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The Toadstool Bookshop in Keene Welcomes Joseph Carrabis Reading and Signing The Augmented Man

Come find out what The Augmented Man is really about

That’s right, you bet’cha, I’ll be at Keene’s Toadstool Bookstore on Saturday, 14 Sept 2019, 2-4pmET, reading and signing copies of The Augmented Man

 
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.

The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.

But where to find such individuals?

Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.

Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.

One survives.

And comes home.

The Story Behind the Story
People’s reactions to The Augmented Man fascinate me. Yes, the book reads like a military sci-fi thriller, and intentionally so. However, the real story is in the metaphor of the abused child.

Children from abusive families tend to think of themselves as monsters unworthy of love, hence the suffering they go through – often without even being aware that what’s happening to them isn’t normal, a “fish don’t know they live in water” kind of thing.

This monster self-concept is often reinforced by society which, not being able to recognize the child’s trauma, blames the child for its behaviors and problems.

So for me, the real meat of the story occurs when Trailer (the main character) uses everything he’s been taught (to be a monster) to heal himself from trauma, and then further when he realizes how much monsterhood he must retain in order to survive in a normal world.

About me
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.

Featured

A Win-Win #GiveAway for @DannyKean

(with thanks to @foxspiritbooks who gave me permission to use the idea)

Adjective: win-win
1. Describing a situation or outcome that benefits two parties, or that has two possible outcomes that are both good

 
I’m offering a win-win #GiveAway and the rules are simple:

  1. Go through my list of #twitter #followers
  2. Find an #author whose books you’ll like
  3. Write a review (Amazon, Goodreads, Blog posts, Facebook, …, wherever)
  4. Tweet me a link to the review
  5. You’ll get an tshirt of your choice (examples)
    AND
    We’ll donate $10 in your name to the @DannyKean – The Traveling Piano man
    AND
    You’ll get a shoutout in my blog and through my social networks.

First ten to tweet me their reviews win.

Starts noonET Tuesday, 6 Aug 2019 Ends noonET Tuesday, 3 Sept 2019

And feel free to donate to @DannyKean on your own. He won’t mind.

The Backstory

 
@DannyKean, aka The Traveling Piano Man, recently followed me on Twitter.

My habit is to reach out to people who Like, Retweet, and/or Follow me. I tweet something about them, usually copying their Twitter profile text, retweeting something from their stream, finding something interesting on their site and sharing it.

@DannyKean‘s story?

Piano Man on Truck Synchronistically Creating Music for People to Discover Worldwide for Fun Friendship and Respect. Contribute: http://paypal.me/dannykean

The guy’s got 26k followers. Sure, why not. I’ll count myself among the musical many. Maybe he’ll buy a box of biscuits for his dog.

 
Now here’s what you got to know; I figured I’d be adding a drop in the bucket. I mean, 26k followers? I’m thinking @DannyKean‘s got a home in Vail, an Upper West Side apartment in NYC, a place on The Keys, …

@DannyKean sent me an email:

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for you $10.00 contribution towards my work. Together we can keep it going. You may find this difficult to believe… In all my years on Twitter and with 25,000 followers… You are the first ever to make a contribution! That must change quick, lol. Thanks again…
Danny Kean

I read that and went WTF!?!?!?

So I emailed for clarification. @DannyKean responded:

I’ll appreciate anything you can do to help Joseph. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you help me, lol! Fact is, I am one month away from being homeless so I must start actively fundraising again which I am so burnt out of but… whatever. What is needed is sustained monthly contribution more than anything else through a subscription on my website so there is no need to constantly hit people up. Right now my total income is $136 and that is all from subscriptions, just a few people actually.
Thanks!
Danny Kean

Just to make sure, here’s @DannyKean‘s website – http://www.travelingpiano.com/.

You want to make the world a better place? How about doing it $1/month at a time?

There have been times in my life when $5 might as well have been $5MM.

So now I do what I can when I can. People on Twitter may know I often respond “My Pleasure. We’re here for each other.” when I do something for them. Something simple. Like sharing their info because they Like, Retweet, and/or Follow me.

How about you?

DeHavilland

Lessons in Parenting from The Wild

Velda‘s mate, Dehavilland, has been out and about lately.

They were out together, yipping quietly to let each other know where they were, also to let their kits – we haven’t seen them yet – know where their parents are and even though not in their presence, still to listen and obey.

Ah, The Wild…

Things are so different in The Wild.

Rarely…check that. I’ve never seen human parents as genuinely concerned for their children’s development as parents of The Wild.

To say it’s a completely different mindset is to say water isn’t fire. Well, duh!

Parental care in The Wild doesn’t care about property rites, transmission of wealth, so on and so forth. No human concerns here. All there is is “I’ll do the best I can preparing you for your life without me, because my time is few and you will live after I’m gone. I will prepare you so you can share this message with your children. If I’ve parented well and you’ve learned well, you’ll have children and share this message with them.”

Lifting an Ale at Joshua Robertson’s Book Tavern

Joshua Robertson discovers I had a life. Like you didn’t, right?

In the better late than never department – and my apologies for this – Joshua Robertson interviewed me in his Book Tavern a while back.

I could give you excuses why I’m just posting this now.

Except I recently encountered the following quote:

Excuses are lies wrapped up in reasons.
– Howard Wright

 
So, recognizing that it’s easier to do what’s right rather than increase my mistakes, I’m posting about it now.

Part of the fun of Joshua Robertson’s (and have you checked out his bookcovers? Some serious artwork there) interview was his holding my feet to the fire regarding my past life.

No, not the one when I was leading the Babylonian Ziggurats to the Fertile Crescent Soccer Championship of 2,100BC, the other one, when I was the Chief Scientist, et cetera, for several companies and created a technology complete with several patents.

So I had a life.

Before I became a full-time author.

Who knew?

Enjoy the interview.

And buy my books. Even the technical ones written when I was a Chief this-and-that.

Empty Sky Chapter 12 – Shem

A dog and his boy

Read Empty Sky Chapter 11 – Dr. Lupicen and Ann

Creator and above level members can download a PDF of this file to read offline


Two men, one shaved bald, tall, thin and quick like a whip and the other a fireplug on legs with a jet black ponytail halfway down his broad back, both in tailored, navy-blue pinstripe suits and wearing hand-made, alligator-skin shoes so polished they reflected the lights marking the aisle, made their way from the locomotive through the tender to the back of the train. The whip would walk a few long, waspish steps, wait, then spin the gold and diamond pinky ring on his right hand until the fireplug caught up. When the fireplug reached him the whip would walk a few more long, waspish steps, wait and spin his ring again.

The fireplug strolled, his hands clasped in front of his chest as if in prayer, his eyes skimming over his knuckles as they evaluated, the bands of the two turquoise rings he wore — one on each ring finger — clicking sometimes as he walked. He passed no one without reaching out to their carotid and checking for a pulse; conductors, stewards, clerks, passengers. It didn’t matter.

The fireplug’s slow methodicity and attention to detail frustrated the whip who released his frustration by aiming a small but powerful ruby laser into the lens of the security cameras while he waited for his partner to catch up.

“Christ, look at this place. What did Pangiosi use again?”

“Ambien. That’s what he had us dump in the food service trucks. It makes you sleep and wake up without feeling groggy. ‘Far as everyone on the train is concerned, they’ll all think they probably had too much to drink.”

“Do you have to test every mother’s son?” The whip broke protocol and used names in an attempt to make the fireplug move faster. “We’re supposed to get McPherson to Pangiosi before morning, you know.”

The fireplug stopped and stared at the whip who turned away before the fireplug answered. “We have plenty of time. Besides, we find one dead person, we got trouble.”

“Didn’t you tell me once something about your grandfather teaching you to help people die?”

The fireplug nodded as he worked. “Not exactly. He taught me to sing them from this world to the next, to carry the souls of the dead so they’d find peace.”

“Happy hunting ground stuff?”

“Something like that.”

“You believe in that stuff?”

“I don’t believe in much of anything anymore.”

“Yeah. Ditto that.”

The fireplug continued his slow inspection. The whip tapped his foot at the rear door to the car.

The fireplug stopped and looked up. “I wonder if these people dream.”

The whip broke protocol a second time. “John, who gives a shit. Pangiosi gave us an order. We carry it out.”

John stopped. His arms folded over an expansive chest.

The whip looked out a window and spun his gold and diamond pinky ring. “Sorry.”

John’s prayerful hands went back to work.

Shem twitched himself awake. His head rose up and he sniffed the air. A scent, something from deep dog memory, canine memory, canid memory, canis memory. He leapt off the bunk and growled. A door opened in the bedroom suite, a door only dogs, only canines, only the line that first walked before man then behind then beside could see, sworn under the first full moon to watch for such doors because humans, the canids knew, would grow to forget.

The door closed. Whatever had been there had been warned away by flashing eyes, by baring teeth.

He jumped back on the bunk. As he circled to lay down he remembered the Little Master had gone. He looked across the suite to the other cot. The Great Master snored lazily like an old Alpha in the tall grass on a hot summer day.

Shem scratched his ear with a hind paw then sniffed his genitals. He rested his head over his paws, flopped to his side and stretched on the mattress. The entire bed was his!

Glorious His!

A few minutes later he, like the Great Master, snored like an Alpha in the tall grass.

***
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Velda the Fox

Patience in all things. Especially when things are hesitant.

We have friends.

They are gracious and loving, never overstaying their welcome.

Some are unsure of their welcome, though.

We do what we can to let them know our joy at their presence, our happiness at their arrival.

But their history with others…flavors their relationship with us.

We don’t blame them. If enough Italians hurt you, you become wary of Italians. If enough Londoners hurt you, you become wary of Londoners. Doesn’t really matter if it’s Chinese, Germans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Aboriginals, doctors, lawyers, teachers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, …

So The Foxen are wary of us.

We give them time.

A chance to learn our voices, our scents, our ways.

We endeavor to be to them as we wish them to be to us; giving, sharing, caring, loving.

Slowly, they learn that we, at least, are not like others who look like us.

Wish all things could be that way.