Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Friday, June 28, 2013

EXTREME MEASURES - Vince Flynn

When the news flash came across the TV screen that author Vince Flynn had just died of prostate cancer at the age 47, first I was shocked that deaths were still occurring from that type cancer.  Next I was shocked that I hadn't heard of Vince Flynn, why hadn't I heard of him before?  Why hadn't I read any of his books?

Six of his fourteen books have been on the New York Times Bestselling Lists.  How did I miss that?  So, I immediately went to my computer and pulled up information on Mr. Flynn and I ordered EXTREME MEASURES, one of his Mitch Rapp political thrillers - counterterrorism.  When the novel arrived I sat down with it and read it till I finished it.  I didn't want to put it down. I carried it to and from the kitchen with me, to and from the bathroom, in the bathtub, read it from cover to cover, no skipping or skimming.  Damn!  He's gone and I have just begun to read him.  That sucks!

Some have compared him to Robert Ludlum, we all know who RL is.  I mean after Ken Follett's "Eye of the Needle" and "Key to Rebecca" I was sold on political thrillers, espionage. I immediately switched to Robert Ludlum and read his novels till they began to get boring, which is what happens after reading one author 'till you are saturated. At least that's what happens to me. Sometimes the books themselves become boring, the author's writing becomes stale ... his plots and characters ... that's when he needs to try something fresh.  Anyway, I've found that with Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, and Robert Ludlum - all major sellers.  Not with Jack Whyte, however, he still holds me, as does Ken Follett and as I suspect George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) will. I'm just now starting to read Martin.

But back to Flynn. I loved EXTREME MEASURES.  It's about rooting out a third cell of well-trained terrorists before they strike in the U.S. Two cells have been stopped. And boy, this is one fast-paced killer of a book, literally. The title of the book is how detainees and suspects are treated and grilled to get pertinent information from them, even though parts of U.S. government have banned those measures and try to make it stick. This book makes you really think about it all, it really does. It feels like reality. A must read if you haven't read it already.

At this point, I have to mention a book I published for Tom Onstott - SNIPER, that is also a terrific read about terrorists in the U.S.  I love it too.  And many readers have expressed their positive impressions of the novel and Tom's writing and are eagerly awaiting his next thriller.  Well, another is on the way. FOR THE LOVE OF A CHILD will be launched towards the end of July.  More on that later.  I'll be announcing it on the RJBP (www.rjbuckleypublishing.com) website as well as on Facebook and other social networks.

Read, read, read.  Do the author a favor, write reviews on Amazon after you read a book.

 


PARENTING - CUT OFF DATE

So when does the parenting end?  When is the cut-off date?  You tell me. Does it end after your child reaches age eighteen when he is either preparing to go to higher education or electing to skip that portion of schooling and jump right into the fray? Does a parent at that point step back and cross fingers with a prayer that their child will make it through the dangers awaiting them out there in the big dark world?  Without you to protect him or rescue him?  Can we cut it off like that?

Or do we continually come to the rescue even during their adult life, hoping like hell that they will one day learn how to take care of themselves and create a happy, painless, productive life?

I didn't have the answers, I'll admit it. And after all these years, I still don't. I've read almost all there is to read on the subject, I've discussed it till I'm blue in the face with friends, teachers, and qualified experts on family relationships. I was told 'tough love' is the answer. And yes, I did apply that at one point. It worked for a little while. Worked for me, but nobody else.  Got a lot of flack from my family, saying I was not doing enough, and of course the problem was still there even after I gave all I had to give.  My eventual avoidance and ignoring the problem didn't make it go away either, I had no clue how to fix it, and still don't.  It is not ours to fix others, only to fix ourselves. I keep repeating that to myself.

Many women I know have been through this with their families, and many more will go through it time and time again.  I have friends who have lost their sons and daughters to drugs or alcohol, crime or prostitution. It hasn't always been a parent who was neglectful or absentee either, so that is not always the cause. There are those of us who have loved our children through thick and thin - the thick and thin of our own personal trials and tribs -  and maybe we haven't been the model parent because of that, and have had to work to support ourselves and our children, and maybe we haven't been the parent our children feel we should have been, but then who is?

It seems in this day and time, the offspring of the '60s and '70s are less respectful of their parents than ever before. Maybe respectful is the wrong word, but let's use it as a word that describes love and admiration that one has for another. I grew up with respect for both of my parents. I didn't always agree with them and sometimes I felt like I wanted to run away, to escape them, one time I did. But I respected them. And in later years even more so than before. It seemed we became closer as I got older and began to understand where they were coming from, began experiencing what they had. I respected them. I've said many times in later years that they were right about almost everything they tried to drill into me. My parents were super religious, I wasn't. But that wasn't a major difficulty between us, as it turns out. They softened on their stance as they grew older. Our problem was my interest in the guys.  And I gave my parents much headache and heartache over that.  It was my problem for many years. But it finally came to an end, wasn't an issue anymore. As I reached my 50s, we learned to deal with it.  You see, as I got older I began to understand where they were coming from, and I respected their opinions.

Is that the key?  Should parents just sit by and wait for that day to come?  Our children growing old? Should we just live in another country till we're old enough then come home and have the respect of our children?  Is that the answer?  Well, I truly wonder if it's really worth it. Why do we have to have it?  Why not just let them go their way and do whatever.  Keep our distance, not get involved. After all we've spent most of our lives making the effort.

I've had this discussion with other women my age and older and they all feel the same ... sometimes the kids will never appreciate the journey their parents have taken with them or for them, the care and helpfulness they've given. The kids are ensconced in their own worlds now and don't have the time or inclination to be concerned or caring for their parents. The cord has been cut as far as they are concerned.  And yes, that is true in a sense.

So, are we remiss in worrying about our grown children? How they are treated by their spouses? How they treat their spouses and children?  What their bad habits are? How they live and work? How they spend their money?

Or should we just say fogettaboutit and not give it another thought ... just get on with our own solitude and peaceful lives without the drama?  Actually that doesn't sound bad at all. I definitely would like to be devoid of family drama.

Okay, so maybe that's the answer for we elders who brought children into this world, grown children that are now on a course unto themselves.  Yes!  That's it!  That is it!  Yes!!!!   FOGETTABOUTIT!  



P.S. To those of you who have respectful kids ... I salute you!   Not that I don't have respectful kids, "I'm just sayin,'" as sister Martha always sez, and "LIVE, LAUGH, AND LOVE!!!!  YOWZAAAAA!"   





Thursday, June 27, 2013

SOUTHERNER PAULA DEEN - A HANGING?


Shame on all of you people!  Talk about a hanging in the south! I thought those days were over. You can't tell me that most of you accusers, and so called judge and jury, have not ever used the N word in a joke or in conversation or listened to it in lyrics, or in a show, and the list goes on ... whether you are white or black or whatever color, you're guilty!

I do not believe Paula Deen used the word with animosity.  And her choice of attire for her wait staff at a wedding is her call, folks!  We need to get over this N word stigma.  I mean really!  Murder, rape, killings all over the world, injustices, wars ... those are worth our wrath and time. Not a southern-belle's choice of words.

A southern-belle who struggled with the best of them to eek out a living for her family after divorcing and having only $200 to her name to start over. Early on she had suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia, so cooking, never leaving her house, became her solace. Luckily her grandmother Irene Paul taught her the art of Southern cooking in those days. And regardless if you like southern cooking or not, all you critics out there, some of the most successful restaurants in this country are just that. It's not the most healthful eating, I'll be the first to say, but it sure does taste good, I have to admit. Even Julia Child's French cooking wasn't the most healthful with all that dairy and flour, but it sure tasted good too.

After Paula's divorce, in 1989 she moved to Savannah, Georgia, with only those 200 greenbacks to start a new life with two sons and a younger brother in tow. She tried hanging wallpaper, working as a bank teller, and selling insurance and real estate, whatever she could find.  On her off time she started a catering service, making sandwiches and meals that her sons and brother delivered for her.  She called the business "The Bag Lady."  Ingenious!  Then when she outgrew the home business she opened a restaurant in Savannah called "The Lady".  Now it's called "The Lady & Sons."  She's a hard worker, folks. Have you ever worked that hard in a kitchen? Do you know what it takes to make it in that business and to get as far as she has to have it fall down around her ears because of a disgruntled employee's grievance?

She even marketed a dessert line to Wal-Mart and now that will go by the wayside at the end of contract, according to Wal-Mart's recent announcement. Pooh on Wal-mart! Her cooking shows have been cancelled by the Food Network. Pooh on Food Network!

SO ARE ALL YOU FINGER POINTERS HAPPY?   Remember the old saying ...



And you better hope that when you laugh at an ethnic joke no matter what race it is about, and you let a questionable expletive slip, or you dress for a party or request someone else to dress like a maid of old southern times, that someone doesn't come at you and try to destroy your world.

Well, I don't believe you can destroy Paula.  She has gumption, just as Martha Stewart had.  And she'll fare well. Her books are selling off the shelves, she's number one at Amazon, and I for one am going to buy her cookbooks because I collect cookbooks ... and I cook with her terrific pots and pans (have the apple green set).  She's a lady, she is.  Still is.

Hang in there, Paula!

P.S. And to all my dear friends of color, you know how prejudiced I am not!  You know where I stand on the subject. But it works both ways, I've noticed.  Black against white too.  Not good.  The N-word  cannot be used as a catalyst in waging war with one another.

Another old saying ...



But then again, I know, I know ... words and names do hurt. So it's also up to us to be careful with what we say to each other. Be kind and loving, regardless of the situation.  If you know what you might say is hurtful, bite your tongue!





Thursday, June 20, 2013

I HATE BEING FAT! - Part 6

NO DAIRY NO SUGAR!  The eleventh commandment!  That's right, I've eliminated dairy and sugar from my diet. Did you know that in doing so those extra pounds that have accumulated will drop off without any extra effort?  Yes, 'tis true. I'm already seeing it happen and have been following this regimen, let me see ... this is the third day. 

Yesterday I talked on the phone with a writing partner, we partnered on a stage play CAFE DUSTYEFSKY, Don Dominguez of Manhattan Beach CA, and he said if I do this and stick with it and lose my weight, he'll try it too. He's 77 and like many of us in our 70s, we've allowed a few pounds to pack on. Now I know there are many of you who haven't gained weight, who are trim and slim and have been smart about preventing the fat attack.  But some of us haven't fought the battle as we should have done. SO ... here we are, now facing more difficulty in getting it off because our metabolism has slowed down due to inactivity and we eat the wrong damn foods to boot. 

NO MORE!  The key to eating right is our consumption of greens and fruits ... vegetables and fruits. Dark green vegetables are the best, whether raw as in salads, or slightly cooked. No canned foods. Absolutely NO CANNED FOODS.  I use my Magic Bullet to create my morning intake of fruits and veggies - usually blueberries, strawberries, apple, banana,squeezed orange, Kale or spinach, celery, and jicama.  That starts my day and is very filling.  I'm telling you it does the trick. And it gives you energy and aids your digestion of foods left over from the day before.  Your body is still trying to eliminate the  prior day's intake every morning. 

So eating a breakfast of all the crap we've been trained to eat since early age  - eggs, bacon, biscuits, sausage, gravy, yada yada yada - will stop the all important elimination process and cause the undigested food in our intestines to stay right where it is. It'll become sludge and stick to the intestinal wall and will become impacted, bringing toxicity to our bodies. That's how we get sick, that's how the toxins get into our bloodstream and attack our organs and the rest of our body, not only giving us gas and stealing our energy but causing all sorts of maladies and diseases. How we eat is how we feel. 

For instance: yesterday I made Borscht for dinner. All vegetables. It was delicious. Made up of beets, yellow onions, celery, carrots, leek, seasonings, lemon and apple vinegar.  The usual Borscht has potatoes and meat, but this one was strictly a veggie Borscht. It was tasty and filling, and there is plenty leftover to take care of a couple lunches.  Meat is to be used sparingly, by the way.  Beef once a week, fish no more than three times a week - Tilapia is the preferred fish, free of toxins. I prefer not to eat chicken, but I'm sure once a week would be alright.  We don't need meat for protein. It's in the vegetables.  Funny that we think we should eat beef for protein when cattle only eat grains and vegetables. lol lol  How come they don't eat meat for protein?  So why should we eat meat for protein? And did you know that we're the only country in the world that drinks milk for calcium after infant age?    

I've also plans to make mashed cauliflower (mashed potatoes substitute) and sweet potato 'fries' (not fried, but baked) for dinner one night this week, with a green salad.  The cauliflower will have coconut milk instead of dairy milk.  And of course no butter. I'm sure with the seasonings it will be very appetizing.  You know, it's worth it to get these ugly pounds off and keep them off. I'm to the point that I can withstand anything to accomplish that goal.  

Yesterday I had an open-face sandwich for lunch on a slice of gluten-free bread (yuk), a layer of Vegenaise (not bad), non-dairy cheese (double yuk) and sliced cucumbers.  It was hard to eat. The bread was awful. Brown rice gluten-free bread is absolutely tasteless.  So today I'll look for another one that might be better. That one is history. And the cheese was sooooo bad. I know I've had non-dairy cheese before that tasted better than that one.  This one was made of almonds.  So my search will include a different dairy-free cheese, since I can't fathom not having some kind of cheese. There are always options, I'm sure. 

Lucky for me ... I had already given up milk in my diet a few years ago.  Although I continued using it in baking and cooking, so I'm sure I won't miss it by substituting coconut milk instead. I don't foresee a problem there.  But ... butter I will miss.  Although I only have butter on my toast, yesterday I spread avocado on toast. Seems that's a good substitute for butter ... avocado.  Works for me.  

And I've been eating fruits and veggies for several years, so it's an easy transition to add more to my diet. The fruit/veggie drink in the mornings or fruit only in the mornings I've been doing for quite some time.  So that's easy.  

The biggies are NO DIARY, NO SUGAR.  I won't even begin to talk about sugar at this moment.  I'm still fighting that battle!  Big time!!!!!