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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mission control

Most of us have been involved at least once in writing a “mission statement”.  This concise summary of what one is trying to do is usually an exercise in restating what ones boss wants to hear and is thus regarded by cynical employees as the time wasting nonsense that it is. Yet, the real question regarding why you are doing what you are doing remains a valid one. What is the point? What do you want to accomplish? Why not just take a nap?

To that end, today the blog “Face Painting for World Peace” is going to articulate its reason for being. I’ll start with the obvious.  I wish to sell my book x0.  I wish to entertain myself by writing, which I love to do, and in the best case I wish to entertain others with that writing.  I love to do that as well. I’d like to solicit more interaction here and am trying to figure out how because I wish to grow by hearing from others with ideas outside of my usual circle.

All good mission statements cover not only what is to be done, but also how.  At least at a very high level. So, I hope to do the above by writing about the aspects of x0 that most fascinate me. These include the relationship between telepathy and empathy and the way both relate to humans treating each other with compassion and respect. I subtitled my book (and named this blog) “Face Painting for World Peace” because my main character Lola realizes that she lost many of her racial and ethnic prejudices while painting children’s faces every year at the school carnival. She wonders if similar close interaction with the children of ones enemies would foster world peace. So, this blog will look at paintings about peace, art about peace, and music about peace.

I also hope to occasionally post about Nigeria, the fascinating country where half of the book occurs. There will sometimes be posts about the oil business, with an insiders perspective on the hunt for the hydrocarbons we rely on so heavily and yet know we need to rely on less And finally, I hope to feature other books of any genre that touch on any of these topics or on the theme of world peace. I will be more aggressively seeking out other authors and welcome all requests to do a guest post.

Mission accomplished? Hardly. But after about eight months of feeling my way along on this blog, and as I am about to cross the 2000 hit mark very soon, it feels good to say “mission begun”.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in art for peace, Nigeria, oil industry

 

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Telepathy on the road

Just got back from a great vacation visiting my daughter and my sister in Illinois.  Of course, even when I travel my books stay on my mind.  I was delighted to discover that in Chicago, telepathy is now a tool used by drivers to signal their intentions.  Now that I think of it, it must also be used here in Texas, as that would explain why folks hardly ever use their turn signals here. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in telepathy

 

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Singing for World Peace

At a concert a few nights ago, it struck me that making music is so much more collaborative than writing fiction. Actually, you could argue that almost any human activity is more interactive, except maybe art. So it isn’t surprising that while authors produce novels and plays hoping to encourage world peace, and artists paint and sculpt and sketch to do the same, music rules as a powerful medium for getting across a message of peace (or anything else) because it is something that people make together and appreciate together.

Don’t believe me? Check out this list of hundreds of peace songs at everybody’s friend Wikipedia.

A list of my top five personal favorite peace songs:
“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan (1963)
“From a Distance”  written by Julie Gold. and performed by Bette Midler (1988)
“Imagine” by John Lennon (1971)
“Russians” by Sting (1985)
“Turn! Turn! Turn!” by Pete Seeger recorded by the Byrds (1965)

I couldn’t help notice that this list dates me a little a bit, and so I plan to check out every song on the Wikipedia list written after 2000 and report back with a top ten list that is at least half from this millennium. Meanwhile, check out another groups list of top ten peace songs here that spans genres and decades. I’m also very happy to “take nominations from the floor” for the best peace song ever. Got a favorite to nominate?

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in music for peace

 

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Chain letters for authors

People love chain letters for some reason, and last week fantasy author Jaq Hawkins tagged someone in a chain post. Her blog does look cool and you can find it here. The person that she tagged, supernatural thriller author Michael Brookes,  then had to answer the same set of questions here. And he tagged me. Who am I tagging? Luckily I found two people with seriously interesting blogs. Please meet:

Fantasy author Brian Rush (check out his blog here)  and hard core science fiction author Rob Lopez (check out his blog here)

My answers are below.

What is the title of your next book?  My next book is called z2

Where did the idea come from for the book?  It is part of a six book collection involving a family with mild superpowers.  This one advances the story of telepathic mom, and shape shifting older son, while introducing a dad who has a sort of special relationship with time.

What genre does your book fall under?  It’s a sub-genre called “magical realism”. The best way to explain it, I think, is that things happen that would be considered magic in a fantasy book but here they are explained as scientifically possible.  I reluctantly call it science fiction when I have to choose a major genre.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I don’t see these particular novels as a movies. Too many subplots.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  By book three I’ve fallen into a pretty good pattern.  A month of research, four months to write, then a month of  basic first pass editing to get it to a draft I’ll show to someone else.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? It’s not quite like anything I’ve ever read, and I like that.  But it kind of vaguely reminds me of the Clan of the Cave Bear Series, or The Mists of Avalon. Sort of real and sort of not.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I love to travel, and each book partially takes place in a location very different from my home in Texas.  In response to other readers who are curious about the far-away, each book has a couple of dozen live links that lead to more information about books location, subject matter, and even to the music that the characters listen to. I guess you could say that each book has a sound track that reflects its main character.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in writing

 

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