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Thursday, September 27, 2012

From the Delaware Riverkeeper

Philadelphia Calls for Overturning Act 13, Upholds Court Decision Calling Act 13 Pre-emption Clause Unconstitutional
Activists, Health Advocates Praise City Council Resolution
Passed Unanimously Today
Philadelphia, PA – Activists and community leaders from across the Philadelphia area praised the Philadelphia City Council’s resolution today opposing Pennsylvania Act 13.  The resolution opposes Act 13 and affirms the Commonwealth Court’s decision to strike down a portion of that law that attempted to strip all state municipalities of their ability to protect the health and safety of their residents by passing bans, moratoria, or even the most moderate zoning restrictions on any aspect of heavy industrial shale gas drilling.
The resolution approved by City Council today supports the Commonwealth Court decision which found Act 13 unconstitutional because it removes the ability of local governments to legislate to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents regarding gas and oil operations.  The legal challenge to the law was brought by seven municipalities, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Dr. Mehernosh Khan in March of this year.
In July, the Commonwealth Court declared the municipal pre-emption provisions of Act 13 null, void, and unenforceable, and allowed an injunction on its implementation to remain in place while the case proceeds to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Philadelphia City Council joins over 70 local government units supporting the overturning of the law and several “Friends of the Court” who have filed amicus briefs in defense of the Commonwealth Court ruling.
“Philadelphia City Council has taken decisive action today to protect the drinking water for its residents and the region by casting a vote against Act 13, the law that pushes gas and oil operations into every corner of every municipality in the state.  The City is throwing its support behind the communities of Pennsylvania instead of drilling and fracking special interests.  This critical support is much appreciated as we go to the Supreme Court to defend the overturning of Act 13,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, an original plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“With today’s resolution, the Philadelphia City Council has asserted what should have been obvious to Governor Corbett and the state legislature: municipalities have a constitutional right to regulate activities within their bounds, especially when it comes to inherently dangerous practices such as hydraulic fracturing,” said Sam Bernhardt, an organizer with Food & Water Watch, a consumer rights group. “It should also be obvious to the governor that the people of Pennsylvania have a right to clean air and clean water, rights that fracking doesn’t allow for.”
“Act 13’s attack on democratic rights, heath and safety managed to outrage a broad spectrum of the population from firefighters to farmers, including the great city of Philadelphia, which happens to be full of people who drink water, breathe air and recognize a terrible law when they see one.  The Philadelphia City Council has done a great job of standing with residents and environmental advocates across the state in opposing this unjust law,” said Iris Marie Bloom, executive director of Protecting Our Waters.  “We’re delighted to see the council once again show positive leadership and resist fracking.”
“City Council’s vote to oppose Act 13 sends a clear message that Philadelphia defends a Pennsylvania municipality’s right to make decisions that protect residents’ public health and quality of life.  City Council recognizes how imperative it is for local governments to have the power to decide where, or even if, the shale gas industry can operate equipment that emits air pollution in people’s backyards and that accelerates climate change,” said Matt Walker, community outreach coordinator with Clean Air Council.

Wish Trilogy by Deby Adair










IMAGINATION IS OUR GREATEST TOOL
(BY DEBY ADAIR)



Imagination is our greatest tool. When you create something meaningful, you share it with the world, even if no one ever sees your final effort. When we imagine, and then create, we are stating by our thoughts and actions who we are, and that person follows us around day and night for everyone else to see, interact and share with.
If we have music in us, then we strum, sing or write our lyrics. If we have art in us then we sketch, draw or paint. And if we write, we are usually sharing our deepest thoughts and projections.
Writing is a tool that can captivate an audience in a way that no other art does. A book presents an opportunity to immerse ourselves, sometimes completely, into the lives of others, and in the process, it changes us forever…we have now walked in another’s shoes and we will never be the same again. Although it may be argued that a movie will do a similar thing, the difference between reading a story and watching a story, is that a reader must go that extra mile and play the movie in their head, their way, with only the writer’s word to prompt the screen inside the mind.
As writers, we hold the world in the palms of our hands and, like all projections, how we do it is what counts.
Remember that what you write will reach inside the minds and hearts of others and, by the power of your words, resonate. How do you choose to create what resonates in others?
Writing is something that comes from within a writer; a deep need to share a story, a theme, experience or something which the writer themselves chooses to explore.
When writers ask me how to deal with writer’s block, I have one response: Writer’s block comes to you because you are trying to write what isn’t you. When a writer ‘blocks’ they are experiencing these key things: fear, self doubt and a desire to please others.
When writers ask me how they should fix their writers block, or indeed, why is it such extremely hard work to write, then my responses are simplistic, based on the need to change something that they’re doing.
At first, my answers can be met with some resistance. ie: Often, a writer has a preconceived idea of what kind of writer they are, or want to be, and that may be the problem… in not knowing what you truly should be writing as opposed to what you think you should be writing. ‘Writers block’ will always begin there.
Do you love writing? Does the written word in and of itself give you incredible joy? Does the thought of composing a sentence and describing a moment, a scene, a sensation, a palette of colour, transport you with inspiration and excitement? What entices you, the writer, to capture an audience and transport them?
I’ll ask a question: Can you effectively captivate with something you don’t know, or don’t understand or have never come close to experiencing? Perhaps, or perhaps not.
During the process of writing, part of the joy is for us as writers to explore how a scene, projection, moment or situation may occur, creating that rush of creativity, the adrenalin and thrill that actually makes us want to write!
If you have decided that writing is in fact for you, that you have the guts, determination and the hard-driven discipline required to master your much loved skill, but you sit down to write and falter, then you must ask yourself why.
A highly skilled young University student asked me to read a piece of their work and to offer a critique. It was an evocative piece. Very dramatic, very intense, extremely wordy, descriptive, exciting… but it lacked something. It didn’t ring true. It was a good piece of writing but I was left unmoved. I thought carefully about the piece before I gave her my critique.
Finally, this was my response: When you write, the most important thing to remember is not to try to impress the reader but to find your own individual style. Don’t try to write with someone else’s style. Don’t copy the sort of writing that will outwardly impress you but feel to the reader as if they’ve read your book at least a hundred times everywhere else!
Write what you know. Write what you feel. By all means, use the power of your imagination, but don’t try to construct what isn’t innately a part of you because it will read cleverly, but not reach hearts and, as writers, our job is to reach hearts, otherwise we have just added to a high pile of pulp.
When a writer writes from deep inside themselves, reaching into what they know, how they’ve grown, the insights, the hurts, the joys, the depths of their being, then they lose writer’s block. They may have decided to sit down and write that great money-spinner and instead, written a poignant or meaningful story of something that jogs a memory of a day in their schoolyard. The piece they actually may end up writing may seem totally un-commercial, however, it may leave the writer, and ultimately the reader, deeply satisfied. I assure you that when you write from your inner truth you will always become a better writer and that is what really matters in the long run. You want to reach the hearts and minds of your readers.
When people read, no matter what the genre, they unconsciously go there to learn something, even if they feel they only want to be entertained. When they read, they want to leave your book/short story/poem, prose or paragraph, and feel that it was a moment in time that you loaned them and which they have captured; that borrowing from your ‘knowing’ it will leave them stronger, better able to face the world.  Write what you own… share with us, the reader, what you know and feel.

Writers often ask me why they can’t seem to get the discipline of the thing. My response, based on experiencing the roller coaster of life, is this: No matter what is happening in your life, and I mean no matter what, write something every single day; every single day go to your work and at least sit with pen in hand, with computer open and ready; if you find nothing there, then edit something you have previously written; look at your writing and be ruthless with it; teach yourself to know if that flowery sentence is valid or just satisfying an itch to be vocal; train yourself in excellent sentence structure and that often, less is more.
Readers these days want to get to the point… so learn the skill of writing brilliantly with a sentence well built, rather than a paragraph that repeats itself.
Take the pain from losing loved ones, your illness, a job you hate, the spiteful neighbour and use it to write! Don’t wait for when life will get good, for when you live in the right house, have the right amount of money, have the perfect relationship, have wonderful heath… all or some of those things may never happen, so write! Be your own best creator!
Write something, even if it’s for two minutes a day, every single day until the hardship of the discipline becomes your addiction and your high… then you have learned the true love affair of writing and have built a solid relationship that will let you call yourself a writer, a marriage where you have learned to merge words with the love of making it happen.
Remember, the entire fantastic residue of living, is stored within all of us. Don’t write about things you don’t know just because you think that’s what readers want, and worse, because someone else got rich from it… write what YOU know and, if you do it thoroughly, seriously and with real craft and commitment, readers will love your tale about the day you dropped your lunch at school and ten kids laughed at you but one stepped forward to help… because when it’s genuine, we, the reader will know it and cheer you on!

Deby Adair © 27.08.2012





AUTHOR BIO’S

Deby Adair is an author, artist, graphic artist and equestrian. An avid follower of the mystical and mysterious, Deby Adair has always loved the purity and truth of unicorns and their archetypal majesty. A past professional equestrian, Deby loves all animals and champions animal rights, the environment and human rights. She believes we must take care of our natural world.
An avid reader all her life, Deby began writing stories, poetry and prose from a very young age, the WISH trilogy is based on many works of writing and art which she produced as a girl but later embellished and created into her three novels.
Writing this trilogy and creating a vast collection of wonderful, exciting art works has occupied her for many years now. We hope you enjoy her much loved books and wonderful artwork as much as Deby enjoyed creating them!



THE WISH TRILOGY
BOOK 1: WISH
From the mists of time there comes a long-lost tale of unicorns.
'Wish - Dreams Beginning', Book One of the Wish trilogy.
When a homeless girl called Rielle and her unusual dog Pud become hopelessly lost in a wild landscape, they find themselves in an untamed forest. Here they meet an enigmatic unicorn who charms Rielle with his cryptic ways. Soon Rielle and Pud find themselves locked into an adventure of soul-seeking, friendship, mystery and truth that is both disarming and sometimes sinister.
Meet unicorns as you've never thought of them before; ancient forests and unusual creatures. - Although classified for Children and Teens, this book is also receiving heartfelt reviews from adults.

BOOK 2: WISH AGAIN
As a timeworn legend comes to life, can the past be mended and the present put right?
'Wish Again - Dreams Truth', Book Two of the Wish trilogy.
Disarming, charismatic and thrilling, this book explores friendship, complex characters, trust and the ethereal beauty and archetypal power of unicorns such as you have never seen unicorns before.
Fast-paced, this book draws you from one chapter to the next in a series of unfolding scenes that send you hurling to its conclusion with bated breath.
Wish Again- Dreams Truth by Deby Adair has been nominated for the 2011 Aurealis Awards - Australia's Premier Award for Speculative Fiction written by an Australian Citizen.
Although classified for Children and Teens, it is also receiving rave reviews from adults. Wish Again-Dreams Truth-Book Two of the WISH trilogy.

BOOK 3: THE THIRD WISH
An ancient feud and a race for power, who will have the final victory? And what of the unicorns... which destiny will they be keeping?
In this final book of the Wish trilogy - 'The Third Wish-Dreams Honour'- the gripping destiny of Rielle and the company of complex characters that become inextricably bound in her adventure, is revealed.
In this powerful, touching and thought-provoking book, the destiny of each character unwinds to reveal how unicorns, humans and First Ones are bound in a quest of honour to an ancient truth.
To do The Third Wish-Dreams Honour full justice, it is best read after reading Book 1, Wish- Dreams Beginning and Book 2, Wish Again-Dreams Truth.
The Third Wish- Dreams Honour by Deby Adair has been nominated for the 2011 Aurealis Awards - Australia's Premier Award for Speculative Fiction written by an Australian Citizen.
Although classified for Children and Teens, this is not just a children's book and is also receiving rave reviews from adults. The Third Wish-Dreams Honour-Book Three of the WISH trilogy.



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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ZOMBIFIED!






EXCERPT FROM “ZOMBIFIED”!
BY LYRA MCKEN



 “Cassie, wake up.” He stood back up over me as I sat up and rubbed my eyes.

I noticed that Ted was not with him, and he looked defeated as he sat down on the floor beside me. I crawled over to wrap my arms around him, and he looked surprised at first but then he put his arm around me and we were silent for a little while.

“We are going to have to move soon.” Brett was speaking quietly as he rubbed my arm. “He knows where we are, so when he wakes up, he may come for us. I was too late to help him.”

I did not know how long Brett had been gone, but I assumed by his tone that he had found his friend in very bad shape. It scared me that if he turned into one of them then he would know where we were. I sighed as I leaned my head on Brett’s shoulder. Something struck me as odd as I inhaled his scent. I thought that he smelled tasty.

Tasty! I was alarmed. He smelled good, but tasty was not something that should describe my crush. Something bad was happening to me, and I could keep trying to fight it, but as I glanced at my finger, I knew in the back of my mind it was only going to get worse.

He was looking at me while I was having all these thoughts, and he was too close for comfort. He smiled as he took my face in his hands and brought his lips to mine. It was everything I had hoped for in our first kiss. There were fireworks, and my whole body felt alive. I allowed him to ease me down onto the tarp and welcomed his body weight on top of me. This felt right and I wanted him all over me just like this. I had dreamed of this moment countless times and it was finally happening.

Our kisses became more urgent, and he moved one hand down to slide up my shirt. I heard a low growl come from somewhere within me. Something wasn’t right. It happened very quickly, but before I knew it, I had reared back and bitten into his chin hard. He cried out in severe pain, and tried to push me off of him, but I was latched on. I felt the skin break in my mouth, and felt my hunger as I ripped the skin away from his face. When I realized what I had done, I was horrified.

I stood back thinking of how I could remedy the situation. He sat there with blood pouring from his face and a hurt look in his eyes. All I could think of was one word: tasty. I had to get out of there. What the hell had I done? How many times had I pictured my lips near his, and I manage to get them there by biting his face off? I had to get as far away from him as possible. I ran out the entrance and into the school hall. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I contemplated where to go. I was changing into one of those monsters.

I had literally bitten my crush’s face off!

AUTHOR BIO’S

Lyra McKen (aka, Emily Walker) resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel.




ZOMBIFIED
Cassie is a typical teenager.  She’s crushing on a boy and trying to make it through high school. It’s a typical day of classes when all hell breaks loose. Forced to run and hide the situation just keeps getting worse. She makes a mistake and soon becomes infected. She meets others like her and together they sent out to find a cure. Is their fate already sealed? Can they find a cure before it’s too late? See what happens through the eyes of the infected when Cassie tells you how Zombies are people too.



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Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Blogger Jamie Haden

This week I'll be turning over this blog to several fellow indie authors. Today it's Jamie Leigh Haden's turn:



GUEST POST by Jamie Haden
CHARACTER INTERVIEW:
ILLUMINATE-ALIVE, SHE CRIED

Talisa Santiago's life is in grave danger. The tricksters from her past have found her and want her dead. Only one place can keep her safe—a remote Indian reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains. Talisa doesn't know what to expect. The only thing she clearly understands is that she must leave her island home, depart from her mother, and stay hidden from society for one year. Yet, she isn't afraid; her closest friends stand by her side and promise protection.
                                                         
                                                                                                                                                   
I'd like to welcome Talisa Santiago and her three friends—Jag, Dakota, and Miguel—to the blog this afternoon. It is clear you'll have a very special relationship. How long have you been friends?

The gang is on the couch together. Talisa sits between Jag and Dakota. Miguel relaxes on the arm of the sofa and taps his hand against his knee as if trying to catch a beat. 

Talisa looks at Dakota and smiles. "Seems like forever," she says. Dakota blushes. Jag takes her right hand and entwines her fingers with his.

Miguel clears his throat. "I grew up with Dakota and Jag, they're like my brothers. As for Talisa, we'd do anything for her. It's as if we've known her our whole lives."

Perhaps, but you haven't, when did you meet?
"I came to Silence Island last year," Talisa says. "And my life hasn't been the same since."
                                                                      
FIRST QUESTION: TALISA, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
"My grandfather is a shaman, and I was born in the desert. My mother took me away when I was seven, I really don't remember my childhood."

Jag leans over and kisses her cheek. "That was then," he replies, "and this is now. The past is the past, baby."

Miguel interrupts. "As for me, I was born in Jamaica." Miguel is wearing a red and black crochet cap. He winks, rips it off, and releases a heap of knotty dreads.

BOYS, I'VE HEARD THE THREE OF YOU ARE GOING TO ACCOMPANY TALISA TO THE RESERVATION. LEAVING YOUR FAMILY AND ISLAND HOME FOR ONE YEAR TO GO INTO HIDING WITH HER IS QUITE A SACRIFICE.

"Nah, not really," Miguel says. I was at the reservation as a kid. I made some good friends there. In fact, I never said good-bye because I knew one day, I'd be back."

WHAT WAS THE RESERVATION LIKE? CAN YOU GIVE US A SNEAK PREVIEW?
Miguel shrugs, shakes his head.
NOTHING?
Why ruin the surprise. All I'm gonna say it will blow their freaking minds.
FAIR ENOUGH. NOW, QUICK, EVERYONE HAS TO ANSWER THE NEXT SERIES OF QUESTIONS. READY?

"Shoot," Miguel says.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?
Dakota answers first. "Doesn't exist."
"Talisa," Jag says. "She is perfect happiness."
"Girls," Miguel blurts out.
Talisa swallows hard. "Peace of mind," she responds.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
"The one within," Dakota says.
Jag laughs. "Hell yeah."
"Same," Miguel agrees.
"Same," Talisa says.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?"
"Been there and done that," Dakota replies.
Miguel nods. "Happened to me in Africa," he states.
"I drown when I was ten," Jag offers.
"Drowning would be a terrible way to die," Talisa says. "Silent."

"WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE? WHAT DO YOU VALUE THE MOST?"

Talisa looks at the boys. "My friends," she says. "They are all I have."
Dakota and Jag flash her a smile.
"Come on girl, we gotta get going," Miguel says. "We have a long road ahead." He jumps off the sofa and flashes the peace sign.

Jamie Haden
Wilmington, NC August 2012

ILLUMINATE-ALIVE, SHE CRIED a novel by Jamie Haden      
Some say the concept of rebirth is simply a metaphor for living a better life, a holier life. For seventeen-year old Talisa Santiago, such a resurrection is anything but a metaphor. It is her reality.
            Talisa knows she can communicate with the spiritual world. She is the granddaughter of a shaman and going between two different worldly dimensions is something she realizes she is destined to do. However, what she doesn’t count on is what fate has in store for her.
            After surviving the first hurricane of the season on the island where she lives, Talisa learns that her life is in grave danger. She must leave immediately and retreat to live with a secretive clan of Indians on a remote reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains.
Her blood brothers, three shifters who have the desires of both man and animal surround her, promising everlasting friendship and protection. Now, Talisa will put her life in their hands, depart from her mother, and begin the journey of a lifetime. However, the majestic mountains hold many secrets and danger lurks in the night. There are evil tricksters everywhere that want her dead. As Talisa falls prey to the confusion of her own sexuality, she unleashes an untamed passion that may get them all killed.  

            Jamie Haden www.jamiehaden.com



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