Reflecting Upon a Pool of Radioactive Ocean Water

We’re bombarded by extreme media hyperbole about everything we should be afraid of. I have a high level of cynicism and skepticism about most of what I read. I suspect most people do. We need to act on what we think is credible, so we spend time sorting what to ignore, and what to take note of.

I’ve been aware of FUKUSHIMA since the tsunami. I have a friend who has a friend in Japan, I like to eat seaweed, and I generally care about the depth and breadth of the disaster, and very much care how it affects the Japanese people.

I realized this weekend that my focus needs to shift from caring about Fukushima as if doesn’t affect me, to being concerned for my own well-being, and that of loved ones. I ran across a press release from a California town south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, that reported higher than normal radiation levels. Then, went to look for that again on the Web, and couldn’t find the press release from the town anymore. Instead, I found an article in the town paper, saying that the increase wasn’t significant: http://halfmoonbay.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/half-moon-bay-beach-radiation-not-from-fukushima-officials-say

Then, an article written about independent researchers who went to check out the levels, and got the controversy started. The levels were very high. Here’s a story that covers that: http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/01/09/a-dose-of-straight-talk-on-fukushima-radiation-rumors/

So, two differing stories, two different claims on the severity of the alarm. The town, saying that the increase is not from Fukushima, the researchers saying, what else could it be from? For our purposes here, let’s call it a draw.

Then, I dig a little deeper on the issue, and find a forum site where University of California at Berkeley Nuclear Engineers and Nuclear Physicists are arguing about the correct way to measure and interpret the amount of radiation in our Pacific Coast food supply. They’re arguing. Can’t agree. After several lengthy exchanges, a scientist says to the others, “Well, can I eat the food from the store, or not?” Indeed. Read the exchange here: http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/forum/218/brawm-question-testing-food-geiger-counter.2012-06-13

The issue, is that radiated water overflowed into the ocean, and ocean currents took that water other places. There are reports of radioactive element contamination in tuna, and other food that crosses great distances. Naysayers say, the amounts are small. Critics say, you only need a very small amount ingested, to cause cell mutation, and cancer.

220px-Radiation_hotspot_in_Kashiwa_02

Then, there is Dr. Helen Caldecott. I found her interview on the topic recently, in an unexpected way. The MESSENGER about the interview, an unlikely source. A friend from L.A., saying that after hearing the interview, was taking steps to be able to move to South America. Before I listened to the interview, I remember uttering “shite” over and over, eyes big as saucers. My friend and his film partner considering leaving because of info I don’t know about.

In the interview, Dr. Caldecott, a Pediatrician, and Nuclear Energy Critic, says that the radiation that has already leaked is the cause for the 200,000 new cases of child thyroid dysfunction in Japan. The normal incidence, 2 in 1,000,000. “Okay”, I’m thinking, that’s in Japan.

Then, she explains, yes, the water overflowed, the food chain is contaminated, and there is a plume of radiated water coming to the Pacific Coast of the U.S.. Then, she shares that the Japanese government, which usually uses robots to move the fuel rods to a new cooling pond, cannot do that given the environment they have to be moved out of. That the owner of the nuclear plant has hired the Japanese mafia to find homeless men and mental hospital patients to do the manual moving of the rods, and that the rods are a few millimeters apart, and must not touch, or will cause a nuclear reaction. I’m thinking, “Wow. Unbelievable. This is the stuff that great stories are born from”. But, then she breaks the big news…

That if there is another earthquake of 7 or greater, that the fuel rods may fall from their housing, and that if they do, the rods will begin nuclear reactions. These reactions will cause a fire, and radiated smoke will cover the Northern Hemisphere. In that scenario, the smoke would bring radiation levels much higher than Hiroshima fallout to the Northern Hemisphere. More serious than serious. Here’s the interview: http://www.shiftfrequency.com/helen-caldicott-md-the-horrible-truth-about-fukushima-video/

So, VERY concerned, I create a google alert for “Fukushima earthquake”, and find out that a three days ago, a 7.3 earthquake hit off the coast of Fukushima, preceded by two 5.0 quakes closer to shore, the day before.

WONDERING when we will hear, if we will hear, what we need to hear, in time to do something that will matter. Sharing this info so you can also be aware to be aware. Hoping that we all will be safe somehow. In the meantime, for myself, sushi is not a healthy food.

A Writer’s Halloween

As I turned, I saw no one. The sense that I could not cut the tension in an empty house. A writer with an imagination. A premonition, too.

That I would be dead before dawn, and that a character would seek revenge. My conjuring complete, effective writing, a plague.

I took refuge in my armchair. A pen, no armor. That I would perish before my bestseller, tragic. I needed to kill him. But, how?

Mastered cunning, heartless Golem. A villain bent on my destruction. But, I alone, the writer, had the power. I would take him. 

As darkness pressed, I smelled his dank sentiment, felt ember’d orbs baring down upon me. I pulled my pen, raised it, and..

..Struck the page. With ghastly wails, the spirit found me, its whirling vortex corseted me, then, I wrestled its essence to quiet. 

I resolved to write poetry. But, the cloud of Edgar Allen Poe unsettled. I resolved to cook, but the blood from meat, unnerved. 

Then, I found the solution. Like Beethoven to music, I would dim my senses. I would write in my dreams, my waking, safe.

I slept for days. My dreams, a first draft undertaking. When I woke, I was free and rested. Then, I spied a form in the chair. 

I approached the figure. She rocked back and forth, bolts of light, escaping. Bloody fingers reached for me. I could not resist.

Her spirit found me. To the mirror, my fears met confirmation. I had been consumed by the writer in me, and so it would be.

REVIVING MYSELF, A POEM

This poem was inspired by John Keats, who attended his brother’s deathbed, contracted TB, and died so young.

His poem, “To Autumn” is considered to be the best poem in English ever written.  He sold only 200 copies of his poetry at the time of his death.

The sentiments are mine.

REVIVING MYSELF

I TRIED TO PINPOINT THE PLACE,
THE TIME I FELL TO SLEEP,
THE AUDIT THAT DEEMED AN ACCOUNTING –
THE TREES AND BIRDS ABOVE ME DEEP
AND THE SEA BENEATH ME, MOUNTING.

AWAKE, I SAW THE STAR OF MY BIRTH,
IN A SKY OF CONSTELLATIONS –
THE VIEW, DEMANDING I ASSESS MY WORTH
SINCE BEFORE, SELF-VISITATIONS.
ALL THE WHILE, THE MOON GAZED AN EYE,
FIXED IN THE FACE OF REASON –
THE EARTH, MY ONE BUT WANTON HOME
MY SOURCE FOR ALL PAINED TREASON.

I WATCHED MY BURST COME FORTH IN THE MIST,
A LIGHT AND THEN A FOG –
IN THE PIERCING STAIN OF SILENCE OR GIST
MY CONVICTION DECAYED IN A BOG.

THE ABYSS CALLED OUT, “LIVE IN ECSTASY!”
ITS BODY HAGGARD AND LAMED –
KNOWING FOR ME, THAT IT WOULD BE
IN WEEPING AND IN SHAME…
BLIGHTED OR SLIGHTED,
FLOUNDERED OR MAIMED.

THEN, I WENT TO THE PLACE AS A CHILD FROCK’D,
FINDING LONGING IN PAIN AND SUFFERING –
THE MOROSE AND THE MUSE SITTING KEMPT ON A ROCK
THE GIRL LURCHING FORWARD INTO NOTHING.

TIMES STILL CLOCKED AND FROLICKED NOT,
THE WHIPPINGS OF CRUEL REALITY WROUGHT –
THE WHY AND HOW OF WANING YOUTH
THE SPURN OF LONELY INDIFFERENCE, FIRST.

MY PAIN REGAINED NEW FACE AND HAIR,
THE LONGING OF MY ATTACHMENTS –
CRUEL EXPECTATIONS AND FUTILE DARES
GRUELING LOSSES REIGNED TO DETACHMENTS.

YEARS BLED INTO LIFE, TO BE CREATED BY WOMB,
THE HOPE SPRINGING TO THE BEGOTTEN –
LIKE BUFFALO UPON THE PLAINS OF DOOM
FIRES SET AND THEN FORGOTTEN.

WHEN ONE HAS THEN AND ONE HAS NOT,
ONE FINDS ONE’S WAY AGAIN –
THE RAPID RUN OR WEIGHTLESS TROT
NOT ASKING, “WHEN NEXT, WHEN?” …

THE LOW HORIZON UPON MY GAZE
THE POWER OF HEIGHT FULFILLED,
THE DRIBBLING SANDS OF HOURGLASS DAYS
OPPORTUNITIES SAVAGELY PULLED.

THE CONSTELLATIONS THAT BROUGHT ME FORTH,
RINGING BELLS OF TIME AND SCISSORS –
MY FAITH LOOKING UP AND PRAYING FOR NORTH
FOR COMPASSES LESS FISSUR’D.

IN THE BEGINNING, TO THE LIGHT WE COME,
LABORED MAGNET, COG AND WHEEL –
TO GRAVITY’D FACES AND DESTINY’S HUM
OUR STAFFS SO LONG TO HEAL.

IF HUNGER OF BELLY, OR MIND OR HEART,
THE HIERARCHY OF NEEDS THEN, THUS DOES START –
AND BLAZING NEW TRAILS, WITH FREEDOM SET
BECOMES A DREAM TO FIND, LIBERATE AND BEGET.

ONTO THE TIME WHEN THE LIGHT IS QUIFF’D,
RECLINING THEN TO ANOINTING –
WHAT’S BEEN DONE AND WHAT’S BEEN STIFFED
THE GRAYED PODS WAVE THUS APPOINTING…

THE MIND OF THE LEAVING TRYING TO STAVE
THOUGHTS OF LOVE AS PICTURES TO THE GRAVE.

MY TIME COMES NOW OR HENCE OR THEN,
BUT WHEN IT DOES, I WON’T FEAR AGAIN…
LIKE SOD OR SEED THE TIME DOES TELL
TO LIVE IN EACH, MY HEAVEN AND HELL.

WHEN VIEWING STARS, THE TIME DOES END
BUT BLACK AND LIGHT DOES RAIN AGAIN –
CLOUDS OR PEWS OR WAITING ROOMS
THE SHROUDS AND CUES FROM STATING LOOMS…

SO, I WHIRL INTO THE GREEN AGAIN,
WITH TEMPESTS RAILING HARD –
THE FIFE AND THE WHIRLIGIG DOES FAN
WELCOMED CHUMS TO MY OWN BARD.

BUT, WHERE IS THE PLACE
THAT THE HEART SINGS SONGS,
“GOODNESS OF FREE WILL IS GAINING!”
AND WHERE DO ROSES UPON THORNY PRONGS
BLOOM LAUGHTER, NEVER WANING?

IT IS THE BREATH AND THE NOISE,
THE LAST RATTLE…
THAT KEEPS THE SONG FROM THUS REGALING.

WHEN NOW, I COME TO THE END OF THE PHRASE
THE BREATHING SADDENED TO STOPPING –
I AM LONGING NOW FOR SOMETHING I GAVE
BUT CAN’T BRING THAT THING TO CROPPING.

OH MUSE, OH MUSE, OH HEAVENLY NIGHT,
REVIVE ME STILL AGAIN…
IT IS THE HEAVING AND THE WEAVING,
LIFE’S OWN SONG…

AND THE TIME BETWIXT REMAINING.

I GOT THE CALL

I look good made up in my compassion-finery.  My spiritual make-up rivals Starlet must-have miracles in a jar.

Looking good, but kiss proof.

But, naked, my thoughts challenge any great thriller writer.

Oh yeah, I’ve been pissed.

My heart burns with a sense of outrage, a point of finger to the offender.   At times, I have held a chronicle of the ways someone has wronged me.  I keep score.  I decide to cut my ties.  But, I don’t really let go.

I am the person I describe above.   I’ve allowed her to be that  ..no one, nothing has ever chastised me for this, because I hide it so well.

My brother has been one person who I hold to account.  Lots of reasons, to be sure.   I have prided myself at times on the ways others would back me up if they had the “facts”.   I have felt so entitled to be closed off to him.  Maybe with cause..maybe not, maybe I should just fucking let it all go to the grudge commode in the sky, for proper recycling.

Dump it and flush.

My brother may be in straits that anyone might shudder from..he may be sick.   And, I am sick if I don’t rise to the occasion and try to find a way to let go of the crap and hold close the light.  Because the clock waits for no one, especially someone who understands the power of intending to forgive like me, but passes on the chance to do it.

Yes, that’s me as a wee lass.

I know things about Things.  I am spiritually educated, one might say.

I don’t pretend to know more, I only can feel the colors, the design, the intersections, and live accordingly.

So, I am going to task myself to be a better person.  Do the really hard things.

Let go of the stuff I could not control,
the things that happened that angered or hurt me,
recognize the pain in people that blind and disable them,
be grateful that the stuff is forgivable,
ride high on the most insightful thoughts any of us have ever shared,
become a better version of me.

As you read this, you are reading a transformation.  Because as I write this, I have decided, I am going to forgive.

A Year Long Business Experiment

My Blog posts have a reputation for being, on occasion, inspiring.  Today, I hope to publish a blog that will be valuable and informative.

For the last year, I’ve participated in a one-person experiment using goodwill as a tool to forge professional connections.  It’s not that I set out to do this for the purposes of experimentation, but I’ve approached establishing myself in Screenwriting and Film with goodwill as my calling card.  It hasn’t been hard to do, or foreign to me.  It’s admittedly, part of who I am.

Today, I will disclose the results of the experiment, and its implications for Business.

First, let’s just get it out of the way:  Nice is often seen as weakness.  The belief goes that nice people don’t possess the savvy needed to succeed.  Otherwise they’d bear their sharp, canine fangs.  Nice people are chiffon in the world of business – can’t hold a crease, right?

That’s quite a stereotype to live down.  A nice person ignites a response in another to mull “the Nice’ around and determine what it means.  For some, the fact that a person appears to be nice means that they can assemble their vultures on a nearby tree, and wait for the right chance to exploit it.

For others, it means that nice negates whatever other skills might be present.  Nice, the perception goes,  throws water on any fire needed to gain advantage.  Nice could never go into battle.  Nice is seen as a weakness, straight up.

I met a producer at a premiere last year.  When he knew me well enough to admit the following, he shed the emotion like a too-warm coat.  He confessed, “When I met you, I was so put off.  You were so nice.  It was..disturbing.”  Truth be told, now we’re true friends.

But, putting anyone off with too nice, can be disturbing to the nice person.  It can cause ‘Sharing Remorse’.  A nice woman, G*d forbid, should be ready for the “She’s really sweet.”

In truth, she may wear a steel spiked nipple ring and chew on nails for fun.  But appear sweet, and a person would seem to have become a business eunuch, incapable of the balls needed to get something done or better, achieve a Business Coup.

Prior to committing to Screenwriting and Fiction Writing, I committed myself to a self-employed life as a Medical Intuitive and a Healer.  I built a worldwide practice based on referrals, received referrals from doctors, even a University Medical School Clinic.  Good at my job, and nice, too.  A health practitioner who has a poor bedside manner will not generate referrals.  Lucky for me that I’m just nice.

Or, has nice been a choice for me?  When I was five, I poked a hamster with my finger…

Put my finger in through the bars in his pitiful cage and poked him.  He bit me.  My first exposure to cause and effect when a stick is wielded.

When I was in college, my Orange County mentality of Sun, Sand, Malls, and Pools fell to the awareness that people starved, lamented a lack of freedom, suffered.

My response, become more human.  Give a shit.  And, I’ve been caring ever since.

I see the suffering in everyone – not just the obvious, but the fact that in all of us, we are a three year-old who wants a hug from our parent, we are an eight-year old who wants to feel liked, we are a fifteen year-old who wishes acne were invisible, we are the adult who wants to feel valuable.

So, the nice has been the ‘I see you’.  But, the problem is, lots of people, especially in Business, want you to notice the big gun in their pocket.

So, what’s a nice person to do?

I’ve never been one to follow established systems.  If I think it can be done another way, I just create the path.

So, when it’s come to Business, I’ve decided to be nice.  My Business Gun does sit cocked, lest it be needed.  But, I have rarely had to pull it.

Yesterday, I watched a person pull a Business Gun to get what he wanted.  Sort of the hammer when a feather would have worked approach.  The stunt was pulled on someone I care about.  I had forged a business relationship with this person with goodwill.  Then, this person, who wasn’t going to get what he wanted after trying to manipulate to get it, pulled the “I have no choice but to…”, then finished it with “Of course, I’ll honor…”  But, the truth is, that after the gunfire of sorts, the person I cared about lie bleeding out, and no amount of mention of honor was going to plug the bullet hole.

Actions like that stem from someone believing he or she will not get what she wants another way.  In the scenario above, the person I reference who pulled the business ‘gun’ completely glossed over suggesting the option that would have given the desired result, because he believed that the option would be refused.  Surprisingly, the option he wanted ultimately but did not believe he would get, is the very option that will now be proposed to him.

The bottom line on business negotiations: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need in the form you need it, in a way that is honest.  Allow the other party in business to collaborate at your needs level, and strategize to give you what you need.

A year of observation has reduced my results to the following:

If you’re at school and want to make a friend, do you offer to trade your Ding-Dong for an apple?
YES.
Is it possible that the kid will grab it from you and run off?
YES.
But, the Math of the Ding-Dong says that at some point on the graph of giving, you will encounter a grateful kid glad to trade.
FRIEND MADE.

You have to offer a lot of Ding-Dongs to get an apple.

But, a Ding-Dong offered and taken with a smile, and an apple handed over, is what creates Business relationships on your terms.

During the summer, a well-known author put out on Twitter that she had a hand injury and could not type.
I replied with “I’ll help.”  A conversation occurred.
“How much do you want per hour?”
“Nothing”, I replied.
“What do you mean nothing?”
“I’d like to help you.  In return, if I ever had a question or needed your guidance, I’d like to be able to contact you.”
You know what she said?
“You’ve just articulated how my lasting relationships have all been made.  You have a connection for life in me.”

Nice finishing last, indeed.

The result of the experiment is, that Nice is not Yes.  It’s not Sweet.  It’s not a push-over.  Nice is “Do you have an apple?  Here’s a Ding-Dong.”

See you on the Streets of Business:

I’m the one with a pocket full of apples, a Ding-Dong in her hand, and a smile on her face.

I look forward to imagining that your incorporation of any of this blog’s info will bring you great results in Business and Life.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN

Here’s a little something that encapsulates my feelings on Father’s Day.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN

How is a man measured
When the start and stop are known,
and what are the bell rings with which to atone?

Not just the beginning or end,
but the depth of places,
Dates and times, the benefited faces…
Where folks remember and speak to their kin,
about the man…
His How and His When.

Or the scope of his reach when Work became Art,
from his inventions created,
new cogs and wheels did start.

Or this man assessed as a Husband or Dad,
vows tended, guidance given..the good and the bad,
the lasting effort no matter the time,
the days, months and years
add ring to the chime.

While the measure of a man
after the time of the Gong
is perhaps best left to the Heavens
and to his soul’s song…

For us, his Family,
the measure is clear,
our love is the only gauge
that matters here.

So, to the Man we now measure
of this we agree,
We love you, we thank you,
and we wish you God Speed.

DIGITAL DREAMS REEL IN FOG CITY

Read my article here, on the progressive and stellar collaboration between San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking and Fog City Pictures:

DIGITAL DREAMS REEL IN FOG CITY

CONCEIVE AND CRAFT – A WRITER’S SUCCESS COMES DOWN TO THIS

When you first realize you’re a Writer, it can be startling.  You look at a sentence or paragraph you just crafted, and it hits you just how good it is.

I had that kind of moment sometime in college.  And, when I was asked to draft a speech that would be read on the floor of the U.S. Congress, I thought, “Wow.  They must think I can write.”

Since then, I’ve never been without the awareness that I can create something meaningful with words.  But, I was also never oblivious to the point that writing takes practice.  It is a craft – like Woodworking.  And, not until recently, did I become aware of just how fundamental the craft of writing is.

It all happened a few weeks ago.  Someone sent me a note that a publisher was offering a Fast Track Submission, where they provide feedback to submissions in one month.  So, I decided to give it a go.  The only issue was that I didn’t have a book proposal ready.  And, the deadline was in three days.

But, for the last year, I have been deep in skill building for scriptwriting – classes with ScreenwritingU.  The most recent was a class that breaks a film down in eight parts, then takes you through the writing of the entire script in thirty days.

Thirty days.  It did not seem like a lot of time at first.  But, by the end of the second week, my brain evolved, and suddenly, I was crafting a tight script around a high concept easily and quickly.  CLICK.  Several years of working at my Writing Craft.  And, then, BAM!  A life changer for me, and a game changer for my Writing Craft.

These skills, built over many days, weeks, and hours, led to my being able to draft that book proposal, and complete the first chapter in an hour, a feat for me.  Of course, rewriting took another hour or so.  But, to be able to conceive and craft like that, a  priceless asset to my writing career.

The idea that we can, like a painter, just pick up a pen and sketch something brilliant out, well, we can.  And then, we can use our craft, trained, refined, and honed, to bring the project around the bases, and into home plate.

So, if you’re a Writer, and you’ve got talent, work, work, work, to hone your craft.  The cog and the wheel of excellence will meet, and you will be on your way.

When Waiting for the Dawn, Help the Twilight

I’m always amazed at the power of goodwill.  The world’s axis is not perched on the hands of Atlas, it’s supported by the hands of those who lend one to someone else.  Our goodwill is free much of the time.

When waiting for the dawn, how about helping the twilight?

I have had hands extended to me at important times.  Some I have accepted, and some I have declined.  But, each gave to me a seed of something more than the hand offered: the seed that goodwill is a positive contribution, no matter how or when we offer it, and no matter whether the gesture of giving is accepted.

Nothing says the power of goodwill more than when you’re working on building a new career.  You are aware that there are many doors in front of you.  You want to see the red ones open to you:

On occasion, someone new flashes in front of your path.  If you spy their goodwill quotient, you are most wise.

This quotient is the sense that the person likely offers goodwill.  The point is not that he or she might offer goodwill to you.  This could not be more distant from the point.  The issue is whether that person offers goodwill to people in the world in general.  This quotient is often found in the eyes or the smile.  Goodwill likes to hang out in open, twinkling places.

Sharing goodwill with people who have a high goodwill quotient means that in offering goodwill, you become more like what you find compelling in that person – their lighthearted good nature, their openness to growth and change, their willingness to engage with the world.

Recently, I became inspired to share my goodwill in a professional context.  It was gratefully received.  The rewards to me are immediate, and I’m sure, long term.

The benefits to extending goodwill and feeling the vibration of shared gratitude is one that I will not soon forget, and one that I believe now is the true fuel of success.

In order for goodwill to find you and flourish, you must be willing to give because the cause is worthwhile.  You must rally against any notion that you may benefit.  When you take this approach, you will not only find friends, but you will perhaps find the highest form of personally driven destiny.

Try it:  Give what you can to someone where a need exists.  And, watch the world turn, your hand at its base.

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