November is "National Prematurity Awareness Month" (Nov. 17 is "World Prematurity Day").There are nearly a half million babies born prematurely in this country every year.
Title: Toe Up to 10K
Author: Steven Fujita
In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs.
“Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.
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I am surprised and not so surprised when I hear tales of animal empathy - stories of one species adopting an infant of another, the cat who protected a child from an attacking dog, the dog that protected a cat from a coyote, etc. - even wild animals - such as stories of dolphins protecting surfers from sharks.
There are many tales of the good therapy dogs do. Whenever I hear of programs which use animals to help people recover from health conditions, mental or physical, I am all for it.
While I was recovering, I was in a business, and I sat down in a chair because I needed to rest. A few minutes later, a lady walked in with her dog. She told her dog to sit still near me, and walked up to the counter. Her dog kept staring at me and staring at me, and finally, it got up and started to nuzzle against me. The lady apologized for the dog’s behaviour, but I didn’t mind at all. “I think your dog knows I am not well.” I said.
The lady said, “My dog is not a formal therapy dog, but he has been brought into hospitals, and he is really gentle with the patients.”
I was still in the early stages of walking with a quad cane. I think the dog knew I was still under the weather.
There is a stray neighborhood cat that has watched my recovery from wheelchair to walker to cane to without a cane. I didn’t think it cared one way or another that I couldn’t walk. However, the first time he saw me walk out with only the aid of a cane, he rushed over and nuzzled me, as if to congratulate me. I don’t see this cat all time, but even now, he will still run up to me from afar, and nuzzle against me. Additionally, if I sit down at a planter or something, he will sit in front of me, faced outward as if he is guarding me.
I’m not saying to make friends with strange dogs and stray cats - it might not be a good idea, but for me, the actions of these two animals has been heart-warming.
Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.
Listen to Steven Fujita's interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's vampire novel, Dracula.
His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth.
His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012.
Visit his website at: www.stevenfujitaauthor.com
Four Noble Truths by J.D. Buxton
Author: J.D. Buxton
Dragon is a handsome, passionate and deeply devoted young man with a hidden, horrible past that haunts him into his present life. After suffering unimaginable abuse in a child pornography ring in Taiwan and an addiction to Heroin, Dragon’s only light on a path of darkness is his love, Raven, who more than fulfills his physical and emotional needs. United by the organization that found and ultimately saved Dragon, he and Raven happily bask in the love of an adopted family of lost souls touched by similar pasts that includes their mentor Sensei, and Wax and Sarge, Dragon’s right-hand men. As they execute their missions to explore the underbelly of the world of human trafficking and the sex trade, and serve the purpose of the organization: to right the wrongs, they have no idea the path they are on will lead them to unlock the door to their freedom. In this compelling story about redemption, love and fate, a young man, his love and his devoted team embark on a dangerous journey to execute vigilante justice for one purpose; to seek out and eliminate the perpetrators of the very crimes from which they all suffered.
J D Buxton was born and raised in Southern Ontario. After graduating from college, she pursued a career in sales and marketing and lived in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta where she raised her family. She is married with three children and currently resides in Southern Ontario where she enjoys all things equine, country and western music and home cooking.
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Could you please tell us a little about your book? My book is simply my personal reflections on the things I see going on all around me. Who or what is the Inspiration behind this book? The inspiration is the relationship to myself and those who matter most in my life. What cause are you most passionate about and why? The most passionate cause is letting those who are most important in my life know I love and care for them. Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work? My usual ritual is letting it sit for awhile before I critique it. Who has influenced you throughout your writing career? My family has influenced me, they seem to enjoy my work the most.
ABOUT DARON KENNETHAuthor, Daron Kenneth, a teacher, writer, play wright and poet gives us his current collection of poetry and insightful observations about the things that mean the most: life, love, friendships and relationships.
Wave Links by Randall Boleyn
When those first few novels transported Randall into the intrigue of other cultures and the complexity of foreign lands, his life changed forever. He wanted to experience those kinds of adventures and ended up traveling the world doing international business while living his own bizarre experiences. Realizing he wanted to create the same kind of stories he loved to read, Randall coaxed the Muse by writing, studying and learning the craft. After years of toiling with the words, the stories suddenly just seemed to happen. It was startling! It was the same joy and surprise he had relished as a reader in guessing how a plot might unfold affecting the characters’ lives. He now writes with the eye and passion of creating that next great story like he would want to read. Randall now lives in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and is focused on completing the Powers Meant for Gods trilogy to publish by December 2014. Read excerpts and more at RandallBoleyn.com and sign-up for Randall’s mailing list for publishing details. His latest book is the Young Adult Fantasy, Wave Links. For More Information
Thank you so much for this interview, Llad Fleck. Now that the book Wave Links has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
My portrayal was okay I guess, but a lot of the events that changed my life I had nothing to do with. And it made me look kinda like I screwed up somehow. It really wasn’t like that, things just happened and I got caught in the wash. I did the best I could even though it didn’t seem like enough.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
Well, I never thought much about questions like that, but I guess the fact that I am all- in with everything I do is a good trait. If I can get the psychic powers that I am supposed to have inherited figured out, that would be a big deal.
Probably the same answer, that I commit everything I have into any given situation and don’t always think of clearer solutions. Hey, I’m still a young buck, I’ve never experienced any of this stuff before. But I am getting better at seeing the big picture. And probably, that I like the ladies a little too much.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Kinda, I guess. There’s this red headed beauty that I saw at a party and then she haunts my dreams most every night, but I don’t think she even knows I exist. I’ve ‘known’ a lot of girls, but it was just for fun. That L word was never mentioned.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
Almost right from the start. There were so many crazy things happening to me that I has no control over or any experience with, it all seemed a little overwhelming.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
That’s a question I’ve actually been thinking about. My nut-case cousin has everything; billions of dollars, an interesting Institute of learning he created, and powers most people can’t even comprehend, but he is so fixated on me and owning what I might have inherited, he has become obsessed and spends all his time making my life miserable.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Well, I sure as heck didn’t see that coming. It broke my heart. But I’ll tell you this much, it’s not over yet, not by a long shot. Not until I say it’s over.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?
Give me a little bit of time and the proper resources to learn all my crazy talents so that I can level the playing field. It also wouldn’t hurt anything to have a few more beautiful ladies in my life, either.
Thank you for this interview. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? Absolutely! Although we just barely survived everything that went down in Wave Links, there are too many nasty loose ends still at play that need attending. I pretty certain it will take a least two more books, maybe three to understand the depth of the threat the Mind’s Eye Institute poses to the societies of world, and then someone has to fix it. Book two, Soul Links is in the works and should be out by the end of 2014. I think if you go to RandallBoleyn.com, you can opt-in to be on a notify list to receive an email about the publishing dates.
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Author: Glenn Bassett
Publisher: Organization Diagnostics
WordPlay lays out the functions of language as the foundation of what is loosely called mind. Studies of language in primitive cultures by anthropological linguists demonstrate the existence of a basic set of words called semantic primes in every cultural setting. Language is extended and elaborated on the foundation of semantic primes to construct a mental map of the perceived phenomenal world. Once in place, a rich culture of language is passed on from each generation to the next by example. Words ultimately become so ubiquitous and necessary that they take on a reality all their own. Mental maps become more real than the reality of direct experience. Establishment of a critical capacity for knowing truth demands a study of psycholinguistics. The fund of social psychological research made available through research over the past century offers a window on the way words are used to captivate, illuminate, intimidate, inform and imbue us with intelligence. WordPlay is a compilation of the most salient research that pertains to language use. It is a laymanâs introduction to psycholinguistics. The emphasis is on how words shape behavior and become the substance of the mind. This is knowledge of those habits of mind that can interfere with straight, clear thinking. It is antidote to functional social ignorance of our rich language culture.
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SPIN: How Words Become Reality
Words and language are so integral and indispensable to ordinary living that it is difficult to find some perspective on their use. The remarkable thing about them is the simple reality of meaning that can be conveyed in spoken or written words. This is not to overlook the prevalence of misunderstanding in their use. But erroneous comprehension of meaning can be full of seeming reality. Words have a life of their own under just about every circumstance imaginable. Original language, those words and their usage patterns learned during infancy and early childhood, establish personhood and community membership. Lacking language, one is barely, if at all, human.
Linguistics, the study of language, takes a variety of forms. It is the study of syntax, the structural devices used to achieve relative clarity of meaning. It is the analysis of the physics of sound or the anatomical structures that allow the voicing of words. It is the analysis of cultural influences on both syntax and word meaning. Psycholinguistics uses scientific method to analyze the processes through which children acquire language. Much mystery about these processes remains, nonetheless, and complicated, high flown theory abounds in the field. Endless controversy pursues the questions of whether language is genetically pre-designed into the human brain or is largely or even wholly a cultural overlay on the un-programmed brain. The greatest part of the literature of linguistics is philosophical argument based on arguments (grandly abstract words) that only a select few find meaningful. Some linguistics are about the mechanics of use and acquisition of language, others are obscure , vague exercises in philosophical speculation. As in many other realms of human activity, speculation is more interesting and popular than mere mechanics. Those who argue for innate, even instinctive forces as ground-springs of language disparage the use of culture to explain something as awesomely mysterious and powerful as language.
The present book seeks to find a middle ground where the useful demonstrations of words as reality makers from can be found in the lore of social psychology, the social sciences and everyday experience of language in use. Taking perspective on language requires first that one discover how words exert authority over him/her, and how they are used to attempt control over the events of his/her life space. It is essential to gain a grasp of the tricks that words and word users play on us.
Part I examines the variety of ways that culture shapes language. The common failure of many words to translate from one language to another offers illustration of cultural shaping of language. The importance of words to understanding the most elementary aspects of cultural life demonstrates the centrality of words to thought processes themselves. Words permit the identification and specification of discrete elements of the perceived world. The written word further transforms oneâs world view by extending knowledge beyond personal memory and reshaping the brain to flow through the fingers on a keyboard into symbolically coded form.
Part II is a summary of what is known about the tricks the brain and perceptual processes commonly play on us. The locus of language in the brain and hemispheric specialization of language has potential to split word use away from other forms of experience. Humans may, more often than they know, be of two minds. Habits of conformity to authority have the power to evoke automatic behaviors that are beyond conscious control. Psychological self-awareness can permit reestablishment of personal choice in action and reshaping of the public persona. Awareness of emotional processes permits use of emotion for intentional and productive ends.
Part III looks at the way words are employed to create a desired or preferred reality. Alternative realities can be imagined or invented. Social influence may be used to shape the perception of reality to the purposes of the influencer. Simple influence is exercised routinely through the use of value loaded âpower wordsâ. The welfare of society as a whole can be shaped by the words that drive governmental policy and decision making.
Part IV scrutinizes the power of mathematics and scientific method to create wholly new realities that go beyond perceived experience. The far-reaching influence of philosophy and philosophers to structure understanding of nature and society arises out of a constant invention, construction and revision of language at its far limits. Unrealities like abstractions and essences can often take on a more urgent sense of reality than physical reality itself. Science and philosophy are the incubators of new language as well as both great and weird ideas.
Part V accepts the fact of words as mystical icons and argues the importance of discriminating between spiritual and empirically real phenomena.
This is a pragmatically founded but intellectually rounded explication of applied social science and sensible linguistics. It is intended as a tool for advancement of personal understanding of language phenomena, not as an argument for any linguistic theory or structure.
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Impure by J.R. Bailey
Author: J.R. Bailey
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"As darkness spills down from the north and stains all it touches with sin, a den of vampires known as the Great Citadel reaches out with its snaking hands. A change in the winds is signified by the death of an emperor—and the time for retribution has come. No one desires vengeance more than Koristad Altessor, a young necromancer and son of the legendary Black Guardian. Although it has been nearly twenty years since the Vampire King murdered his father, stole his throne, and then unleashed barbarians upon the defenseless villages of the foothills, Koristad’s thirst to kill the evil king remains unquenched. As he relentlessly searches for the monster and attempts to protect those he loves, Koristad’s own legend begins to take shape. With the powerful Executor Blade in hand, he sets his sights upon the Great Citadel and the Vampire King. But now only time will tell if he is prepared for the terrible secrets he may find there. In this continuing tale, a child of darkness instigates a mission of revenge against the lord of all vampires—a conflict destined to shake the very pillars of hell and test him in ways he never imagined."
J. R. Bailey began writing as a child after his ﬁrst encounter with a typewriter and has never stopped. He is an eccentric dreamer who spends more time exploring the worlds of his imagination than the one at his ﬁngertips. J. R. currently resides in southern Nebraska.
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Title: Warrior of the Way
Author: Nathan Chandler
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Civil war is a curse that touches everyone, including King Tashdar of the Mulamar. When he is ordered by a powerful and mysterious stranger to send warriors toward Kanai and Kadisha to slaughter everyone, Tashdar has no choice but to obey. As the Hebari emperor’s palace is invaded, only one man escapes—a captain of the guard to whom the emperor has entrusted the safety of his remaining two children. Moments later, the emperor’s legacy is erased from the face of the earth. More than forty years later, Pasha Nuvahli of the Sashramans tribe, greatest of the king’s warriors, is devastated when his wife is murdered and his son is kidnapped. Overcome with despair as war and a dangerous sorcerer threaten the southern tribes, Pasha soon finds himself in a crisis of faith as he ponders why Daiyu has allowed such sorrow to befall him. But after he learns of an ancient prophecy and his hidden connection to the last emperor of the south, Pasha is sent by King Juktan to seek an alliance with the five other Hebari tribes and lead them against an ancient enemy from the north. Suddenly, his life takes on a new meaning. In this compelling story, a worried king looks to his greatest warrior to unify the south with the hope the young soldier can save his people before all is lost forever.
Nathan Chandler received an associate’s degree in technical Spanish translation from Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City and currently attends the University of Oklahoma, where he is majoring in international business with an emphasis in Chinese language. Nathan resides in Norman, Oklahoma, where he continues to write.
Title: Behind the Taffeta Curtain
Author: Verne Castress
Genre: Women's Fiction
Clair, a small-town girl attending Iowa State University in 1940, has her palm read for a laugh—and gets a surprisingly specific prediction about her career, marriage, and children. She laughs it off, with no idea of how accurate it will turn out to be. After a failed romance, she hastily marries a man named John, has two children, and very soon finds herself miserable. John is not only abusive and controlling, but also a compulsive gambler. In an effort to support their family, Clair finds work in a nearby department store, and her career in fashion begins. In the sixties and seventies, Clair works her way up through the industry, chipping away at the glass ceiling of a field with far fewer women executives than the ad firms of Madison Avenue at the time. As an executive buyer for numerous retail conglomerates, she travels the globe searching for innovative fashions and meets regularly with iconic designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Oscar de la Renta. Among the fashion elite living the high life, there are steamy affairs, drugs, and suicides, as tragic elements mark the lives of these women in fashion whose insecurity remains hidden beneath their stoicism. This novel tells the story of Clair’s journey through the fashion world, a single mother contending with the conniving wiles of men and women and facing obstacles in the devious, behind-the-scenes political struggle of those climbing to the top.
Verne Castress retired following a forty-five-year career as a fashion executive, for which she traveled the world in search of innovative fashions for the American market. The mother of two adult children, she currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Title: One Month Week Day Hour Minute Second
Author: Rebecca Marie
Genre: Self Help/Personal Growth
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Abuse knows no boundaries. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, old or young. It can enter your life at any time and stay as long as you let it. In One Month Week Day Hour Minute Second, author Rebecca Marie discusses that the key is to release the secrets, talk about the abuse, and take the power away from the abusers. In this memoir, she shares her personal journey surviving sexual and physical abuse, describing how abusive patterns started at a young age, how negative self-esteem continued to grow, and how it ended in her falling in love with a psychopath. One Month Week Day Hour Minute Second narrates how Marie was victimized and lived in daily fear and despair, but discusses how she chose not to remain a victim and took power over her own life. Hoping to break the cycle of domestic abuse one victim at a time, Marie tells her emotional story to call attention to the problem of domestic violence. Her story shows there is hope for others.
Rebecca Marie enjoys being a mentor and her goal in sharing her story is to help others see there is hope.