Bobbing Around Volume 20 Number 11

That the fossil fuel industry managed to turn global warming into a political issue — Left saying it’s happening, Right saying it’s not — might have been tactically brilliant, but it was also a vast global crime.
Alan Kohler

If it is safe, dump it in Tokyo, test it in Paris, and store it in Washington, but keep our Pacific nuclear-free.
Motarilavoa Hilda Lini, Vanuatu stateswoman and veteran activist of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific

The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty, Number Eleven,
May, 2021

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

You can send me a private message via my contact form

Do note that anyone buying any of my titles anywhere, in any format, qualifies for a second electronic book for free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase (unless I sent you a free review copy of course).

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.

* From me to you
Visiting Diane Bator
Featured by Writers Exchange
49th recipient of LiFE Award: Literature For Environment


* New stuff
Heidi Blu, granddaughter done well
Gary Clough, winner of the funny advice contest
John Rosenman, with wise advice
Fiona Lemmon, supportive friend
IMF says, tax the rich!
8 dimensions of wellness
My suicidal thoughts are torturing me again. What do I do?
More on microplastics
I approve of these announcements
Tibetan refugees need help in COVID disaster
Character-driven SF adventure
Maraglindi, reviewed by Mary Tod
Great little last minute editing tips by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
A Plea for Posterity, by Paul Tindle
Venus Guide Us to Peace by Laurie Corzett
* Blog posts during April
Passionate wisdom from Kevy Michaels

Robert Reich on taxing the super-rich

The benefit of refugees

Guilty under the law, but acquitted anyway

Beautiful writing about a terrible event: man fell from plane

How to confront the double standards of misogyny

Book by homeless youngsters transforms lives

Are we God’s puppets? A guest post at Kevy’s blog

No paper is better than recycled paper

Numbers count: the risk of a clot

Name game: where do my characters’ names come from? This is the April Rhobin’s Rounds.

From me to you

Visiting Diane Bator
Featured by Writers Exchange
49th recipient of LiFE Award: Literature For Environment


Visiting Diane Bator

4th of April is the anniversary of the occasion when the self-declaredly glorious Red Army of the Soviet Union liberated (and colonised) all of Hungary in 1945. To unknowingly celebrate this occasion, Diane Bator has featured me on her blog. Diane is one of my fellow Rhobin’s Round Robin conspirators. She enjoys being of benefit, so regularly interviews other authors at her blog, and I am delighted to be her latest guest.

Featured by Writers Exchange

And one week later…

Writers Exchange e-publishing is the publisher of Hit and Run. They have interviewed me, and have generously included material relevant to many of my other books as well. Appropriately, the interview is labelled “Bob Rich, Author and Environmental Warrior.”

Please visit, and send other people along.

49th recipient of LiFE Award: Literature For Environment

This is British poet David Russell’s collection of 26 poems, An Even River

The idea binding the poems is found in the title poem. Life is a river, flowing forever through time, containing and absorbing natural and human creation and memory. It swallows pollution, sludge, war, monuments, and palaces, and cleanses them all.

The collection’s 26 poems address such creatures and natural phenomena as whales, earthquakes, “eco-thunderstorms,” and scorpions, and then include humans’ natural phenomena, like panic, progress, dreams, mid-life, old love letters, and even cremation. The natural and the human blend together—or perhaps the human phenomena, good and bad, are extensions of the natural.

In one poem, Russell writes about clouds, but not the familiar clouds we see in the daylight sky. These are the clouds of past wars, and how we consider past wars, wars that flow into memory, even as nature moves on in its “happy ignorance.”

This description is by Glynn Young.

You can inspect the entry right now!


Heidi Blu, granddaughter done well
Gary Clough, winner of the funny advice contest
John Rosenman, with wise advice
Fiona Lemmon, supportive friend


Heidi Blu, granddaughter done well

Hello DR Bob.

I wrote to you some years ago as a teenager when I was in a desperate place with my life and mental health.

I remember that you wrote back a few times with extensive guidance and hope. This has always stuck in my mind so I thought I would drop you an email and let you know that your kind words and wisdom helped me a lot and I felt that there was someone out there who would listen and who understood me as a human being.

I think you even wrote an article on me about being painfully shy, though I’m not sure I had the chance to read this at the time.

I want to thank you for your compassion and I hope this message serves as a reminder that your work and passion for helping others really does go a long way.

I am 30 years of age now, I was about 16 at the time.

I have studied psychology myself over the years and I also enjoy writing and Buddhism.

I have noticed that your webpage includes input from external sources from peoples own personal experience or worldview.

I would be interested in writing about my own experience if this is ever relevant to your work.

All the best,

Warm hearted, passionate, Social care support worker taking time out to reconnect to her soul and find herself. Aspiring influencer with a passion for creating change, both in ourselves as individuals and as a culture. Influenced by many elements, such as psychology, biology, Buddhism, philosophy, her own working practice and of course her own personal life experience in facing the many challenges that life brings both in our childhood and adulthood.

Heidi believes her Soul has the light to guide others into illumination and to make a positive change in this ever evolving world.

Her interest/hobbies are nature, fitness, people, culture, music and dance. She is a gentle natured soul trying to make it in this extroverted, sometimes confusing universe.

Gary Clough, winner of the funny advice contest

Hey Bob, get a life! I’m only a chippy and you got a doctor of psychology or something, and besides you’re nearly as old as my father, and you want me to tell you what to do?

OK, here goes.

Make something free, and people don’t value it. Give them a bargain, and they line up for it. So, self-publish your book and list it wherever they sell books, for 99 cents. And at your blog, anyone asks for it can have it for free. By the way, you haven’t sent it to me for a beta read yet. You getting slow in your old age or something?

Look after yourself, old mate, and stop falling off your bike!


Last century, before the email days, Gary wrote me a letter. He’d bought a copy of my Earth Garden Building Book and it inspired him to switch from building timber to mudbrick (adobe) houses, and later to strawbale. Oh, if Australian is a foreign language to you, a “chippy” is a carpenter. He is one of my most insightful beta readers, and has several times helped me to improve a storyline, found the weakness in a plot, or suggested ways of increasing tension. Now I’ll need to include him in a story. I’ve got just the thing: a Black just-retired police sergeant who provides security to my hero in a story I am writing has changed from Quentin Smith to Gary Clough.

John Rosenman, with wise advice

Hi, Bob,

Sorry, I don’t have an amusing answer.

You write:

So, I have two choices: remove those stories from Bobbing Around, or make the book available permanently for free, as an inducement to buy From Depression to Contentment.

The more practical, self-centered, what’s-in-it-for-me approach is to remove those stories and submit your book to a publisher. Plus, you can tell yourself that the stories have already been published in Bobbing Around and visitors have had a chance to read them. So if the stories go into the book, they will be published twice.

However, as a healer, your obligation is to help people. Making the book available permanently for free may be a good way to do this. Plus, and here is the practical part again, if they like the free book, they are more likely to buy From Depression to Contentment.

If your main purpose is to help, guide, and inspire people, then the second choice is better. In addition, your sacrifice may lead readers to buy the second book.

Ah . . . it just occurred to me that you could write substitutes for these stories and include them on your site. Give them different titles. I read a couple of them. For example, the story “Gratitude”. Call it “Generosity” and give a different situation. However, this would require extra work.

Cheers and good health,


John is a retired English professor and has published 250 stories in Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Galaxy, etc. He has published two dozen books, including SciFi novels A Senseless Act of Beauty and Alien Dreams (Crossroad Press), and the Inspector of the Cross series and The Amazing Worlds of John B. Rosenman (MuseItUp Publishing).

Fiona Lemmon, supportive friend

Dear Bob

Thank you for forwarding your most recent Bobbing Around.

As regards your seeking advice, I have to say that I never give it as it is dangerous territory. The only thing I would say to anyone who follows advice is to blame him or herself exclusively if it all goes wrong and not foist the blame onto the advice giver and/or other! Advice is given to be ignored in which case a whole lot of different possibilities are presented than were the advice taken. But you know all this. I can only comment in the hope that you receive lots of “advice” from other folk and can reach an informed and considered decision which you feel in your heart of hearts is the right one — and one which can be reversed without difficulty should you appreciate it’s the wrong one.

You are not motivated by money. Presumably publication will lever in an income for you. Do you need it? Do you feel your efforts should be rewarded in terms of covering your costs if nothing else? What would you do with the income? Treat your family? Donate to charity? Use the money to finance your Green cause? Your publisher would, of course, make money out of it.

If this is the same publisher who insisted on having the beautiful girl as the cover on Sleeper Awake, then I am not in favour. The publisher is clearly using the image as a sales point and perpetuating the preference for surface beauty. Never judge a book by its cover!

I don’t know if you are aware that there is a perception in the UK — and probably justified — that the Scots and Yorkshire folk are tight fisted. The Yorkshire mantra is, after being told the price of something, “How much?!!!” There is a Yorkshire saying which I am very fond of. I don’t know how it is spelt but it sounds like “foil”. And it says so much in just one word. “I can’t foil it” = I can afford it but I won’t.

My father was a Scot (but not tight fisted: he was a very kind man and would give you the shirt off his back) and I have lived, learnt and worked in Yorkshire for more than half my life so have a double whammy when it comes to being miserly. So why pay for something when I can have it for free?! I am poking fun at myself here, of course. But I wonder who your target audience is. Do you wish to reach people who can afford to pay for their reading material? Or do you wish to reach an audience whose members may well not be able to afford to purchase your writings but who may well make a difference if they can access it free, gratis and for nowt?

I am sure you will have been considering all my above observations anyway but I offer them in the hope that they help you make up your mind. I am also sure that other folks’ input will be far more valuable than mine.

Look after yourself.


IMF says, tax the rich!

They don’t mean me. I am rich in name and quality of life only, not in money and possessions.

But like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the USA, and my own Australian Greens, the International Monetary Fund recommends taxing those who have too much to enable those with hardly anything to survive.


8 dimensions of wellness
My suicidal thoughts are torturing me again. What do I do?


8 dimensions of wellness

Here is a highly usable positive psychology resource setting out how to live an all-round good life. It covers every aspect from physical to emotional health and everything in between.

My suicidal thoughts are torturing me again. What do I do?

My dear, you are not responsible for those thoughts. You didn’t decide to think them — they just came. All the same, they are only noise until you pay them attention and believe them.

Fighting them, wanting them to go away, shines the searchlight of attention on them, and this makes them stronger. To prove this, do NOT think of the word “hippopotamus” for one minute. What happened? The more you tried to chase the word away, the more it intruded, right?

So, simply allow those thoughts. They are only noise, like somebody else’s television sound coming in your window. You can choose to be annoyed at that sound, and then it becomes intolerable, or simply have it as unimportant background.

Thoughts are habits. For quite some time, you have formed the habit of thinking these terrible, self-damaging thoughts. If you stop shining the searchlight of attention on them, they will fade away over time.

It also helps to provide a replacement. Either writing in a little notebook with a pen, or pecking at your phone, every time you notice something to be grateful for, something beautiful or funny or friendly, jot down a note about it. Here is an example. Some years ago, I was in constant severe pain. One night while settling for sleep, my gratitude list included, “Hey, today the pain never went above 7/10!” Or it was pouring with rain on a summer day when I had wanted to do something outside. Part of my gratitude list was, “No bushfires today!” (I live in a part of the world where summer fires are a major danger.)

Have a good life (you can),


More on microplastics

We know they are everywhere. But also, I have just found out that they lead to increased resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. This may seem strange, but this article in Medical News Today summarises research that explains how it happens.

I got the link from John Neve at his group, The people who pledge to pick up at least 5 pieces of plastic every day.

What to do about it?

Do your best to avoid buying the stuff. One way of helping with that is to do your best to avoid buying anything.

Once you have a plastic object, use it as many times as possible.

Put pressure on business to minimise plastics use, especially single-use plastics.

Oh yeah, pick it up and put it in the right bin, but that doesn’t do much.

The pic shows a magnified view of some of the microplastics found in Chesapeake Bay:

I approve of these announcements

Tibetan refugees need help in COVID disaster
Character-driven SF adventure


Tibetan refugees need help in COVID disaster

With the deadly second wave of Covid-19, hundreds of new cases of Covid-19 are being reported in many Tibetan refugee settlements in India. The Central Tibetan Administration has reported 51 deaths and 2175 cases. Many deaths occurred due to lack of treatment in hospitals.

In the midst of this worst surge in Covid-19, the Tibet Fund is helping severely affected refugee communities and partnering with local organizations to combat the new surge of Covid-19.

Thus far, The Tibet Fund responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a multi-sector, multi-partner approach in India, Nepal, and North America. Our support has helped purchase new ambulance, medical equipment, Covid infection control, prevention, and emergency health services in all 47 refugee settlements of India and Nepal. We are also helping vulnerable women and small businesses to cushion the financial impact of the crisis. Do check our special newsletter on Covid-19 here.

Tibetans in India need urgent help to combat the second wave of Covid-19. We can help procure medical equipment, including Oxygen Concentrator and BPAP machines to provide lifesaving urgent medical care.

Please click here to donate.

We truly thank you for your support.

Lobsang Nyandak
The Tibet Fund

Character-driven SF adventure

The Tesseract Codex is an epic tale of good versus evil set in a dystopian future with life in the outworlds hanging in the balance. The Tesseract Codex is an action adventure … It is an alien mystery … It is a love story … it is funny and, at times, very human … The Tesseract Codex is must-read science fiction.

John Korbin had lost everything, but he was an outworlder to the nines. He had survived the war. He had survived the loss of his wife and daughter and his whole family, but would he survive what followed?

And then there was the Tesseract. It was a ship built with alien technology, but the mystery only began there. John should have known that when something looks too good to be true that it generally is, but he bought the Tesseract anyway. When he set foot upon its decks, he changed everything.

Mission one was to recue Emma from the Mercenaries, but they would have to rescue Sophie from her own people if they were to succeed.

If you enjoy a strongly character driven story with lots of action, then you have to read Tesseract Codex.


Maraglindi, reviewed by Mary Tod
Great little last minute editing tips by Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Maraglindi, reviewed by Mary Tod

Maraglindi — the title of this new novel from author Bob Rich embodies a promise to readers, the promise of a story that is both magical and transformative. Expect to be mesmerized by the main character, Maraglindi, and the way her life unfolds in Victorian Australia. Expect to be outraged at the way whites treated the aboriginal people. Expect to be touched by the power of love and hope. Highly recommended. ~~ M.K. Tod author of Paris In Ruins.

Congratulations! You’ve written an intriguing story set in a time and place that is unfamiliar to me.

Mary is well known for her many historical novels. Her writing is powerful, historically accurate, and will get you wanting more.

This is the advance review she provided for Maraglindi, which will probably become available in August.

Great little last minute editing tips by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I reviewed the first edition of this book. The current review is an addition for the second edition.

Think of this little book as an amusingly annotated dictionary of samples of likely word confusions. To expand:

It is little (my apologies short; an illegitimate word substitution not in it): less than 60 pages.
It does provide amusing reading, always a benefit of any writing.

Every item involves a brief examination of the meaning of the relevant word, and that’s what a dictionary is. It is annotated, thanks to Carolyn’s amusing commentary.

She has carefully chosen examples from among the tens of thousands of possible ways we can misuse words. Studying her little sample will enable the reader to make the correct choices for a great many more.

You don’t need to pay attention to the distinctions she deals with when writing a shopping list, but I do so even in emails. Her approach is essential in writings such as job applications, project proposals, and of course anything to do with the book trade.

Thoroughly recommended.


A Plea for Posterity, by Paul Tindle
Venus Guide Us to Peace by Laurie Corzett


A Plea for Posterity, by Paul Tindle

Paul was 15 years old when he wrote this, as part of an English exam:

            A curtain of sinuous emerald fronds
            Suspended from towering trees
            Framing mysterious azure ponds
            Reflecting this magical frieze.

            I gaze all around me in wondering awe
            At the beauty I see in this place.
            Mammals and reptiles and plant-life galore
            Entwined in the forest’s embrace.

            The creatures come down to the water to drink
            Traversing a carpet of green
            And then in that moment I ponder and think
            Of the future of those in the scene.

            From time immemorial these forests did stand
            A haven to nature itself
            Now they’re being destroyed as we ravage the land
            Through our greed and our yearning for wealth.

            We rely on these bastions, these pillars of strength,
            For the pure, pristine air that we breathe
            If we are to survive for any great length

Venus Guide Us to Peace by Laurie Corzett

a meditative poem

            Not just sweetness and light
            There is a strength; there is conviction —
            there is a vibrant dedication to true worth.
            If we can but believe again
            in all the humane virtues —
            Love is sharing,
            in kindness, understanding, supportive regard.
            Love is forgiving and being forgiven,
            when it is clear that malice was not intended
            or malice has been exorcised
            — an acceptance of the positive power
            of change, of growth in spirit.

            Love is the assumption of “we.”
            We are doing being going having creating
            We are able to exchange our labor, knowledge,
            possessions, positions.
            We are able to take in more than I — to synergize
            our fortunes into wealth and integral wellbeing.
            Love is not just a song — a pretty set of symbols
            Love is a power and a glory
            and an all encompassing truth.

            Love is addition and multiplication,
            not division or subtraction.
            Love enriches and inspires us.
            Love is not blind, not foolish.
            Love is not denying the self or self interest.
            Love is seeing clearly, knowing wisely,
            understanding and expanding the self —
            expanding outward to take in the universe
            of interconnected, interdependent being.

            Love sees the ugliness; and love sees the beauty.
            The ugliness saddens; the beauty invigorates.
            Love is to peace as music is to harmony.
            But how are we to love in a discordant world?
            It is within us to pick out the true,
            enduring melody
            to which our essential selves are tuned —
            If we but look to, listen to, open our selves to
            Venus, the Goddess of Love,
            Peace, Justice, Harmony
            as she manifests within us all.



“Dad, dad, why do those lights change from red to green?”
“Aw, I dunno.”
“Dad, look at that lady. Why does she have a ring in her nose?”
“I dunno. Mebbe you gotta ask her.”
“Dad, dad—”
“Marty, stop pestering your father with them stupid questions!”
“Aw, leave the boy alone, Jane. It’s good for a kid to ask questions.”

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, 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.)

I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, 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.

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 20 Number 11

  1. Fiona Lemmon says:

    I am honoured to see that you considered my piece of “advice” to you as worthy of being included in Bobbing Around along with others. Did any of them help you make a decision and, if so, what was it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Naturally I shared your opinion. It is valuable.
      I adopted Gary Clough’s advice. I am self-publishing “Lifting the Gloom, and will list it at various venues for 99 cents, while giving it away directly from Bobbing Around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fiona says:

        I am so glad you reached a decision. It sounds as though it was quite easily reached in the end. Sometimes an overload of advice/suggestions can be counterproductive.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s