Bobbing Around

Volume Seven, Number Two
September, 2007

Bob Rich's rave

bobswriting.com/  anxietyanddepression-help.com/  mudsmith.net/  other issues

 
*About Bobbing Around
  subscribe/unsubscribe.
  guidelines for contributions
*Politics
  Australian Psychological Society on Northern Aboriginal communities.
  Senator Lyn Allison on the same topic.
  Don't dump radioactive waste in Australia
  Suicide bombers and western soldiers
*Conservation
  Toward a sustainable lifestyle
  Debunking the swindle
  Climate change: you can't blame the sun
*For writers
  FREE online writers' conference
  Extend the life of that good review
  Writing contest for kids
*Deeper Issues
  'Symptoms of Inner Peace' by Saskia Davis
  'I took her hand...' from Carolyn Harris
  Vale Chas Eeles--but not good-bye
*Helping others
  Drifting out to sea
  Self-harm
  Carolyn Harris on making an important decision
  Daring to face an audience: a response from Darrell Bain
  Acne
*A new anti-spam device
*A message from an editing client

*What my friends want you to know
  Organic Expo in Melbourne
  Climate protection bill
  Raquel Roylance: helping Nepal
  Protecting your child from abuse
  Traumatic Incident Reduction Course
  A time travel novel from Rosemary Goodwin
  Kathe Gogolewski offers a touching short story
  Carolyn Howard-Johnson honoured
  Peter Bright is disturbed by the problem of dogs
  Entries invited for Noble prize for literature
  Annual Australian writers' conference
  Darrell Bain's September newsletter
*Reviews
  Along the Templar Trail
  Bodola: Chips and Pop
  Books by Harrison M
*September ebooks only contest

   Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.


   I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.

Politics

Australian Psychological Society on Northern Aboriginal communities
Senator Lyn Allison on the same topic
Don't dump radioactive waste in Australia
Suicide bombers and western soldiers

Australian Psychological Society on Northern Aboriginal communities.

www.psychology.org.au/news/news_updates/#6jul07

APS Statement - Federal Government intervention on safety in NT Indigenous communities

   The Australian Psychological Society (APS) wishes to lend support to the concerns expressed by a number of Aboriginal community leaders in response to the Federal Government's intervention on safety in Northern Territory Indigenous communities.

   The APS believes that child-safe and child-friendly communities must be built on a basis of partnership and trust with those most affected. We welcome the Government's attention to the urgency of the problems of child abuse, violence, poverty and demoralization that exist in many remote communities. We are concerned, however, that insistence on an interventionist short-term approach risks reinforcing these very problems by promoting widespread fear and distrust. Indigenous people have had too many experiences of harmful intervention on one hand and unfulfilled promises on the other, by a succession of governments and well-intentioned professionals over the years. We are also alarmed by the dominant media images of Indigenous people as problematic -- psychological research on racism and prejudice warns of the negative effects of loaded representations of already marginalised groups.

   We need to focus on prevention as well as crisis responses. We need to learn from those communities that are currently working well, and support them in their efforts to care for themselves. In addition to policing and medical teams, other professionals such as psychologists have the expertise to assist in community level education and prevention as well as service delivery. Where communities are struggling with the effects of historical and ongoing dispossession and cultural trauma, psychologists can be part of a process of empowerment, asking community leaders what they need most, and providing the supplementary services to promote healing, repair the damage and prepare for the next generation.

   Psychologists who work in indigenous communities have found that utilizing resources such as traditional healing practices that exist within those communities can promote the most long-lasting healing and collective self-esteem. The Government's focus on policing highlights an important part of community safety and child protection, but it is only part of the picture, especially when relationships between police and local communities have been problematic for so long. To really protect the children and ensure that they grow up in the optimal environment, major long-term investment is needed to develop the resources that any community needs, such as health, education, housing and basic infrastructure. Most Indigenous communities lack these fundamental social resources and middle-level structures and services that most Australians take for granted.

   Our members would like to be part of solutions rather than problems. There is immense goodwill in the psychology profession, as in the wider community, but we also acknowledge our limitations. Current training models are not well geared to developing a culturally competent professional workforce. Professionals must have an understanding of working appropriately with the communities they seek to serve. They need adequate context-specific training, support and remuneration, whether as visiting professionals or on a live-in basis; or via a connected referral service. All of this requires resources that go beyond band-aid solutions. The APS has taken steps over the past 15 years to lift its game where its responsibilities to Indigenous Australians are concerned. We recognize that we have to listen to communities to hear what they need and want. We want to offer what we can and learn what we can, by working with, not on, communities via sustainably funded programs.

   The drastic emergency response to the commissioned report on child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities has ignored the recommendations of that report. The Government actions to date risk further traumatizing significantly traumatized people. Creating fear will be counterproductive to any measures that might be implemented. The APS believes that the short and long-term focus needs to be on addressing the infrastructure gaps, funding shortages, and limited resources for living that characterise Aboriginal communities, to our national shame.


Federal intervention in the Northern Territory
by Senator Lyn Allison

   I know we should be pleased that at last the Federal Government is taking seriously the abuse and neglect of Indigenous children but, as with so many of the Prime Minister’s initiatives, this ‘national emergency response’ must be questioned for effectiveness and indeed the motives behind abolishing the permit system and taking over town leases.

   The reality is that Indigenous women and umpteen reports have urged action for many years and state and federal ministers and bureaucrats have been discussing for just as long how to deal with it.

   Little Children are Sacred and the Gordon Report in WA between them set down almost 300 sound recommendations, all but two of which were ignored in the Howard package -- the school meals and the boarding schools.

   None of this is new to the Federal Government. Its Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination was supposed to oversee services and monitor performance. Like the 30 Indigenous Coordination Centres, it was central to the 2004 Howard Government’s 20 to 30 year vision of intervening in early childhood development, making Indigenous communities safer and building their economies.

   The perpetrators need to hear, loud and clear, that this abhorrent behaviour will no longer be tolerated. But there is no quick or easy solution and governments have walked away from soundly-based but expensive solutions before.

   We need to know what happens after the police and the medical teams leave. Indigenous communities need hope and health services, education, counselling and housing. They also need their views and what they see as the solutions to be respected. No plan will work without that.

   The Australian Democrats will capitalise on this new interest in Indigenous disadvantage and work towards the best policy outcomes for Indigenous communities. We will be reminding the PM that for long term change the money and the drive must be found to lift these communities out of poverty.


Suicide bombers and western soldiers

I was unable to seek permission to reprint this article, but I am sure it would have been forthcoming.

   Some people claim to be astonished by contemporary terrorists who blow themselves up in the process of attempting to kill their enemies. However, are suicidal battle strategies absent from the record of Western warfare?

   During the First World War (1914-1918) on the Western front (and on many other fronts), fighting was done out of trenches, with one enemy line facing the other. "Attack" occurred when long rows of soldiers got out of trenches and advanced through no man's land, hoping to cut through barbed wire, assault enemy trenches and break through the opposing line. Most attacks were unsuccessful and there was a substantial probability that an advancing soldier would be hit by an artillery shell or mowed down by machine-gun fire.

   It is correct to draw a parallel between the behavior of soldiers during the First World War and contemporary suicide bombers? Is the fundamental dynamic the same? Or is a different dynamic at play?

   Historian Modris Ekstein describes the typical pattern of "battle" that characterized the First World War: "The victimized crowd of attackers in no man's land has become one of the supreme images of this war. Attackers moved forward usually without seeking cover and were mowed down in rows, with the mechanical efficiency of a scythe, like so many blades of grass."

   The following are eye-witness accounts of typical attacks that occurred during the First World War. A German machine gunner wrote of his experience of a British attack at the Somme:

   We were very surprised to see them walking. The officers went in front. I noticed one of them walking calmly, carrying a walking stick. When we started firing we just had to load and reload. They went down in the hundreds. You didn't have to aim, we just fired into them.

   A similar mode of attack--with similar results--occurred at the Battle of Loos. Pushing through to the German line on the second day of battle, British troops crossed the road. Their numerical superiority was considerable, but several dozen German machine guns faced them. The German regimental diary describes what happened:

   Ten columns of extended line could clearly be discerned. Each advancing column was estimated at more than a thousand men, offering such a target as had never been seen before, or thought possible. Never had the machine gunners such straightforward work to do nor done it so effectively.

   They traversed to and fro along the enemy's ranks unceasingly. The men stood and fired triumphantly into the mass of men advancing across open grassland. As the entire field of fire was covered with the enemy's infantry, the effect was devastating and they could be seen falling literally in hundreds.

   Nine-million men were killed during the First World War and twenty-one million injured. The vast casualties were the result of millions of men behaving not unlike contemporary terrorists: Allowing their bodies to be blown to bits as they attempted to blow up the bodies of their enemies.

   The following report was written by British General Rees immediately after the massacre of the 94th Infantry Brigade of the 31st Division by the Germans on July 1, 1916:

   They advanced in line after line, dressed as if on parade and not a man shirked going through the extremely heavy barrage, or facing the machine gun and rifle fire that finally wiped them out. I saw the lines, which advanced in such admirable order melting away under fire. Yet not a man wavered, broke the ranks, or attempted to come back.

   In spite of the fact that the attack resulted in the slaughter of nearly all of his men, General Rees seems to have been gratified by the result:

   I have never seen, indeed could never have imagined such a magnificent display of gallantry, discipline and determination. The reports from the very few survivors of this marvelous advance bear out what I saw with my own eyes: that hardly a man of ours got to the German Front line.

   General Rees was proud of his men because they had demonstrated honor and nobility. They had been willing to die for their country.

   As suicide bombers sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah, so soldiers of the First World War martyred themselves in the name of sacred entities given names such as France, Germany and Great Britain.

   The IDEOLOGIES OF WAR AND TERROR WEBSITE publishes significant writing on the psychological sources of culture and the meaning of collective forms of violence.


Don't dump radioactive waste in Australia

   The Arid Lands Environment Centre in Alice Springs says promoting Australia as the world's nuclear waste dump is not the answer to the problem of nuclear weapons and terrorism.

   The call follows reports in the Australian newspaper (2/7/07) that former US ambassador Robert Gallucci is advocating Australia as a potential global radioactive waste dump to address proliferation concerns.

   "The best way to ensure nuclear materials do not end up in weapons is by stopping the mining and exporting of uranium and getting serious about nuclear disarmament," said Natalie Wasley, the Beyond Nuclear Initiative campaigner at ALEC.

   "A desert dump cannot be touted as the answer to securing nuclear weapons material when Australia is still exporting uranium to countries not complying with their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

   Ms Wasley says any plans for an international dump would be met with strong resistance around the country. "The plan for a federal dump in the Territory is strongly opposed by targeted communities, the NT Government, national environment groups and many citizens."

   "The current waste dump plan is already failing due process in the search to secure a site and there is little confidence that any international waste dump would be based on community consultation or have any regard for environmental, social and cultural concerns."

   "Despite the rhetoric of Australia being the most geologically suitable location for a dump, one of the proposed sites, Muckaty station north of Tennant Creek, is within a seismically active zone."

   "From the outset, the communities targeted for the Federal dump were concerned that an NT dump would be expanded to host high level international materials," said Ms Wasley. "It is time for the government to come clean on its full plans for radioactive waste."

   Opposition from Australian states to the federal radioactive dump means it is highly unlikely they would welcome an international one. "Once again it would be remote and indigenous communities in the Territory who are forced to take the toxic waste, this time from around the world. The federal government's plan is the thin edge of a radioactive wedge and we will not sit back and let this happen."

Contact: Natalie Wasley 0429 900 774
Beyond Nuclear Initiative
Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC)
John Cumming Plaza, 67 Todd Mall
PO box 2796,
Alice Springs, NT
Australia 0871
ph: 08 8952 2011
mobile : 0429 900 774
email: natwasley@alec.org.au


Conservation

Toward a sustainable lifestyle
Debunking the swindle
Climate change: you can't blame the sun

Toward a sustainable lifestyle

The following is a transcript of my introduction to an interview with Lillian Cauldwell on her Internet Voices Talk Radio http://www.authorsden.com/lilliancauldwell.

   Looking after the future is not a sacrifice. Instead, you can save huge amounts of money. What's more, doing so has a wonderful byproduct: I am going to share with you the secret of happiness.

   35 years ago, my electricity bill was a quarter that of my neighbours'. Think about that. Would you like to cut the costs of living way down?

   You can, by using less.

   And in the process, you can change your life so you feel a great deal of satisfaction.

   For the last 28 years, my wife and I have deliberately lived below the poverty line -- and we have lived like royalty. We have raised three children to be fine adults. We are healthy, all our needs are met -- and yet we spend very little money.

   Sound impossible? When you get a moment, go and read an essay I wrote a few years ago. Go to www.mudsmith.net, and look for the essay entitled 'How to change the world'. While you are there, also read 'Save money and save the future'. That one has a second page associated with it, one that lists a whole lot of practical suggestions.

   But lists of suggestions are not that useful. If you merely take on new habits because you ought to, they feel unnatural and take effort. All too soon, you slip back into old ways of doing things. But if you change the way you see the world, then the new ways of doing things become natural, and will stay for life.

   So, philosophy first, practical measures as a result.

   Basically, the secret is to separate happiness from the possession of things.

   Every day, we are bombarded with messages: 'Buy our product and you'll be happy!' Of course it's not worded quite like that, but the idea is there, all the time.

   Even people who are not trying to sell you things keep giving you versions of the same message. It underlies much of everyday conversation, what you see on the news, read in books, newspapers and magazines.

   Now, just suppose for a moment that you could become happy and satisfied by buying some collection of products. I give you a million dollars, you spend it, and then you can be happy for the rest of your life, right?

   If that was true, the economy would soon grind to a halt. Say I am unhappy because my car is an old rust heap. I buy a new car, and now I am happy. If that car keeps working with just maintenance and care for the next 30 years, then the car industry can't sell me another one. So, it's necessary for me to become unhappy with my new car, as soon as possible.

   How to do this? They bring out new models with wonderful new features, change fashions, make cars so they fall to pieces in a few years.

   The way to make the economy flourish is for people to be dissatisfied with their lives. Satisfied people don't buy new stuff. If you like the way you look, you won't spend on cosmetics, new fashions, weight loss programs, creams and treatments.

   If you love to be where you are, and home is the best place in the world, you won't spend on expensive holidays.

   If you love what you do, you won't need to blot out reality with alcohol and other drugs, won't need to escape into gambling, or the products of the entertainment industry.

   So, it's necessary for you to be dissatisfied with as many aspects of your life as possible. And everything in the culture works at making you so.

   How to fight this?

   Realise that life is a journey, not a destination. We are not in this game to accumulate tokens, but to gain wisdom, and learn lessons.

   Life is worth living if you give and receive love. By this I don't mean romantic love alone, but that of doing things to make life better for others.

   This is a wonderful purpose to give you meaning.

   Of course, one way, a vital way, is to work toward a sustainable world.

   Also, to work toward social justice, peace, cooperation, caring.

   All these things go together, and are actually the message Jesus gave humanity. So did the Buddha.

   Once you don't need things to make you happy because you have purpose and meaning in your life, you will look for practical ways of working toward a sustainable life. Implementing them will be natural, rather than habits imposed on a self-destructive lifestyle.

   Perhaps the first practical change you can make is to get rid of your TV.

   Shock? Horror?

   If you had no TV, you'd be forced into spending time with people: spouse, kids, other relations, friends. You'd have time to fill, and you could fill it with worthwhile projects like renovating the house, growing your own vegetables (which is possible even in an inner city), cooking your own food, learning new skills, playing music, doing art, playing games like chess or scrabble, engaging in sport or amateur theatre -- the list is endless. You would return to a style of life that people lived before they had TV, and it was a lot more healthy.

   As I said, I've a list of practical suggestions at www.mudsmith.net. When you are ready, read them. If you like, I'll tell you about them, but they are secondary. Change your inner life first. The outer life will follow.


Debunking the Swindle

The following is a press release from the Alternative Technology Association of Australia,

   The ABC's screening of 'The Great Global Warming Swindle', a show which presents falsified and discredited scientific claims as scientific fact, has caused a considerable debate. The ATA has grave concerns about some of the claims made in the program, and would advise readers to seek out some of the many critical pieces which de-bunk the program.

   Below is a selection of the many critiques which have been published to dis-credit the claims made in the program.

Critiques: A comprehensive response was put together by the Australian Science Media Centre in the lead up to the film's Australian airing. Entitled 'The Great Global Warming Swindle: Scientists Respond' the website includes personal comment, general rebukes and has a host of links to other relevant websites: http://www.aussmc.org/Global_Warming_Swindle.php.

   The so-called 'scientific data' presented in the film is widely discredited, with the film-makers even admitting that some of the data was altered to support their claims. A detailed critique is provided by David Jones, Andrew Watkins, Karl Braganza and Michael Coughlan from the UK's National Climate Centre and Bureau of Meteorology. See: http://www.amos.org.au/BAMOS_GGWS_SUBMISSION_final.htm.

   George Monbiot provided significant critique in an article in the Guardian in March this year: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2032575,00.html.

   Carl Wunsch, a leading US climate scientist who appeared in the program under false pretences has had his views presented in an article in the Guardian newspaper. He believes that the film was 'grossly distorted' and 'as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two', and is contemplating legal action over his appearance in the show: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2031455,00.html.

   Martin Durkin, the film-make himself, has appeared before the Independent Television Commission in the UK in the past for misleading the public: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2032575,00.html.


Climate change: you can't blame the sun

   A recent paper in the highly respected Proceedings of the Royal Society has showed that current climate change is not due to either variations in the activity of the sun, or in changes in the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation, as has been claimed by the recent TV program The Great Global Warming Swindle. The swindle is in the program, not in the views of those assigning responsibility for climate change to humans.

   Lockwood and Froehlich compared changes in solar activity levels with global warming, and found that during the very significant increases in Terran temperatures, the sun's output had actually declined.

   They also showed that while cosmic rays may affect cloud formation where air is very clean, it has a minimal effect compared to other factors such as air pollution.


For writers

FREE online writers' conference
Extend the life of that good review
Writing contest for kids

FREE online writers' conference

   For the second year, I am one of the many presenters at the Muse Online Writers' Conference. Last year, there were over 1000 participants, and this year promises to double this. Please go to http://www.freewebs.com/museconference to see the details, and to register.

   What is an online writers' conference? It has all the benefits of going to some place, probably a fair way from home, with the associated hole in your everyday commitments, the cost of travel, accomodation, and a hefty registration fee--but without any of these handicaps. You can enjoy the company of fellow writers, and learn a lot, from the comfort of your own home.


Extend the life of that good review

   Sometimes a review so good comes along that authors are loathe to let it die. They might include it in their media kit or add it to their websites. Now its life can be extended even further with Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog, The New Book Review.

   Here is a review blog that doesn't judge a book by its cover or by the press used to print it. If one reviewer loved a book, that qualifies it for more coverage. Authors are asked to follow the guidelines given in the left column of the blog and, in return, are asked only to let their fans and the media know it is there. That helps expose every review on the blog (a cross-promotion of sorts) and gives authors an opportunity to reach out to the public.

   Howard-Johnson is the founder of Authors' Coalition, and this blog is an extension of how this group reaches out to help authors including a free e-book section on the site and more. Directors are Pat McGrath Avery and Joyce Faulkner.

   Curious readers and writers will find reviews of works by authors like Yvonne Perry, Erica Stux, Joyce Anthony and Cheryl Kaye Tardiff who wrote the famous Whale Song. It includes reviews by well-known reviewers like Mayra Calvani and historians like Marshall Trimble.


Writing contest for kids

EPIC New Voices 2007 Writing Competition

   EPIC established the annual New Voices writing competition to encourage reading and writing among middle school and high school students and to promote e-book literacy in public and private schools.

   The contest is open to students attending public, private, or home schools, and each entrant is permitted to submit one entry in each category.

   Forty-five prizes were awarded to forty students in the 2007 competition. The grand prize winners received $100 in cash, first place winners received Palm handhelds, and second and third place winners received gift certificates for e-books. Awards of excellence, honorable mention, and judges' awards were also presented.

   The winning students were recognized at an awards presentation ceremony at E-Fiesta! in Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 10, 2007, as part of EPICon 2007.

   All winning entries were compiled into an anthology, EPIC New Voices 2007. The anthology is available for download at no cost and can be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

   Epic New Voices 2008 opened for submissions August 1, 2007. Access rules and entry form: .http://www.epicauthors.com/newvoices.html.


Deeper issues

Symptoms of inner peace
I took her hand... from Carolyn Harris
Vale Chas Eeles--but not good-bye

Symptoms of inner peace
by Saskia Davis

Copied with permission from http://www.iloveulove.com

    Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This can pose a serious threat to what has up until now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

   Some Signs and Symptoms of Inner Peace:


I took her hand and...
from Carolyn Harris

People outside Australia might not know: not long ago, a truck crashed into a passenger train at Granville, NSW, killing 11 people. Carolyn's email referred to this tragedy.

   When the Granville train accident happened I was flat out with work and really didn't notice the news on the TV that night other than to hear that there had been an accident.

   That night when I went to bed I had one of those out of body experiences. I found myself inside a ruined and flattened carriage and standing next to what had been a young woman on the right hand side of the carriage next to the window. Her body and the seat had been crushed down flat and all that one could really make out was that she had had blonde hair.

   The smell of the dead was pretty overpowering, which is what made me know, upon reflection, that this was a real experience. Suddenly her soul sat up and began to fuss about not getting to work on time, obviously she had not realised she was dead at this moment. I took her hand and led her to an area where she could be helped down from the train and there she was received by someone else.

   There were emergency services everywhere, cars, trucks, people and chaos but as I let her go I looked up and above on the embankment were more people glowing white in the dark.

   It was also clear that many people were like myself, out of the body and helping and that when we were able to reach a soul we would hand them across to the other souls that were there to receive them.

   It was a strange experience and a few weeks later I was also on the scene of a car accident in which a little boy died, I gathered him up and handed him over too.

   I think I have had other experiences, but never as clear as this, so I expect this was to see if I was willing, and yes, of course I was.

I am interested in reactions to this. Have you also had out-of-body experiences? Can you see more than the material body? Or, conversely, do you think it is all imagination and wishful thinking?


Vale Chas Eeles--but not good-bye

   Chas Eeles was a legend among Australian writers. A fireman when he had to earn money, for many years his life centered around his weekly radio show Words and Music, which was broadcast around Australia. I had the honour of having Chas read several of my short stories, and in the process I developed a strong liking and respect for him.

   He suddenly died not long ago, and I have been exchanging emails with his long-term partner Barbara. She has not felt any grief at all, just a constant sense of his continued presence. In her last email, she wrote:

   "Hi Bob, Why do I feel Chas is still here? I know he has passed away but I still dont feel any loss, just profound love. I'm having a book launch for his second novel on the 6th Oct, and a dear friend of both of us is coming up from the Gold Coast to stay with me for that weekend. She is a fellow writer and we met when our writers' group started. I promised Chas I would do the book launch, and I will make sure it will be a joyous affair.

Luv Barbara"

   Some people have this ability. I don't know if it's Chas or Barbara, or both of them, but I believe it is an actual, real presence she feels. Again, any comments or shared experiences?


Helping Others

Drifting out to sea
Self-harm
Carolyn Harris on making an important decision
Daring to face an audience: a response from Darrell Bain
Acne

Drifting out to sea

Bob--

   I've boxed myself into a corner again. The source of my immediate anxiety is money issues, but it's definitely a composition of other problems that I've compensated for by 'over-living' that has gotten me here. I know I need some kind of credit counseling, but that's just not the way I need to solve this problem.

   Probably a whole lot more serious about running away, drifiting out to sea, finding someone out of all this than I've ever been, but I know I can't do that to my family (and by family I mean parents, brother, sister, nieces, and nephews; not my own). I seem to have zero self restraint in life even though it doesn't seem as if I'm living in the fast lane whatsoever... I've had problems with pain meds and pot in the past, but it's been a year since they were a part of my everyday, alcohol... well, I drink about two beers a day, maybe get drunk on a Saturday with some friends, but there is no part of me that ever gets crazy and wild, and yet somehow I feel so out of control... .i avoid as much as possible because I don't have the right answers for it now, nor will I at any point in the near future, and so I just keep digging a deeper hole where I continue to retract from the world little by little... how do you maintain a social life when you can't afford it? How do you carry yourself with your head high when every single question someone asks seems to box you in to a place where some kind of explanation for how you ended up this way is the only way to begin to answer? I just don't know right now. I googled some stuff and found your website and saw that I could e-mail you... so I did. Any thoughts would be appreciated, but if not, thanks for reading...

John

Dear John,

   From what you write, money is tight, but I suspect this is an effect rather than a cause. The significant phrase in what you wrote may be "running away, drifting out to sea." Perhaps, like to many people in our crazy society, you have no purpose in life, nothing to LIVE for beyond earning the next dollar, getting lost in the next self-indulgence.

   Let me tell you about a friend of mine. He used to be a very high-level executive with a large multi-national company. Then something happened in his life that he never talks about, and he gave it all away. He had money invested, so he has not had any paid employment since, just living on his savings. For 22 years, he spent all his time caring for people dying of cancer and their families. Then he decided that was too tame. He has gone to southern Africa, where he works with AIDS orphans. Again, because of his skills, and his gentleness, he is given all the dying ones to care for.

   He is happy. He knows why he is on this planet at this time.

   I am not saying you should do the same. There is not enough room for too many saints. But there is a rule:

The more you give, the more you get

   Find something to be passionate about. It can be your local church group, a sport you can engage in and then advance through various means, your professional association, or just a few latchkey kids in your neighborhood who would benefit from an adult spending some time with them. Or do a course in something you've always wanted to learn about, but never had the time and energy. The first client I had, a mother of 4, enrolled in a University course in Divinity. When she told me this, I knew she didn't need me any more.

   And read a wonderful book: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Bob


Self-harm

   I am 13 years old and have been cutting sence i was 11. the reasons i cut is because of boys, school, home issues, the normal teenager stuff. but when i first started cutting i would only scratch the skin. now when i cut i get in deep and bleed alot. sometimes i get so deep and bleed so much i pass out. my parents know and i have been hospitalized once for 2 months but that didn't do anything. now my parents ae thinking about putting me back into the hospital. but i don't want to go.

   So my question is how do i deal with my cutting. and i know the normal advise, "try hard! don't get so attached! get help!!" well i have and nothing has worked. so i came to this site for some real help! so if you could, can you please try and give me something to help. I will be oh so greatful. Thanks...

Hilary xxx

Hilary my dear,

   Those things you listed are not the reasons for the cutting, but the triggers for the feelings you are running away from. At first, when you had an uncomfortable emotion, you could distract yourself from it by causing yourself a little physical pain. This seemed to work, so you did more, and it grew until the cutting has become a bigger problem than all the things it was supposed to help you to avoid.

   This just goes to prove that running away never works. Avoiding problems ALWAYS causes bigger problems, and that's the best thing you can learn. If you handle this situation right, then you will have the courage to face up to challenges and sources of unhappiness for the rest of your life.

   Cutting worked at first. You worried about boys, school, whatever, and the cutting distracted you for a while. But now it does not work any more. Now, the cutting is what gives you the bad feelings. So, something upsets you and you have the urge to cut. That upsets you, so you cut more, and deeper. And that upsets you even more... An endless vicious cycle.

   And fighting the urge to cut doesn't work, does it? You know you shouldn't, and you don't want to, but you cut anyway. And then you can feel terrible about having given in, and being weak and stupid and crazy, and whatever other lies you tell yourself about yourself. The truth is, just like running away always causes more problems than it reduces, fighting a problem also always causes more problems. When you struggle with an urge, sometimes you win -- but guaranteed, sometimes you lose. And when you lose the thoughts in your head are so nasty about yourself that you just have to cut to run away from them.

   Right?

   But there is something else you can do. This is actually two things taken together.

   One of them is to realize that when you have an urge to do something, it is not a command. Nobody is making you follow the urge. OK, so you feel like cutting. OK, it feels dreadful. OK, it seems as if you couldn't do something about it. But you know, you have a choice. You can say to yourself, "I can feel this urge to cut. I know I have this urge to cut, and so what! I can watch myself have this urge. But that doesn't mean that I have to cut, only that I feel like doing it."

   You are not your thought -- you HAVE the thought. If you have it, it can't be a part of you any more than if you have a pair of jeans on those jeans are a part of you. It's only something that's come into your head, that's all.

   And you know what? Research shows that if you just keep watching your urge like this for five minutes, it will fade away. Sure, it may come back another time, but then all you need to do is to watch it again.

   It's like, you're standing in the surf, and this huge wave is coming at you. What happens if you fight it? You get bowled over and tumbled about. What happens if you run away? It catches you and tumbles you about anyway. But what if you go on top of the water and surf it? You ride along with it. You go up -- and after awhile you go down. Sure, the next wave will come, but you can ride that one too.

   The second half of the solution is to decide what kind of a person you want to be. Do you want to be a weak person who has to run away from anything that's hard, or a strong one who can face up to difficulties, solve problems and live a good life? If it's the second, you'll only get there by doing it. Every day of your life, every hour, every moment, act as if you were the kind of person you want to be.

   So, when the urge to cut comes, simply observe it. Surf it. Ride it out. It will fade in five minutes or less. And when you have managed to ride it out and not cut, you can congratulate yourself from being the kind of person who can stand up to pain instead of running away from it.

   And what if, every now and then, you slip and end up cutting?

   OK, so you slipped once. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has slipups, and it's OK to be human. If you have any bad thoughts or feelings about having cut, then simply do the same thing to them as to the urge to cut. Watch it, ride it out, and do what fits your view of how you want yourself to be.

Love,
Bob


Carolyn Harris on making an important decision

   I am writing this for those of you who are well and healthy and very clearly not wanting to read this or any other form of information for fear of catching cancer from the very word itself.

   It is now, when you are whole and healthy that you must give time and thought to this condition for you never know if it could happen to you and now is the time to find out a few facts and make decisions about what you would do should it happen to you.

   Eight years ago, two lumps in my breasts were diagnosed as cancer. I went through the usual routine of lumpectomies and finally mastectomies amid a turmoil of mind that is hard for anyone who has never gone through this to comprehend. In hindsight, I wish I had given more thought to the subject and now want to draw attention to one or two ideas that might prove useful for anyone else who is faced with this situation in the future.

   If you have spent your years from the first budding of breasts and the intimate and secret delights of choosing bras, and wished you were older and could buy sexier ones, through to motherhood where you are breast feeding your young and hastily grabbing the nearest and cheapest comfortable bra and damn the romance...

   Then at some time the idea of breast cancer has no doubt crossed your mind and you have pushed it away, resolutely determined not to let the thought linger.

   In most cases women avoid mammograms, and examining their breasts, for fear of finding the dreaded lump. I have known many women who have absolutely refused to go to a doctor out of sheer terror a lump could be cancer, and indeed I have even known of two cases where the women have died horribly because the fear of having cancer was even worse than the condition itself.

   The sooner one seeks help for a suspected lump the more sure you will be of survival. Caught soon enough, the lump can be removed with little effect on your life, your looks or your well being, but in most cases the lumps are not easy to find until they are a bit bigger and so often one has to travel the whole road before health is yours again.

   The surest way of surviving cancer is early detection! That is the hardest message to get across to anyone -- and yes I do include men here to because men can also get breast cancer.

   Now, not all lumps are cancer, they can be cysts, blocked glands or even calcified milk ducts, but when cancer is diagnosed it doesn't matter who you are, you will feel the world crash down around you and your head spin off into space. It is then that you have to face hospitalisation, lumpectomies, maybe mastectomies, and sometimes radio and chemotherapy. And it is also at this time you are asked, if you are having mastectomies, whether you want a breast reconstruction either with implants or from your own tummy, thus also giving you a tummy tuck.

   This is NOT the time when such important decisions should be made and neither is it possible for you to decide whether you want to go with lumpectomies or mastectomies. How on earth would you know without previous experience?

   Lumpectomies can leave your breasts looking as if they have been scooped out (which in fact they have) and over and over again when they have also removed lymph glands from under your arms, there is a good chance that the cancer will return.

   They don't tell you any of this at the time because doctors think that to answer your questions is really enough knowledge for the time being and of course you don't really know the questions to ask.

   Mastectomies have several strong advantages. 1. There is less chance of you developing new lumps -- and that is always a possibility. 2. Breast reconstruction is very good nowadays and can return you to a most pleasing shape.

   It may not be necessary for you to have mastectomies at all and in that case the question will never arise, but the doctors do need to hear you make your decision for them, they will not take it upon themselves to do more than advise, the rest is up to you.

   Hence my writing this. Do not put off thinking of what you would do if you did get cancer. Think about it now. Once the decision is made, then you can start to take more care of yourself, having mammograms and being aware that cancer can happen to anyone and running away is the death sentence -- not the cancer.

Carolyn Harris -- Tasmania


Daring to face an audience: a response from Darrell Bain

Hi Again Bob--

   When I was a young man I was terrified of public speaking. Rather than let my fears rule my life I did something about it, which you might pass on to Chris. Take a Public Speaking course at the nearest community college. That's what I did and it was one of the smartest moves I ever made. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it put my fears to rest. I've spoken many times since to audiences large and small and done some teaching, classes large and small. Never a problem after that course.

Darrell

Thanks Darrell. Personally, I swear by the wonderful organization Toastmasters.

   I hadn't thought of Toastmasters. That's a good idea, too. Or shucks, any organization where you have to stand up and introduce yourself. And you gave some excellent advice: make fun of yourself. That's what I did my first time in front of the class, and admitted right off I was scared. Once some people laughed at me, it got easier. And like all things, practice helps. You can't be outstanding in lots of things but most of us can get up to the level of adequate in just about anything with practice. Shucks, anyone can write story. Just write words like you'd tell a story. it doesn't have to be good at first. Just write. And keep on writing. That's what I tell people who ask me for advice. One more thing. There are books on public speaking and mirrors to practice on. I did some of that, too.


Acne

Hello,

   My name is Vera. I wanted to thank you for your site! My sister suffered from anxiety and depression and I from acne and an eating disorder. Your site was very helpful to us. I had low self esteem due to my acne and I did a lot of research on the topic. I found a site that might be useful to more of your users/sufferers the site is called acne.com. It might be a good link to add. Thank you for taking the time to make a site about the problems people suffer through everyday. Keep up the good work!

Thanks again,
Vera

Dear Vera,

   Thank you for your kind email. It does make me feel good. :)

   One of the most gorgeous young women I know has an acne-scarred face. She also has a broad smile, warm eyes, a habit of being cheerful and friendly to people and a great sense of humor. On first meeting her, some people may well zero in on her blemished skin. However, even they will soon forget it, and simply enjoy her company.

   You are not your body. You only wear your body.

   The Buddha said:

   Well, I don't know if the Buddha ever said that, but a character in one of my stories said that He did, and who am I to argue?

:)
Bob


A new anti-spam device

   Once upon a time, a clever but stupid little fellow constructed a web site. He was selling Viaaagra and Ciaaalis from it (his spelling). For all I know, the pills he peddled may have been the genuine article rather than camouflaged bicarb soda.

   He then devised a virus. A message in German went out with various headings having to do with energy conservation. The body had quite a long text, and then the invitation to click on the link to his web site.

   This thing accessed your address book. It chose an email address, and forged it as the sender of the message to all the addresses it could find.

   Long ago, maybe several years ago, the web site was shut down. If you click on the link, you get a 404 message. However, the virus still keeps going on, and may do so as long as the internet lasts, and there are people with relatively unprotected computers.

   Unfortunately for me, somewhere along the line the virus chose my email address to apparently send from. After all, I've been into energy conservation for a long time. Since then, I have received many thousands of automatic bounce messages from Mailer-Daemon and Barracuda Spam Protection and suchlike. They just keep coming.

   No-one benefits. The original spam artist doesn't. The person or people whose computer(s) send out the message get nothing out of it. The recipients may get a bit of minor annoyance. As for me, I have to wallow in a daily dose of filtering and deletion.

   A simple program, or addition to an existing anti-spam program, should stop all this. The place is the computer that sends out the messages. Every computer has a list of authorised email addresses to send from: the 'accounts' in the default email client. It is only necessary for the anti-spam program to check every outgoing message against this list. If the 'sender' is not on the list, you may have a virus like my nemesis, sending out under a false address.

   I offer this idea free of charge to anyone with programming skill. There should be money in it.


A message from an editing client

Hi Dr. Bob
(is this how you wish to be addressed?)

   I want to thank you from the depths of my soul for your exceptional work on the dragon saga, Krona. I cannot recall in my life having ever promoted any sort of service anywhere, but have done so for the first time now. You can see what I wrote at http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977005240

   Together with my publisher, Lida, I've placed the first chapter there with a little twist... a twist sort of involving you... both to promote the book's publication and as a way to make that first scene with the little insect waking up mad better.

   Please feel free to use anything I've written for an endorsement.

   I honestly am flabbergasted over how good you are, and can only slightly imagine the amount of dedicated work you put into this editing you do.

Best wishes,
Bent Lorentzen


What my friends want you to know

Organic Expo in Melbourne
Climate protection bill
Raquel Roylance: helping Nepal
Protecting your child from abuse
Traumatic Incident Reduction Course
A time travel novel from Rosemary Goodwin
Kathe Gogolewski offers a touching short story
Carolyn Howard-Johnson honoured
Peter Bright is disturbed by the problem of dogs
Entries invited for Noble prize for literature
Darrell Bain's September newsletter
Annual Australian writers' conference

Organic Expo in Melbourne

The Natural & Ethical Show 7 to 9 September, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

The 2007 Natural & Ethical Show is Australia's showcase of all things good for us and the planet.

   Launching at this years hugely successful Organic Expo everything environmental is covered: sustainable building, natural health & beauty, alternative therapists, gardening, household, cleaning, babies & kids, ethical services, fashion, manchester, food.

   Climate Change, naturally, is this year's theme.

   Open for 3 jam-packed days, over 200 exhibitors and 10,000+ environmentally conscious trade and consumer visitors from Australia and overseas are expected, providing plenty of networking opportunities.

   Many special features will keep attendees entertained over the three days. This includes two stages presenting fascinating programs and featuring; horticultural expert Jerry Coleby-Williams, renowned chef Tobie Puttock and many other special guests and industry experts.

   For more information visit: www.organicexpo.com.au.


Climate protection bill

Gidday all,

   Citizens of Australia have drafted a Climate Protection Bill that we want passed in parliment. http://climatemovement.org.au/component/option,com_fabrik/Itemid,418/

   Please sign the bill to show support for it and forward the request to all your contacts.

   The contents of the bill will form an "Ask" at this years Walks Against Warming. Brisbane held one on Saturday 25th August. All of Australia will be holding a walk 2 weeks before the federal election. Watch http://climatemovement.org.au. This site also contains a map to allow you for search for a local climate action group (LCAG) in any region in Australia.

   The rest of the world will be holding their walk on the 8th December 2007. See http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/.

Cheers,
Brooke


Raquel Roylance

Hello everyone,

   I just wanted to send you the link to a very worthy society that my mother, Dianne Price-Rothery is helping get off the ground. It's called Care Society Nepal (CSN), which is 'a non- government organisation fully committed to help poor and deprived people by providing various types of skill development and income generating programs.' CSN

   The website is new and still under construction, but I'd be so happy if you'd take a look. On it you'll find out more about the society--including information on wonderful treks and volunteer programs (who wants to go on a trek with me???), a message from Mum, some beautiful photographs, and their contact details should you wish to get involved.

It's www.caresociety.org.np
Lots of love to you,
Raquel xoxoxoxo
P.S. I'm serious about the trek!


Protecting your child from abuse

Dear Bob

   We wish to inform you of a new book called “The Silent Crisis: Simple ways to protect children from sexual abuse”. It was written by Amanda Robinson, a Western Australian who spent two years working as a police officer in the Sexual Abuse Unit in the Northern Territory. Amanda has spent the last 5 years researching and writing this book and it has received rave reviews from academics, book reviewers and media organisations. We believe it may be of benefit to you and your clients. It can be bought through the website www.thesilentcrisis.com and it is also available through Borders, Dymocks and Collins. Below are just a few of the reviews the book has received.

   "One of the most common questions we are asked at Bravehearts is “how can I keep my child safe?” The Silent Crisis is an invaluable resource for all parents. Amanda Robinson has written a comprehensive guide that integrates information, practical advice and techniques in a non-confronting and accessible format. The book gets to the key to teaching children personal safety; which is not so much prescribing action but emphasising life skills such as communication, self-worth, resilience and problem solving. This is an immensely important book for parents of children of all ages." Carol Ronken – Bravehearts

   “In The Silent Crisis, Amanda Robinson has combined her knowledge of child abuse as a police officer in the Sexual Assault Unit and her experiences as a mother with current research to create a valuable resource for parents, professionals working with children and even adults who are survivors of abuse. The Silent Crisis is comprehensive in its coverage of information about child sexual abuse and how to protect children. Amanda emphasises that communicating with children is essential to their protection and she shows how it can be done. Her experiences as a police officer and mother have obviously come together and provided a tremendous advantage for enabling her to provide a book that is clear, well written and comprehensive. Children would be safer if every parent owned and read this book.” Freda Briggs – Emeritus Professor of Child Development, University of South Australia

   Amanda has done a great job delivering a comprehensive, well-researched and yet intuitive guide for parents. The Silent Crisis doesn’t only address the vital issue of ‘keeping kids safe from sexual predators’ but also the bottom line priorities of enhancing self-esteem and engendering a sense of responsibility, appropriate trust and caring connection in our children. Given the current ‘child abuse epidemic’ and the often profound and protracted impact of any form of abuse on childhood victims throughout adulthood, books such as this are recommended reading for prospective as well as active parents.” Dr. Cathy Kezelman – Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) Chair of Board

   “This book contains all the necessary components of child protection education and awareness that is so vitally important if we are to make a difference to the lives of innocent children. The book has been written so well that it allows for easy reading and whilst in parts confronting, an absolute requirement for all parents, service providers and educators wishing to enhance child protection skills in the children they care for." Andrea Musulin – Director - WA Child Protection Society, State Coordinator – Protective Behaviours WA

   “With so many parenting books on the market today, mums and dads could be forgiven for feeling bombarded by supposedly ‘useful’ literature. However, if I had to recommend one book that every parent should read it would be The Silent Crisis. Robinson confronts the issue that ‘normal’ parenting practices can leave children vulnerable to sexual abuse. The first half of the book presents a comprehensive definition of paedophilia and child molestation, explaining much of the theory associated with perpetrators and victims of abuse. To me, as a mother, some of the detail is shocking but none is extraneous. Included are the signs parents should look out for and the actions to take should we suspect sexual abuse. Especially enlightening is the chapter on the old ‘stranger danger’ lecture with which many of us were raised. The latter half of the book deals with specific situations, such as abduction and online dangers, and presents parents with strategies to keep their offspring safe from sexual predators. Robinson writes in a simple, straightforward manner about an issue that is far from simple. If you’re a parent or have anything to do with children, the question is not ’Can you afford the time or money to read this book?’ It’s ‘Can you really afford not to?’ Rachael Blair – Good Reading Magazine.

Kind regards
Christine Wells
Silversky Publishing


Traumatic Incident Reduction Course

   There are two TIR courses offered for this year. One in September 21-24 and one in November 21-24. The price remains the same: if paid 6 weeks in advance $700, and regular price $895.

   You can contact me by email or phone 0409656979 or 0246843541.

   What is Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR)?

   Traumatic Incident Reduction is an integrative mindfulness-oriented approach to counselling, best known for addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The broader subject of TIR and Life Stress Reduction provides a well developed, thorough and coherent model for mindfulness-based case-formulation and integrative mindfulness-based counselling.

Regards
Elizabeth Clark
Australian Trainer


Rosemary Goodwin

THE DRAGONFLY, A Bury St. Edmunds Historical Time-Travel Novel-available now from Whiskey Creek Press.

   A history professor, Cathy White, is in a car accident that delivers a traumatic blow to her head. She wakes to find herself in a 620 A.D. Anglo-Saxon village, where her knowledge of the future confuses the villagers.

   Her further travels take her to a 1606 manorhome in Bury St. Edmunds, England, where she warns of the plight of the Jamestown, Virginia, explorers. The owner of the manor is Bartholomew Gosnold who planned the journey to America and captained the expeditionary sailing ship, Godspeed, accompanied by the ships, Susan Constant and the Discovery. Cathy's foretelling of the outcome of the Jamestown voyage is misinterpreted and causes problems for her with the superstitious townspeople.

   Cathy's final destination is a country village in 1943, during World War II, where she lives as a Land Army gal. Being a history professor provides her with knowledge of the war which she recounts, raising governmental suspicions toward her.

   Throughout the story, her goal is to find her way back to her husband in present time. Woven throughout this story is the true, fascinating, history of the author's hometown in England.


Kathe Gogolewski

   My latest release, You've Got Me, Kid!, has just been released from Amazon Shorts. If there were cyber-ink, it would still be wet. I hope you'll take a moment to review the synopsis below, and if you like what you read, you can purchase the story for a whopping 49 cents. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks!
Kathe Gogolewski

About You’ve Got Me, Kid:

   Nanette knew these kids would be difficult. Casa de Refugio only housed the children who had run out of other options. Wards of the court were sent here. When she volunteered to help tutor Cesar, a sixth-grader who had been taken from his mother, she expected a struggle. And she got one, but when she discovered the inroad to his heart, she played it to the hilt. All went well until an unexpected curve sent Cesar spinning out of control.

   This story is a tale of fiction. Even so, it is notable, in my mind, that children like Cesar often flounder within our foster care and group home systems. Homes that provide genuine love and attention are sorely needed. Not everyone, however, is set up to offer a home to receive these children. Yet, there are so many ways to touch their lives without turning over one's own completely to the process. Through a Big Sister or Big Brother program, volunteer tutoring, or by showing up for an art or music project, we can make a huge difference in the lives of these children. It means a lot when we can say to one of them, “You've got me, kid,” if only for the day.

PURCHASE FOR 49 CENTS: http://www.amazon.com/Youve-Got-Me-Kid/dp/B000RO9V0O/ref=pd_nr_b_70/103-8063462-9790259?ie=UTF8&s=books


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

   According to a joint announcement by Paulette Ensign, Board Member of the Publishers and Writers of San Diego, Andrew Chapman and Karla Olson, PWSD copresidents, Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been voted an honorary member of their group.

   They say, "PWSD has become more knowledgeable in the publishing industry, grown in numbers, and increased in professional enthusiasm as a direct result of [Howard-Johnson's] contribution."

   Howard-Johnson is the author of The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, USA Book News' Best Professional Book 2004 and winner of the Irwin Award. Upon the release of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success in October of 2007, it will be the flagship book in what will then be the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books aimed at helping authors.

   The author's first novel, This is the Place, won eight awards. Her book of creative nonfiction has won three. Her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, received Military Writers' Society of America Award of Excellence and was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list. She is an extension division instructor for UCLA’s Writers’ Program and speaks at writers' conferences nationwide. She was also named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature.

   To learn more about PWSD go to http://www.PublishersWriters.org.

   Learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson at http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.


Entries invited for Noble prize for literature

   Praised or maligned, the Nobel Prize for Literature is always news. It selects the best from the world and therefore misses much of value. Carolyn Howard-Johnson, “Back to Literature” columnist for MyShelf.com, closes the gap (only slightly) with her an annual “Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature.”

   Over the last years the Nobel committee has recognized authors for their literary expertise but there has also been a trend toward awarding the prize for, as Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Tim Rutten says, “an author’s particular relevance to the moral moment in which the world finds itself.”

   Howard-Johnson’s prize therefore concentrates on books that address these same issues. For her Noble Prize (as opposed to the NOBEL prize), Howard-Johnson considers books written in English (which narrows the field of prospects considerably) because Nobel has rather neglected writers who write in English over the years and because that is the language in which she... ahem, reads, at least well enough.

   Howard-Johnson’s lists have included well-known authors who explore discrimination in their writing like Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison but she tries to concentrate on authors who have not been posted to bestseller lists or won major awards. Some past winners are LA's Leora G. Krygier and Randall Sylvis, New York's Leora Skokin Smith, Australia's Bob Rich and Magdalena Ball.

   Books nominated for the 2007 Noble Prize for Literature must be submitted by Sept 15, 2007. Published books and chapbooks of poetry, plays and literary novels are eligible, but may have been published in any year. Results are published each January on the "Back to Literature" page at www.MyShelf.com and on Howard-Johnson's New Book Review blog. Query Carolyn Howard-Johnson at HoJoNews@aol.com. Please put "NOBLE PRIZE QUERY" in the subject line. The prize is honorary only, no monies or gifts. Readers may nominate their favorite books and authors may nominate their own.


Darrell Bain's September newsletter

   My September newsletter is now live at www.darrellbain.com. Subjects this month are: FREE BOOKS, STUPIDITY, ARMADILLOCON, SCARY DISEASE, SHODDY MERCHANDISE, REVENGE, BOOK REVIEWS, PROGRESS REPORT, MUSING NOTES, EXCERPT FROM SAVAGE SURVIVAL.

   Happy reading always and all ways!

Darrell Bain
Fictionwise 2005 Author of the Year. Double Eppie Award winner 2007. Dream Realm Award, 2007.


Annual Australian writers' conference

Australian Community Writers Inc. presents:

   From pen to publication: Weekend workshops at Mansfield, Sat 20 & Sun 21 October 2007.

   Presenters include Alex Broun (award-winning playwright), Graeme Kinross-Smith (novelist, poet, tutor), Angelo Loukakis (author, former publisher and editor).

   Cost: $25 per session. Accommodation: backpacker to motel style available.

   Contacts: Marg, Anne.


Peter Bright

   With so many dog problems, harassments, attacks and even deaths increasing everywhere, and with the canine situation apparently out of control in the USA where California alone euthanises 500,000 unwanted dogs annually at a cost of $300,000, I have devised a world-wide dog control E-Petition called No Dogs Anywhere for those with firm control views and who want to sign their objection constructively.

   It's at http://gopetition.com/online/13210.html and I invite you to let everyone know about it.

   There's also an ongoing dog commentary at Live Journal's http://community.livejournal.com/barkingdogs/43919.html and anyone can add their own comments.


Reviews

Along the Templar Trail by Brandon Wilson
Bodola: Chips and Pop by Christopher Chaplin
Books by Harrison M

Along the Templar Trail
Seven Million steps for peace
by Brandon Wilson

   This is a book of passion and courage: it tells the truth regardless of repercussions. Wilson walked from France to Jerusalem for peace. He writes for peace, and his message is clear. I hope the world takes heed of this message, because it is the only route to global survival.

   But also, this is a lighthearted book of humor and gentleness. While it is not as exciting and full of danger as the author's Dead Men Don't Leave Tips, this is compensated for by the inherent interest of the many places he vividly describes, by the depth and breadth of knowledge he shares with the reader, by the way he brings even casual, fleeting acquaintances to life.

   Wilson's hope is that many other people will follow his lead and undertake their own peace march, along the Crusader trail he has pioneered. Whether you dream of following him or not, you will be inspired and warmed by reading about his journey.

   I feel honored to have edited this very worthwhile book.


Bodola: Chips and Pop
by Christopher Chaplin
illustrated by Teodora Sirko

Published by MasterpieceFactory Inc.
ISBN 978 1 897347 01 0
$19.49

   This beautifully illustrated book automatically attracts the attention of little children. The story line is inherently entertaining for them, and will get frequent chuckles from the adult reading it for the small child. However, this is far more than the usual kids' picture book. Without ever lecturing, it provides a model for how to treat a child who is not (or not yet) capable of exercising self-discipline and restraint. When the rather oddly named little boy Bodola causes his mother endless worry and inconvenience, she reacts without anger or abuse, but rather corrects the situation and uses gentle corrective action to teach her son the lesson he needs. Patience and love are used instead of harsh discipline. I have not previously come across a Train Butler. That must be the Canadian equivalent of a conductor, and when reading the story to my little friends, I made that translation. Other than this, I have no criticism of this lovely little addition to any pre-schooler's home library.


Books by Harrison M

   I am a psychologist as well as an editor. I edited several works by Harrison Marwick, and both these professions of mine are relevant.

   Harry has done something, new, which is guaranteed to be effective. He has taken four well-researched techniques for relieving distress, and combined them into a well-integrated package. If each of the four components has been shown to work, then, obviously, the total package must. And it does.

   In his books, Harry is up-front about his troubled young years. He may have started with a specific learning disability, and so his English has been... creative. It took a lot of work to improve the technical aspects of his writing, but if anything, this should be an inspiration to young people who struggle with their own problems. If Harry could overcome his disadvantages to become a writer, than you can achieve your dreams too.

   I have tried out his method with clients, and they have found it to be effective. With Harry's permission, I gave a copy of one of his books to a nice couple, both of whom were suffering. Both used it to great benefit.

   I can thoroughly recommend Harry's self-help ideas to anyone who wants to break out of misery.


September ebooks only contest

   The Bookswelove September EBOOKS ONLY is already off to a great start. We're giving away an eBook reader (if you haven't checked out the Bookwise from Fictionwise, be sure and do so).

   We are also giving away five sets of eBooks -- each set will contain four ebooks for a total of 20 ebooks given away in this event plus the eBook reader.

   The new index page is now up with the contest link displayed and the new contest page is: www.bookswelove.net/ebookcontest.html.


About Bobbing Around

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Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
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    Submission Guidelines

       It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

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