Speculation

Speculation
Edmund Jorgensen
155 pages

I admit. Typically I am skeptical of first time authors. Or rather, to be completely honest, I am skeptical of self-published authors and unknown publishing companies; we’ve all heard of PublishAmerica, right? If not, you must immediately Google them. I still do not know anything about Mr. Jorgensen’s publisher, and I no longer care.

Speculation is a fairly short story, at just 155 pages in PDF format. And it is, quite simply, unnecessary for any further words or pages. As far as this reader was concerned, it was perfection.

Now, I am not the smartest or even the best educated. And yes, I will admit to some trepidation when I realized there was some jargon which might be above my level. All qualms aside, I soldiered on. I had agreed to read this, and read it I would. And let me tell you, I read it in one sitting.

Here is the summary, the back of the electronic dust jacket, if you will:
“Andrew Wrangles has a decision to make. His best friend Sothum, a philosophical and financial genius, has just died and left him a choice in his will: ten million dollars or a sealed envelope.

Andrew’s wife Cheryl doesn’t see this as much of a choice. She wants Andrew to take the money, and what little patience she has for his speculating about what could be worth more than ten million dollars is wearing thin very quickly.

But as Andrew digs deeper into the secret life that Sothum lived, he finds more questions than answers. Does the envelope contain the fate of a vanished mutual friend? The answer to a terrible cosmic riddle? The confession to a crime? Is Sothum just playing a final private joke? Or has Andrew become a pawn in a game–a game that Sothum died playing against a bigger opponent than Andrew can imagine?”

Let me tell you, this is an honest summary of the book yet it seems so completely dishonest at its very core, too. Why? Because this story is, in my humble opinion at least, a very complex love story. You’re shocked, you say? Perhaps you should be. Skeptical even, just as I started – it’s OK, I understand. But woven within the mystery of the contents of that envelope you will uncover several deeper stories. The love between husband and wife; the love between friends, and the love/hate relationship one man has with his faith.

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Speculation? Well, there are two ways to enter…

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Speculation tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.

About the author: Edmund Jorgensen was born in Chicago. He studied classical languages and has maintained a love for all things Greek and Roman. He fell in love with his wife in Mexico; they now reside, happily but considerably more chilly, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Edmund is currently hard at work on his second book, a set of interconnected short stories. Connect with Edmund on his website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

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The Grave Yard Press

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Hey all. I know, I’ve been slacking. I’m sorry. However, with at least 4 separate blogs to keep up, I find myself falling behind. So what did I do? Get rid of 3 of them? No, silly! I started another one with some friends – The GraveYard Press is an awesome online magazine for the Vampire Community. We will be featuring poetry, reviews, articles, editorials, and much much more. I hope you’ll join us in the fun!

http://graveyardpress.wordpress.com

Soup for Supper

It’s my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning and falling, coating the ground with a colorful crunch. It’s the time of year that I am actually interested in taking pictures. So I ask the Husband where the camera is. Neither of us know, so I’ll have to find it tomorrow. But, more than beautiful pictures, fall is the beginning of soup as a regular meal rather than an occasional.

My dad used to make me this delicious potato, sausage, and kale soup. His recipe was really simple: sliced smoked sausage, sliced potato, chopped kale, onions, and water. Cook until the potatoes mash against the side (and mash if desired to add some thickness). He never could remember the spices used when asked, so my version was kind of bland.

Bland enough, in fact, that the Husband was not a fan. Then we went to Olive Garden and had the Zuppa Toscana soup. It had just the right amount of spice, so tonight we created our own ZT.

I browned sliced beef smoked sausage and Italian sausage, then removed from the Dutch Oven. On top of the browning, I sweated onions and garlic until translucent then added back the meat mixture. To that, I added a carton of chicken stock and like 8 cups of water plus the sliced potatoes. We cooked this about an hour (my husband chunked those potatoes something fierce, no dainty slices here!). I then chopped the kale and added it to cook for about 10 minutes, enough time to wilt. Finally, I added a small carton of heavy cream, sea salt, and ground red pepper. It is now simmering as I finish off a loaf of bread in the oven.

The soup smells so wonderful, and the house has that nice…well, home feeling to it as the warmth of the stove top and oven permeate our senses. No, it isn’t quite cool enough yet for it to be entirely comfortable but I don’t even care because I know I’m going to eat a damned delicious meal soon.

Beyond that, tonight was an interesting day. It’s Monday, which means delivery day at work. And I have it off. Yes, I am going to luxuriate in this fact. Sure, it means that I do not get two days off in a row this week, but for once – the responsibility of getting the entire truck put away (while also running a register on one of our busier days) does not rest upon my shoulders. I will sit, relax, and read. OK, and work on school stuff. Blech.

I wish my phone were cooperating so you could see the awesomeness of this soup.

Community

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My dear friend Akasha recently posed the question, “What is your opinion of the vampire community, as a whole?” On her website. Here is my answer:

I have been a participant of the community for over 10 years now. I’ve made some great friends; I’ve made people really angry. I’ve learned a lot; I’ve shared what I could.

That being said…

I agree that the community is rather chaotic. I would take that a step further though, and ask – what is the purpose of the community? When, and perhaps more importantly (at least to me) WHY did the community go from this collection of people with a need in common to rules and leaders and laws and egos?

We have just this one minute thing in common; we have more differences than commonalities. I believe we should accept that and move on. Let us continue to get together in chat rooms, forums, groups, etc… let us exchange information; if friendship happens, great. And let’s leave it at that.

I know. This isn’t a popular opinion. We’re only human after all. We want to belong. But I personally do not want to be caged in as this one thing. I am so much more than my need for energy. My friends are so much more than their need for blood. More importantly, why is there a popular opinion that we should hold hands and get along just because we have that need? There are plenty of people with asthma that I do not like, but should I be friends with them just because I am also asthmatic? Hells no.


					

Rebuttal to a controversial subject

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Rush Limbaugh has long been known for his controversial opinions, especially as they pertain to politics. A well-known voice on talk radio, he has an opinion on everything. It does not matter if it is a political scandal or a religious discussion, Mr. Limbaugh rests on the far right of the political spectrum and believes if the public does not agree with him, then they are to be considered less than, or anti-Christian. With the recent scandal of Anthony Weiner, Mr. Limbaugh brings to the forefront his vitriolic hatred of women in power.

According to transcript of the 13 June, 2011 show, the heart of the matter is the women surrounding Anthony Weiner. He, himself, has done nothing wrong – his transgressions are just a byproduct of the feminist movement. It is not him behaving inappropriately, but rather it is him “being a guy” (para. 9). Mr. Limbaugh’s argument appears to be that women who are working to support themselves and their families, have their own opinions and thoughts, and are no longer chained to the home unless by choice will not allow men to behave like men. Because apparently, being a man means sending inappropriate and unsolicited pictures of oneself to women. Perhaps the most repugnant statement in the whole transcript was, “When was the last time you heard — now, I’m serious — when’s the last time you heard about a Navy SEAL or a race car driver or car mechanic getting caught in a sex scandal? They don’t have anything to prove about their masculinity” (para. 21).

Men should never feel they “have something to prove” when it comes to their masculinity; they especially should not have something to prove just because they find themselves surrounded by powerful, opinionated women after thousands of years of subjugating women. Blaming the behavior of any man on the women he is surrounded by is as bad as blaming the rape victim because of how she dressed. Mr. Limbaugh, like many of the Fox News Channel contributors uses fallacies rather than sound reasoning or logic. The outrage that Mr. Limbaugh shows over women in the media (para. 19 – 20) is an obvious smoke screen – he is upset over what he sees as the “chickification” of ABC due to the release of a photo of the women of the ABC news shows. Initially, it might appear that these women are relevant to the discussion about Anthony Weiner, but they are not. He is using them to distract us from that next statement about the men of racing, auto mechanics, or even Navy SEAL’s. It is his hope we will get so caught up in how much of a failure he considers Katie Couric that we will not recall the Tailhook scandal that shook the Navy in the early 1990’s or the scandal involving the FIA president Max Mosley. The fact that he brings up “car mechanics” at all is a smoke screen in and of itself as this is not a high profile career. Chances are, there are many convicted sexual offenders who currently work as mechanics, or did prior to arrest. They just are not high profile enough to make it to the national news.

Mr. Limbaugh ends his show by stating, “You know, without generalizing I have made the point that real men in Washington are not the real men of the Marlboro days. They’re just not. And feminism does have consequences, and it has had” (para. 136). Again, his argument is a fallacy, this time he is rationalizing. “Men are no longer real men because women stood up for themselves all those years ago and are trampling the real men into oblivion.” Mr. Limbaugh is right when he says that Anthony Weiner is not a “real man” as a real man would not cheat in his relationship, nor would he send unsolicited photos of himself to someone. Had Mr. Limbaugh kept his argument relative to the actual topic – Mr. Weiner and what he did wrong – then his argument would have been valid and garnered support outside his ring of listeners.

 

 

References

Limbaugh, Rush. (2011). Tony Weiner: Feminized playboy in the chickified political universe. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_061311/content/01125107.guest.html.

Orlando Sentinel. (2008). Max Mosley denies ‘Nazi connotation’ in sex scandal. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_nascar/2008/04/max-mosley-deni.html,

PBS Online. (2011). Tailhook ’91. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/navy/tailhook/91.html.

New books

I do not normally purchase print books. I’m so addicted to my iPhone and PC Kindle app, especially with the carpel tunnel. But this is a post-surgery Mikyla and by gosh, I wanted to actually feel the books in my hands! (You know, kind of like the ebook reader commercial with the feeling of turning down a page!)

(I don’t know what happened. I’m editing this as I hit the enter button and it actually posted the damned post with only the above paragraph. WTF…)

Anyway…I love my local library, but am not currently using them as I owe them some money – I forgot to return 2 books (thought I had, but found them when I moved) plus the demon puppy Goblin chewed another up). So…Several years ago, I checked out this mystery book. I do not usually read them, but I was scoping out the Large Print section (yeah, I get severe headaches from the small print at times) and wandered over to the Mystery section. I’ve actually found a few good ones; they’re funny and irreverent. I’ll post some links at the end of this for you. I  definitely recommend them…

(Back to the point)…On one of my visits to the mystery section, I found this book – situated in post WWI London, it was a broke heiress to the throne (34th in line, thankyouverymuch).  I just loved it. In a time when women weren’t supposed to be independent, she was both independent and sassy. Alas, I read it, loved it, and returned it. And promptly forgot both the name and the author (and my library does not “track what we check out – at least not for me or you, but if the Government wants to know what you checked out at the age of 12, there is a record of it)…

So, I was at Barnes & Noble tonight. And I passed the New Releases section of the Mystery aisle. And the name Rhys Bowen just SCREAMED at me. And I just knew this was that author. So I went over to the not new releases area and found the series – picked up the next two books in the series. Cannot WAIT to read them! I’ll let you know how they go…

http://www.rhysbowen.com/spyness.html
http://www.ellenbyerrum.com/
And finally, even though I normally scoff at those animal filled books (The Cat who… or whatevs), this was truly a fun read…
http://www.laurienberenson.com/

Writing…

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I have been writing again. I do not have a lot so far, but it’s a start. I shared it with my husband and he likes it, but he also only skimmed it at first. Which makes me wonder – is this how everyone reads? When I am first reading something, I do not skim any part of it. Now, when I am reading it a fourth and fifth and eighteenth time, it’s a different story.

On another note, one of our community members was affected by the Joplin, MO tornado yesterday. Please, keep everyone affected by this in your thoughts. They need our positive energies right now…

Yep…

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So, my back still hurts. It’s day three. One of the magazines laying around in the ER had an article on back pain. This article said that a typical time frame for back pain is a couple weeks. I cannot deal with this for two flipping weeks. So… What to do? Guess I’ll call my regular doctor tomorrow. And a chiropractor. I love those guys :).

Anyway. All of this pain and time off has given me space to think. The first thing that pops in my head is the old saying, misery loves company. And lord knows, I’ve been miserable for a long time. Does this mean I have purposefully lashed out at others? Have I subconsciously been throwing misery at my dear friends? I certainly hope not.

But it has definitely been a wake up call. Things need to change. Starting with myself. Crap. Now I sound like a Michael Jackson song. Shoot. Well, you get my point.

Going forward, words will be measured before being uttered. Actions will be weighed before put in motion. Not just my words and actions, either; but rather the words and actions of all with whom I interact.

And with that, I love you. And good night.

Ugh…My Back

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So, I hurt my back. Well, no – I didn’t “hurt” it. I have a spinal injury that hasn’t bothered me in a really long time beyond the occasional 24 – 48 hour flare up. This flare up is so bad, I actually had to go to the Emergency Room. Blech. Not an experience I want to repeat, thankyouverymuch. So, I’m trying to move around as much as possible without aggravating it more. I’m taking the damned pills as necessary…I slept with a heating pad last night. I really do not know what more I can do.

On another note, I’ve been lax in my blogging lately. No one reads this anyway though, right? Hopefully, one day someone will.

A Vampi(y)re Judicial Council has been created within the community. The charter is long. And information being given appears to be rather contradictory. Plus, there are some serious bully tactics being used by certain members. And attitudes galore. So far, I am not seeing anyone I would recommend as a “mediator”. Not yet. The people are too hotheaded; they attack without seeing where the other side is coming from. Unfortunately, as the editor of a community newsletter, it is my responsibility to write about it for the next issue. The first thing I am doing is rewriting it in layman’s terms. The council is not my cup of tea and I honestly doubt I’ll ever support it but I’ll be damned if I am going to let that get in my way of reporting on it fairly. A few people I know are on my side of the fence, several are on the council’s side, yet several more reside solely on the fence. Before they can make a fully informed decision, they really need to get a better understanding.

I’ve also recently joined three classes being offered via Facebook groups. I have joined a group on Angels, one on Demons, and one on Satanism. As a Satanist, I feel that these classes will help me grow – both personally and spiritually. I’ll keep you updated!