Monday, 10 December 2018

Why James Comey is Wrong and Other Proofs in the Pudding


All the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Millions, if not billions of words, have been written and published since (and even before) Election Day 2016 about the criminal enterprise of Donald J. Trump and his often-questionable behavior. 
Like me, readers with any experience at all with a family member, friend, or partner with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) knows for certain that Trump is afflicted. His gaslighting and subversion of healthy human behavior has been playing out on a national and international stage for over two years now, in glaring contrast to the behavior of his recent predecessors in the White House. Even the incompetency of George W. Bush pales in comparison to the ongoing destructive shenanigans of the illegitimate 45th President of the United States.

In a blog post that I began on Election Night 2016 while enjoying a writing residency in Finland (morning there, a jellyfish day of epic proportions to awaken and find that Trump had inexplicably won the election), I spoke strongly about NPD and the effects it would have on our nation and the world. Both the pain of the early days of this administration and the ongoing chaos and suffering rendered since then have not proven me wrong, despite the propensity of presidential supporters to gloss over any of his wrongdoing with faux news "facts." Even now, as the indictments and guilty pleas mount, his codependent, enabling supporters - his flying monkeys - state there is "no evidence" of wrongdoing, that everything reported by mainstream media is nothing more than "fake news." The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

We are now entering a period in which the "Bottomless Pinocchio" (a new rating for lying politicians introduced by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler early this morning, a perfect nickname for the great pretender) is at his most dangerous. We can rightly and judiciously assume that so much political and legal pressure is being brought to bear upon Trump that he is likely entering a state of narcissistic collapse. Once the inner and outer worlds of the narcissist no longer support his or her distorted worldview, their ever-present self-hatred, and hatred of anything "normal" or good, may grow to explosive capacity. 

While the average narcissist trudges unhappily on with his or her life in a collapsed state, the privileged and powerful extreme of a life such as Donald J. Trump's may launch him into ever-degrading and violent behavior. The massive blows to this monumental Trumpian ego could easily result in a "going postal" on a national and international scale. We see evidence of that in his ongoing, angry and delusional tweets and in the mirroring behavior by his most disturbed supporters, such as abuse of journalists and abuse and even murders of people of color, or in explosive mass shootings in public spaces. 

As some political pundits and legal experts point out, DJT is unlikely to be indicted for criminal violations while in office, and it makes sense that he would not have the dignity displayed by Nixon in resigning from office when confronted by the facts of his criminal behavior under threat of impeachment. Still, indict or impeach we must.

Comey, former director of the FBI, stated on Sunday, December 9 in an interview with Nicole Wallace that the best course of action is to "defeat Donald Trump in a landslide election in 2020." But do we really want to deal with a collapsed narcissist in the White House for two more years, even with a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats and a more savvy (and weary) public than existed in 2016? 

As someone whose life has been mangled by more than one narcissist, beginning in childhood by a covert narcissist parent, and later by more than one relationship with malignant narcissist males (before I understood my propensity to attract them and went low or no contact), my firm answer is no! 

Once the pudding is made and tasted, once the diagnosis is understood, the proof is beyond denial. We have seen enough evidence that DJT is both an illegitimate president and a criminal one. The report that will soon be released by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will substantiate this. Even the indictments and guilty pleas offered so far by other players and co-conspirators in the Trump campaign go a long way to substantiate this. 

There is no path possible except to remove the 45th President of the United States from office, and as quickly as possible. To do anything else is risky beyond belief. Trump is no Nixon. Rather, he is on par with the dangerous psychopaths he admires so much: Russia's Vladimir Putin, North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The world has only survived such evil men by offering massive resistance and when necessary, by excising the source of malignancy.

There is no room in American democracy for a monumentally malignant narcissist. We must act to excise the toxicity of Donald J. Trump's legacy as quickly as is legally possible or stand to lose what shreds of mental health, self-respect, and democratic credibility that we have left. Do the world a favor: send the man packing,  whether by impeachment or indictment, even if only to sulk darkly in his tower or at one of his golf courses. Even letting him languish without consequences as a "last resort" is far more palatable than allowing the Bottomless Pinocchio to remain in office, sucking the last bit of patience and sanity from the marrow of a weary public.



Thursday, 1 November 2018

Day of the Dead with The Contest and Other Stories!

It's been a heckuva journey around the sun since the publication of The Contest and Other Stories in BW and color interior print editions. As publisher at Tootie-Do Press as well as co-author of the collection with Joe DiBuduo, I've been neck-deep in marketing considerations, including sending out copies for review and to indie book contests, two of many ways to boost one's profile in the noisy and competitive world of indie publishing.

Needless to say, I've not yet resumed writing much of anything except marketing copy, press releases, and PR posts on social media because of the long learning curve with this unique book. The post-publication process, having to make a definite monthly salary in my freelance editorial biz, plus various personal adventures and obstacles (moving from one end of Cali to the other and back again in just nine months - a rebirth of sorts!) kept me from the fun of creative writing. I'd never intended for the press or the editorial biz to outweigh the writing life, and I miss it deeply.

In fact, I've never participated in NaNoWriMo before and was determined to start a novel sequel to Heart of Desire: 11.11.11 Redux today, but haven't, due to - you guessed it - The Contest and Other Stories!

Is it a trick or is it a treat to be so encumbered? *Sigh* That said, I've certainly learned quite a few publication and PR routines and tricks that I can now share with my clients and interested writer friends, especially those with similarly complex manuscripts. I love learning and sharing - but even more fun is winning some awards along the way! 

First off, the stunning cover, designed by the amazing Clarissa Yeo at Yocla Designs, is a 2018 Eric Hoffer - da Vinci Eye Finalist for Excellence in Cover Art and Book Cover of the Year at Cassie Loves Covers!  We are ever grateful to Clarissa for her wonderful abilities and to the Eric Hoffer Award and Cassie for the opportunities to show off Clarissa's work. We're quite proud that The Contest and Other Stories is now a New Generation Indie Book Award Finalist in the New Young Adult (17 Years and Up) category. We also gained two new stand-up editorial reviews, that can be read as paraphrased on the Amazon buy page and at Goodreads, with a RECOMMENDED status from The US Review of Books.

As if that isn't enough goodness and light, we're thrilled to announce the 2018 release of The Contest and Other Stories in Kindle ebook, exclusive at this time to all international Amazons! Generally I produce both ebook and print editions together when birth a book, but the complexity of the dual print publications wore me right out this time around. I decided to delay ebook release until I could feel thoroughly excited about it!

Naturally, the ebook price is far lower than print and makes the collection accessible to far more readers, another reason we're enthused! However, because of the illustrations and features like dropcaps, The Contest and Other Stories looks best on the most recent Kindles (fair warning).

We hope that you'll enjoy the read as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Autumn's bright blessings to all,


Joe DiBuduo  &  Kate Robinson



Tootie, the intrepid editorial assistant 
Tootie-Do Press







Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Almost a Wrap: The Contest and Other Stories

I would love to fill this blog with posts about current events, to write more about writing for social justice, about the current political situation in the USA, and simply to share happy, fun writer-ly and artistic stuff. 

I intend to return to normal blogging when the current push to publish is over. But good intentions sometimes are difficult to manifest in the physical world. Alas and alack, I'm constantly with nose to grindstone simply to meet basic living expenses, a fate many of us share, especially those who work in the arts and humanities. Sadly, our earnings no longer exceed the current housing, utility, food, and basic survival costs, so it's all an uphill run every dang day. I often work through weekends . . . I despair . . . At least there are still wonderful books and films around that allow us to escape, for a few hours, the sad daily realities that confront us. I hope that The Contest and Other Stories will be remembered as an interesting distraction and commentary about human nature in these perilous times.

The bad news is that I've placed publication further down the road. The good news is that the delay is short; pre-pub processes are in full motion, and Tootie-Do Press will release The Contest and Other Stories on Halloween! 
:::~~~:::
UPCOMING - October 31, 2017!

:::~~~:::


 T  H  E    C  O  N  T  E  S  T

 A n d  O t h e r  S t o r i e s


We NEED - and VALUE - your assistance with our upcoming publication! The Contest and Other Stories fundraiser at Indiegogo has expired, but you can still pre-order the perks you see at the site. In fact, please order any of the campaign perks (good deals, all!) listed at the link above by e-mailing Tootie-Do Press at starstonelit at gmail dot com. 


Of particular interest to many of our donors is the original early bird PDF at the low-low donation price of $5, which is available until publication day on Halloween - October 31, 2017. By ordering this or any other perk, you'll help fund the extra expenses associated with this customized artbook  publication, and for that we are truly grateful! The press is run on less than a shoestring and from the pocket of the editor.


Because we now have our beautiful gothic cover in hand, we are re-formatting the early bird PDF (to better match cover) for the print publication. The Contest and Other Stories will be available in full-color and BW print softcover, as well an enhanced and BW ebooks.  Eventually, we may offer a special edition hardcover. 


We'd also love to receive honest reviews at Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, and other fine book emporiums after publication, so if you've read the collection, please take a moment to download a review at one of the sites. Indie authors and small presses depend upon reviews to survive!


 
::~The Story~::
Inspired by the works of international artists, this Young Adult - New Adult collection of nineteen spellbinding magical realist, paranormal,  slipstream, dark fantasy, alternate history, and fabulist tales (with a connecting novella) is collaboratively authored by Joe DiBuduo and Kate Robinson:

Peter John Rizzo, a 1960 graduate of Yale University’s journalism program, inherits a floundering art magazine from his uncle, John Rizzo, with the provision that he must increase the circulation or forfeit all assets to creditors.
Peter Rizzo, Pete’s father, is a banker who scorns careers in the Arts and Humanities, and is jealous of his late brother’s influence upon his wife and son.
Classic Art Exposé’s devoted but unorthodox editorial assistant, Jason, and two university interns, sisters Shirley and Evie, help Pete start a monthly short story contest with artwork prompts, hoping to expand and save the business.
As the four friends publish the winning (and sometimes disturbing) stories over the following eighteen months, Pete battles his father’s attempts to ruin his business and his reputation, and in the process, discovers a sordid family secret. What else could possibly go astray?

::~Acknowledgments~::
“Cheater” first appeared in Western Weird, Volume 4, Manifest West Series, (Western Press Books - Western State Colorado University, 2015).
“Night Café” won the quarterly New Short Fiction Award (Jerry Jazz Musician, 2012).
“Lost Memories” first appeared in The Memory Eater (CP Anthologies, 2012).

“A Twisted Garden” first appeared as The Yellow House” in Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy (May December Publications, 2011).
“The Snow Globe” first appeared in Best Served Cold: An Eye for An Eye (Runewright LLC, 2011).

:::~~~:::
Thank you, donors and readers for bearing with us during this long pre-pub process. We love you and are excited that we're nearly at the finish line!


Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson

 & Tootie-Do Press

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Time Keeps On Slippin'

 Oh my. Time keeps on slippin'. . . slippin'. . . slippin' . . . into the future!

Today I was chided via e-mail by Indiegogo about lack of a recent update and just posted a very tardy update regarding publication status of The Contest & Other Stories:


Hello! 

It's been a long haul, hasn't it?

Our Indiegogo Phase III campaign ended on July 27, if I recall correctly.  I will soon open and post Phase IV, an unplanned development.

I (Kate) have been extremely busy making a living - my bread and butter comes from my editorial biz, Starstone Lit Services. I just last night emerged from three whirlwind weeks of edits on two novels and a memoir. I'm  a writer too, so I also did some tweaks of some unpublished work to send out to publishers and contests.

On that note, you might enjoy "Enter the Kingdom," my brand-new dystopic short story at The New Engagement !


Sadly, our cover artist is behind schedule, otherwise I would have somehow made the time for an update with a cover reveal! I queried her and though she responded, I still don't have a firm finish date.

Since I was told in March that The Contest & Other Stories cover was booked for July, I always expected to do a firm August publication date, that is, until July vanished. We were hoping to do a cosmic date like 08/08/17, ya know, or even 08/18/17, but it's not just the late cover holding us up.  Tootie-Do Press biz was neglected by financial necessity and had not caught up to all necessary pre-pub details for The Contest & Other Stories, despite all the wonderful help from my marvelous editorial assistant, Miss Tootie.

Kate & Tootie

As we posted the story first line updates, we made a few tweaks in the stories and our print book interior is solid, but we've not yet finished the e-book conversions. These are fairly quick and I'll be taking those on this week and possibly through the weekend.

So, we're looking at possibly pushing publication into September in order to not feel rushed. It's not hard to see that we haven't had a huge response with pre-order "donations" on Indiegogo, which means  the press will front publication expenses with an almost non-existent budget. Ouch!

But that's life in the publishing biz. So never fear, we'll press forward and there WILL be a book!

And if the cover suddenly lands in our inbox any moment now, there's still a chance to crack late August publication. But 09/09/17 sounds pretty cosmic too, no?

Keep your fingers crossed and visualize an e-mail with a finished cover arriving any time now . . . I'm truly looking forward to the big cover reveal! 

Thanks so much to you, dear readers,  for your patience as we approach the publication finish line for The Contest & Other Stories.

Warm regards,
Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson









Saturday, 15 July 2017

Publication Dance and an Indiegogo Update

I keep swearing - yes, swearing - ladies and gentleman, that I'm going to offer you some writers' guest posts to make this old saw more interesting, but life keeps getting in the way.

That said, being busy isn't such a bad thing. I'm honored to have a story freshly published at The New Engagement, Digital Issue #12, July 2017. "Enter the Kingdom" is a dystopic sci-fi story with a fresh twist on The Handmaid's Tale theme. When I began writing it ages ago, I hadn't read Margaret Atwood's now classic tale about post-apocalyptic religious persecution of women, but apparently I picked up on that creative wavelength. When I fleshed out an early draft in my post-grad creative writing program at Aberystwyth University in 2009-10, I was flattered to hear one of my seminar mates say the story reminded him of Atwood, and I had to rush out and read the book and view the movie. It's interesting how these themes percolate through our subconscious (or unconscious) minds in that Jungian archetypal manner.

In other news, publication day of The Contest & Other Stories (Tootie-Do Press, August 2017) is looming ever closer! I just posted a campaign update, and I'll share it with you here:

Happy weekend, backers and followers!

We're always stunned by how fast time whizzes by. Must be having a good time here on Redwood Highway 101!

We're adding two more like-new used book perks - as chief wordwhacker at Tootie-Do Press and Starstone Lit Services, Kate  judged new paranormal releases in the PRISM contest recently. Rather than keep these books in her library or donate them to a public library, she wants to share them with a backer. A great deal for a new book by an award-winning paranormal author PLUS a copy of The Contest & Other Stories early bird PDF!  

Silverlight by S.L.Jesberger is a Celtic romantic fantasy. This copy is autographed and comes with book swag!  Bound: The Silverton Chronicles by Carmen Fox is an urban romantic fantasy featuring werewolves. Claim one of these perks and hunker down for some great summer reading!


And, if that's not all, we've just reached our FINAL first lines reveal! Our final short story in The Contest & Other Stories is also art-inspired, but a bit different thematically from the others. "Heaven or Hell?" is a bit of humorous metafiction that features us - the authors - as characters. It's inspired by William-Adolphe Bougereau's famous painting, Dante & Virgil in Hell (1850).                                                                


                  HEAVEN OR HELL?
Dante & Virgil in Hell
William-Adolphe Bougereau, 1850
My old friend Andy bounced into my room and flashed that sideways, shit-eating grin he always got when he started coming down from a trip.

“Guess what, Joe? I’ve learned how to tell if you’re dead or not while I’m hallucinating.”

I looked up from my book, wondering what kind of drug Andy had experimented with this time. “Um, how can you tell?”

“Look in a mirror. If you see yourself, you’re alive. If you don’t see a reflection, it means you’re dead.” Andy leaned toward the dresser and checked his reflection in the mirror. .


 
You're probably expecting us to say, "That's all folks!" But it's not . . . we still have a cover reveal coming up soon!  And though the description of the connecting novella is posted in the campaign and at Tootie-Do Press, we haven't shared much about that either, so stay tuned!

Warm regards,
Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson


        & Tootie-Do Press