Bobbing Around

Number Three
November, 2001
Archived at

Bob Rich's rave
email me

*Moora Moora Short Story contest
*Responses to 'September 11th: WHY?'
* More on Terrorism
From the Biopolitics International Organisation
* Announcements
(News my friends and I want to spread around.)
*A special offer for subscribers only.
*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions
* Technology
A Seedling, Bursting from the Ground
*The Craft of Writing
Will Your Writing Be Remembered?
Helping Survivors in the Wake of Disaster
Response from Beth Anderson
A wonderful little poem from Tamara McCurdy
* Humour
The Lost Viagra Pill by Darrell Bain
*Internet resources
Melbourne Writers' Network
From Tom Paine: Free Trade Area of the Americas

A Challenge

   Deadline for entries is 2nd January, so I hope you are writing! First prize is $Au300 (approx $US150) donated by Earth Garden magazine.

Responses to 'WHY?'

   Like the whole world, I was devastated by '911': the attack on America, and wrote down a few of my thoughts in the previous issue. Three people have responded. I reproduce their letters here, with my replies to them.

Don Levy
Liz Burton
Judith Allen

   The first is Don Levy, a pscyhologist of immense experience and skill, and an email friend I both like and respect. His web site is


   For two months I've not replied to anything from you, primarily because I consider you a friend and did not want to say something impulsive I would be sorry for later.

   I cannot tell you how offensive I found your piece "Why" regarding the Sep 11 attack on NY to be.

   Disregard for a moment whether the piece was correct in its facts or analysis. For me, who was in deep shock and mourning, it was the equivalent of your showing up at the funeral of a daughter, just robbed, raped, and murdered with words of sympathy, then adding "it was a shame she was so sexily dressed and in such expensive clothes." Even if true, it was simplistic and offensive. I was absolutely appalled.

   I cannot tell you how often I have thought of what you wrote since then with anger, hurt and disbelief. It's taken me two months to get enough of it behind me to write to you without the rage and hurt bubbling up and overwhelming the effort.

   Your analysis of why we Americans "are hated" carries the implication that there is an underlying truth to your analysis - you posed the conclusion as if it were a nearly universal truth, and then chose a series of very narrow justifications which closely fit your own view of what's wrong with the world, and tied them up neatly into what really appeared to me to be justification for your own lifestyle.

   I don't quarrel with the need to avoid thoughtless waste of resources and to bear social and personal responsibility for those who are trapped in lives of poverty, disease, depression and despair.

   I also can admire your dedication to that end by purposely removing yourself from involvement with distributed electric power and the many other ways you have chosen to make your statement and your contribution to leveling the playing field.

   The people who committed these atrocities are, however, part of an OLD movement - as old as written history and before - to seize and maintain power at the expense of their own people. The game of "Let's You and Him Fight" as so ably expressed by Eric Berne, is as old as human society. Despots have universally used it as a means of deflecting rage and attention from their own crimes to "outsiders" who are generally much easier and, for the downtrodden population, far safer to hate. Any country that has experienced civil war - ours did and it remains the most devastating with the most troops lost of any we've experienced since Columbus ran into North America - knows that such wars leave a country and a people devastated. So hating America (or someone else, anyone else) feels safer than addressing the local status quo that supports the misery.

   Surely, bin Laden, with his $80 million inheritance, one of 57 or so children from one rich father, can scarcely be an example of caring for the masses, sharing resources, or worrying much over the plight of people who struggle daily to just eat and stay alive. For that matter, do the many despots in that region of the world share their wealth and power? I think not. In some cases they do share a significant fraction of the wealth (as in Kuwait), but at the imposed price of living under a dictatorship, with the vast bulk of the resources and control in the hands of a very few.

   When people are so poor that even survival is a daily question, one of the few comforts they can have is religion, a belief in something better, greater, more just. Yet even here, they are saddled with this one "free" treasure being controlled by the few at the expense of the poor. These despots have perverted the Muslim religion, but examples abound, now and through history, from virtually all the world's religions, so this particular perversion is scarcely related to Islam.

   If you want to wonder about justice and wasted resources, consider the many Afghan doctors who cannot practice simply because they are female, and the thousands upon thousands of Afghan women who will needlessly suffer and die this year because male physicians will not appropriately examine and treat them. And think of a possible generation of Afghanis who will suffer incalculably from two-thirds the population - female - being without education.

   America certainly can bear plenty of responsibility for this sad state of affairs. We have propped up several dozens of dictators over many generations for oil, profits and peace, and looked the other way while these disgusting creatures have viciously oppressed their own people out of insatiable greed for money and lust for power, and often turned around to attack us. Sep 11 is but the latest such instance.

   But we're far from alone in bearing the responsibility of ignoring the obvious and ignoring our responsibility for our fellow humans. Virtually all the world's democracies have joined us in this idiotic endeavor, from Australia to the end of the alphabet, and including almost all the world's nations.

   After World War I, we crazily let loose of the dictatorial nations even quicker than we'd overpowered them. Just as bad, we left them to drown in their own economic cesspool. The result was the Third Reich and probably more deaths than all the plagues of the medieval world combined.

   Following World War II, for a brief time, we were smarter. We fed them, nurtured them, insisted on democratic processes and stayed long enough to insure democracy had a good foothold.

   Contrast that with the Gulf War. It was over in four days and we handed the country back to its previous "owners" (instead of the people of Kuwait) and we let Hussein go on his merry way, free to build more weapons instead of feed his people, and to go on to torture and kill more of them. And then we wonder what went wrong!

   It isn't wealth that's our problem, it's our unwillingness to take the responsibilities that goes with it. And I say "us" rather than just our leaders, because we elect them, so the buck, as Harry Truman used to say, stops there.

   That said, making changes in a world view is like herding polar bears or panthers (not ordinary housecats) and we need partners, not just arms-length critics. While I applaud and respect your efforts at conservation, I'd like to hear what, besides your conservation efforts, commendable as they may be, YOU plan to do to insure that more than three-quarters of the world doesn't continue to be run by a few handfuls of obscenely rich potentates. The likely means to change that aren't too palatable, but less palatable, as Sep 11 has demonstrated, are the alternatives.

   When was the last time that Australia's representative at the UN stood up and spoke to the World (including America) about this and insisted that we call a spade a spade - that despotism, even by friends, is indefensible? When was the last time Tony Blair (someone I like) made a similar statement? When did you? When did any of us?

   As for Bush's call for people to spend: if I hadn't been so mad and hurt I would have laughed at your distortion. In case you hadn't noticed - I'm sure you have - the U.S., along with much of the world, has been in an economic slump. September 11 cost untold billions - well over 100 billion - just for the direct economic loss of buildings and the resultant costs of clean up and restoration, not to mention the even more enormous losses of personal income, businesses income, and the like. It's almost incalculable. What is the economic loss to a family whose chief producer of income is killed in such an event? What economic impact does it have when people stay at home watching television for the better part of the month rather than working? What happens economically when people are afraid to travel, to shop, to leave their homes? When people are afraid of their mail? Ask Swissair.

   This isn't hypothetical or theoretical. It's what happened. When it did, the impact not only on America but on much of the world was enormous. Resorts throughout the world are suddenly out of business. Restaurants are threatened with bankruptcy. Hotels and airlines have to lay off hundreds of thousands of employees. Shopkeepers can't pay their rents. People can't work and draw a paycheck. Many of them do not have the luxury of the time, land and financial freedom to build a mud hut and live on solar energy and home-grown vegetables (yes, that was a barb, I admit), especially on a moment's notice dictated by a rich madman.

   Better Bush should have said, "Please sit home and contemplate our loss, don't go out, don't travel, don't spend a penny you don't have to, and instead put all your energy into trying to convert these monsters into being our friends,"?

   That would have been utterly irresponsible.

   I didn't vote for Bush, and it's worth noting a majority of American voters did not, and he squeaked into office by the slimmest of margins in Florida and one of the most outrageous Supreme Court decisions in our history. Nonetheless, once it reached that point, it's the law and we need to abide by it, because the alternative is awful. We'll have another chance in 2004 and the longest he can govern is till 2008.

   But I can't imagine any responsible leader in any country NOT asking its citizens to get back to normal as soon as possible. And I can't imagine how a country that is the foundation of the economy of so much of the world could responsibly encourage its citizens to go to bed and pull their collective covers over their collective head.

   You said in your piece: "A very small proportion of the world's population, most of them in the USA, are frivolously wasting resources that are desperately needed to keep people alive." The logical implication of that statement is also that America is the country that can most adversely affect the entire world's economies, as well as its own, if it suddenly decides to stop in its financial tracks.

   Had I been President, and reasonably responsible, I would have done exactly as Bush in exactly the same way: Spend, spend, spend. Winston Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt he's not. He could have said that more eloquently, for sure - he's scarcely famous for his command of the English language - but the penalty for NOT urging people to continue the economic process is a world full of bankrupt airlines, hotels, and shops. Bankrupt companies put people out of work, and people out of work can't feed, clothe and house themselves and their families. And serious depressions destabilize democracies, as well as non-democratic regimes.

   Don't misunderstand my stance. There is much that needs to be changed about how we conduct ourselves in the position we have found ourselves. We need to once and for all find alternatives to dependence on oil and other polluting fuels, especially those that are so unevenly distributed geographically. And we are going to have to find some ways to limit our world's populations - in virtually every country - if we're not to drown in our own refuse. Even emigrating to the planets and the stars can only postpone for a while mankind's need to set reasonable boundaries for itself. Populations can explode even across galaxies. Part of responsible maturity is self-imposed limitations.

   But your answer in your piece on your website was unworthy of the the thoughtful and kind person I know you to be from your other writings and my previous involvements with you.

   I had thought at first to ask you to remove it. That, however, is my anger speaking. I do treasure democracy and free speech, more than ever since Sep 11.

   Instead, I would like to ask that you do NOT remove it, and even bring it to greater prominence on your site. AND at the same time I'd like to ask that you post this rebuttal and invite thoughtful comments from ALL sides, and post them all, save perhaps those that are off-topic or simplistically abusive. There are many ways to do this, including a number of free bulletin board services that are easy to integrate with your site. If you need help with this, I'd be glad to assist you in locating one and setting it up.

   I'll even go so far as to post your piece, or a link to it, on my own sites, including any comments you may have about what I'm writing here.

   I hope we'll continue to be friends and that together we'll work on finding ways to make the world a little better place, even across the miles.

Don Levy

Dear Don,

   Thank you for your response to the 'Why?' article in my newsletter, and thank you for waiting until you had cooled down enough for a rational yet impassioned argument.

   You didn't need to ask: I would most certainly have posted your reply in the next 'Bobbing Around' without it. I value your opinion, respect your feelings and feel the only way humanity has ever moved towards truth has been through the clash of conflicting opinions. I can see that you carefully considered what I have said, and I tried my best to do the same to your statement.

   Don, first of all, I agree with at least three-quarters of what you said. We have a great deal of common ground. My first point of disagreement, however, is with the analogy of a daughter's funeral. I am sorry that you felt that I was pointing a finger of blame at the victim. That was not at all my intention. To me, a better analogy is if the daughter has died of cancer, and at the funeral I said that sadly, her death was one of an unacknowledged epidemic, due to all the poisons we have put into our environment during the past 50 or 60 years, that to reduce the nuber of families afflicted with such tragedies, we need to stop fouling our own nest.

   That is, I was suggesting an analysis of underlying causes, not casting blame. And if you now re-read what I wrote, you will see that in my opinion a major component of the underlying cause is not so much the American lifestyle, but the idealized, sugar-coated image of American lifestyle that has been spread around the globe, the America portrayed by the media.

   I have no argument whatever that America has the right to self-defence. If I had been the President, I would have gathered evidence, made it public, then would have tried the stiletto rather than the bludgeon. Ju jitsu is so much more efficient than Sumo wrestling. I would have kept the moral high ground and achieved my ends by means other than violence to answer violence. You see, bombing the hell out of Afghanistan seems to me to be poor chess. It is precisely playing into the hands of the enemy by copying his tactics. Bin Laden is no better than Hitler or Stalin or Ghenghis Khan. He has been quoted as saying that he is working for a new Caliphate, when his version of Islam will rule all. We don't have to guess hard to know whom he is casting in the role of the supreme Caliph. But if I read him and his culture right, he would be satisfied to become a 'martyr' to his cause, and be revered forever by a victorious Islam.

   The attack on Afghanistan is a blunder. It is terrorism of the same kind as the 911 atrocity, hitting Afhgani peasants consripted or brainwashed into the Taliban army. Every bomb dropped pushes more fanatical volunteers into the worldwide army of 'the enemy'. There are thousands of Indonesian University students -- intelligent children of the local middle class -- who are ready to die if they can take some of us 'infidels' with them.

   However passionate the arguments of the fundamentalist Muslims, would they win many converts if the world was more equitable? I doubt it. As you pointed out, we in the west have repeatedly made the mistake of propping up corrupt and cruel regimes in the mistaken belief that doing so was in our interest. The amount of money Bin Laden and other such monsters control is irrelevant. THEY don't care about the poor in their countries, but that does not absolve US. Perhaps the best way we can undercut the movement towards global terrorism is by canceling the World Bank-imposed debts owed by the poorest countries, and supporting genuine grassroots developments aimed at local self-sufficiency everywhere (as distinct from projects aimed at cash crops and large industrial developments). Your statement implies this at least in part: the Marshall Plan stopped a Fourth Reich while the economic strangulation of Germany provided the cradle for the Third.

   If WE weren't seen as being disproportionately greedy, but lowered our standard of living to that achievable by all, if the opportunity was there for a decent life for the poor in both the West and the poor countries, there would be little that the hate-mongers could do. Even a substantial movement in that direction would give hope.

   How did the West defeat the Soviet Union? Not by war, thank Heavens. Vengeance and vendetta have never solved an argument, only an honest attempt at understanding the other side has a chance. Gorbachev came to power, the Berlin Wall fell, because eventually enough people in the East saw that they were far worse off, and that a better life was possible. Even a dictatorial regime eventually crumbles without the support and compliance of its population. We see this now in China: the communist regime is staying in power by making concessions all the time.

   Don, I am not going to address the lesser issues you mentioned, but keep my answer focused on the central one: the response to terrorism. It should not be counter-terrorism. It should start with an understanding of the belief systems of the perpetrators and their dupes. I stated my understanding of what that perception is, and why it is there. I did not intend to assign blame, but to seek a solution. I am sorry if I caused you anguish, and hope we can continue to be friends.

All the best,


Liz Burton

   The second correspondent was Elizabeth Burton, a talented writer whose web site is She wrote:

Hi Bob!

   I see one small flaw in your argument that it's the US's conspicuous consumption that is at the root of the terrorist problem. Simply put, the terrorists are from countries (for the most part, including Afghanistan) where their own "lords of the manor" live even more richly than we do in the States. How come they aren't flying airplanes into THEIR houses?

   Frankly, it seems to me that what motivates the instigators of terrorism is simply bread and circuses. They focus their people's rage at the US so as to keep it from where it should be going--toward the dictatorial oppressors in their own backyards.

   This is not to say I think we're right and they're wrong. Far from it. I'm reading Alex Dokomos's memoir and the US response to the Hungarian Revolution, while politically sound, is nevertheless a continuing embarrassment. Blaming the World Trade Center attack on my iMac and my air conditioner and my VCR is just a little to over-simplified for my taste.

   I'm delighted that the simple life works for you. However, the facts are that, even with the current levels of pollution in the US, we are still "cleaner" here, with all our muck, than many of those Third World nations that are calling us ugly names. And, yes, corporate America often has their greedy hands in those same sweatshops--but the hands are clasped with those of the greedy local corporations that are willing to sacrifice their people and their resources to make a fast buck.

   Osama bin Laden, that great hero of the common man, is worth at least $50 million. Does he use it to better the lives of the starving Afghanis for whom he now makes videos condemning the US bombing runs? Heck, no. Does he live in the hideous poverty that comprises the existence of the great majority of his "hosts." Nope. And what of his friends, the members of the illustrious Taliban? Are they giving up any meals to help the people they so nobly use to try and turn the rest of the world against the terrible infidels attacking their sovereign nation? Nah.

   This has nothing to do with money and everything to do with politics. The US is a symbol of everything these people are not: free, happy and, for the most part, well-fed. The healthcare system sucks, but at least we have one. People sleep on the streets, but there are soup kitchens where they can get a hot meal if they so choose. There are more who need than there are resources to fulfull those needs, but at least there ARE resources. Communism was tried--and failed. Socialism almost works, but it has a tendency to spread the misery out across a wider territory than it does to actually improve the overall lifestyle of the many.

   Nobody's perfect, and it's the differences of opinion that make life interesting. Unless and until those differences turn to senseless violence. And, in the end, that exactly what the September 11 attacks were: senseless.

Okay, enough ranting.

Dear Liz,

   I am delighted at your response, and agree with almost everything you have written. However, what you say does not negate my points, but rounds them out.

   Obviously, I have chosen to tease out one factor from among a multitude in a complex situation. This is the image of America presented by the media. Your points actually support my case. As you have so well stated, poor people in poor countries would do best to toss out the dictatorial, manipulative moneybags who rule them, and their anger is directed towards us in the developed countries, particularly the USA, because those who control public opinion in those countries find it profitable and convenient to distract them with an external enemy.

   My point was that American society provides them with the ammunition. Everyone knows that African Amercians are a suppressed minority that suffers discrimination. And yet, who is the most influential lady of television? Oprah. Weekly, around the globe, you can see Bill Cosby and family live a lifestyle that few middle-class Australians could match, never mind Indonesian students or Egyptian factory workers.

   That was the essence of my point, and nothing you have said negates it.

   Last night, I heard some US Congressman being interviewed. He did no service to his country. His explanation for the hate so many people feel towards the USA? It is envy, from the less successful towards those at the top. As I listened to him, I almost felt a need to do something against what America stands for! He, a representative of his people, showed exactly the attitude of the Lord of my mythological besieged town (the one who threw a birthday party for his child when the townspeople were starving). Remember Marie Antoinette's 'Let them eat cake'? Didn't that spark the French Revolution? 'Envy' is a very inappropriate word to apply to a quest for equity and justice.

   I am glad you don't belong in this idiot's camp. You have acknowledged inequities, but have rightly pointed to other, more immediate causes for them than your own personal lifestyle. And yet, your attitude is one that disempowers you from helping to solve humanity's problems. What you are implying is that there is nothing you can do, 'they' (the poor people in other countries, their governments, our governments, somebody) should do something, but not us ordinary people. It's not at all our doing, so there is nothing we can change.

   This ignores some facts. What is the population of the USA? 260 million? The global population is what, about 6 billion. And yet the USA consumes a hugely disproportionate amount of all the resources. An article at states: 'The sheer amount of material used today may astonish most people. The average American uses at least 101 kilos (222 pounds) of materials every day, from the nitrogen and potash used to grow food, the wood in the daily paper, the chemicals in shampoo, and the gypsum in the office walls. Materials use has grown 18-fold in the United States since 1900. Substances such as aluminum and plastic were virtually unknown at the turn of the century. Since that time, aluminum production has climbed more than 3,000-fold, and synthetic chemicals production has increased 1,000 fold since 1930 in the United States alone.'

   I live a materially very modest lifestyle by Australian standards. And yet, there are not the resources available to let every human now alive live as well as I do. If everyone on the globe lived like the average American, we would need the resources of three Earths.

   So yes, the fact of your lifestyle -- and even mine -- does contribute to the disposession, hardship and poverty of other people, who then rightly demand their share. And if we in the all too wealthy countries used less, there would be less hate and 'envy'.

   Anyway, it's fun to disagree...

All the best,


Judith Allen

   Judith is a dynamo who gets things done. She is a very experienced therapist and was the initiator of one of the counselling email groups I belong to. Her web site is

Dear Bob,

   I'm so glad you shared the newsletter here, rather than to me alone. It's got some really great articles. I found the one about death and dying written in a very warm and descriptive way - felt like the sharing was good for the writing as well as the readers. The medication article for depression was good. There is that difference of opinion, and at least it was not totally one sided. The take on the reasons people are angry at Americans - I think is a demonstration of human nature. Unless someone is a socialist, I don't think they understand the concept of sharing and how you gain enemies when you don't do that too good.

   That's why Beverly Hills - and other exclusive areas have developed tight security in their police forces. When people have nothing to lose because they have nothing - it can get dangerous for those who appear to be casually discarding what others so desperately need. Americans do share generously - in fact we take care of other countries more than we take care of our own elderly, who are in poverty, can not afford medication - housing - or adequate medical care.

   There is only a relatively small faction who actually live the life that people are jealous of. Other Americans are also very angry at that. All Americans get lumped into that category that only 2% of our population actually enjoys. Most Americans are 2-4 paychecks from the street. I realize that it's still better than many countries, and we all need to do a little more. No excuse for the deaths, but there always seems to be a revolution when people have nothing to lose.

   The world is a very scary, tilted place right now. I am very hopeful, but it's going to take time to recover from this blow to our peace.

   Thank you so much for putting it together and taking the time to share it will others.

Warm regards,

“Defence for the Environment” – An Answer for Peace

by Dr. Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis
President and Founder
Biopolitics International Organisation

   The magnitude of the tragedy of September 11 will not allow the government of the United States to be compromising in its pursuit of justice. Hate begets hate, and war, as the supreme expression of hate, only leads to the same dark outcome as that of terrorism. In today’s world, void of noble goals and ideals, if one terrorist is killed, a hundred more will take his place.

   Every trace of civilisation, language and religion must be preserved. Respect for our cultural heritage is not a threat; it is the wealth of humanity. Can we imagine the earth with only one type of tree growing on it? Diversity in the forms of life and in human culture makes us all richer.

   “Defence for life” must, therefore, become a priority is every facet of our lives. The conversion of war regimes to programmes for the preservation of the environment would guarantee a better future. If military aircraft, instead of dropping bombs, were used to drop seeds for trees, then the entire planet would benefit. If destroyers were used to clean the oceans and shorelines from pollution, this would be the best response to poverty and deprivation. No longer would there be a Third World; no longer would there be hatred. The environment, as a common point of reference, can bring all peoples of the world together, in harmony and coexistence.

   In this time of terror, calls for retribution will open Pandora’s box and lead to further attacks against poor and innocent victims. How many more civilians will die? And how many seeds of terror will retaliation sow? The real “terrorists” remain uncaught and continue to profit from their power and money.

   In the crucial situation facing the world today, an international effort guided by diachronic values and ideals can help nations overcome the crisis. No grievance justifies the killing of innocent people. Let us seek an end to militarism and focus on a unifying vision for the future. A global endeavour to preserve the continuation of the chain of life on our planet – a chain that has survived for hundreds of millions of years – can lead humanity to join together in a battle against the forces which want to see us divided and unable to react. The Biopolitics International Organisation has promoted this unifying vision since its inception in 1985, by raising awareness of “bios” – life – and the environment as the vehicle for uplifting the spirit of the world.

   In the quest for ways to overcome the current crisis in values and to achieve peace and global environmental harmony, we need to draw inspiration from the historical past. Olympic values and the ideals promoted by the Olympic spirit can help shape a new vision for humanity. The Olympic Games provide the opportunity for every citizen on the planet to make a positive contribution. Why should this opportunity be limited to athletics only? Every sector of society and every profession can benefit from the world’s positively focused attention at the time of the Olympic Games and actively participate in environmental protection. In this effort, technology and the arts can join forces and raise awareness of the joy and beauty of bios. We have the potential to drive technology towards a direction that will benefit the entire planet. Let us use this potential to curb destruction and promote international initiatives for a global appreciation of bios.

   We cannot allow future generations to be burdened with our negligence. Life on our planet is threatened by the depletion of the ozone layer, by hunger and disease. The greatest challenge for the 21st century is to engage in a collective endeavour in defence of the environment. Existing defence equipment can be amended and used for reforestation, water resource clean-up, soil erosion recovery, protection of the ozone layer and the de-contamination of areas affected by nuclear radiation. To achieve peace, the aspirations of sovereign states and civil society should converge in pursuit of long-term international environmental policy and action. Human arrogance must give way to a conscious involvement in the race to save the environment.

For more information, please contact:
Biopolitics International Organisation (B.I.O.)
10 Tim. Vassou, Athens 11521, Greece
Tel: (301) 6432419, Fax: (301) 6434093



Me First!
Sally Odgers
Trudy Schuett
Elaine Hopper
Ann Herrick
Nina Osier
Todd Stone

Bob Rich's News

   At the time of writing, my second short story collection Through Other Eyes is one of three finalists in the 'Anthologies' category of the Dream Realm Awards.
   As a subscriber to Bobbing Around, you can buy this book for half price.

   Also just out is my second psychology book: Personally Speaking: Single-session email therapy with Dr Bob Rich. Look over my shoulder while I do therapy.

   Several of my e-books are now available on floppy disk.

   Finally, have a read of my interview with Barbara Hodges at EPPRO


Sally Odgers

   Sally is a wonderful lady. She has more titles out in more fields than any other writer I know, and she always amazes me with the support and help she gives to other writers. Her newest venture is an example of this. She wrote:

   I have a new page on my site called Advice for New Writers in Australia" (Couldn't put "new Australian" because that has a different connotation.) It's at and I'd be happy if you would add a piece of advice (send it to me via e-mail). Otherwise, I could link it to your site.

   I want to have as much practical advice there as I can get.

   I'm not trying for inspirational or feel-good here on this particular site, just hard-nosed factual stuff. Some of it will be unwelcome to readers, but it might save more grief down the track.


Trudy Scuett

   I'll be putting together a section on dealing with stress and stress-related health problems on my website. It's a biweekly e-zine related to the men's rights movement, with its main focus on divorce and domestic abuse issues. I'm finding a lot of the people in the movement suffering from not only PTSD, but a host of other problems. A couple are suffering from aftereffects of hunger striking. (Though I'm hoping that idea is going by the wayside, since it hasn't proved to work very well as a protest.)

   The Americans are mostly without health insurance and need basic info on stress and what to do about it. The Brits, Canadians etc, have national health, but are often in a 'not trusting of authority mode.' So they're not going to see a doctor, either.

   I'd like to add a link to the section for your anxiety and depression website, and otherwise I'd be grateful for any input!

Trudy W. Schuett
Publisher, The DesertLight Journal
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs the river."



   ...there is a rumor that Author NDK's site is nearly complete and currently going through its final technical checks. will be launching Creative artist, author & poet NDK's site in addition NDK's wife, Fine Artist Marcelle La Cour's Design Portfolio and a new eZine The Free Articulator in December. The Studio Marcelle Design Portfolio showcases years of graphic work in the print and web fields.

   Writer/Poet Carrie Watson has been appointed as Editor-in-Chief and Joseph Bova (screenwriter/songwriter/musician) as Editor-at-Large of The Free Articulator, an official publication of They are currently studying all the new sites to be launched by

   Somewhere between 3-6 sites will be launched simultaneously, and there is a possibility that there will be one or more entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. Those interested can subscribe at <>. When launched the NDK Site will provide over 300 pages of content introducing new and original works of poetry, fantasy, science fiction and other works in progress. Throughout 2002 selections of 14 million words of NDK's Nonfiction Collection will begin appearing with articles and essays about art, entertainment, culture and civilization. A brief introduction to NDK's site can be found at <> it promises loads of free stuff to liven up your computing days and desktop. There is also a rumor of a fun FREE game that will appear sometime in 2002, which is fun at any age.


Elaine Hopper

   Elaine Hopper aka Renee Austin, inspirational romance author, has just created a new website to help promote inspirational romance. This site will feature two inspirational romance authors and their books monthly. It will also feature inspirational romantic short stories. Thus, please email Elaine at if you would like to be a featured inspirational romance author and/or if you have an inspirational short story you would like to submit. Please check out her site at

   Elaine, also aka Kristi Davitt, young adult novelist, has created a new teen writer's and reader's website at: This site will feature two young adult romance authors and their books monthly. It will also feature young adult romantic short stories. Thus, please email Elaine at if you would like to be a featured young adult author and/or if you have a young adult short story you would like to submit.

   Elaine would also like to announce that her 14th book, SEASONS OF ROMANCE - A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SEASONS, was released November 24th by Awe-Struck Ebooks at It is heralded by wonderful reviews and is the ebook of the month at for both November and December as it is comprised of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas stories. Anyone who would like to read a free excerpt of Elaine's story is welcome to do so at her website at:


Ann Herrick

   Ann Herrick's latest e-book, Camper Of The Year, a young adult novel published by DiskUs Publishing ( has been reviewed by Christine Spindler at her site, E-Books for Kids (

   Ann is the author of seven books for kids and teens. One of her paperback young adult novels, The Perfect Guy (Bantam), was an ALA Reluctant Reader Award book and an IRA/CBC Children's Choice winner. She is also the author of many short stories, and writes copy for greeting cards. You can find out more about Ann and her writing at her site at


Nina Osier

   Nina M. Osier, born with a sun tan in Camden, Maine, is the author of 12 novels (most of them speculative fiction). In "real life" she works to preserve future history, as Records Manager at the Maine State Archives. You can visit her at:

   Granite Island - ISBN 0-595-21017-1 - coming soon from iUniverse!

   Cecily Stinnett dreams bigger dreams, and different ones, than most young girls in 1940's Maine. Her love for her cousin, James Court, nearly destroys those dreams; yet life with a man who can help her fulfill them quickly turns bitter. Is there any way she can have it all? Or does being born bright, ambitious, and female mean that her choices will always be not just difficult - but downright impossible?


Todd Stone

   Life in Chicago's suburbs can be murder! T.A. Stone has published his first mystery/procedural e-book CLOSE TO HOME.

   In CLOSE TO HOME a brutal serial killer with a bloody sense of revenge terrorizes the affluent Chicago suburb of Ravensburg. First the well-scrubbed teenage "girl next door" is found dead, her corpse provocatively posed alongside a busy thoroughfare. The body count climbs as the town's young and handsome activist minister and his older, married, minivan- mom lover are found mutilated in her locked suburban home.

   In Stone's tour de force through the wholesome appearances and sordid realities of a town voted "the best place in America to raise a family," emotionally battered PI Jonathan Kraag ties together cases hot and cold, racing to get inside a murderer's mind before the killer adds the town's children to his growing extended family of victims.

   You can find out more at or

   T. A. Stone is a confidant to Jonathan Kraag and the author of CLOSE TO HOME. His previously published works include KRIEGSPIEL (Lyford Books/Presidio Press), a NY Times Review of Books acclaimed techno thriller. He is a member of the Author's Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society for Technical Communication, the National Writers' Union, and a graduate of his local Citizens Police Academy.

   When not writing fiction, Stone writes marketing communications materials for a major telecommunications manufacturer and teaches creative writing and American literature at a local community college.

   Stone is a former US Army Airborne/Ranger Infantry officer whose military assignments included duty as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and his MA in English from Northwestern University. He lives with his family in a perfectly normal suburb outside Chicago, IL.