“More people are leaving TV behind to read my books than ever before. In the last year alone I gained over two readers (three, to be exact). So I’d like to take a moment and say thanks julie, mom, dad, and kidnap victim I keep chained in the basement.
― Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.
Katrina Alexander’s bland life has her wondering if she’ll ever find the true love she’s spent her life hoping for. With no current prospects, and a boring job, she’s just about given up. However, bumping into her high school sweetheart at her ten year high school reunion has her wondering if maybe she’d met him long ago.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
― Stephen King, On Writing
I’m writing a story about kidnapping and the moral dilemma faced by a career diplomat serving as US Ambassador to Pakistan in 2012. The story is fiction but the circumstances and characters are based upon my experience as an economic development specialist working for USAID in 2005 with access to US Embassy personnel and foreign service staff. The story was inspired by an actual and on-going kidnapping of an AID contractor in August of 2011. He was snatched from his bed in the middle of the night by a criminal gang in the commercial capital of Lahore. The victim was sold to Al Qaeda terrorists who are attempting to exchange his release for that of an Al Qaeda leader being held in Guantanamo Bay. I lived, worked and socialized with this man, a brilliant Harvard economist, doing his part to change the world through service in the developing world. The book will be out next year, brief excerpts will be posted on this blog from time to time, look for them!
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury
“Writing is something that you don’t know how to do. You sit down and it’s something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It’s beyond me, because you yourself don’t even know if you’re going to be able to. I’m always worried, well, you know, every time I go upstairs with my wine bottle. Sometimes I’ll sit at that typewriter for fifteen minutes, you know. I don’t go up there to write. The typewriter’s up there. If it doesn’t start moving, I say, well this could be the night that I hit the dust.”
― Charles Bukowski
There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
November 8, 1954: Happy 59th birthday, Kazuo Ishiguro! Born in Japan and raised in England, the celebrated novelist has held a variety of jobs. During his gap year between high school and college, he worked briefly as a grouse beater at the queen’s castle, Balmoral. When his first book, A Pale View of the Hills, was published, he still had a job as a social worker.
(and yet they still laugh and relish life)
There are many areas which continue to attract concern when it comes to human rights in Uganda.
Conflict in the northern parts of the country continues to generate reports of abuses by both the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, and the Ugandan Army. A UN official accused the LRA in February 2009 of “appalling brutality” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The number of internally displaced persons is estimated at 1.4 million. Torture continues to be a widespread practice amongst security organisations. Attacks on political freedom in the country, including the arrest and beating of opposition members of parliament, have led to international criticism, culminating in May 2005 in a decision by the British government to withhold part of its aid to the country. The arrest of the main opposition leader Kizza Besigye and the siege of the High Court during a hearing of Besigye’s case by heavily armed security forces – before the February 2006 elections – led to condemnation.
Child labour is common in Uganda. Many child workers are active in agriculture. Children who work on tobacco farms in Uganda are exposed to health hazards. Child domestic servants in Uganda risk sexual abuse. Trafficking of children occurs. Slavery and forced labour are prohibited by the Ugandan constitution.
The World Economic Forum published an interesting statistic this morning. In the US education is taken for granted for all citizens, men and women alike, how different this is for girls in the developing world.
Even though we’ve made great progress in getting girls into school, there’s still about 66 million girls today who don’t attain education of any kind.
Shelly Esque – President of the Intel Foundation – looks at the challenges women face in their access to education and the need for equal opportunities.