves. Their power was taken away by the ideology of our society which tends to tell people that there is no hope for them, except medication. Many sufferers come to believe this dangerous ideology and learn hopelessness that, in many case, last a lifetime and prevents then from a very possible recovery. Recovery does not mean that we are cured of our symptoms: it simply means that we learn to cope with our symptoms in such a way that they protect us from giving up and allow a good life anyway.

Suffering myself with bipolar II, and being married to a wife who has bipolar I, I can say that wellbeing is always achievable if we find the right support, we create an healing environment and we work hard to increase our knowledge of life and our disorder and to ensure that we don’t remain victims of an ideology that wants us to be powerless. It is easy to take advantage of powerless people and it is time now to stop taking advantage of people with mental disorders and to empower them so that they can find some happiness in their life and so that, in turn, our society can benefit from this positive outcome.

Alfredo Zotti

Alfredo’s book is available at as a Kindle book.

Paper books within Australia are available at Nile Books or, from mid-August, from Angus & Robertson.

If you send him proof of purchase in any format, you can get a free CD. Directions on the web site.


From Jan Sikes

Jan is the author of two books I’ve reviewed: Flowers and Stone and The Convict and the Rose.

She has let me know that both books are available at My Texas Books.com.


Join Sea Shepherd

Founded in 1977, Sea Shepherd started out as small dedicated team led by founder, Captain Paul Watson.

Now in 2014, this small organisation has expanded world-wide into a global movement, with a mission to protect the bio-diversity of our oceans, primarily with direct action. 
Sea Shepherd clients range from whales, right down to plankton, however our mission is of the outmost importance to all humanity, because if the Oceans Die, We Die.

Check out this wonderful video, which shows where Sea Shepherd stands today as a movement to save life on planet ocean, to save the earth.
shepherdvideo


Carolyn Harris –> Rosamond Carter: It never rains, it pours

A couple of issues ago, I reviewed It never rains, it pours by Rosamond Carter. Now, Carolyn Harris has come clean: she is the author.

“Because there are so many Carolyn Harris’s and Carolyn Gibsons (my maiden name) I am writing under ‘Rosamond Carter,’ which is part my name and all my grandmother’s name… I am fourth Rosamond, so I’m keeping it in the family and so far there are no other authors of that name :)”


Working Alongside Men with Mindfulness: conference 22-23 August

aabcap
The Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists (AABCAP) invites you to join them at the Australian Technology Park, Sydney, for their 8th Annual AABCAP Conference.

Our purpose is to explore the unique challenges we all face, as men navigate modern day Australian life, their roles, their relationships and their mental health. This conference aims to help us all understand men’s journey for meaning and purpose.

This year we will be bringing a dynamic mix of Australian speakers who will share their stories, and join in conversations with us. Among those conversations will be what it means to be a man today, as well, conversations around one of the most difficult issues we as a society are having to manage, which is violence: sexual, physical and emotional. There will be conversations on men in relationships, men and sexuality, and how to age wisely.

Speakers include Bhante Sujato, Chien Hoong-Gooi, Greg Millan, Robyn Vickers-Willis, Matthew Johnstone, Ken Zulumovski, Nicholas Tabley, Chris Barker, Geoff Dawson, Barbara Jones, Tim Johnson-Newell, Craig Hughes-Cashmore, and Anand Anderson.

AABCAP’s goal is to provide educational opportunities for therapists who are interested in developing a conversation between Buddhist psychology, philosophy, ethics and contemplative practices. We aim to integrate these two rich traditions of wisdom and healing.

Further information


Research: men sexually abused by mother

A researcher at the University of Canberra is collecting information from Australian males about males’ experiences seeking and/or receiving counselling for sexual abuse by a biological mother.

This is a 40-question, online survey, for men with this experience, and their therapists.

Your response will be anonymous, and only seen by the researcher and research supervisors.

Find out more about the research, and access the questionnaire.


Michael Thal’s 99 c book promotion, August 1 – 5

Hi Bob,
michaelthal
Solstice Publishing and I are planning a summer 2014 sale from August 1 to August 5 of the Koolura Series. The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback will be sold for only $.99 on websites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashword. (Digital copies only.)

Koolura is a middle school child with extraordinary psychic powers. She can move objects with her mind, heal the injured, teleport, and even fly. In book two she discovers she can time travel, a huge theme in book 3.

In your blog I’ll let readers know what motivated me to write this series, a few glimpses into the novels, and a look at Koolura and the Mayans, book 3 in the series. (It should be ready for publication in late 2015 or early 2016.)

Also, I’m the author of two other YA novels that may interest your readers: Goodbye Tchaikovsky, the story of a deaf violinist, and The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, a science fiction novel about a teen boy abducted by aliens. The book covers and more information about my books are on my website: www.michaelthal.com.


Hypnotherapy conference, 13-14 September

hypnoconf
Join the AHA in celebrating 65 years of advancement and development in Hypnotherapy and all its associated modalities including NLP, Counseling, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching and more.

Check out the details.


Avaaz climate march

Dear Avaaz climate marchers and organisers,

Holy crap — over 350,000 of us have pledged to hit the streets on September 21st! If just us, just the people receiving this email, turn out on that day, it will be the largest climate mobilisation in history. If each of us bring a few friends and family, we’ll get over a million people out on the streets worldwide.

Thank you, so much, for stepping up to this. I have such profound respect for you, and your willingness to act, not just for a couple minutes, but a couple hours.

Even more staggering, 50,000 of us have signed up as volunteer organisers! That’s a crazy army of citizens ready to make this big. And there’s plenty of time to join — If you didn’t sign up to volunteer and would like to do it now — click here.
greenheart

We’ve got two months to do this, so here’s the plan:

1) Our events will focus on bringing a petition to our governments. In each town or city or village, we’ll target the local house of government, asking them to commit to using 100% clean, renewable energy to power our communities. 100% clean is possible, and it’s the best way, maybe the only way, to stop catastrophic climate change.

2) Avaaz will run a gigantic, global petition drive, aiming for millions of signatures on a petition for 100% clean. There will be likely hundreds or thousands of signatures from your community for you to deliver locally. You can also do your own petition drive, online and offline, to add signatures.

3) Local organisers (hopefully you!) will coordinate each event, putting your own personal touch on how people get together and deliver the petition. You’ll start an event page online, recruit people via email and Facebook, design the event and visuals, and let the media know. Step up to leadership – you can do it!! But don’t worry, we’ll have online tools, organising guides and all sorts of support to help you.

4) The visual we’re going for to connect all our events together is a green coloured heart (see the picture above). It’s a great, simple “meme” that shows that we’re acting out of love for our planet and each other, to save all that we love from catastrophic climate change. So your event might have big signs that say “Rio 100% Clean” or “Paris the Earth”. You do your petition delivery, then take a picture with your green hearts and upload it online — it will be shown on a big screen in New York to world leaders at the UN climate summit – showing the diversity, size and strength of our grassroots movement.

That’s the plan! If you have any feedback on this plan, ideas to improve it, or change it, there’s time to make changes. Please take our poll to let us know what you think and give suggestions. And if it sounds good, please start thinking about how you’d do this in your community. Listen for your creativity and brilliance :). And don’t worry about doing this alone — in most larger towns and cities, many people are volunteering to organise, so you’ll have a chance to team up with other lovely Avaazers if you wish to. We’ll also have a live chat where you can go to ask questions and trade ideas with people around the world who are also organising. This is going to be fun!

In a few days, we’ll send a link where you can start setting up the signup page and Facebook page for your event. In the meantime, get ready, and dream about how we’re going to make this the genesis of the movement we need to save the world.

With hope and tremendous gratitude to all of you,

Ricken with Meredith, Jooyea, Sayeeda, Marigona, Uilleam, Alex and the whole Avaaz team

Support the Avaaz Community! We’re entirely funded by donations and receive no money from governments or corporations. Our dedicated team ensures even the smallest contributions go a long way.


Let’s Talk About It: Finding peace with death and dying in everyday life, by Lea Rose

leaInspired by the rich stories of her clients and the need for education in society on death and dying, Lea Rose has written a book that has the power to change our lives. With openness and sensitivity, she shares her extensive experience and knowledge through intimate stories of her work looking after the dying and their families and creating a connected team of support and care for a quality end of life experience. Her writing portrays a rich and compassionate understanding of the challenges, sadness, grief, courage and acceptance that are, in diverse ways, relevant for us all.

We all have choices in our life, even when faced with death. Read how you can take control of your life to live fully and consciously until the very end of life. Be supported by those who are closest to you and choose to create a peaceful and conscious end of life experience.

With openness and sensitivity Lea Rose shares her extensive experience and knowledge through intimate stories of her work with the dying and their family members in creating a connected team of support and care for a quality end of life experience.

You can develop an open attitude to death and dying which you never thought possible and you can make a real difference to your own life and to those around you. Just as we want quality of life, we must also insist on quality of death.

Available from Michelle Anderson Publishing and the usual outlets after the official book launch on the 9th of August.


Reviews

Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Megan Williams
The Buddhist, by Stephen Hazlett
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Stephen Hazlett
An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder, by Alfredo Zotti
The great first impression book proposal, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Postcards from Mr. Pish III: East Coast, by K. S. Brooks
The 90 Day Plan To Marketing Your Book, by Melissa Se

 

Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Megan Williams

Ascending Spiral began, for me, as a Boy’s own adventure but quickly morphed into a story about a man fighting a war against invaders that felt just at first. Then followed human damage and downfall followed by retribution. I was hooked.
For readers who like action there is plenty, though some rather violent, but all realistically representing human nature. I found it a disturbing, yet profoundly compelling distillation of the potential for good and evil to exists in all of us. But Bob also introduces hope and the possibility of forgiveness for oneself and others without excusing evil deeds.
From the prologue, and you should read it, Bob sets the style by writing as if everything is happening in the present even though the action zig zags across time and space through history. This gives the story its immediacy and brightness and allowed me to remain engaged when it took on fantastical elements that are not my preferred reading matter.
Bob manages to get under the skin of both the male and female characters and is not afraid to cover many distasteful but all too real aspects of human frailty and cruelty. The vehicle for telling the story through reincarnation is the greatest strength of the book for me. However, I don’t have to believe in reincarnation to be thoroughly engaged in the existential questions posed. Who am I? What is the meaning of suffering and what can I do to lessen it for myself and others?


The Buddhist, by Stephen Hazlett

Buddhism, like all great truths, is a paradox. So is my take on this book. The title is “the Buddhist,” and indeed the book is intertwined with one branch of Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time, this seems to me merely a device for exploring the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. It is contemporary drama: take a bunch of people, with their faults and peculiarities, and throw in a catalyst. The catalyst is that three years ago, Andrew and Jennie’s mother Daisy became a Buddhist. Now she is dying, and has been forced out of the monastery, and has come into Andrew’s care. The theme of the story is the reactions and growth of Andrew, his wife Carla and son Sam, and of Jennie who has come to be with them from the other side of the continent.

I am very interested in Buddhism, although of the less florid Theravada variety, so, many of the details of Mahayana Buddhism were new to me. I checked, and found Stephen Hazlett’s account to be accurate. A very useful result of my having read this novel is that now I realize, the two versions differ only in outward trappings, not in the essence.

I don’t normally read family dramas (and don’t even own a TV), but I’m aware that this theme is very popular in both books and as shows and movies. This one is excellent, with the personalities very distinct, understandable and vividly presented. Although he was a minor character, I identified with thirteen-year-old Sam the most, and wished we’d entered his reality more.

The best part of it is the very last, with Jennie riding in a train. Don’t read it first though — it only makes sense as a very fitting finale.


Ascending Spiral
reviewed by Stephen Hazlett

I wasn’t sure this book would be in my comfort zone of mystery/suspense and contemporary fiction, but I decided to give it a try based on a recommendation and on the fascinating premise: The protagonist, Dr. Pip Lipkin is 12,000 years old. He has incarnated numerous times as a man and as a woman, also as other-worldly species. Now he’s here on Earth to pay restitution for an ancient crime to save humanity from certain destruction.
This book also piqued my interest in its concept of Buddhist reincarnation, on what Buddhists call the wheel of life. As another reviewer said, This book is really a collection of stories tied together by the Buddhist idea of rebirth. I am a lay Buddhist, and that statement fascinates me. For his part, Pip only discovers in one of his own incarnations that he is a Buddhist. This occurs about 3/4 of the way through the book, as he says to himself: “That evening, I camped at the Uni. Library and read up on Buddhism. Mr.MacAndrew was right. Here was my philosophy in beautiful words.”

But that’s getting ahead of things. From the beginning of the story I was hooked. It starts in modern times with Pip, a doctor and a psychologist in this incarnation, relating a story of a female patient who’d been a victim of a crime. She is suicidal and can’t talk to him for more than a few minutes before breaking down in tears. He calms her down by having her focus on ordinary things: sights and sounds and smells, of experiencing each moment for itself. From there he relates, through emails from other patients, how he has the ability to heal, to help people from the depths of their despair. He reveals that he is a visitor from another galaxy and that he is 12,000 years old. He is here because Earth is his favorite place in the universe. As he says at this point, “where else do you see the entire economy of a species designed to destroy the life support system of their planet? For an Historian of Horror, that’s delicious.” After that he launches into his many-faceted story of past lives, starting with his earliest recollection of living on Earth, on an island near Ireland. His name then is Padraig and the time is 805 AD, and he begins by telling of the first time he saw his dark-haired, blue-eyed love with an elfin face and the name of Sheilagh.

Long accounts of more past lives follow: Dermot in 1784, where he meets his life’s love for the second time, this one with golden hair and a terrible temper. Next he is Amelia, a woman now, starting with her first memory of being a suckling baby in 1830. Then he is in another world, in 1910, and he is an eight-footed walking, talking plant. And finally he is back to being Pip, in Australia in 1966, seeing his love for the third time. Her name is Jacinta and they finally marry.

The book ends — well, I won’t give that away. Suffice it say there is a message there of hope and love, of creating a better society that lives in beauty, as the Navahos would say.

I give this book five stars for its originality, its message of hope and its just plain, good writing.


An artist’s creative life with bipolar disorder, by Alfredo Zotti

alfredobook
I edited this book for the author before he submitted it to the publisher I recommended for him, so have a very good knowledge of its contents.

It is an excellent, true-to-life account of what it means to think and act differently from society’s expectations, and to live with the stigma of “mental illness.” It is also a promise of hope: a person with bipolar can be a productive member of society and live a good life.

I can recommend this book to anyone suffering a so-called mental disorder, or anyone who loves someone who does.


The great first impression book proposal, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

caroprop
I am a fan of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s because of her cheerful generosity of spirit, careful research and easy, colloquial presentation. Anything she writes is a pleasure to read and often raises a laugh. At the same time, it is useful, well organized and pertinent.

This little booklet is no exception. Anyone following the guidelines Carolyn sets out here will be able to develop the skills needed to write an attention-getting book proposal.


Postcards from Mr. Pish III: East Coast, by K. S. Brooks

Geography can be presented in a way that makes it immensely boring, and yet it is inherently a fascinating subject. The Mr. Pish books will ignite an interest, and perhaps even a passion, for distant places for any small child. Each page of this book has just enough facts to be educational, yet not so much as to exceed the attention span of a little picture-watcher while an adult reads the words. I can see plenty of scope for further discussion in response to questions the child might ask.

One page with its pictures and words is probably enough as part of a bedtime ritual, or the page could be the opening into projects for a 5 or 6 year old who can be encouraged to find out more about, say, water power, or the American Revolution, or Martin Luther King.

Available at Amazon


The 90 Day Plan To Marketing Your Book, by Melissa Se

This book is easy to read, but it is not for reading. Rather, as the title suggests, it is a comprehensive instruction manual, as good as attending a full time course. It requires action, not merely reading.

It just has to have 5 stars for the wealth of material, the author’s depth of research and the detail of instruction on each topic, although, with the presumption of earlier lessons learnt, later “days” are more cursory. Although I’ve been at it for a long time, I learned lots from reading the book. Whenever I checked, the recommended procedures were accurate and doable.

Melissa states that if you work at it 8 hours a day, full time for 90 days, you will achieve huge book sales. Personally, I like to live too, and most people need to earn money, and then if you’re a writer, you want to write. So, it may be more realistic to enroll part time in this course.

I also have a couple of caveats.

First, many of Melissa’s recommendations will work better for self-published authors than for those going through a publisher — but then maybe some publishers need to read this book too. Similarly, many of the suggestions appear to be oriented toward nonfiction writers.

Second, I think her time allocated to various activities is very optimistic. For example, I can’t imagine how a first-time Wikipedia submitter can get a good one up in a day. A week of agonizing and trial-and-error is more like it. She suggests preparing articles for 10 sites, and says 10 to each. I don’t know anyone who could produce original output at that level.

However, even if you don’t follow the book to the letter, it is an encyclopedia of tools for publicizing your book.


A bit of fun

Fat lady, walking
I don’t know if this is true, but…

 

Fat lady, walking

            Her skin glows in the early morning sun.
            Rounded cheeks puff for air.
            Determined strides, all too short.
            Joyfully through the pain barrier.
            Skin chafed between her thighs, but spirit unbroken.
            Unsung hero, conquering ill health.


I don’t know if this is true, but…

idjut


About Bobbing Around

If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

If you are not a subscriber but want to be, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
  • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
  • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
  • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

Advertisements

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
This entry was posted in Bobbing Around. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 3

  1. Hahaha if their son was a homo sapiens! Now that scary! Oh dear, come to think of it I’m homo sapiens too 😦
    🙂

    Like

  2. Pingback: Bobbing Around Volume 14 Number 5 | Bobbing Around

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s