The Great Divide

More and more, the United States seems to becoming un-united, polarized by democrats vs. republicans, liberals vs. conservatives, socialists vs. capitalists, big government vs. less government, rich vs. poor, equity vs. equality, the powerful vs. the powerless, those who want to uphold the constitution vs. those who want to make it more flexible, as well as the divisions caused by the various gender and melanin issues.

More important to me since I live in a small, isolated community, is the ever-growing divide between big cities and rural areas. One issue that concerns rural folks all around the country is the push toward a popular vote. If this were enacted, not only would policies that affect rural areas be decided by major cities within the state, they’d more probably be decided in New York City and Los Angeles, with perhaps Chicago and Houston chiming in, since those are the four largest cities in the USA. The Colorado Legislature has already passed a measure that all our electoral votes would go not to the candidate the people in Colorado voted for, but to whoever won the popular vote nationally. The only reason this is not now law is that it has to be voted on by the people. If it’s passed, it would lock rural areas out of the voting process completely because their vote simply would not count.

Which brings us to another divide within the state. Colorado used to be republican, but because of the vast numbers of people moving to Denver from California and New York as well as Texas, Denver — the capitol — is now democrat while the rest of the state is republican. It doesn’t sound like it would be that much of an issue, unless you live in a county far removed from Denver and its power-hungry politicians.

The latest mess we locals been handed is that some woman legislator in Denver decided that private prisons have to go for some murky reason I’ve never been able to discover. As far as I can tell, there are only two such prisons besides one in a major city: one in this county and one in a nearby county. Both counties have about the same population — approximately 5,000 people spread out over 1,541 square miles. With agriculture pretty much dead around here, there is basically only one business that employs more than a few people and pays them well— the prison.

Because of that one crotchety woman’s campaign against these prisons, the county stands to lose millions in annual payroll, almost a million in goods and services such as utilities, and more than a million in property taxes. Those property taxes help pay for fire control, ambulance, schools, library, the senior center and various other services this town needs. Without the prison, the people who live here — already an impoverished lot, with only prison workers and a few others making a decent living — will have to pick up the slack, with higher property taxes (as well as lower property values), higher utilities, and probably a whole slew of other problems that will stem from these major issues.

The county commissioners, of course, are working to keep this prison open, but it’s a hard slog when no one in power in Denver has any clue as to what is going on in the far reaches of the state.

We’re already isolated by distance and politics and economic standards (I’m sure you figured that out since I was actually able to buy a house here when there is no way I’d ever even be able to afford to rent a room in a ramshackle house in a place like Denver). I can’t imagine what would happen to this town if Denver has its way. If they decided to keep the prison and turn it into a state-run facility, it wouldn’t solve the problem — jobs would be lost, pay would not be as great, and the property taxes would still be lost since government installations don’t have to pay taxes.

Normally, I wouldn’t write about such a local issue (or maybe I would, what do I know?) but this particular conflict seems to mirror what is happening all over the country — an ideologic divide that is so great and polarized that there seems to be no way to bridge the gap.

It used to be that we in the USA all wanted the same thing — equality, prosperity, freedom — or at least most of us did. The party lines were drawn by the difference in how people wanted to go about achieving those ends.

Now the division is created not in trying to come together to achieve the same end, but in trying to achieve completely different ends, which is exactly what is going on here.

Whatever happens, either locally or nationally, I don’t see a long-range solution. Even if the local folks can save the prison and hence the town, the greater problem — the growing polarization in the country will remain.

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What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? Considering the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, it might be an improvement. Or not.

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
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Frigid Temperatures on the Way

I spent the morning getting my yard ready for the frigid weather that’s headed our way. I did one last watering, then stored the hoses and insulated the outside faucets.

And I planted bulbs.

After last year’s fiasco, where I planted many bulbs and almost none came up (due probably to my following directions and not watering them during the early spring drought as I probably should have), I hadn’t planned to do any more bulb gardens, but I donated a few dollars to the Arbor Day Foundation, and they sent me bulbs for a purple garden.

I followed their directions exactly. Dug down deep to loosen the soil in the whole garden area (as difficult as it was, it was easier than it sounds because this particular garden is only about two-and-a half by four feet), planted the bulbs at the requisite depth, and watered extremely well.

I took a picture of my garden, but it looks like . . . dirt! So here is the photo of what it would look next spring in the hands of a real gardener:

Halfway through all this work, I wondered if I was jumping the winter gun because I was HOT. By the time I finished rolling up the hoses, however, cold winds had sprung up, bringing a promise — or a warning — of cooler weather. Although the high today will be near seventy, the low tonight will be in the twenties, and tomorrow we won’t warm up beyond the mid-forties. Saturday will be warm again, in the seventies, and then it will get really cold, down to 10 or 15 degrees with a high around freezing. Brr. Just the thought makes me shiver.

Luckily, I just stocked up on tea! Nothing warms me — body and soul — like a special tea. The one I’m drinking now is called Breakfast in Paris, and is a combination of black teas, lavender, bergamot oil, and vanilla. Very nice! Though truthfully, I could still enjoy the tea if frigid temperatures weren’t on the way.

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What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? What then?

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
Click here to purchase the Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Help My Publisher Buy a Maserati

If we sell enough Bob, The Right Hand of God books, my publisher says he will be able to buy a new Maserati. I doubt his choice would be purple, but still, it’s a pretty car.

I’m not sure if this desire of his for a new Maserati is a real wish or if it’s more a metaphor for selling a ton of books. Well, several tons. A ton of my books would be about 3,000 of them, and there’s no way the profits on that would get him anything but a junker. Still, it’s a goal to reach for, and then once that’s reached, we can aim for another ton.

And I? What would I buy from the proceeds of all these tons of books? There’s nothing I need right now, though I must admit financial solvency would be nice.

What would be even nicer is if large numbers of people read and enjoyed the book. I wouldn’t mind if fame didn’t come along with the the sales of those tons of books because fame is overrated. But I would like people to recognize the name of the book, maybe even my name as an author. And I’d like to be able to say, “I sold a ton of books,” and know it was the literal truth.

To help us reach this tonnage, after you read the book, I would appreciate your leaving a review on Amazon. It’s a relatively easy way of supporting the author you love (me).

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What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? What then?

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
Click here to purchase the Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Yay! Publication Day!

Bob, The Right Hand of God has now been published! I am thrilled and delighted that Stairway Press took a chance on this novel. It’s special to me because it’s the last one that Jeff helped me brainstorm. His death put a hold on the book, and it took years for me to find the courage to finish it, but I did. And now look!

I can’t wait for you to meet Bob. In his own words:

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

When Bob appeared on television with this announcement, Chet Thomlin thought it was a segment from a science fiction movie.

Then people began to disappear.

And the world began to change.

Now you can experience that change yourself!

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
Click here to purchase the Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.

The Beaming Light

Today’s tarot card pick was the sun, or as this particular deck calls it, “The Beaming Light.” That’s the only sun I get today since the real beaming light is hidden behind clouds, a rarity in these parts. Still, the sun card is sufficient since it speaks of glory, gain, riches, success, creativity, and happiness.

I like the coincidence of the sun being the nineteenth card of the major arcana and this is the nineteenth day of the month. I’m not reading anything into that coincidence because I don’t think such a fluke has happened before, so there doesn’t seem to be any meaning to such a concurrence — it’s simply time for the numbers to coincide.

There is another interesting coincidence, however, that I would like to read something into (assuming there is any truth to the tarot). I did an online reading at a tarot site today, and the final card (the likely outcome) was the sun, too.

Which means to me that the significance of the sun is doubly correct! The sun certainly is bringing brightness to my day. Although tomorrow is the official publication day, my newest book, Bob, The Right Hand of God is available for sale on Amazon right now, a day early.

Such a pleasant surprise!

You can buy the print book today and have it delivered to you in about a week. Click here to order: Bob, The Right Hand of God. Or you can buy the Kindle version today and it will appear on your Kindle tomorrow. Click here to purchase: Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.

So yes! This is definitely a day of beaming light and happiness and all the good things I could wish for myself. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of the “sun” comes true too — the glory, gain, and riches that will come from people discovering, reading, loving Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Being Reminded

It was too windy for me to go for a walk today, so I worked around the house — dusting, dry mopping, wet mopping, and various other chores. What struck me as I was pampering my house is how many people contributed in one way or another to my being here, through small inheritances and other legacies, furniture donations, help in fixing up the place, in oh, so many ways. I don’t like thinking that people had to die for me to be here, but the love they left behind is something I do like to think of. At times, it feels as if the house wraps me in comfort and safety, which I particularly needed to be reminded of today.

Elections don’t normally affect me one way or another, but this one has me scared for what it portends for our country. I’m particularly aware of the revolution going on that will upend the core beliefs of many of us and make the world a lot less safe. With potential new taxes, with new mores, with the lack of any desire on the part of some leaders to stop the looting in various cities (in fact, some nominees actually approve of looting and want to keep it going), there will be no way to keep what we have from the grasp of the various powers if they want to take it. (Not that this is anything new. It’s just that I never had anything before to be taken so it never seemed personal.)

Although I knew this revolution was going on, and has been going on for many decades in one form or another, I never thought to see it gaining ground so rapidly. I figured I’d be gone by the time this country became unrecognizable. Luckily, I live in the back of beyond where people still believe in accountability, responsibility, family, equality, freedom, law and order, less rather than more government, and all the other strengths of a stable society, so maybe I won’t feel the effects as much as I fear.

But whether those big changes come soon or are still several years away, for today, I am surrounded by all the love invested in this house. And that’s a great place to be. And a wonderful thing to be reminded of.

And speaking of being reminded, let’s not forget that in nine days, my latest novel,  Bob, The Right Hand of God will be published! If you would like to be notified by email when the book is available, click here: Bob, The Right Hand of God, sign up for email notifications, and Amazon will let you know the minute it is for sale.