Monday, September 29, 2008

Win a copy of Land of Entrapment by Andi Marquette

Andi Marquette is giving away a copy of her latest release, Land of Entrapment. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered into a drawing. The winner will be chosen October 4th. Good luck!

Land of Entrapment

K.C. Fontero left New Mexico in the wake of a bitter break-up to take an academic fellowship in Texas. With a doctorate in sociology and expertise in white supremacist groups, she’s on her way to an academic career. But a plea for help from her ex, Melissa, brings K.C. back to Albuquerque to find Melissa’s troubled younger sister. Megan has disappeared with her white supremacist boyfriend and K.C. knows she has the expertise to track the mysterious group, and she knows she’ll be doing a public service to uncover it. What she doesn’t know is how far into her past she’ll have to go to find both Megan and herself and the deeper she digs into the group, the greater the danger she faces.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

National Geographic National All Roads Film Festival

The National Geographic National All Roads Film Festival is now on.

2008 All Roads Film Festival "Images & Story: A New Generation"
Los Angeles, California: September 25-28
The Egyptian Theater6712 Hollywood Boulevard (at Highland)
Phone: 1 323 466 FILM
Tickets available at

Hat Tip To Krystyn Media Blog To see some of the films they're showing go on over to her site. Here are a few

Saturday, Sept. 27
10:00 p.m.

WEAVING LIFE - Director: Roberto Arévalo
Following in his father's footsteps, Rubiel Velasquez weaves baskets from bejuco, a wood similar to bamboo, which is disappearing from the central Colombian landscape. Colombian-born media educator and documentary filmmaker Roberto Arévalo teaches and produces documentary projects that promote social, cultural, and personal awareness. Colombia | 2007 | 26 minutes | Spanish (English subtitles)

UNDER THE OPEN SKY - Directors: José Luis Matías and Carlos Pérez Rojas
The community of El Carizalillo's battle with Goldcorp Mining is a story of a people that organized, fought, and won. Carlos Pérez Rojas is a video maker who has focused his work on indigenous people, social movements, and human rights.
Mexico | 2007 | 38 minutes | Spanish (English subtitles)

Sunday, September 28
1:30 p.m.
****highly recommended****
AS WE FORGIVE - Director: Laura Waters Hinson
Two women, Rosaria and Chantal, come face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 Rwandan genocide in this redemptive story. Laura Waters Hinson is a filmmaker and photographer based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Rwanda | 2008 | 53 minutes | English and Kinyarwanda (English subtitles)

Sunday, Sept. 28
4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Unstable Environment by Marcia Collette

Author: Marcia Collette
Title: "Unstable Environment"
Pages: 250
Publisher: Parker Publishing
Misc: Marcia's Blog & MySpace & FaceBook

I haven't read it but Harry Markov over at Temple Library Reviews blog has so here it is:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Concepts of beauty

I ran across one of my favorite vids from about a year ago, and just had to share it. It’s an amazing art exhibit on concepts of beauty and I hope to find someplace willing to host it where I live. I would love my kids to be able to see something honoring beautiful women like their goddess mother Xakara.

Women of a New Tribe is a not to be missed art display, and there's also a book out now where you can find this work called Women of a New Tribe; A Photographic Celebration of the Black Woman By Jerry Taliaferro.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Road to Lost Innocence Blog Tour


Book: The Road to Lost Innocence
Author: Somaly Mam
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House

This is the blurb:
Born in Cambodia and orphaned at an early age, Somaly Mam, a Buddhist sex trade survivor, grew up never knowing her real name or birthday.

As a teenager, Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution and spent years in the brothels of Cambodia where she witnessed and experienced the full-blown horrors of the human sex trade – rape, torture, and nearly unfathomable abuse. After her eventual escape, she could not forget the young girls (some as young as 5) left behind in the brothels, and so she returned to serve them. Her new book, "The Road of Lost Innocence," is her newest means of advocacy. It tells her personal story, ultimately inviting people of conscious, such as our Christian community, to become involved (or to continue involvement) in this war against an epic evil, a modern battle for "the least of these." Truly, not only is this book worth reading, it's worth sharing.

I have a review over at Blogcritics. But I'll just give my ruminations of the book here. Reading this book got me thinking about normalcy. Normalcy, like human nature, is often dependent on history, religion, and culture. In Cambodia, it seemed it was normal for poor girls to accept being abandoned, raped, sold to husbands to pay off for debts, and sold by parents or husbands repeatedly. It’s all they know and their society supports this cruelty. It’s also normal, when war begins, for the poor to find themselves sleeping beside dead bodies or amputating the legs of wounded soldiers even if they have no medical knowledge.

Interestingly, the book's synopsis says it's the Buddhist sex trade. But most of Somaly's chief exploiters are Muslim. I hadn’t known that Cambodia had a Muslim population but it seems weird that the publishers should say this. Are they afraid of saying anything anti-Moslem. This doesn’t matter, of course. Slavery in the United States was practiced by so-called Christians. Even so, most Americans are very provincial and do not really understand the world. And I suppose there were many Buddhist men who abused the author. Interestingly, many of us imagine every Buddhist in Asia to be a kind of pure-hearted noble-minded boddhi, geared for truth. It’s apparent from this memory that this is not true. Perhaps all men are naturally like that – would-be rapists who want to attack women. Perhaps that aspect of the male nature is toned down by education, cultural approbration, fear of punishment, and religious indoctrination against extra-marital sexual. Yep, I believe religion protects women. If religious men adhere to it. But perhaps war and poverty only made men nastier. Reading this book one feels that the only thing on men’s mind is the desire to rape…and once they have met a wounded a woman, all they can see is an object they can use and abuse.

I was also affected by the race issue. Always, the love of light-skinnedness and the hatred of darkskinnedness. Everywhere in the world. What is that about?

As I read this book, I felt somewhat vindicated. As a Christian I am often told by some Christian writers that my stories are dark. I often wonder why American Christians don't seem to understand that the world is in a great deal of pain. Not just sin, mind you. The person who sells and buys children for sex is a sinner. But the world is also in pain. The people who are victims of sexual abuse: prostitutes, incest survivors, etc are in need of healing from their pain. Often Christian books are so far from touching painful situations that one ends up with books that cannot reach past the Christian reading community.

This is a book that really reminded me of how lost and confused and evil human nature is without the holy spirit working within.

A bit of a documentary is on youtube

to purchase the book at

This is her update page at her website

Some other Tour participants are:

Amazon Link:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Speculative Fiction Reading List


the following speculative fiction books by writers of Latin American heritage

for Hispanic Heritage Month:

COSMOS LATINOS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION FROM LATIN AMERICA AND SPAIN: a terrific, five-year-old anthology of early-to-contemporary SF stories from Spain and Latin America, showing the breadth of Latino social concerns and imagination.

Jorge Luis Borges LABYRINTHS: A short story collection very like FICCIONES, his other book. Am not sure which one has my two favorite Borges stories: A) the story about the man who is on a bus trip and who is fated to die 2) the story about Judas being the real savior because he was the one who was despised and rejected of men. Just turning the entire Jesus story around and saying Judas was the lamb who sacrificed himself.

Adolfo Bioy Casares THE INVENTION OF MOREL: Casares was an Argentine writer in the circle of Jorge Luis Borges. MOREL steps directly into the realm of science fiction, in the tradition of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, dealing with unnamed technology and its very specific effects on human psychology.

Julio Cortazar HOPSCOTCH: Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books where you get to choose your own endings, make your own timeline, and generally skip around and rearrange the chapters? This is the best of the best. It's a novel about philosophy and order and meaning and quite fun.

Carlos Fuentes DEATH OF ARTEMIO CRUZ: This is the first book (the only book?) I ever read where each chapter is written in a different person. First person, Second Person, Third Person. There is also the great f*ck chapter. An old revolutionary is dying and thinking about his life. We see a lot about the Mexican revolution and get tons of stuff about political corruption.

Angelica Gorodischer KALPA IMPERIAL: a quirky collection of stories about a fictional great empire that rises and falls and rises and falls. Translated by Ursula K. LeGuin

Mario Vargas Llosa AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER: hilarious, mischievous, and masterful...a wonderfully comic novel almost unbelievably rich in character, place and event.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE: Totally wonderful love story with folk-legend. It's like listening to one's hoo-doo believing grandmother telling you about events in her life. A lot of brothers, a lot of love, a lot of passion, a lot of spiritual cause and effect.

Guillermo Gomez-Peña THE NEW WORLD BORDER: the strangest book about performance art you've ever read, Gomez-Peña casts forward into, and writes news reports from a borderless future where whites are a minority and the language is Spanglish.

Juan Rulfo PEDRO PARAMO: A man goes back to his parents' village to try to find the father who abandoned him. Trapped there by ghosts, he learns the horrifying story of his father's evil deeds. One of the first "magical realist" novels from Latin America.

American Indian Heritage Month is in November, and we're going to start that list in a couple of weeks, so brace yourselves!

New Editing Service: Practical Pen Editing

Hi All,

If you're so inclined, mosey on over to the Practical Pen Editing Web site and check out the projects I've put the pen to thus far, and the editorial services I offer. You might also contemplate adding your project to the line-up while you're over there. My rates are way reasonable and my work speaks for itself. Spread the word - "Practical makes perfect."

If you're seeking quality freelance editing at really decent prices, send me a couple of pages from your project and let me show you what I can do for you. Serious inquiries only, please. I only take time out from watching Army Wives when I have some real work to do.

Here's the Web site info:

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