Because I didn’t already have enough to do, and I needed yet another reason for novel-writing avoidance (yes, sad but true, Tim and Rachel), I decided to begin writing a new blog filled with my current thoughts on the world and my own personal perspective from where I read and write – in my trailer in Canada and on my verandah on Bequia.
So I offer you The View From My Trailer and Verandah and hope you will consider joining me over there for what I hope will become some interesting discussions.
(If you wish to receive email notices of new posts on the other blog you will need to subscribe to it separately.)
At the very least, this new virus has a name that’s easier to spell and pronounce. But it’s still yet-another virus the Caribbean region must contend with, and only a short while after declaring that ChikV was over and done with in most islands.
It was less than a year ago I contracted ChikV when I returned to Bequia for a few weeks to spell Dennis while he paid a visit to Canada. Throughout the months of suffering … and yes, I do not use the word “suffering” lightly! … I wrote about the virus in a number of blog posts (collected here) that received a great deal of attention from around the world and comments written by others who had also contracted the virus while they were visiting, or living in, the Caribbean region, and who now took comfort in the knowledge they were not alone, that they were likely not going to die, and that they would eventually, eventually recover and feel “normal” again.
Well, here I am, writing this 11 months later, and I can honestly say I am feeling about 96% recovered, the only lingering pain being that soreness that seems to be inside the very bones of my right shoulder. That still bothers me every once in a while (just last night, again), but is not excruciating or debilitating, just annoying.
So you may understand my trepidation with the announcement of this new easier-to-spell-and-pronounce virus, Zika. I am gun-shy about travelling to the Caribbean again any time soon. While I currently sit in the woods of Ontario, surrounded by clouds of mosquitoes, I at least know these are the non-virus-bearing variety. Besides, they’re also large enough to carry away a small dog and move so slowly I have a fair chance of actually swatting and killing them before they can manage to bite. It seems like more of a fair fight to me. The mosquitoes on Bequia are sneaky and have a way of beating all our attempts to eradicate them – especially the fogging with poisonous chemicals, which was the only attempt made by the government to deal with Chikungunya last year, and instead resulted in the kill-off of part of the bee population. The mosquitoes themselves somehow managed to dodge that bullet. What stopped the further spread of the virus was that nearly everyone on the island contracted it and, since the virus could not be spread from human to human, it eventually died out, naturally. This is what’s called “herd immunity”.
Let’s hope Caribbean health authorities and governments learned from their mistakes last year in dealing with ChikV and, instead of hiding their heads in the sand (believing that by doing so they were somehow protecting their tourist industry), they take immediate action to stop the spread of Zika, the new kid on the beach, before it gets a foothold. No one … NO ONE! should be made to suffer again as we all did last year with Chikungunya. Bad enough already we have to contend with the constant threat of Dengue (which I have had), Malaria, West Nile, and all the other mosquito-borne diseases, fevers, threats, than to be worried about Zika, as well.
And we can begin eradicating viruses such as Zika by educating the people! This blog post, and the other earlier posts I wrote about ChikV, are my attempt to spread the word to help stop the spread of the virus. Please share this, and my other posts, wherever possible so many more people read and hear about these mosquito-borne viruses and learn to take proper precautions.
SPREAD THE WORD TO STOP THE SPREAD OF ZIKA!
(How’s that for a slogan?)
I want to hear from you, if you contracted Chikungunya last year and have been following my blog posts abut the virus. How are you doing? Have you now recovered? Please post a comment below and let me and my readers know of your experience. I really do want to hear from you!
True words from Seumas Gallacher! We authors love every review we receive, but should never expect to receive a review from every reader.
Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:
…an honest review is as gold dust to any writer… and I care not if the scribbler is a newbie, self-publishing indie… or a decades-established leading name for a major publishing firm… each and every time any reader takes the patience and trouble to offer his/her opinion on yer literary labours, it’s another one of an Author’s ‘golden moments’… an acknowledgement yer WURK is recognised… and let me affirm to yeez, it truly matters not whether the rating is 1-star, all the way to 5-stars, if it’s honest, it’s a learning mark for yeez… accept them all… usually with more than just a pinch of salt if they swing too much to the dark side or praise yeez to the high heavens… and as a wee aside, it’s worth bearing in mind not everybody on the planet is gonna LUV yer wee masterpiece with quite the same intensity…
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It’s as simple as A, B, C, D, E, F … Gee! What are you waiting for??? You couldn’t ask for better promotion for yourself as an author than The Story Reading Ape’s blog! (And, come to think of it, I myself am overdue to revisit the Friendly Ape’s site. Thanks for the reminder, Chris!)
Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:
1. Why do I ask my new Guest Authors to write about themselves, rather than about their book(s)?
Because there are already an excessive number of ‘Buy My Book’ spam tweets, promos and the like already circulating around Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Blogs and many other media, so potential readers usually switch off and turn away from them.
It satisfies humankind’s natural curiosity, aka nosiness, about other people, especially those who have done something the vast majority of others may never do themselves, i.e., written books and actually published them.
It takes authors out of their normal comfort zone, making them learn how to talk about themselves without sounding pompous, self-serving, conceited, etc.
This is also a useful talent when dealing with Agents, Publishers, etc, as well :D
It gives authors the opportunity to prove and demonstrate their writing talents are not just limited to the books…
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Congratulations to Nicholas C. Rossis whose book “Runaway Smile” has been named an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards! Well done!
Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:
I got some exciting news yesterday, which I wanted to share with all of you! USA Book News announced the winners and finalists of THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (IBA) on May 21, 2015.
Over 300 winners and finalists were announced in over 80 categories and awards were presented for titles published in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Runaway Smile, my children’s book, was an award-winning finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards, in the Children’s Fiction category!
I want to thank my parents, and my wife, Electra, and Dimitris Fousekis, and . Sorry, Electra told me that this is not that kind of post. She promised to listen to my speech as soon as I’m done, though, so I’d better wrap this up and fetch the shampoo bottle (which doubles as award-accepting-ceremony-microphone in our household).
Before I go, a big thank you to all of you who have taken the time…
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From Tim Baker, a great reminder of what all writers need in their writing toolbox …
Originally posted on blindoggbooks:
In the world of professional baseball, teams send scouts to colleges (sometimes even high schools) to evaluate young talent.
There are five aspects of the game that these scouts look for, and naturally, the more areas a player excels at, the higher he is rated—they are hitting for power, hitting for average, fielding, throwing and speed.
A player who demonstrates proficiency in all five of these areas is rare, and is referred to as a five-tool-player.
Bo Jackson, Mike Schmidt and Kirby Puckett are a few examples of such elite players.
Naturally, it isn’t necessary to be a five-tool player to be successful in Major League Baseball, but obviously it is to a player’s advantage to possess strength in as many of the five as possible.
So it is, too, with writing.
You don’t have to be a five-tool-writer to be successful, but you should work to excel…
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Only a few hours in my old neighbourhood of The Beach in Toronto, so I tried to make the most of my time …
Just missed the Main St. bus as I came out of the Danforth Go Station.
It was a nice day, not too cool and I was wearing a light sweater anyway. Decided to walk down Main and Southwood.
Saw a Blue Jay (actual bird, not baseball player) and passed the plaque in front of the boyhood home of Glenn Gould. Lily of the Valley plants lined one walkway.
Around the corner of Williamson Rd., I smiled at memories of my elementary school, named after the street, then on to Wineva. Kids were heading in the opposite direction back up the street to school after lunch.
I crossed Queen with the help of the crossing guard who has been working that corner for more than a decade.
Continued south on Wineva for a brief visit with my sister and friends, caught up on the news over tea and sandwiches.
Out to walk again, south to the boardwalk and beach where I saw a pair of Cardinals (again, the bird kind).
Not busy but the weather was warming up enough that there were a number of people sitting on benches as well as the usual dog walkers surrounded by packs of all sizes and breeds.
Past the Leuty Lifeguard Station that always says, “Welcome back home!” to me every time!
West along the boardwalk, past the empty skating rink and the full tennis courts.
North on Kenilworth to Queen and a left turn to continue west to my eye doctor’s office.
East again along Queen, past Bellefair. I stopped to look at #3, my grandparent’s house. Kew Park on my right, gardens filled with tulips of all colours. Past the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library (Hooray!!) and Mr. Hollywood selling his pencils in front of the grocery store.
Past the storefront where my grandparents once ran a fish & chips shop, and where my parents met before World War II.
Then round the corner again from Queen to Wineva and back to my friend’s house. She drove me to the GO Station. (And, thank goodness, as my feet in new shoes were killing me!)