Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 6:

Coping with Uncertainty.

What we believe is a choice, BUT we are not taught this.

When we are old enough to grasp the idea, we are told we have free will which allows us to make our own choices, BUT by that point we have already spent years being indoctrinated into the beliefs of our parents, the culture of our forefathers, and the society in which we live. All too often, the beliefs imparted to us by these three influences are not in agreement. This creates uncertainty in an individual who is trying to establish an identity of their own, BUT their emerging identity is not their own. It was supplied to them by those who disseminate INFORMATION from a position of authority who we are told we should respect. Parents, religious leaders, educators, doctors, the Internet, the media, and government leaders all influence the thoughts of young minds that are trying to establish for themselves what is true, BUT truth is a fallacy and nobody tells us this. There are things currently thought to be true which are passed along to us, BUT there are few real truths which we are privy to.

A truth is a belief supported by evidence and what is thought to be known, a.k.a. facts.

The problem is, all beliefs require a leap of logic which is often referred to as faith.

If we were to teach this simple idea globally, we would end the dark age which has been with our current incarnation of humanity for the last five thousand years. The age of enlightenment, that so many of us crave, begins with a fundamental shift in what we are willing to accept as being true from all the other flawed humans who disseminate information to us.

If we are cautious as to what we allow ourselves to believe, then we can resist indoctrination, and the thought control it represents.

To reach an age of enlightenment we must develop a heightened awareness which means we must see things as they are, and not as we would like them to be. Our propensity for denial, and our dismissive nature that was taught to us, must be replaced with open-mindedness and deep rational thought.

We must question everything we are told to believe that came from a source outside of our own experience.

Our parents were flawed, BUT we usually did not begin to see this until many years passed where we clung to every word they spoke. The INFORMATION they supplied us with helped to form our earliest beliefs. Most of us begin to see that our parents make mistakes, get their facts wrong at times, and are hypocritical at least occasionally. This creates a modicum of skepticism in our young minds the next time they lecture us about something they believe to be important. Our uncertainty began at home.

Religions are flawed because almost all of them have abandoned or corrupted—through interpretation and rationalizations—the good messages of their prophet(s). Most of the top twelve most popular religions have leaders who are a part of a system which is designed to profit from our fear of the unknown. They never give back as much as they receive, and some are wealthy beyond imagination. Many actively promote division from those who do not believe exactly as they do and sexism; while the worst endorse racism and violence or advocate ownership of weapons of violence. They supply us with INFORMATION which we are told to accept without question to prove we are faithful. Many of our beliefs came from a childhood which included religious indoctrination, BUT when we begin to see hypocrisy and inequality within our house of worship, it creates uncertainty that can lead to a crisis of faith in us. If this has happened to you, all you need to do is get back to basics. We are all completely capable of understanding messages of peace and love spoken by the prophets of every religion. We do not need a religious leader to explain peace and love to us. We do not have to be sheep led by a shepherd in order to be believers.

Our education systems are flawed and getting worse. We know this is due to budgetary cutbacks, which are seemingly always on the rise, BUT there are also teachers who believe they have the right to impart their flawed personal beliefs to their students. Many of our beliefs are created by our early years spent in school before the age where we could see a teacher as just another flawed human. Textbooks are out of date and academia is slow to advance new findings, however unimpeachable, which challenge long held beliefs. Students are required to absorb and regurgitate this questionable INFORMATION, learning only to accept or reject facts based on an authoritative source without ever thinking about alternative possibilities or delving deeper into the topic. Uncertainty is created when students find out what they were taught is no longer true. Indoctrination is alive and well in higher education too, where new INFORMATION must be approved for publication by peers who are afraid of upsetting those who fund research. Knowledge is completely controlled by those who supply funding. It appears the so-called elites wish to create and maintain a knowledge gap between what they know and what we are allowed to know. This would explain the budgetary cutbacks in public education. A stupid populace is more easily led. Do not cling too tightly to facts you were given in school. My 1960’s era Encyclopedia Britannica is only good for its old book smell, its ability to flatten a curled piece of paper, and a good laugh when researching anything scientific.

People with credentials are flawed. If doctors were perfect, there would be no need for malpractice insurance. Fact: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts. So unless your doctor graduated at the top of his or her class and possesses an eidetic memory, they are flawed; despite the air of arrogance their indoctrination taught them to exhibit. For the sake of your health and that of your family, you need to be uncertain of the INFORMATION you receive. Whether you are dealing with a M.D. or a PHD working with genetically modified organisms, vaccines or cancer treatments, you cannot completely believe what they have to say until you verify who signs their paychecks.

The Internet is a good thing—the last bastion of truth—it cannot be flawed . . . right? If this were so, why did the military industrial complex a.k.a  DARPA give us a billion dollar system free of charge? Fact: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Digital communications are a way for you to be known and compartmentalized by all manner of databases that are available to a host of security agencies. These agencies want to know everything about everyone; especially problem children like me who would undermine their authority if we only knew how. The primary purpose of the Internet, aside from creating yet another distraction to tie up the populace, is to create doubt through disinformation practices. By spreading uncertainty, the public puppets controlled by the-powers-that-be create anxiety and fear in the majority of the indoctrinated sheep living within any country. If one thousand scientists say global warming is real, the puppeteers, who wish to maintain the status quo, can put up their own bought-and-paid-for findings to create doubt. Where there is doubt, there will be endless debate without resolution in the on-line community, and the powers-that-be achieve their goal of maintaining the status quo. Did you know smart phones, computers, and smart TV’s are not necessarily off when you power down? It has been proven you can still be tracked, listened to or even watched when these devices are off. Cover cameras and disconnect your Internet cable when not in use. Just how much of your personal information is stored? Buy a new smart phone and magically all your old photos will arrive to your new phone. “The cloud” contains everything you ever communicated or shared on-line. The Internet is a means of controlling INFORMATION to keep sweeping change from happening.

It is the devil’s pipeline of lost souls . . . if you believe in such things.

The media creates uncertainty by supplying INFORMATION that is flawed. It is often poorly sourced, poorly researched, poorly fact checked, and fake news items are becoming more and more frequent. News stories which do not further the agenda of the-powers-that-be are no longer considered “newsworthy”. Omission of INFORMATION is their primary means of manipulation and control of the thoughts reaching a populace. They spread stories perpetuating fear, anxiety, and even hate twenty-four hours a day, because a frightened anxious populace is easier to manipulate into sanctioning retaliatory violence, preemptive violence or even a declaration of all out war. We no longer are shown the destruction our countries military forces are inflicting on less militarily capable countries, and we are never shown civilian targets that were destroyed based on military intelligence INFORMATION.

There is a great deal of uncertainty created by the leaders of most countries these days. Many of these world leaders are exceedingly flawed, and some overtly show off just how damaged they are.  Our democracies are not completely dead. We hold elections. We appear to have a choice of parties. The leaders change frequently. Politicians are, technically speaking, duly elected to lead a party, BUT they are approved and nominated by people within the party with influence a.k.a. special interest groups and the-powers-that-be. As divided as our primary liberal and conservative elements seem to be, they do have one thing in common. They are both equally backed by the-powers-that-be representatives working inside each party. The title of government leader is now a misnomer because the faces we associate with leadership are just marionettes.

The 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt made this statement about the secret government stating, “”Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.””

It appears the-powers-that-be existed before America ramped up for production of weapons in WWII creating the military industrial complex.

Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his 1961 speech: “”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”” “”We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.””

We should have taught this in schools, BUT the-powers-that-be did not want this. In 2017, we now take everything for granted and our citizenry is oblivious and being dumbed down.

Just two years later JFK would be assassinated. Some say he was killed because he wanted to create a more transparent government with oversight.

The Washington Post reported a black budget of “$52.6 billion was set aside for operations in fiscal year 2013. The CIA, NSA and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive more than 68 percent of the black budget. The National Geo-spatial Intelligence Program’s (NGP) budget has grown over 100 percent since 2004.”

A black budget covers expenses related to military research and covert operations, often without government oversight. The figures shown do not factor in corporate and private money invested in black projects beyond the intelligence agency arena and into space and technology. Some projections are as high as 1.3 trillion dollars—this represents +/- 30% of the entire US economy. The-powers-that-be take from the citizens of the US and other Western countries and then tell us to f@ck off when we want to know how OUR money is being spent. They cite matters of national security to make us go away.

Ethan Wolff-Mann wrote in time.com’s Money Section in an article titled: 7 Amazing Things America Could Have Bought Instead of a $1.45 Trillion Jet: “The F-35 project has been one of the most expensive military projects in history, and will cost upwards of $1.45 trillion by the time it’s over.”

It was this article that prompted this long winded journey. Canada had signed up to purchase this plane even though it does not have the speed or range to be an effective interceptor, nor does it feature the dual engines needed for reliable arctic patrol work. I questioned why Canada had even entertained it, aside from its F/A designation. We need a new multi-role fighter but the F35 is not it. My journey began by asking: Just who is capable of exerting enough pressure for us to make such a bad purchase? Fortunately, our current administration scrapped the F35 purchase, for the time being at least. There is absolutely nothing about this plane which justifies a number in the trillions. We must ask:

If all that money was not spent on this plane, then where did it go?

This is the aviation equivalent to a $1000.00 toilet seat.

In 2008, Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in U.S. history. “No more secrecy,” he said. “That is a commitment that I make to you.”

Jun 2, 2015 – The USA Freedom Act is modified and signed by President Barack Obama. It essentially continued the Patriot Act which empowered the the secret keepers a.k.a. the FIVE intelligence gatherers and their TWELVE “active” partners to do what they do without being bothered by the administration.

Prior to being elected on Oct 20, 2015, Justin Trudeau promises to repeal ‘problematic elements’ of surveillance Bill C-51.

June 2017, The “anti-terrorism” legislation which resulted in huge protests, petitions, and condemnation from academics, remains in place while discussions take place over the summer.

It appears that both North American leaders ran out of leash when it came to confronting the-powers-that-be about secrecy and intelligence gathering matters.

Who are their masters? I am still working that out for myself, BUT we can definitely begin with the heads of:

  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Independent agencies
    • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • United States Department of Defense
    • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
    • National Security Agency (NSA)
    • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
    • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
    • Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF)
    • Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
    • Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
    • Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  • United States Department of Energy
    • Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)
  • United States Department of Homeland Security
    • Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
    • Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)
  • United States Department of Justice
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    • Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI)
  • United States Department of State
    • Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
  • United States Department of the Treasury
    • Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

We can unequivocally state the masters are male.

They support and wish to maintain a patriarchy which has existed for at least 3000 years.

I find it both hilarious and disturbing that despite this massive effort to allegedly keep the populace safe, we are less safe than ever before. It leads one to believe they are not spending our tax dollars on security at all, and possibly, it is these agencies themselves that are creating security threats to justify their existence.

AND . . . what if these guys are just puppets too?

Is there a throne?

(Hint: I do like some of the dot connections made by some of the more intelligent conspiracy theorists, but I am still resistant to alien overlords as the answer. 😀 )

Coping in an uncertain world requires awareness.

I research things, often historical in nature, to piece together a portion of a very big puzzle. By asking big questions like: Who are we? Where do we come from? What is our history? The few truths you find allow you to view only a tiny piece of the immense puzzle. You can guess at what the complete puzzle shows, but that just makes you a conspiracy theorist. Instead, find what factual accounts you can from good sources, and let them lead you not to a rigid belief, but to a possibility which inspires others to pick up where you left off.

Good hunting.

 

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The Holiday Vibe

I knew I would be spending Christmas time away from family and friends this year but I was very determined to FEEL festive. I started playing Christmas music and posting nothing but holiday related things on Facebook. I rejected thoughts of posting about serious topics in favor of spreading some laughter and joy.

IT WORKED! I got the Christmas spirit or the holiday bug, whichever you prefer, and I did not have to buy or receive gifts in the traditional sense to achieve this state of hope, wellbeing, and willingness to smile at strangers.

I awoke this morning thinking about all the children who would be excited about Santa’s visit and how they would either wake their parents or creep quietly to the tree to see what was under it. I forced myself to dwell on the POSITIVE.

For those readers who do not know me, I am more aware than most about the plight of humans around the globe–especially children. I know there are many who did not have this experience this morning, but for today at least, I will not dwell on this as I do during the other fifty or so weeks of the year.

This is not an act of selfishness, but one of self-preservation. Your spirit, soul or chakra, whichever you prefer, can become tired and you need to take some time occasionally to recharge it. Some do this through religious practices while others explore their spiritual side through the development of a personal philosophy of life–whatever works. The key is to acknowledge that you have this part of you, and to listen carefully to it in this world full of craziness which is designed to test this part of you.

Early this morning, I went outside for some fresh air just as a woman was passing by walking her dog on the sidewalk out front . She looked at me and said, “Merry Christmas.” I smiled and returned those same words back to her. Both our days will be better because of this moment. This is the KEY which we need all people everywhere to get back in touch with.

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD but you have to be aware of them when they are happening, and acknowledge each and every one of them.

This chance meeting created a moment of clarity within me which I will share with everyone here.

This “Christian” holiday which has its roots in Pagan rituals, need not be yet another reason for division, because the FEELING of joy to the world and goodwill toward all humans is a global, if not universal constant. The FEELING transcends the labels we mere humans use in our feeble attempts to quantify, understand, and compartmentalize everything in and outside of this world. The FEELING of Christmas will fade only when we let the evildoers of the world engage us and affect us. This does not mean you can live inside a bubble of obliviousness and remain happy in there–quite the opposite in fact–you must go out into the real world to influence it with the VIBE you project.

The evildoers on the planet are a dedicated group who work really hard to spread NEGATIVITY in the form of lies, hate, deceit and propaganda to illicit a response that will give rise to fear. Only our worry and fears can lead us into violent conflicts–something they know all to well.

In 2017, those of us around the world who want peace, freedom, and security for all people, need to start anew to beat them at their own game. Smiling and wishing people well, no matter what the circumstance or how difficult it is, will undo them because of their lust for attention. Self-important egotists are shattered when they discover they no longer have an audience. Let’s turn off their media. Let’s disengage from their debates which are just another form of conflict which only serves them. Their use of these tools has conditioned us to believe we live in a state of perpetual conflict which is simply not true unless we allow it.

FEELING, carrying, and spreading peace and joy is a CHOICE which does not have to be reserved just for the holiday season, and it is the most powerful weapon ever created to wage a war against war.

To all who wish for Peace on Earth, just show goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; Saint Nicholas Day; Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe; St. Lucia Day; Hanukkah; Three Kings Day/Epiphany; Boxing Day; Kwanzaa; Omisoka; Yule; Saturnalia–whichever you prefer–we are not so different.

I know I had previously posted that I probably would not be writing again until the New Year but let’s just say the spirit moved me.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

A Holiday Message. . .

Times are tough.

There is a great deal of uncertainty at the very least, if not fear or outright paranoia in our world at the moment.

Please try to reign in these thoughts–especially over the holidays.

If you are able to read this on-line, it most likely means you can afford devices and services which connect you to this on-line world. This also implies that your immediate security needs of shelter, food, and clothing have also been met. Be grateful for what you have as there are a great many others who are not as fortunate and who will not be able to read this.

The holidays are a time for giving–our way of expressing love, caring and thanks to people we know.

 

Even strangers tend to treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both of our hands full of shopping bags. Our preoccupation with finishing the damnable shopping, so that we can jump back into the hustle and bustle of the season, might make us overlook this tiny kind gesture. Seize the moment to look them in the eye and say thank you and wish them a happy holiday. It might be the only present they receive this year.

The holiday season puts increased demands on our time because of all the commitments we make to family and friends. This causes us to be stressed and possibly irritable. We need to remember that we are fortunate to have those friends and family members with us, as many others may not.

Some people will not be able to travel to see their friends and family this year. They may feel very alone. They can change that by volunteering their time to a cause they believe in. Many worthwhile causes do not close during the holidays and spending time with the other volunteers will almost certainly turn into new friendships.

We pick up the holiday spirit by being compassionate. Give some canned goods to the food bank, give some blankets to a shelter or contribute to your local toy drive. The smallest things make a difference in this world. We often forget this. We do not have to solve global warming to improve the planet; the kid who receives your toy this year might be destined to do that–if they are not emotionally scarred by Santa missing their home. This is how we are all connected.

Goodness spreads like a virus through all walks of life, across all religions, and it does not see the color of someones skin or their gender. By spreading that which we know to be good, we spread hope. The hope we create can alter the path of another.

This almost certainly will be my last blog post for a while.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who follow me on social media. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

Your Weekend Excerpt

“She found someone who was a far worse problem drinker than herself, so SHE COULD FEEL GOOD ABOUT HERSELF in the relationship. She RATIONALIZED her alcoholism. She could continue to live in denial without having to face her demons—a perfect model of CO-DEPENDENCY.”

The human propensity to embrace denial and escapism through well told action-adventure-romance stories has led us to where we are in Western Civilization today.

We now deny everything. We cling to fantasy rather than cleaning up our mess. We look for external causes of our suffering rather than working on self-improvement.

Self-awareness is the key difference between living in the dark ages or an age of reason.

Mass denial will lead us to mass extinction.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is the most entertaining way to begin to understand men, women, relationships, societies and human civilization.

The book is available everywhere, but I like the idea of supporting that tiny local bookstore. You know the one.

Have a great week.

E. A.

 

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

Your Weekend Excerpt.

“By becoming analytical when looking at your unsuccessful relationships, you can begin to see how you made poor choices, or you might discover there are major flaws in your selection process.”

Early reviews are available on Goodreads and Amazon.com

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers is available around the globe through quality booksellers.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

 

THE REAL DEAL COVER REVEAL!

The book is scheduled for release later this month. . . fingers crossed.

I still remember the immense feeling of accomplishment I had the first time I wrote The End almost two years ago. Since then, I have written those same words on two other occasions; both times in the same work. I added Chapter 9, wrote The End and sent my manuscript off to an editor. Her recommendations led to the creation of Chapters 10 & 11 and once again, I wrote The End.

Writing a book is like having a pet or a child–just because you have one does not mean you job is over. In fact it is just the beginning. The journey will test you, possibly break you and will definitely change you. I was as naive as they come as I began to learn the ropes of the publishing game.

I actually thought it was about the work.

A veteran of the publishing game told me, “If War and Peace was written today, Leo Tolstoy would not get a publishing deal.” I rejected this advice only to spend the next year proving his opinion to be correct.

I found out the following:

  • Publishers do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–so the largest of them sloughed the task of reading off on the Agents.
  • Only authors represented by an Agent can pitch the few remaining large publishing houses.
  •  Agents do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–because they know it is a tough sell and they like an easy lay.

It is here where you must decide the future of your work that you invested three years of your life into. Shelve it and get on with your life or take the road full of potholes into the world of self-publishing. I did the latter.

I found out the following:

  • FAR TOO MANY alleged “Author Services” companies are owned by or related to the big publishers that would not even give your book a chance.
  • The ones that are not related to the big publishing houses are arguably scammers, there to exploit every naive indie-author who comes along with a dream.
  • They try to charge at least three times the going rates for their services which NEVER GUARANTY ANY SALES or even placement of your book where readers can see them.

It is here where you must decide on the product(s) you wish to produce professionally vs. taking a DIY approach to publishing your work. It is also here where you must decide how you will reach the book buyers of the world.

There is a giant corporate umbrella over the entire book publishing industry. Indie-authors, like raindrops, just bounce right off.

I found out the following:

  • Amazon owns CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing and BookSurge so they CONTROL your work from the time you upload your manuscript to the time they produce your print-on-demand first edition. You will be FORCED to comply with their rules for playing their game in their backyard. This is a corporate monopoly. These rules are not in your best interests but their’s. Amazon invented an ingenious system featuring a ridiculous RETURN POLICY where they produce and ship books only to have them returned and destroyed. They proceed as though Amazon is the only place you need to be, when in reality being an Amazon Indie-Author is the equivalent to being a fart in a hurricane–someone might notice you briefly.
  • Most of the world’s largest chains of brick and mortar book stores learned from Amazon’s success. They have now created their own return policies and DISCOUNT POLICIES, allowing them to have inventory–essentially on consignment–that they can price so low some unwary authors have actually LOST MONEY on each book sold. They make the poor indie-author SOLELY responsible for paying for producing books to sit on their shelves. The unsold inventory at the end of the term of the agreement is returned IN ANY CONDITION to the author so long as the author PAYS THE SHIPPING COSTS.
  • OF COURSE THERE WILL BE UNSOLD BOOKS because you will never make it to the front window or the front table, nor will your cover ever be facing out so customers can see it. This treatment is reserved for best-selling books from the big publishers who practically run these chains because they have been in bed with each other for decades.
  • It is a volume based business. Ingram produces and distributes books for many large publishing houses. Their Lightning division services the small publishers of the world at a higher cost per book, while their Spark division charges still more to indie-authors. This results in lower royalties for the indie-author if they want to keep their retail prices comparable to offerings from the major publishers.

You are required to BUY your way into a carefully guarded marketplace.

The message is clear. The largest companies in the publishing business do not share well with others. They both own and simultaneously dislike the indie-publishing trade. J. K. Rowling taught them a badly needed lesson. You cannot keep a good writer down.

I found out the following:

  • Social media is a quagmire which does not sell many books relative to the TIME INVESTMENT.
  • There are a great many independently operated book stores that will support an indie-release.
  • There are a great many book expos which are not too expensive to have your book showcased in.
  • There are still a great many libraries on the planet.
  • Reviews sell books.

Long ago in one of my earliest blog posts I stated, “I do not wish to be selling books out of the trunk of my car.” I now understand the indie-authors who do.

Much love.

E. A.

Blog 18: November 11th. Remembrance Day In Canada.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, World War I ended.

Ever since, each November 11th at eleven o’clock Canadians honor those that fell in that war as well as ALL who have served since.

This blog contains elements from Blog 6.1: The FEAR Lessons but has been SPUN to be more respectful and appropriate for this day.

On this day, all Canadians but especially the youth of Canada need to understand that their privileged lives that are so full of opportunities are a direct result of the sacrifices of those that came before them. Young people, in their late teens and twenties were, and are, being wounded or killed in the defense of our way of life.

Those of you that grew up in large cities may not fully appreciate the hardships faced by your fellow Canadians that live and work in more difficult conditions in rural Canada. It is out of these small towns, from coast to coast, where most of our servicemen and women have traditionally come from. Small town life creates soldiers that are physically tough but it also instills them with compassion and a willingness to help their neighbor.

Today our Canadian Armed Forces are loaded with young people that are committed to preserving our way of life whatever the cost and they have a proud heritage.

We Canadians have the respect of much of the world as peace makers and peace keepers but there is another side to us that needs to be understood and remembered by people who are not Canadian and those whose educational system did not tell them about us.

Just a few summers ago, I made a new American friend who was working in Canada as an executive for a large aerospace company. After several drinks one night sitting at a fire lakeside, he stated how lucky we were to have our way of life but proceeded to suggest that we should not involve ourselves in global matters that would be better handled by the United States on our behalf. It was then that I began to understand how misunderstood we Canadians have become even by our closest neighbor. I suggested that until he became better acquainted with our history that he should not continue this line of conversation. I POLITELY let him know that he was about to cross a line that should not be crossed.

It has become apparent that we must define a Canadian for all to see because many do not REMEMBER or know our history.

The world has trouble with this.

Our politicians have trouble with this.

New Canadians have trouble with this.

Our media has trouble with this.

We are a small country in terms of population. We are hugely OUTNUMBERED ten-fold by our neighboring countries like the U.S.A. and Russia. A country that does not understand a Canadian may think that we are just pawns in the Soviet / U.S. chess match.

They would be grossly mistaken.

We have the respect of both of these Peoples and we are neighborly to both but we back down from neither. In fact, the Russian people and Canadians share a similar knowledge of hardship and resolve because of our similar geography and that is what created our common thread. Regardless of the global political climate, it was Canadian wheat farmers helping out Russian wheat farmers in times of need that cemented a long-standing relationship. Helping a neighbor in need is how farmers continue to succeed in Canada. It is this character trait of Canadian farmers that best exemplifies the Canadian people. I hope this will never disappear in the modern world where corporate greed is spreading like a cancer.

To a Canadian, global politics is just not that important to us. We have more important things to attend to like working hard to feed our families. We have a simple global outlook: if you do not bother us; WE WILL NOT BOTHER YOU.

We are not isolationists, we invite everyone to come and stay; if they can handle it.

As part of the British Commonwealth, we adopted a bit of their “stiff upper lip” mentality coupled with a RESOLVE that stems from our fierce living and working conditions.

We can relate well with the Northern European countries, because they again have tougher living conditions.

You see, we do not have a sun-belt. We do not have a California, Florida, Arizona or South of France but we like going to places like those for a break.

It is tough where we live and it makes us tough: mentally, physically and emotionally.

We should never dominate any sport because of our limited funding and small population BUT WE DO.

This comes from our resolute nature once we set our mind on an objective.

It should also be noted that we have a national pride that is best seen through our national pastime: hockey. It is a tough game for tough people. Our style of hockey is being watered down to accommodate growing interest in the game outside of Canada but we are always a team NEVER TO BE UNDERESTIMATED.

This Canadian national pride and stubborn resolve stems from HARDSHIP.

We are survivors.

We have a rich heritage of succeeding where others fear to tread.

In World War One where my grandfather participated in trench warfare, 100,000 French soldiers were killed or wounded at Vimy Ridge. The Canadians were brought in after training specifically for the task of taking this important German-held position. The Canadian soldiers showed such incredible RESOLVE and feats of bravery in accomplishing their mission that the French government gave that little piece of France to Canada forever.

It seems that these soldiers kept on ADVANCING when their officers were killed and perhaps most bizarrely of all; when they ran out of bullets. Yes, there are TRUE STORIES of Canadian soldiers charging machine-gun positions with bayonets.

There is another WW1 story that you should know of: Flanders and the town of Passchendaele. Imagine walking on a rain soaked muddy narrow dock with only one board every 16 inches carrying a 24 kilogram (or 53 pound) anchor while machine-gun bullets flew over your head and artillery shells fell all around in the rain with your clothes soaked with mud. If you slipped off that little dock you would probably drown- not in water… but mud; and your pals were ORDERED not to help you. That was the reality of Allied soldiers that were there.

Over 300,000 British, Australian and New Zealand casualties were recorded before the Canadians Corps would be called in. After 14 days of continuous battle, Canadians did what some thought was impossible and paved the way for the allies to make a run into Belgium.

Try to picture one million water-filled muddy shell holes in a one square mile area. Only the surface of the moon comes to my mind, but this was even more concentrated.

15,654 Canadian casualties were the cost of this victory. 1000 are still there in Flanders fields. A relatively small number when compared to the British losses but a lot for a country with a small population that was just under eight million at the time.

Other lesser known places that you should  be aware of are: Gravenstafel Ridge- 6064 casualties, Amiens- 9,074 casualties and Canal Du Nord and Cambrai- 13,672 casualties.

These were all success stories; Canadian victories; with a cost that Canadians were willing to pay for FREEDOM.

619,000 young men enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW1.

233,000 were casualties; or almost 37%.

Almost 10% died in service to this country IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM.

No town or village across the entire country was unaffected by the losses.

My Grandmother told me of my Grandfather’s return from the war. It was anything but the romantic reunion that film-makers like to portray. She was surprised to find him sitting outside one day, as she had not received any notification as to when to expect him. He had not even knocked. It seems that he was upset and embarrassed by having lice in his uniform and did not want her to see him like that. He did not want to go in the house like that. She undressed and bathed him outside giving him clean clothes to put on and then he burnt his uniform in the yard.

Just 25 years later, the world would be at it again.

Within a month of Britain’s declaration of war with Germany in WW2, the Canadian Army would grow from 5,000 to 70,000 people- not men. We have a proud tradition of Servicewomen in this country that goes back more than 100 years.

Both of my parents served in World War II: my mother in the Royal Canadian Air Force and my father in the Canadian Army Corps. My mom outranked my dad and never let him forget it.

In World War II, we Canadians again were the ones who did “the impossible”. A mountain top fortress named Assoro in Italy had to be taken in order for allied troops to advance. Canadian soldiers climbed a 900 meter (or nearly 3000 foot) mountain to take this mountain top that would allow Canadians to have a high-ground position that would lead to a German retreat from the area.

My father landed on Juno Beach. It was one of the most heavily defended beaches of the five allied landing sites in the invasion of Normandy. “STIFF RESISTANCE” as it was termed, was overcome and the Canadians were THE ONLY UNIT of the five, to achieve their Normandy landing objectives. But bad weather left those Canadian soldiers advancing inland without tanks against the German’s 21rst Panzer Division. Our Canadian soldiers ADVANCED anyhow.

Allied commanders would recognize the value of the Canadian Army and would employ them as “SHOCK-TROOPS” in tough places throughout the war.

At Breskens Pocket, Canadians would again fight in mud as their fathers had… AND WIN. In order to take the port of Antwerp, Canadians launched a frontal assault across the heavily defended Leopold Canal.

The last World War would end, but unfortunately smaller conflicts would continue to take the lives of Canadian soldiers.

A short time later in Korea, a Brigade of Canadians and Australians fought a delaying action with desperate defensive battles in a place called Kap Yong while surrounded by an entire Division of the Chinese army trying to take the city of Seoul. They stalled the advance and won a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation; rarely given to non-U.S. forces.

Tremendous acts of bravery and sacrifice continue to this day.

So what was the point of this little foray into Canadian history?

Remembrance Day is about history.

George Santayana is credited with the following quote: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

To some in Canada and many in the world, we Canadians are misunderstood. We are thought to be no different from our much larger allies.

Unfortunately in this modern technological era, the most visible people on television all too often appear weak, scared and even stupid and we Canadians are wrongly thought to be like them.

People not familiar with Canada and its citizens need to realize that the portrait of a Canadian painted by modern-day politicians and the media IS NOT who we are as a people.

The people of France and Holland in particular, remember us fondly. They appreciate their freedom and our sacrifice. They continue to REMEMBER. They continue to learn history.

Yes we Canadians are tolerant. We tolerate weak politicians and misinformed media because we are too busy dealing with the hardships of our land to sort them out.

Yes, we Canadians are polite.

Yes, we Canadians are friendly.

Yes, we Canadians help those in need.

Yes, we Canadians would rather keep the peace than allow a war because we know the cost of a war IS NOT PAID IN DOLLARS AND CENTS.

Yes, we Canadians try to avoid a fight for as long as we can.

However, we Canadians do not run from a fight.

We Canadians are very good at fighting.

We Canadians do not scare easily.

We Canadians do not concern ourselves with PARANOID THREAT LEVELS or WATCH LISTS.

If you force Canadians into a conflict, you should know that we have a long history of accomplishing the impossible and advancing where others could not.

While a Canadian will be the last person to start a conflict… we are best known for FINISHING THEM.

This is a Canadian!

So on our Remembrance Day each November 11th, we Canadians pause to thank those military people, both past and present that served our country and made us a proud people.

E. A. Barker