Looking for gay, bisexual, or transgender people

I get Dear Abby to my mailbox everyday…today I read this and I thought I would share it on my blog to help others who might be able to participate in this, please SHARE ~ K’Anne

Psychiatrists Reach Out to Gather Information on LGBT Experience– March 31, 2016 –

DEAR READERS: A group of distinguished psychiatrists, the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), needs help from some of you. They need feedback from gay, bisexual or transgender people, many of whom have experienced conflicts with their faith because of who they are attracted to or their gender identity. Many, while attempting “conversion” treatment, experienced great emotional distress, but never considered consulting a mental health professional because they had been discouraged from doing so by their faith community. Knowing the struggles you have experienced could benefit individuals who need help and haven’t gotten it. Your input is important. It will give GAP psychiatrists a broader representation of people than they could get from any other source.

Thank you in advance for taking part in this important study. The Internet address to send your comments is mary.barber@omh.ny.gov. For those who don’t have email access, GAP’s mailing address is: P.O. Box 570218, Dallas, TX 75357-0218. In the past, readers have been generous in “telling it like it is,” and I hope you will continue because your experiences are important. Your participation may help to effect positive changes in the treatment of patients. — LOVE, ABBY

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Letter to Jeff Bezos of Amazon

I encourage each and every author I know, even the reviews, fans, and followers to write to Jeff@amazon.com a similar letter:

Jeff Bezos

Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I want to thank you for providing such a platform as KDP Publishing and Create Space for authors to self-publish as well as small publishing houses to use print on demand and e-books.

Recently it has come to my attention how harsh the culling of reviews has become.  When we, as self-published authors or small publishing houses complain about a review that may have been a little harsh, or the book unread, or someone buys it and returns it in a few hours when they have read the whole thing, we are frequently ignored.  When we have faithful followers we will now be punished because you look at our social media friends list, our faithful followers, and decide that these reviews are not earned and remove them.

Personally, I have 4600 followers on Facebook alone.  I have another 19,500 on Twitter.  I also have 25,200 on my blog.  I couldn’t POSSIBLY know EACH and EVERY one of these people.  I’m just grateful that the hard work I have put into promoting myself as an author is paying off in the form of faithful readers who help support me by reading my Novels, Novellas, and Short Stories.  To find out that their continued support in the form of recommending my books via a review may be stopped is a little alarming.  Yes, any system can be abused, we see it every day in the form of those giving bad reviews because they don’t like an author, but if we report it, it can be and frequently is ignored.  Not every book or story I write is going to appeal to every reader, that’s the great thing about it though, variety.  If I deserve a bad review, I should take it, but if my fans choose to leave me a good one their integrity is questioned?

Yes, some of these fans have become ‘friends’ over the years of my publishing endeavors, but they started as fans, they read my works and the works of my authors, and I encourage everyone to leave a review whenever possible.  Now, because they are on my ‘lists’ they may be suspect?

I am also a small publisher, I encourage and in fact teach my authors to promote themselves through social media in the form of blogs, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and any other social media platform that may help them sell a book.  Finding readers is easy, keeping them is hard…and when they show that they are faithful fans their reviews are helpful.  So a practice whereby your people, your algorithm’s ‘decide’ which reviews stay and which go may not be as good an idea as you might think.

I have to question if this happening to the truly big sellers of books?  Do the Danielle Steel fans get monitored for this?  How about Johanna Lindsey?  Even dead authors like Louis La’Mour or Beatrice Small, are their reviews being monitored?  Or are you only targeting newer authors, smaller authors and presses?  They couldn’t possibly ‘know’ the millions who follow them, how could I know the tens of thousands who follow me?

I also have another question for you?  Is it true it takes 25 or 50 ‘reviews’ before Amazon will ‘promote’ a book in the same genre?  If so, then are you watching as 25 or 50 reviews appear instantly on some author’s new releases to make them best sellers?  Isn’t this suspicious?  When only 1-2 appear at a time you now are suspicious of those?  You wish to take away those from these authors?

I, personally, find it a little creepy that now our social media platforms are being ‘watched’ by the giant Amazon to see if we are ‘friends’ with our ‘reviewers’ so that these reviews can be flagged and taken away.  How ‘big brother’ of you.  Don’t you think there are more important issues to worry about such as the theft of someone’s intellectual work in the form of torrent sites, the targeting of some authors in the form of trolls, or simply, good customer service?

I personally hope that these rumors about these review practices are simply that, rumors and that it won’t happen large scale as it is being stated.  It’s a sad day when we can’t even trust that the company we place our works of art in the hands of is now second guessing things, watching out ‘for us’ in a way that is very invasive.

Amazon is a huge company, I understand that.  I personally spend hundreds of dollars at your site every year and love its convenience.  It scares me though as a writer and publisher that the dollars we count on to earn at your site may be in jeopardy because of some practices that are too intrusive.  Please rethink this policy.

Sincerely,

K’Anne Meinel, Author

K’Anne Meinel, Publisher of Shadoe Publishing

Flashback Friday II

Continuing my blog with showing some of the art I created by hand using original old magazine pictures for a client here are some more of the pictures that I screenprinted.  Notice the detail, I think that is why my books are so detailed, I like details!Triangle Building TruecolorThe Constitutional AmendmentRestraurant Barbershop GrayscaleNathan's GreyscaleMr Clean GreyscaleHarper's Bazaar Greyscale

See my other artistic endeavors in the form of books/print and e-books @ www.kannemeinel.com.Read K'Anne Meinel

See the first of these blogs on my ‘previous life’ showing off the artwork I’m so proud of helping recreate!

Throwback Thursday

ce4021cdf4c4a11c640264763db2809aI recently came across this picture of some slippers and it made me remember back to the Christmas of about 1998 or so.  We had moved from Huntington Beach, California to our second place up in Los Osos, California.  We’d also acquired a second dog, a golden retriever that my son named Sophie.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We already had a standard poodle my mother had named Abner (I later found out her brother’s middle name was Abner…I will ask her about that someday when I run into her in the afterlife, what a sense of humor!).  That first Christmas together I actually forgot about all the presents I had bought already for the boys until my mother and I were wrapping the new ones I had bought in a frantic attempt to get them something for under the tree.  When she asked me about the others, I had to think and remember where I’d hidden them from two inquisitive and growing boys!

My son Andrew (in the picture is Christopher, or Chip as the family calls him) Mary, Chip, Abner Morro Bay 2000
woke us up at 4am.  We had barely managed to get all the presents under the tree by midnight, so four hours of sleep wasn’t quite enough.  Because of the sheer mass of packages we had to open, by 6am, we all went back to bed!

One of the presents I got was these slippers with the doggie face on them.  Sophie immediately tried to confiscate them.  I know why she thought they were a dog toy.  Wearing them proved to be hilarious, she tripped me up immediately and laughed doing so!  Eventually, they were NOT safe from her and she got a hold of them, one by one, and made them into road-kill…you know, flat and without the stuffing.  I sure miss having a dog or two around for company…but the memories are priceless!

Dogs, cats, and other animals play important characters in many of my books!  Check them out at www.kannemeinel.comRead K'Anne Meinel

Website Hosting

695When I first started publishing my books, I knew that eventually I would have to have a website.  Choosing between the masses of website hosts wasn’t easy, there are a lot of them out there.  When you first start publishing your books (either with a publisher or self-publishing) you don’t have a lot of extra money, so, money being tight, I looked for a host I felt I could trust that wasn’t expensive and could expand with me as I learned to create my own sites.  Initially I chose I-Page because of the price (see this below or click here for your own pricing.  The basic website that I chose the had a program called Weebly that I initially used, (later some of my websites were built with WordPress) because it was simple and you could literally drop and drag in pictures.  I wanted it simple, I wanted it easy, and I wanted to be able to expand when I was ready.  Fortunately for me I-Page has the BEST customer service representatives that I have every had the fortune of dealing with, they helped me with my choices and made intelligent suggestions that helped me enormously.  These guys and gals seem to go the extra mile to help you when you don’t know what you are doing, if there is an error coming up, or if you need to make a decision in expanding the features of your site.  They make it that easy, it isn’t just a part of their promo, it actually is true and I cannot say enough about them.

Their initial package had about five pages which was plenty for my purposes at that time.  I put up a page with all my books that is the landing page, then I had one for all my Novels, one for Novellas, and one for Short Stories.  Then I also had one for Video’s and for my Bio.  As my needs became more, this last year especially, I bumped up my package so that I could have unlimited pages on my website.  Under each of the aforementioned pages,. there are dozens of pages, some hidden even~!  You can buy my books directly from my website, signed, ebooks, whatever you wish!  All conveniently hosted by I-Page who made this possible with their excellent hosting of my site.

I also help other authors get their websites going, I’ve helped the basic website be built many many times.  I always recommend I-Page and the Weebly package initially because it is so user-friendly.

So if you are thinking of getting a website, please feel free to ask me questions, or click on the many links for I-Page I’ve included in this blog!  Thank you and enjoy!

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Disclaimer: We may be compensated for this review.

Check out what I have done at my website at www.kannemeinel.com!

Read K'Anne Meinel

Health Scare

Cardiac

This past week I was in the Emergency Room of one of our local hospitals.  I had called my doctor’s office to make an appt.  I’d had a serious case of the winter blahs despite the spring-like weather up here in the northwoods.  It was compounded by a persistent palpitation in my throat, you know, you can FEEL your heart beat and it’s so THERE!  My throat felt like it was closing off.  The tightness that was happening in my chest was a little alarming.  My arms were hurting too, going to sleep frequently, but I put that down to typing too much on the laptop without a break.

When I described these symptoms to first the nurse, then the nurse practitioner, who informed me that my regular doctor was out on an emergency medical leave for a replaced hip (ouch), she told me not to bother to go to the walk-in clinic…to get to the emergency room and not to delay.

Since I’d lived with the symptoms for two weeks, I wasn’t in a rush.  I took a hot bath and washed my hair.  I then got dressed and in layers since it was cold out.  Our spring-like weather had turned back to winter, definitely!  I had, over the weekend, gotten my motorcycle working and out of the living room (where else do you keep a motorcycle in the winter?).  I drove myself.  Yes, I know that could be irresponsible if I passed out and caused an accident but the hospital was only a mile and a half away and I seriously didn’t think an ambulance was necessary.  Besides there was no one to take me but myself.

The cat had been on top of me for weeks, wonder if she sensed something was wrong?  I put it down to feline senility.  It’s nice to be wanted, but get off my shoulder or head when I’m trying to sleep?  Much less pulling my hair all the time?

I walked in and told the clerk behind the desk why I was there.  I think, due to it being heart-related they saw me promptly and I was soon in a bed with one of those wonderful robes that no one in their right frame of mind would want to be seen wearing (yes that’s sarcasm).  They soon hooked me up and took my blood pressure.  The room got very quiet when they read the numbers.  I have never in my life except when I had my sons had high blood pressure, maybe once it read high, but never otherwise…and definitely not like this!  The high number was well over 200 and the nurse only told me that in a whisper.  As though saying it any louder would cause it to rise further…

I got to have chest x rays (and those who follow, remember last fall when we had that tumor scare?)  Turned out to nothing on them, a relief really after they tried to frighten me back then.  Really though, it was my throat that was bothering me the most…no x ray’s for that?

I was there a very long time, with a pressure cuff on my arm.  Now I HATE the automatic cuffs, they are always too damn tight and noisy!  Plus, this one, for an HOUR of waiting kept beeping an alarm on a regular basis.  I tried to go to my happy place, you know, daydreaming um, er, as an author…I was working…really!  Finally I pressed the button for the nurse to come in and stop that damned beeping!  I asked WHAT we were waiting for and could I go?

Finally, the doctor came in with a non-committal bunch of nonsense that irritated rather than informed.  Why assume that your patient is an idiot and talk to them in circles?  When I asked informed and (I hope) intelligent questions I got further run around.  The surprise on his face was worth it and I could tell he wanted to get out of there as he avoided answering my direct questions.  I’m not known for my patience.  It was decided to put a monitor on me for 48 hours and at the end of that time they would have more data.

Fortunately I could ‘write’ in my mind because they kept me waiting an eternally long time, AGAIN!  I know, I’m not a patient patient!  I was giving them an entire hour again before I walked out.  The friends I was texting on my phone were not pleased with me and were telling me to stay put.  They weren’t THERE!  It was annoying, exasperating, and rude to not be told WHAT was going on!  Four minutes left of the time and in walked a woman to put the monitor on, I told her in no uncertain terms she had only that four minutes to spare…she apologized.  I too apologized and said it wouldn’t have been so bad if they told me WHY I had been kept waiting?  After all, I’m NOT their ONLY patient…but really, seeing them hang out at the nurses station and waiting and waiting and waiting is not conducive to calming down.

She put on this really stinky stuff to clean my skin and attach glue to my skin.  On these four spots she put the adhesive too!  Nothing like keeping these thingies to my skin!  From these thingies (electrodes are they?) she also taped them down.  Did I mention I’m sensitive to that tape?  Yep, you guessed it, horrible tape rash that not only got bright red over the course of those 48 hours, but raw!  She explained how the monitor worked, that it would stay on ONLY for those 48 hours and would automatically turn off of it’s own accord.  I had plenty of warnings to go with it.  One, if I didn’t return it, I’d owe about $1500 for this little d0o-hickey device!  Two, do not bathe for the next couple of days (see bathing before I went was a GOOD idea!).  Three, don’t lay on my stomach as I could accidentally shut off this device (I didn’t mention my chest wouldn’t let me).  Also, your heart rate increases when you lie on your stomach…I’d noticed that when pillows allowed me to prop myself in that position.

As she told me everything I needed to know, I could tell that my blood pressure was an issue.  I could actually FEEL it rushing.  My eyes or rather my sight did a little wavy thing…and then this blonde woman’s hair turned blue/purple and then pink.  I told her so to share the moment and she was amazed.  She asked how she looked in it as she had considered the whole blue/purple thing…I told her to go for it.  Slowly this sensation faded, thank goodness because I’m sure it wasn’t a good thing.

After dressing again and getting on my motorcycle I thought about how weird my life was.  I went to a restaurant as I hadn’t eaten and was famished.  I also did a little grocery shopping in case I was house-bound for any length of time.  I was, the next two days were snow, sleet, and then pouring rain!  Too cold to ride and definitely too cold to return the monitor after the 48 hours!  I tried to get a ride, I really did, but to no avail.  Finally, I got a break in the weather and returned the monitor so they could download the results.  As it was it was spitting huge flakes of snow the whole way and bone-chilling cold!

Well, for now I’m alive and kicking.  I can’t wait until my regular doctor is back at the office as she talks too me and not condescendingly.  She is probably the most THOROUGH doctor you ever want to meet.  I have never met a doctor who checks for things like she does.  I went to her office where the doctor on call there gave me a check up and didn’t do anything but check my heart and lungs with his stethoscope.  He kept his nose buried in his tablet!  He offered me various pills and condescendingly informed me that things I had surmised about my health weren’t possible.  (Don’t EVER go to Web MD and try to diagnose yourself.)  Some of it I’d already realized but his assumed arrogance made me want to smack him and I missed my regular doctor, she at least wasn’t ever going to talk down to her patients!

For now, that’s it…I’m alive and kicking and still full of it…my sense of humor hasn’t been affected or amputated…I live to write another day!

~K’Anne

 

 

 

Cooking with K’Anne

Okay, when I decided to start writing this particular blog I was standing over the stove actually cooking the meal I intend to eventually eat.  Those who know me know that I don’t cook, not if I can help it.  I need to find me a femme that likes to cook…because I make a real GREAT…reservation!

I have a fondness for Macaroni Beef and wanted to learn how to make it myself, from scratch.  (Don’t ask me why, maybe I was ill.)  I have in the past purchased Stouffers 13800447845which tastes awesome…I particularly like that it comes in a package that pops into the microwave and all I have to do is heat it up and toast some toast if I want garlic toast with it…putting the mixture over the toast is a delicious combination.  However, for some reason I decided I wanted to make it all by myself…from scratch (still shaking my head at THIS idea).

So, off to the grocery store I went.  $70 later I brought home BAGS of stuff I needed from the recipe list as well as other things in case this didn’t go well (see I already had my doubts).  I took along the recipe to make sure I got everything in it, some of which (surprisingly) was already in my cupboards.  Fortunately some things don’t go bad for a long time.

Beef & Macaroni Recipe

I have NO idea WHAT website I got this from but it was on my computer for a while (years) so I know the madness of this idea has been germinating for a long time…

While I was shopping to fulfill this list I kept up the niggling thought that it would be cheaper, much less easier to go get a Stouffers box and use that, but I’m no quitter.

I live alone so two pounds of beef is a LOT and I almost NEVER buy meat so this was going to be interesting, that stuff was horrifically expensive!  I decided that there would be lots of leftovers and I could put that in the fridge to eat whenever (more like for every.single.meal, since I won’t want it to go to waste, nor will I have the energy to cook anything else).

The Large Yellow Onion, I couldn’t help but wonder why not the white onions that were on sale or the smaller yellow onions that were already in the kitchen hanging there, waiting for my cooking endeavors and frequently sprouting…ending up in the trash from lack of use?  But I dutifully purchased the ONE LARGE YELLOW ONION that the recipe called for, after all I want this to turn out right?

Next on the list FOUR LARGE CLOVES of GARLIC!  Well, I didn’t realize it but Mom never bought cloves of garlic that I ever recall.  I wondered why.  I found out later when I was trying to work with them.

For some reason I had to go down several aisles to even FIND the canned and diced tomatoes and sauce.  I was starting to get cart rage trying to get around people in the grocery store.

Soy sauce, surprise, I had that in the cupboard.

Dried Oregano and Dried Basil I wasn’t so sure of but then, to be safe, I bought new spices…after all that stuff doesn’t stay ‘fresh’ forever.

Dried Bay Leaves, yep that I knew was in the cupboard because I like to make stew and what is a good stew without bay leaves that you have to remember to fish out or ends up in your bowl and you can’t eat?

Seasoned salt?  Now is that different than the common salt I had in the cupboard?  I have no idea and I’m not going to worry about it.  The pepper too I knew was there.

I also knew I had elbow macaroni in the cupboard, not knowing how much though I decided to get more, ‘just in case’ and let’s face it, uncooked pasta can last forever.  Good thing too as I found when I got home I only had ONE cup and not the TWO it called for…now I have a box of it that will last FOREVER!

Carrying all this home on my ‘leetle’ motorcycle is always hilarious and people stare…oh well, I get sixty miles to the gallon and while it is cold, it’s efficient.

I decided since the recipe asks to serve it the next day, I should get right on it…yeah, great idea that.

It occurs to me that maybe, perhaps, my mother should have taught me how to cook.  Remember back to the times when I had that opportunity, maybe not.  She too didn’t like to cook so I can’t really blame her for not wanting to teach me.  I was more interested in business courses and anything but cooking.  She grew up during the depression, her mother cooked, baked, canned, and my mom learned it all, but didn’t DO it since she had an older sister who could do it BETTER and frequently DID.  As the LITTLE sister she was often pushed away to go ‘play.’  So, she didn’t have to do it all and she found out years later how much her sister resented that…

41IJrXYa-XL._SY300_Well this recipe calls for a Dutch Oven…um, I have NO IDEA what a Dutch Oven is, I’m lucky that my house has an oven and bonus, I have a microwave one too!  I kinda figured it was a big pot so I was glad later when I didn’t use a skillet to brown the meat (after all we don’t want to do too many dishes right? (EVER PRACTICAL I AM)).

I browned the meat in this pot (not the one pictured here, I googled what a Dutch Oven was to show you all) that I inherited from my mother, who, I think, inherited it from her mother…so it has nostalgia.  It rarely gets used and I’m thinking of (gasp) replacing it with a stainless steel monstrosity so when I make stew or soup I have more overall space to make these culinary wonders (yeah right, great dreams) but those suckers are expensive and so unnecessary in my household.

While the meat is browning I start cutting up the garlic.  Um, what exactly is a clove?  fresh-garlic-1682642Is it the whole piece thing or those little thingings inside? Garlic cloves … do you know your varieties?

I wasn’t sure but I didn’t want to NOT follow the recipe (Great double negative, sigh).  I’d bought four of these things, surely cutting them out would prove to be easy right?  WRONG!  Those suckers move all over and they are sticky?  Why they are sticky I have no idea!  I also had trouble getting the outside peel out of way and had to play with it over and over again to get those in the garbage rather than on the cutting board!  They wanted it minced?  5069ee0adbd0cb3061000daa._w.1500_s.fit_Yeah right, maybe if I’d put them in a blender…wasn’t going to happen since I was cutting by hand.  Btw, having a sharp knife is a definite must when one cooks, just an FYI.  Also, those cooking shows on TV if you ever happen to catch them with the perfect little piles of whatever has to be added to the recipe are a LIE!  They have assistant chefs who cut up all that so that the main chef, the one ON the TV look GOOD!  Trying to get the food to look THAT good, that’s all done behind the scenes!  Plus that stuff went EVERYwhere.  One of the places it shot under was the electric burner (I do not like cooking with gas, good thing, I’d blow the place up!).  While that burned under my concoction I continued to cut and chop.  The aroma of burnt garlic was in the air, I’m sure Kitkat loved it…she did get pretty excited when I used the electric can opener on the tomato cans, I didn’t even know she LIKED tomatoes?

By the time I got to the fourth ‘clove’ or whatever they are called, most of those clovlings were tossed, I was sick of washing my hands constantly to get the sticky off and they just weren’t working out.  Note to future self, buy the dried minced garlic, probably why my mother never bought these things in the FIRST place!

The onion cut up no problem, now THAT I do on a fairly frequent basis.  By the time I cut it all (remember it was a LARGE Yellow Onion) into small even pieces though the tears were coming down in earnest and I was sniffing like crazy.  Yeah, I know there are WAYS to get around that, but I never learned any.  So, once I could, I got that mess into the pot and cooking.

Now the recipe asked you to fully brown the meat, but it didn’t ask me to drain it, which is a normal way to get rid of all the fat.  It also called for the onions to be translucent before you added the rest…what the heck is a translucent onion?  It was at this point I took another slug of the Smirnoff’s t7329933uz_1I’d started drinking during the garlic clove cutting time…one should NOT drink when they are cooking, just saying.  Eventually though, I’m certain the onions and garlic sucked up the fat, because it disappeared.

Adding in the rest, I didn’t bother with REAL measuring cups or teaspoons (the one from the silverware drawer should be sufficient right?) and I suspect I threw out my measuring spoons at some point because they didn’t work for me (another long story).  I used the tomato paste cans for the water, after all, my mom DID teach me not waste things (let’s not mention that I threw out most of that last garlic clove and wasted it, that was another issue and I was drinking at that point) and I didn’t want use a spatula to clean them out (too many dishes/utensils and I would lose interest), the water worked fine for cleaning them out and then I could recycle the cans.

Why is when you cook (at least for me) when it says medium heat, I want to turn it up all the way?  I learned my lesson a long time ago, ruining a pot and about six QUARTS of chicken soup by burning it in a big pot!   But the aroma of the burning clove under the burner kept me from disobeying the directions.  But really, I do remember science class from high school where they emphasized that higher heat does NOT make it cook FASTER!  Experience though is a better teacher!

Well, the whole thing is done, I tasted it, it was okay…I’m sure it will taste even better tomorrow as the recipe calls for…letting it sit…many things need to sit overnight to do what they need to do and they DO taste better as ‘leftovers.’  However, if I need to have my stomach pumped from my cooking, you will know it didn’t quite work out.  Meanwhile, food for thought!

macaroni-and-beefThis is what it SUPPOSED to look like, mine, not so much!

~K’Anne