by baldilocks

Of course, I’m still writing my second novel, and, occasionally, I read the advice that others give, even though I know, from the first two or three sentences, whether I want to finish reading the advice. After all, if a writer can’t hold your attention in an article about writing, why should you take her advice?

I’ve had this April 1 (yes) article opened in my browser for a few days–You’ve Got a Book in You (Maybe Five)—and it’s priceless.

Through my intensive research and study of the Modern Literary Canon, I have come up with Five (5) Plots absolutely GUARANTEED to get you published. I also include in this lesson, five (5) plots to avoid, plots that will get your manuscript rejected again and again.

Example of guaranteed publishing material:

Two rich, white college boys are seen harassing a vulture sitting atop a Saguaro cactus. Relentlessly they take turns hurling insults at the bird, each trying to top the other in a perverted twist on the old game called “the dozens.” Despite the pleas of tearful passers-by to desist, they continue and the vulture finally flies off, severely traumatized. Later that day the same boys are walking atop a steep cliff over the sea when the vulture streaks down, causing one of the boys to lose his footing and fall to his death. The guilt-ridden survivor goes on a solo trek into the desert. He returns years later, wiser and more sensitive and founds the new eco-warrior band, Save the Vultures. Free bonus title: To Mock a Killingbird.

Example of rejection fodder:

George Goodman and his wife, Trudy, welcome their new neighbors, Makmoud and Taureg, refugees from Awfulstan, with an Upside Down Pineapple Cake. George and Trudy hardly ever see their new neighbors, but they begin to notice strange behaviors and odd visitors in the night. A glimpse of some suspicious packages in Makmoud’s garage intrigues George. He sneaks in after the neighbor couple go on vacation to the beaches of Arabia, and finds hand grenades and AK-47s. George alerts the FBI and Makmoud and Taureg are arrested at the airport and a major terrorist event prevented!

You get the point…at least I hope you do. Anyway, the author manages to pique interest in the topic, make some creative, funny commentary on political correctness in Big Publishing and plug his own book—all at the same time! (Groan-worthy puns notwithstanding.)

One has to admire that skill.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

 


EC-121, similar to the one shot down by North Korea. Image courtesy of stationhypo.com

So how about that North Korean aggression?  No, I’m not talking about nuclear tests or sinking South Korean vessels.  Let’s talk about the long history North Korea has of aggression.

On this day in 1969, North Korea sent two fighters into international waters and shot down an unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. You can make all the arguments you want about whether we should have been there or not, but the reality is that we subscribe to international law and allow unrestricted operations in international waters.  This means that when occasionally other people do things we don’t like, such as Russia sending spy ships off our coast, our first reaction isn’t to lob a missile at them.

Later, in 1976, North Korea would murder two Army officers with axes who were trying to chop down a tree in the Joint Security Area.  Before either of these two incidents, North Korea took (and still has) the USNS Pueblo and its crew hostage.

On top of this, North Korea engaged in brutal persecution of Catholics in the area.  This is not the lame American version of persecution that we hear echoed in university halls.  It’s straight up martyrdom for being Catholic, at the end of the barrel of a gun.

As we celebrate Easter tomorrow, let’s pause to remember that the war didn’t stop in 1953.  Remember that 31 Americans gave their lives while monitoring a country so that we could avoid war.  Pray for the people of North Korea, that perhaps one day they’ll know true freedom and be saved from a savagely oppressive government.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Please check out my blog and donate to Da Tech Guy!

,,,to prevent stuff like this from happening.

Choate, in Wallingford, Conn., is a blue-blooded school whose alumni include President John F. Kennedy and his brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. It is the latest in a string of prestigious private academies that have faced accusations of sexual abuse by faculty members, including St. George’s School, in Rhode Island, and Horace Mann and Poly Prep in New York City.

“They are closed systems, especially residential private schools where kids are separated from their parents,” said Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents victims of sexual abuse. “It’s not like a public school, with people coming in and out all the time. There are many more opportunities for teachers to do this.”

You mean this is systematic?   Well in that case the press must have been all over it eh?

Choate said it had been compelled to examine this ugly history in 2013, after two alumni alerted the school to sexual misconduct they had experienced as students, the report said. In 2016, The Boston Globe published an article that described abuse at the school, and shortly thereafter, Choate announced that it had appointed an investigator from the law firm Covington & Burling.

The Globe published only one article?  You mean to say they didn’t have a long series about continual abuse at these and other schools, deep questioning of the various authorities in charge of those elite schools?  That’s can’t be, obviously they would have pushed these stories onto a national stage to talk about the pattern of behavior at schools like these and demand authorities act on them.  They would have had repeated in-depth interviews with survivors and encouraged associations to be formed for people abused in the private elite school systems.  And even after the various schools took concrete steps and  revamped these system they would have persisted in shining a critical eye on them for decades.

For years, the school kept allegations of sexual misconduct from getting out, according to the report. “Sexual misconduct matters were handled internally and quietly,” it said. “Even when a teacher was terminated or resigned in the middle of the school year because he or she had engaged in sexual misconduct with a student, the rest of the faculty was told little and sometimes nothing about the teacher’s departure and, when told, was cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked.”

And yet we are only seeing the odd article in the Times and the Globe, this simply can’t be.  I mean we’re talking Pulitzer prize stuff here.  Why don’t you know this topic has to be discussed to the point where every private school is suspect, particularly if people are paying fifty grand to go to places like this?  It’s got everything to sell a long series of stories, money, sex, coverups, the powerful taking advantage of the powerless, this should be a story that’s been on everyone’s radar for years.  Yet it’s almost as obscure as the rampant abuse by UN peace keepers around the world.

I can’t figure out why the MSM doesn’t consider this story bigger.  Why wasn’t Rolling Stone banging on the door and senators in Congress making speeches about it?  What’s the missing element that keeps this from being newsworthy enough for national coverage?

Anybody?