Dragonflies Are Free

Giant telepathic dragonflies. Imagine that. That’s what Saardu has, for starters. The above photos were taken by my dear friend Patty Sovic who lives near wetlands in Humboldt County, California. She knows I love dragonflies, watching them hover and skim, and how hard it is to get a decent photograph of them. Patty sends her victories to me every chance she gets and I have collected a spectacular array of her dragonfly photos. Now they’re volume 4 of my Gramma Carmels ABC Picture Books.

d-is-for-dragonflies-carma-chan-2019-smallToday is a free day for D is for Dragonflies. (Free dates for this ebook: 12/9, 12/19, 1/3, 2/5, 2/20.)

Vocabulary and concepts in this book:

Anisoptera, Buzzing, Compound, Dragonflies, Eye, Flying, Glide, Hover, Iridescent, Joint, Kingdom, Libellula, Marsh, Nymph, Order, Predator, Quick, Resting, Skimmer, Tadpoles, Underwater, Vision, Wingspan, eXoskeleton, Yaw, Zygoptera.

It is also available in print. (Sorry, there can be no free days for paperbacks.)

As previously mentioned, one does not need a Kindle to read a Kindle book, there is free software provided by Amazon to read them on any device or computer. If you do download it for free, please post a review, it’s very helpful to authors.

Proof Cover copy - D is for Dragonflies v12.7.19 11PM

 

Give the Gift of Literacy

A is for Art cover promo copy b-is-for-balloonist-carma-chan-2019-small c-is-for-camping-carma-chan-2019-small d-is-for-dragonflies-carma-chan-2019-small

Yesterday while mailing books to special people in my life who enjoy reading to children, a woman who worked at the post office bragged about the many books she and her daughter read together and that she was reading on her own by the age of 3! Her daughter recently graduated from medical school. She mentioned that she did not allow her young children to watch television. Instead, she brought home hundreds of books from the library and gave them books as gifts.

Today (December 8th) is a promotional free copy day at Amazon for “C is for Camping“, a Gramma Carmels ABC Picture Book.  Each of the above titles has 5 promotional free days at Amazon every 3 months. Sometimes those announcements are shared here and on Twitter, follow GrammaCarmelsABC @AbcCarmels.

Give the gift of literacy. It is one of the most important things you can do to improve a child’s quality of life! Reading is fundamental.

The free books are Kindle edition (regular price $2.99). You don’t need a Kindle device to read them – Kindle books can be read on any device or computer using free software from Amazon. This series is also available in print. Since these are full-color, high quality, glossy 8.5×8.5″ books, the minimum cost setting is over $9, and I make very little royalty on the set price of $9.75. They are printed in the U.S. and most of the price goes to the printer. They are beautiful!

I am not against television. In fact, I watched PBS educational shows with my toddler daily. Mister Rogers was my favorite, but also Sesame Street (now on HBO), The Magic School Bus, Reading Rainbow, Clifford – The Big Red Dog, and Arthur were our favorites. My son was only allowed to watch commercial-free TV until the age of 6, then he was allowed to watch 1 show on commercial TV, and he chose Spider-man (cartoon series), and I watched it with him and we talked about good and bad. I actually like Peter Parker, he’s a great kid and there is plenty good in him. The villains were not too complex, it was obvious why they were bad. They are really mean to people and they don’t care about anything but power and money. Good lessons there. Be choosy about what you allow  children to consume. It does influence their minds and moral and social development. Whatever you allow them to watch – watch it with them and discuss it, that builds their confidence about what they understand and lays a foundation of them coming to you for advice later on.

grammacarmelsabcbooks

My mother, Ruth Chan, is the face of the Gramma Carmels ABC book series. (At 85, she looks more grandmotherly than I do at 61.)

For a list of all titles published by me, click on the author name, Carma Chan.

A is for Art

Today is another free promo day, when people who enjoy reading to children can download a digital version of A is for Art (Gramma Carmels ABC Picture Book)

A is for Art cover promo copy

Reading to children is one of the most important things anyone can do to improve their development. This book is designed to give readers something wonderful to share to promote language development and appreciation for artistic expression. The Gramma Carmels ABC Picture Books teach the English alphabet and expand vocabulary. “A is for Art” includes 26 color images and vocabulary aimed on inspiring creativity and artistic expression. Each letter of the alphabet features an original work of art or fun photo, contributed by the author or her friend, the artist Alexandre Nodopaka.

Vocabulary taught in this book: Art, Balance, Ceramics, Doodles, Energy, Floral, Golden, Hairy, Indigo, Junk, Kiln, Light, Masterpiece, Neutral, Oomph, Perspective, Quilt, Rustic, Symmetry, Texture, Unusual, Vibrant, Watercolor, eXaggerate, Yellow, Zest.

Special thanks to my friend Alex Nodopaka for permission to feature is artwork in my literary pursuits. Cover art: Shattered Masterpiece by Alex Nodopaka. 

42 Shades of Blush

42 cover 300dpi final print version 11-14-19 12PMMy gorgeous new book is available now!

42 Shades of Blush:
The Passionate Artistry of Alexandre Nodopaka

This would make an excellent gift to teachers, artists, your local library, museum, hospital, senior care center, doctor’s office, and really for anyone who enjoys browsing through a book full of stunning pictures.

Checkout the samples below.

This is a beautiful 8.5×8.5-inch, high quality color paperback, 383 pages containing over 250 original works of art, and featuring exclusive, authentic comments and personal stories from artist Alexandre Nodopaka, whose family found refuge in Morocco after Kyiv was invaded by Nazis at the end of World War II. He is a fascinating personality and an artistic genius.  His artwork and poems have been published in well over 150 magazines. He has sold hundreds of photographs and received numerous prizes and accolades. This collection commemorates his 80th birthday!

Order yours now at Amazon. Also available for digital readers – you don’t need to buy a Kindle to read a Kindle Edition! Download free software at Amazon to view Kindle books on any laptop, tablet, phone, or desktop computer system.

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Everlong

Another project in my works-in-progress folder is an ongoing story written for my sweetheart, about how we met and fell in love, and our many adventures since.

Here’s an excerpt:

I will also never forget an afternoon in August
when we sat in his car in the parking lot
of NORM’s Restaurant at 470 N La Cienega,
just north of Trashy Lingerie, which we had
stopped at, and I had tried on
some fun stuff, including a long black
lacy dress, like Morticia Adams,
that neither of us could afford!

What I remember best about that afternoon, though,
was that we stumbled onto Our Song,
quite innocently, holding hands in his car,
in the sunshine, with the radio on…
he had just parked and was about to turn off the engine
when the station began to play the acoustic version
of Everlong by Foo Fighters,
and it felt like his heart jumped as he said,
turning up the volume, “Oh, I love this song!”
So we sat quietly together and listened to the whole thing.

2009 Balboa Fun Zone

Movies, Movies, Movies!

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“Us” (2019) image courtesy of IMDb

Give me more movies!

We all love movies! We know that because billions of dollars are spent every year at movie theaters. We can’t get enough of them! We want more, better, faster movies!

What’s on your list? Here are my lists and ratings at IMDb.

I subscribe to Movie Club, where I get discounts on tickets to enjoy movies in an air-conditioned theater with recliners that can be easily reserved online.  I also subscribe to HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and CBS All Access. Why? Because I love movies and television series, and I hate ads. I will pay a reasonable amount to support these arts and to enjoy them commercial-free.

My current watchlist in alphabetical order:

  • Barry (HBO)
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS*)
  • Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Billions (Showtime)
  • Chernobyl (HBO)
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Enemy Within** (NBC)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Gentlemen Jack (HBO)
  • Glow (Netflix)
  • Good Girls** (NBC)
  • The Good Place** (NBC)
  • Grey’s Anatomy** (ABC)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
  • Homeland (Showtime)
  • I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime)
  • The Orville** (FOX)
  • Ozark (Netflix)
  • The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
  • Silicon Valley (HBO)
  • So You Think You Can Dance** (FOX)
  • Star Trek Discovery (CBS*)
  • This Is Us** (NBC)
  • The Twilight Zone (CBS*)
  • Veep (HBO)
  • Westworld (HBO)
  • Young Sheldon (CBS*)

*commercial-free on CBS All Access channel
**commercial-free Hulu option
Bold titles mean it is so good it hurts waiting for the next episode.

There are a ton of series that have concluded that are “binge worthy“.

Most recently, I absolutely loved Us (Jordan Peele’s horror movie – though I’m not a fan of horror, this, like The Shining, is sheer pleasure to watch and I look forward to seeing it again). Here’s the trailer.

I am looking forward to seeing LittleApart from that, there is nothing in the “Coming Soon” list that interests me much. I might go to a theater to see Booksmart or Ma

What’s on your watchlist?

 

 

Average American & Don McGahn

 

I am an average American.

Like millions of ordinary, good citizens, I have voted in some, not all, elections.

I have been complacent and indifferent about many things.

I have worked hard for many years and filed my tax returns every year and I have been honest.

I have been laid off.  I have quit jobs.  I have never been fired.

I have never been arrested.

I have never hit anyone.  I have not thrown objects at anyone.  I have not keyed anyone’s car.

I have gone to church, but most years I did not.

I have donated small amounts of money to charities and occasionally to support someone who is campaigning for public office.

Like millions of Americans, I voted for Hillary Clinton because I trusted her more than Donald Trump.  I still trust her more than him.

I trust Robert Mueller more than anyone else on the planet (except my husband, I trust him above all), and I want the Congress and Senate to have the full report.  I want Attorney General Barr to release it to them.  I want Mueller to testify.

I am an average American.  I want my voice to be counted.  I vote.  I pay taxes.  I worry about my kids’ future.

I want Don McGahn to testify.

Above all this Saturday morning, there are two words I want to say to Mr. McGahn:

THANK YOU

If you don’t know why he deserves a big, public “thank you” from average Americans, you have not read the Mueller report.  Unlike most people, I did.  I read the whole redacted public version.  Read my reaction here.

I encourage you to write to public servants who are doing their job.  Tell them thank you.  Praise them for their ethical conduct.  Show them some love, publicly.  Use social media to fortify them.  Be part of the grassroots movement that shows we care about the rule of law, we will not tolerate corruption, and we want the people who take an oath to serve and protect the American people and the U.S. Constitution to act like public servants, not oligarchs, demagogues, and dictators.

This is America.  We reject tyranny.

Reading Mueller

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I am one of the millions of U.S. citizens and voters reading word for word the Mueller report. Even with redactions, it is interesting, easy to follow, and the redactions are, for the most part, a shrug–eventually I will know what is behind the black bars, for now, the report provides an adequate chronology of what the investigation uncovered.

There is no doubt in my mind that Putin directed cyber attacks and propaganda designed to influence American voters to either abstain from voting or to vote for Trump or someone other than Clinton, and that Russians succeeded in influencing the 2016 election. Someone wrote to a Russian on that fateful night that Clinton conceded the victory to Trump, “Putin has won.” That was the chilling moment for me in reading the Mueller report. Those words, written to a Russian operative, “Putin has won.

* * *

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There are many points of interest in the Mueller report. On page 162 of the searchable PDF file that CNN made available to the public via its website, we learn that when a member of the Trump team met with a Russian in the Seychelles on January 11, 2017, nearly two weeks after new sanctions were imposed by Obama and nine days before the Trump inauguration, the “topic of Russian interference in the 2016 election did not come up.” I find that odd. And implausible. The truth is, we have no way of knowing what Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev discussed. We have only the word of someone who was willing to secretly take an inappropriate meeting with a foreign policy influencer.

Why must the meeting be done in secrecy?

Why was the meeting worth the risk?

Why was it inappropriate?

My understanding of the latter, what about the meeting was inappropriate, is that you have an unsanctioned meeting by a member of a transition team before inauguration, before Senate confirmation, and without any vetting by the intelligence community.

My perspective of the Trump team overall, throughout my reading of Volume I of the Special Counsel’s Report, is that they were incompetent, arrogant, and just plain stupid.

What is blatantly obvious is this: After decades of opposition research, there is no evidence incriminating Hillary Clinton. Most assuredly, if Russian intelligence activities had a single document that made her look bad, it would have been given to Donald Trump, Jr., at the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting. Instead, Russia had nothing whatsoever to offer. China had nothing to offer. Iran had nothing to offer. The UAE had nothing to offer. There was no dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The only thing Russia could do was to hack our election process and try to influence voters. It is interesting that the propaganda machine worked to favor both Trump and Sanders–the latter, presumably, because it divided Democratic voters.

* * *

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In his Introduction to Volume II, Special Counsel describes “the considerations that guided our obstruction-of-justice investigation” as well as the reasons for declining to prosecute the President. Basically, as has been widely reported, Mr. Mueller accepted the OLC’s opinion that a sitting President cannot be prosecuted while in office [by a DOJ attorney due to separation of powers]. In other words, the duty of holding a President accountable for crimes sits with other constitutional authorities because the DOJ is controlled by the Executive Branch. Simply put, Mueller did not indict Trump because that would be over-reaching his authority and infringing on the authority and responsibility of Congress to check a president’s abuse of power.

Trump can be and will be held accountable for his many attempts to obstruct the investigation into himself and his family members. This is good news, not because it is Trump, but because it is precedent. We The People do not want any president to get away with witness intimidation, dangling of pardons, or firing of DOJ officials as part of a cover-up.

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This is another key point that stopped me in my tracks as I read the Mueller Report: “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”

I read that sentence several times. They did not so state. What this means to me is that people who care very deeply about law and order, about our constitution and democracy, were unable to exonerate the President.

President Trump claimed to have been exonerated. Even on the suspicion of collusion with Russians to influence the election in Trump’s favor, he was not exonerated. Instead, a careful reading of the facts indicates that Campaign officials successfully concealed communications via encrypted apps and deleted messages. There was evidence that communication had occurred, but the content of that communication cannot be known because it was either deleted or encrypted. There were also many instances of pleading the Fifth Amendment (refusal to answer a question on the basis of self-incrimination) and “do not recall” responses to questions. Therefore, it cannot be said that no collusion occurred. Indeed, because of these facts, it is likely that crimes did occur–otherwise, what was the purpose of concealing the conversation or refusing to answer on the basis of self-incrimination?

What is also evident is that Donald Trump and all of his Campaign officials were well aware of the disdainful nature of cozying up to Putin, which is why they repeatedly concealed their coziness. Why didn’t they come right out and admit their position with regards to Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, and NATO? Why did they fire Campaign officials whenever news broke of their active connections to Russian interests? Why did Trump himself deny that he had any business or interest in Russia, while he was actively pursuing a Trump Moscow project that would add millions of dollars to his portfolio? Wasn’t that colluding with Russians? I mean, he himself was actively directing his people to develop a deal while he publicly stated he had nothing to do with Russia–Russians knew he was lying to the American voters and there was a tacit agreement to keep the Trump Moscow pursuit a secret, even after the Republican convention when he was the official nominee! Is that not a conspiracy to defraud the people of the United States?

If it was a perfectly reasonable, ethical, moral, and legal thing to do, why not be transparent about it? Imagine that Donald Trump was forthright in his business interests and stated publicly that he was interested in developing a real estate deal in Moscow that he would follow through on if he did not win the election, and that he would abandon if he won the election. Imagine that. Imagine that he was forthright with the American voters about his views that his campaign was one long “infomercial” for the Trump brand. Imagine a business candidate that transparent. “Yes, I am interested in doing business globally and I am pursuing possibilities while I campaign…if I win, I will abandon all such activities and these are my beliefs and the positions I will take in my foreign policies…” Why does it seem necessary to conceal? We all knew he was getting free publicity by running for office. We all knew he was networking and taking advantage of the system, and that he didn’t expect to win. Why did he think it was necessary to hide the fact that he was pursuing a business deal with Russia?

Perhaps it is because there is an obvious conflict of interest.

So in essence, he himself was colluding with Russians. He himself was actively pursuing the Trump Moscow real estate deal and hiding that conflict of interest, and the Russians knew he was hiding that fact. He was compromised. This made him all the more their favorite candidate. This explains his need to meet in secret with Putin. He is compromised. He is unfit. He is incapable of putting the American people first.

 

Soul2Soul

I am weary of objectifying men. And
want(ing) .
want not-
(thing) .
more than your utmost
yang .

0324190646©carma

 

Tao warrior
Tao warrior by Alex Nodopaka

View more by this artist:
Alternate Cubism featured at Hinchas de Poesia
Flickr Album
Dream Noir Art
Angry Old Man Magazine
Absolute Arts Portfolio

 

Freebies

jaggen3As we approach Spring, there is new energy (at least in me), or maybe it is because I am facing the surgeon’s knife and general anesthesia, and that is always a risk. It compels me to dust off the shelf and leave my published work in the best possible light.

Professor Walter told us we would get better, the more we write, and I am finally satisfied with the synopses I wrote this past week for my Saardu babies.

There will be promotional days – freebies!  Oh, I know this only matters to people who actually like to read.  Hopefully you’re one of them, and maybe you’ll enjoy one or two of these.

Here are the freebies:

The Ills of Saardu (25th Anniversary Special Ebook Edition)
Coupon code NF44X expires April 1
URL: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14614

Other titles free during a sitewide reading promotion week March 3 – 9:

Note: The above links are all Smashwords, which publishes and distributes to Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo and a host of other digital book platforms, you can pick your file formats there.

Amazon KDP Select titles that have upcoming free days:

The Saardu Series

  1. Saardu: The Adventure Begins – March 10-14
  2. New Game New Rules – March 17-21
  3. Deja Vu – March 24-28
  4. The Mars Agenda* – April 1-5
    *Trigger warning: if you hate pedophiles as much as I hate pedophiles, this might bring up some $#*!
  5. Zenyan Honeymoon – May 1-5

Was that too generous of me to give away millions of pennies in royalties to the millions of readers who follow my blog?

photo

Watch and listen and understand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaOSbBcPlfY

 

 

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