Book Release: The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

13 May
Deep symbolism at work in the cover design

(c) 2014 Michael M. McConaughey

 

Now that I’ve gotten over the surprise (to me) release of my new book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood, I suppose I had better do a proper introduction and cover reveal for those individuals who are new to this blog.

In the midst of my disturbing 2008 marriage breakdown, I had to deal with child abuse issues of rabid parental alienation and possible Munchausen by proxy. By law, I had to contact a child protection agency, which in my jurisdiction are known as Children’s Aid Societies (CAS). Little did I know that CAS’s are feminist covens.

Instead of investigating my reports of child abuse, which a CAS is legally obliged to do, the CAS social worker in my case assisted my estranged wife in alienating my three kids from me and tried to trick me into leaving my home. When this failed, the CAS social worker tried to bully me into leaving my home. When this, too, failed, she tried threatening me with child protection action if I didn’t leave my home. When this failed, the CAS made its court application.

Without trial, without evidence, and without any established fact, a feminist judge kicked me out of my own lawfully-owned home and cunningly issued a no-access order against me, which ended up lasting around nine months. It was obviously her intent to do so before she came into court. So confident were they, the CAS didn’t bother to send anyone other than their lawyer; there was no need. The eventual report of a neutral, court-appointed expert psychiatrist who corroborated what I said was going on had no real effect. Nor did an affidavit by parental alienation expert Dr. Amy Baker, Ph.D.  All it was ever about was ensuring the mother won HER child support payments, as a matter of covert feminist policy.

There was one little problem with this feminist scam. It was also criminal, literally.

Once analyzed, what the child protection system amounts to is a feminist criminal conspiracy to abduct children of divorce from their fathers. Little wonder that I refer to it as the Evil Sisterhood. I seemed to upset authorities when I pointed this out, and a cover up ensued. The Mirror exposes what happened, what routinely goes on, and most importantly, why. As the book argues, kids have been killed by deranged mothers because of this.

It is merely a happy coincidence that the book is coming out in the middle of the Ontario Government’s provincial re-election campaign.

By all accounts, The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood is a gripping read that competes with the best of fiction. It has strong elements of autobiography, human interest, intrigue, scandal, justice, fascinating new ideas, and gender politics. Readers report having a tough time putting it down; more than a few late nights reading have resulted.

It’s heartbreaking enough when fathers have their children ripped from their lives. When experts equate the harm done that alienation does to children as being similar to or even more harmful than sexual abuse, it goes beyond outrage.

Your support in helping spread the word about this book and its important message is gratefully appreciated. Honest online reviews are worth their weight in gold. The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats at major online book sellers (some haven’t posted all the information, yet), and I’ve heavily discounted it at my self-publisher’s (FriesenPress) online bookstore:

FriesenPress

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Chapters-Indigo

Google play

Kobo Store

eBookMall

– iBookStore (Hasn’t appeared here, yet. Apple devices can use the Kindle app to get The Mirror.)

As for reviews and blogging interviews, it’s full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. Please feel free to contact me at themirrorbooks@gmail.com. Although the cover design is copyright, everyone is free to use it to blog about the book, with my blessing. There is a legal requirement that I not be publicly identified in association with this true story, so, as far as the world is concerned, I am Michael M. McConaughey. I haven’t seen my daughter since August 2008, because of this.

If I hadn’t fought, tooth-and-nail, every step of the way, the same fate would have befallen my two sons.

Thanks, everyone. It’s begun.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Books: Interesting books to read!

12 May

Alana Munro is a published author who is an exemplar when it comes to supporting fellow authors. I am honoured that The Mirror is a Featured Book at her blog. If you’ve read The Mirror, please stop by Alana’s place and leave your impression of the book.

The Book Fairy Waved Her Magic Wand: “The Mirror” For Sale At Barnes & Noble!

10 May
Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

 

The last that I had heard (middle of this week), my book information was being uploaded to distribution channels, and I should expect to see it hit the major online sellers in a few weeks, probably by the end of June.

Imagine my surprise to find that The Mirror is now for sale at Barnes & Noble as an e-book. ***UPDATE: Changed to all formats as I was typing!*** It’s really happening, perhaps a bit faster than I had expected. I’m still working with my FriesenPress.com marketing guru to get things like my marketing plan and formal press release done. I don’t even have an “official” launch date or event planned yet.

May I ask a favour from those who’ve already read the manuscript or galley proof? It would be helpful if you’d leave comments and rank the book at both places where it is now for sale:

 

Barnes & Noble

FriesenPress

 

Honest opinions and rankings, of course. My feelings won’t be hurt in the slightest if I don’t see 5-stars across the board; far from it. I suppose I’ll have to get that goodreads.com author’s account established, so that scores / feedback can be done there, too.

As per a previous post, I’ve copied people’s review comments and pasted them below. If it’s been a while, these comments can be cut-and-pasted (by their authors!) to the Barnes & Noble and FriesenPress pages for The Mirror. Or, new comments can be written if desired, obviously.

It appears as if I’ve passed that point of no return; I’ve crossed a Rubicon, and the die is cast. (I’m sure I was the first to utter these words, honest.)

For those interested in blogging about this or having an author interview, let’s wait until my marketing guru fleshes out the marketing plan before doing anything formal. It’s certainly fine to discuss the book, but we should probably wait until the book is available at all the major retailers, first.

P.S. I still haven’t gotten my WordPress email alerts sorted out. If I’ve been absent from your recent posts, my apology.

 

* * * * *

 

Test Reader Feedback [NOTE: Significant majority are women]

“I spent the past weekend with your book. It is excellent: your patient and blow-by-blow recounting of the hell you endured makes for a very gripping reading experience.” Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, Ontario, Canada

Absolutely love Book One. You captured my interest, my support and my heart.” S.F., U.S.A.

“In the beginning I felt as though I was reading “This Boys Life: A Memoir” written by Tobias Wolff, in addition to reading Follett or Le Carré filled with conflict and intrigue. I was on the edge of my futon. I will admit, this is my second reading. I want to buy it when published, you just have to autograph it so the book can sit in my book case along with my hard copy of my favorite authors. Definitely an awesome and honest story. It is terribly hard to believe the circumstances and that there are women out there like that “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind. Thank you for letting me read your story.” J.M., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

I really, really enjoyed it! It was so real and personal that it actually made me cry at times. Most of the time it was empathy, sometimes sympathy… I truly enjoyed reading this. I feel as if you were talking to me over coffee at times and the read was in person. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I understand and respect you as if I did. Thank you so much!” J.C., Ontario, Canada

“I have just finished the book….to be quite honest, it’s left me speechless. I have been through a range of emotions, realizations, and was especially challenged by the last few pages regarding the rejection of ‘feminism’ as defined by Michael. What a story…It made me think about my own upbringing and how the qualities of narcissism show up differently within the masculine and feminine paradigms (as Michael suggests). Feminist or not, this book is a page-turner.” J.K., U.S.A.

“The Mirror is eloquent and it’s human. You told your story with passion, with confidence and with conviction. You’ve done brilliantly at keeping it coherent and you’ve paced it out as well as any good work of fiction I’ve ever read. Your writing style is that of a true storyteller, and it was only on very rare occasions as I read that I didn’t feel you were sitting beside me, telling of the joys and the trials, the triumphs and the frustrations. I felt your losses and your significant wins, few and far between as they may have been. You should be very proud of your work… it is awesome.” L.G.H., Ontario, Canada

The Mirror is every parent’s worst nightmare—your children stolen from your life by a vindictive ex and a corrupt, incompetent and unjust system. Sit up and take notice, because this compelling and heartbreaking story will continue to happen to others until an outraged public demands social change.” K.H., Ontario, Canada

“I honestly struggled to keep this short, because I cannot speak highly enough of the book, and how and why it was written–and what reading it instilled in me. It was an intriguing, honest and at times humorous telling of the devastating injustice inflicted on one man. I was drawn intellectually and emotionally into the story of a father whose three children were alienated from him WITH the help of the judicial systems in place in Canada. I felt present with him through each encounter, unable to stop reading. Seeing and feeling not only his pain – but the indisputable truth he conveys with evidence to back up his words – caused me to rethink various aspects of my views on society as a whole. A must read for everyone who wishes for a fairer and better world.” B.B., U.K.

“I sat down intending to read the first twenty or so pages and was became so engrossed in the details that mirrored much of my own experience – I read it right to the end in one sitting. The Mirror reveals exposes a broken system that has punished many for no good reason.” B.C., Ontario, Canada

I am so grateful you wrote this book, on so many levels. You just nailed it all so perfectly. My mother was quite a narcissist. She took me from my father when I was 3, allegedly to protect me. I never could quite figure out, protect me from what? Thanks to your book, I think I get it now. Thank you so much for letting me read your book. It was powerful. I’m quite impressed.” G.G., Seattle WA, U.S.A.

“With respect to the book, if I may say so, it has been very well structured and your dry humor runs throughout. As you had mentioned at the end, it sure is an ordeal to go through it again to put it down, but you have done a very good job of it to have it neatly segregated… I was wondering, ‘how is he going to handle the aftermath of this tornado once it gets published and recognized?’ Feminists all over are going to be so over him. And I got the answer at the last chapter. ‘Damn them,’ you say. I say the same.” K.G., India

“Just finished your book! Your passion for the dire need of the courts to return to the unfeminized Rule of Law is palpable and well-defined.Your personal experience will resonate with millions of men, and not just betrayed fathers, but any man who has been unfairly subjected to any influential female “authority” figure’s misguided decision-making process, whether she be part the judiciary, business community, government, academia, military, organized religion or politics. They will suddenly realize that it was not just bad luck that produced their negative outcomes, but a full-blown concerted conspiracy to denigrate them for being men.” K.Q.D., U.S.A.

I found your book to be extremely interesting and very well written. You’ve also done your research, so it’s very well quoted, which I think is a plus for a book like yours. It is essential to read the experience of a man, so your book needs to be out there, needs to be read. Maybe it will help to make a difference and to help the system change.” V.B., Ontario, Canada

Never have I seen the pain and horror resulting from the gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against fathers (and men in general) in today’s society so clearly portrayed. ‘The Mirror’ is a rare, inside look at just how impotent the modern-day father is rendered by the current justice systems of North America. It exposes the insidious underbelly of feminism in a raw, unapologetic account of one man’s struggle to save his children, and his refusal to give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.” – A. T., VA, U.S.A.

You weren’t kidding when you said some people couldn’t put it down. I was up until 2:00 am last night reading, and then I started again after the kids went to school this morning. I found myself drawn in by your story, but also by all of the research you included. I am astounded by everything that has happened to you and your children; injustice doesn’t even begin to describe it. If this was 30 years ago, I could see it happening. But in this day and age? I find your story simply appalling. I hope, one day, your children will be able to see through their mother. No child deserves to be without a loving father, and no loving father deserves to be without his children. Looking forward to Book Two.” CA, BC, Canada

“I have just finished reading your book! After 43 years in an unhappy marriage, I feel so lifted up to know that I am not alone. One must always see the problems of others to realize that we do have things to be grateful for. All the best to you, with kudos for your wonderful book.” I.L., Ottawa ON, Canada

 

 

Coming Soon!: The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

6 May
With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

 

I have been blessed, in the eight months since starting blogging, to have made some absolutely wonderful friends from around the globe. The support I’ve received, especially for my forthcoming book, has been heartwarming. At times, I suspect that some of the book’s wonderful volunteer test readers are even more excited about it than I am.

I’ve received a little good news about the book from my FriesenPress.com account manager, and I thought I would pass it along. Be warned, though. There is a bit of a spoiler alert for those who want to wait to see the actual cover. The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood now has its place reserved at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

The book—hard cover, paperback, and various e-book formats—should be available for sale at the FP online bookstore by the end of the month. We hope to have the books stocked with the major online sellers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, iBooks/iTunes store) around the end of June. Since my package with FP includes book cancellation insurance, there is a chance that I can actually get the book into real bricks-and-mortar stores, too. This is part of the marketing challenge that I must rise to.

My next task is to develop a formal marketing plan. Thankfully, my package with FriesenPress.com includes working with a marketing expert to develop this plan, reviewing / editing of my book’s press release, 3 hours of marketing coaching (which includes 1 year of an individual .com website, managed with something called weebly), etc.

I have to place an order soon for the amount of books that I want for marketing purposes. I wish I could afford to buy all the test readers a thank you hard cover copy, but right now I have to marshall my copies for reviewers and other direct marketing activities (ebooks are a different matter). Maybe if sales do really well, we can revisit this, or perhaps do complimentary copies of The Mirror, Book Two – Harbinger of a Dark Age, when it comes out. What I can do now, however, is make a bulk order for Book One and pass along my author’s discount.

We can do the private book signing thing with this, but under a ladies and gentlemen’s agreement of confidentiality, if it’s my real name. Michael M. McConaughey or navigator1965?—no problem. The hard cover would be about $20, and the paperback would be about $10, plus shipping.

Let me know if anyone is interested: themirrorbooks@gmail.com. If things are a little tight at the moment, let me know, too, as I might end up with a spare book, when everything is said and done.

I know who my friends are. Thanks for all the support.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I'd been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I’d been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

P.S. For those you’ve seen the actual cover, which do you prefer? The one I didn’t choose (above) or the one I did?

 

 

Culinary Crimes Against Humanity Revisited: The Creature From the Black Lagoon

3 May
It may look like a harmless bowl of organic Pepto-Bismal, but Nav knows better

It may look like a harmless bowl of organic Pepto-Bismal, but Nav knows better

 

For those who’ve read my previous post regarding Chef Nav’s culinary crimes against humanity, there are certain inferences that one might draw about me. I am highly adept at devising original coconut milk extraction protocols, for one. For another, my general ineptitude in all things culinary would seem to rise to epic proportions on those tragic occasions when I happen to be in a position of importance in the kitchen.

By way of background, your friendly Navigator had become a bit too physically resplendent in his post-Christmas magnificence. Given that my mid-winter “arctic survival kit,” which may be known to you by its alternate name of “the spare tire,” had grown to ice-age proportions, The Namless One, who is so named as she may not be named, decided that it would be in “our” best interest if “we” embraced the Dukan Diet.

And so was my illusion that there was simply more of me to love to die a sudden, instant, and even immediate death.

To begin the Dukan Diet, one must be betrayed by a sister who volunteers to give you her Dukan Diet book. It’s like getting rid of your Edgar Allen Poe “Monkey’s Paw” – the curse now rests upon another. Thanks, Sis. I love you, too.

The Book of Spells

The Book of Spells

Not only are there delicious and healthy recipes in the book, there are also delicious and healthy Dukan recipes on the internet. And thus does my story truly begin.

The Nameless One is a planner. She is disciplined. All that happens must happen as has been foreordained. By her. In advance. As part of a Master  Plan. As a result, there are these things that mysteriously come into being. Quantum mechanics and metaphysics and the Higgs Boson and all that. Only these things — these mysterious, just-come-into-being-from-out-of-the-aether things– are called “lists.”

And, for some reason that I’ve yet to fathom, I must do what are written on these “lists,” without question. Kind of like the Ten Commandments, only different. How, I’m not exactly certain.

..., 2. Thou shalt take out the garbage. 3. Thou shalt rake the leaves. 4...

…, 2. Thou shalt take out the garbage. 3. Thou shalt rake the leaves. 4…

Just as there are different flavours and spins of the mysterious things that come into being in quantum mechanics, so there are different types of lists. The one in question was a “grocery” list, which contained mysterious and alchemical ingredient for the Dukan Diet. One of the list’s ingredients was more mysterious than quantum foam or Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which seemed to apply.

It was “seafood medley,” and I was uncertain as to what it was. A collection of lobster-eating songs?

It just so happened that during a spiritual sojourn at the local Farmboy temple, I encountered a bag of frozen seafood medley. I returned home, a culinary Indiana Jones, my triumphant frozen prize from distant shores held aloft. And there was much rejoicing.

However, The Nameless One is a High Entrepreneurial Sorceress of Interior Design. Navigator must tread warily about the home, lest he disturb the Enchanted Forest of otherwise functionless cushions. As it happens, The Nameless One had become busy with a series of long-hours Interior Design corporate spell casting sessions to exercise a certain demon of distaste, and so the seafood medley had become in danger of summoning a stinky seafood rot demon within kitchen’s stainless steel, counter-depth, French-doored root cellar. Thus was Navigator bidden to take the seafood medley and, in the lesser cauldron, perform some unholy incantation upon the magical ingredients.

Nav did not disappoint.

Beware the Enchanted Forest!

Beware the Enchanted Forest!

Unbeknowst to Nav, The Nameless One had requisitioned the seafood medley based upon an internet Dukan recipe. Innocent Nav, in his innocence, wondered why he could not find the stupid seafood medley recipe in the stupid Dukan Book that his loving sister had lovingly cursed him with. He thus consulted with the Oracle at Google Delphi, and came upon a non-Dukan seafood medley recipe in the internet aether. In retrospect, Nav should have checked for an Underwriters Laboratory’s “UL” approval seal before venturing forth. The listed ingredients were: butter; garlic; seafood medley; white wine; lemon; and green flakey dried herb thingies, to taste.

“Brilliant,” thinks Nav. “What the hell could possibly go wrong with six ingredients?” What, indeed?

Based upon a 30 year professional career history of dealing with dangerous fluids, Nav reads the recipe and realizes that it calls for 1/4 cup of white wine. Let’s see. 1/4 cup = about 60ml. One bottle of white wine = 750 ml. 750 ml – 60 ml = 690 ml of residual white wine. Nav immediately recognizes the danger to women and children, and then gallantly makes the required sacrifice.

He notes that the name of the South African white wine is “Two Oceans.” Nav makes the near-fatal error of thinking this relates to the geographic intersection of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. He is to later learn that it actually refers to the pending torrential output of his two tortured kidneys.

Oh, the sacrifices Navigators make for Queen and country

Oh, the sacrifices Navigators make for Queen and country. Hey, why is the photo blurry?

Already weak from his heroic defence of defenceless women and children, Nav turns to the task at hand. He follows the instructions with great care, and gets the seafood medley a’cooking in the lesser cauldron. The one with the non-stick coating, for easier cleanup.

That old black magic...

That old black magic…

He then begins the accompanying garlic butter sauce, in his poor-man’s KitchenAid le Creuset knock-off saucepan. Which looks remarkably like a pot to him, but which, for some unfathomable reason, is a saucepan, in the Enchanted Forest.

Sadly, advancing Two Oceans renal failure interferes with Nav’s renown recipe-reading skills, and he botches the butter measurement.

Nav employs the rarely seen kettle buffer tactic

Nav exploits the kettle for terrain masking. Sun Tzu and The Art of Kitchen War

 

Meanwhile, the lesser cauldron is gently cooking the tender and delicate seafood medley. Into something that the chefs at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company would be proud of. “Ding!” goes the bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble timer, and off the fire does the lesser cauldron come.

 

Guaranteed to churn Nav's guts

Guaranteed to churn Nav’s guts

 

The unholy and most rubbery concoction is transferred into a large white bowl, as no other bowl may exist within the Enchanted Forest of functionless cushions. As to why, Nav is as uncertain as Heisenberg was.

 

The White Bowl of Mystic Offerings

Auger the Future with The Mystic White Bowl of Entrail Offerings

 

Then comes the garlic butter sauce. Only Nav’s botched the butter measurement so badly, what he’s actually made is semi-rotten rubberized Creature from the Black Lagoon garlic butter entrail soup.

 

Not every chef sees soup stock in this image. Nav does

Rare, indeed, is the chef who has the vision to see the soup hidden within this image.          Nav is such a chef

 

Yum, yum. Nav uses a spoon, to get every drop.

 

Somebody's missing a tentacle. And other unnamed body parts

Somebody’s missing a tentacle. And other unnamed body parts

 

The next day, Nav’s high-class Mexican goodwill ambassadorial friend, Monseigneur Montezuma dela Revenge, pays Nav a little visit. Several little visits, in fact, tactful diplomat that he is. Thankfully, the previous evening’s buckets of molten butter prove more effective than WD-40 in dealing with dela Revenge’s topic of primary interest. The only way it could have been better was if Nav had used goose grease instead of butter.

For some strange reason, Nav is reminded of this Vitamix beet & coconut milk adventure, and he knows, deep down inside (once it calms down), that somebody is trying to tell him something about Nav’s being in the kitchen. Some things are contrary to the laws of God and nature.

Nav in the kitchen is one of them. }:-(>

THE END.

 

Vinyl Valhalla #1 – The Formative Years

30 Apr
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, vinyl without end. Amen.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, vinyl without end. Amen.

 

My first post on stereos and music, “Sanctuary For The Restless Male Mind,” was a brief heads-up for a series of posts on a topic that will be of interest to many people: music, and especially the stereos that most of us reproduce that music with. With that in mind, here we go:

My first encounter with stereos was with Mom’s Philco console stereo, which looked something like this:

 

 

Mom had come from a humble French-Canadian background, and becoming an administration Flying Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) back in the 60’s saw her receive a meaningful pay check for the first time in her life. Quite reasonably, she treated herself to the Philco—turntable, AM/FM, amplifier, and speakers, all in one convenient and handsome cabinet.

Dad was (and remains) a Johnny Cash fan—how many of you have a parent who’s seen both Cash and Buddy Holly, live? Mom had Elvis and Edith Piaf albums. So I have fond recollections of hearing albums like these:

 

It takes so little spirits for Nav to "Walk The Line." This tends to lead to a "Burning Ring of Fire" the ensuing day.

It takes so little spirits for Nav to “Walk The Line.” This tends to lead to a “Burning Ring of Fire” the ensuing day.

 

When I was around 10, I received a plastic Sears turntable as a Christmas gift. I haven’t been able to find any photos of it, but this will give you an idea of the sort of thing that I had:

 

Close enough

Close enough

 

I remember listening to my Elton John’s Greatest Hits album on it. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” and “Benny & The Jets” were part of my cultural upbringing. I also had a fantastic used Guess Who album that an Uncle had given me. “No Sugar Tonight” and “American Woman” were also staples. Yes, there was a time before Lenny Kravitz, way, way back in the distant past.

 

10 year old Nav didn't know that "greatest hits" albums were gauche. He just loved the music.

10 year old Nav didn’t know that “greatest hits” albums were gauche. He just loved the music.

"No Sugar Tonight" Trumps "American Woman," IMO. Feel free to disagree.

“No Sugar Tonight” Trumps “American Woman,” IMO. Feel free to disagree.

 

My broader exposure to music, though, really began as a kid of just 13. Remember this made-for-TV movie?:

 

So unbelievably cool to a 13 year old boy living in at C.F.B. Nowhere.

So unbelievably cool to a 13 year old boy living in at C.F.B. Nowhere.

 

Yes, Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park was an incredible experience for a young 13 year old lad in the not-cosmopolitan locale of Canadian Forces Base Summerside, Prince Edward Island, back in ’78. And, sure enough, didn’t one awesome S. Claus leave this album for me under the tree that Christmas morning?:

 

Japanese audiophile re-issue. WARNING: Do not play under the influence of alcohol. May result in Nav spandex-clad karaoke episodes. Listen to with caution.

Japanese audiophile re-issue. WARNING: Do not play under the influence of alcohol. May result in Nav spandex-clad karaoke episodes. Listen to with caution.

 

I was into skateboarding, back in the late 70’s. After Summerside, Dad was posted for a year to the even more not-cosmopolitan U.S. Navy Facility in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. It was actually a great place for a kid my age, and with my subscription to Skateboarder Magazine, I was introduced to aspects of skateboarder culture, which included picking up Blondie and Nazareth albums after reading reviews of them.

 

Ah, the joys of exploring music.

Ah, the joys of exploring music.

 

1980 saw us move to the outskirts of broader metropolitan Halifax, Nova Scotia, at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater. By working a few part-time jobs, I saved enough to buy a Lloyd’s all-in-one stereo, just like this:

 

Just like this one, but with a dust cover.

Better than a plastic kids’ stereo, but still a long way away from true hi-fi

 

Not only did it have an automatic turntable (which would shut itself off after playing an album) and AM/FM receiver, it also had an 8-track player. You haven’t heard music until it’s been interrupted by the massive KA-CHUNK of a mid-song track change. As I began working at a variety of jobs in my spare time, I could afford to explore music a little more. I was also going to concerts with high school friends, when major acts would condescend to play Halifax: Ted Nugent, Van Halen, etc. I’d normally go to bed after throwing a final album on, and fall asleep listening to Led Zeppelin or Queen.

Any of these seem familiar?

 

British rock import albums!

British rock import albums!

Biting social commentary.

Biting social commentary.

LOVE early Purple.

LOVE early Purple.

"Dark Side" and "Wish You Were Here" are better, but this is the definitive end of the journey. Monumental.

Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were great. The Wall was monumental.

Everything up to "The Game" was genius. Freddie and Brian May...

Everything up to The Game was genius. Freddie and Brian May…

Violin bows and double-neck electric guitars. The impact of Zep is difficult to comprehend, even today.

Violin bow and double-neck electric guitar, courtesy of the amazing Jimmy Page.

 

Little did I know that these formative music-stereo years were to stay with me for the rest of my life, as my tastes and experience and knowledge grew. It wasn’t until around 2000, however, with the discovery of one unselfish and dedicated audiophile’s website that I learned what true high-fidelity audio was really about. Forget all about the fancy magazine adds and the “amazing” 1,000 watt amplifiers at your local electronics shop. You’d be amazed at just how much musical information and emotion are actually hidden in those mysterious vinyl grooves. You just have to know how to coax those delicate little musical bits out.

 

Stradivarius performs Hendrix

Stay tuned for the true story behind what are probably the greatest turntables to have ever existed.

 

Musical genius. Words escape me.

Musical genius. Words escape me.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

P.S. I listened to an audiophile re-issue of The Wall last night, for the first time since high school. Wow. It was spiritual in a cerebral sort of way. For those of you who’ve had an advance read of my book The Mirror, I think you’ll see some of the lyrics from The Wall in a whole new light, especially the parts dealing with “mother.” I’ll have to write a post about this, someday. Fascinating.

P.P.S. Look what I’ve just found on 180g vinyl and ordered! Eva Cassidy on vinyl! Her singing is so beautiful, it can bring tears to my eyes, may God rest her gentle soul.

The voice of an angel

The voice of an angel

Chef Nav’s Culinary Crime Against Humanity

28 Apr
Oh, my aching guts.

Oh, my aching guts.

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE

Those who’ve followed this blog and especially those who have read my book (pre-release) will know that I am a most serious fellow who both never jokes and is somewhat adept at identifying abstract patterns. Often this works to my advantage.

Other times, it doesn’t.

It appears as if I am afflicted with a certain cognitive asymmetry. This is a very clever way of saying that I can be very not clever in certain regards, haut cuisine being one of the better examples. Indeed, The Nameless One, who is so named as she must not be named, once looked on in astonished horror as I attempted to make a delicious meal in which I mixed canned tuna and canned baked beans. At least, it was supposed to be a delicious meal, in the same spirit as the two people who bumped into one another and mixed chocolate with peanut butter. It proved to be a serendipitously delicious and accidental culinary discovery, or at least it was in the 1970’s commercials.

Fairy tales don't happen in Nav's kitchen

Fairy tales don’t happen in Nav’s kitchen

How was I to know baked beans and tuna would taste like crap and turn my guts into knots for an entire day? Tuna comes in cans. Baked beans come in cans. There was a pattern there; I just bloody knew it. Not all patterns are good ones, I suppose.

Where the hell is the cautionary labelling?: NOT FOR USE WITH CANNED TUNA!

Where the hell is the cautionary labelling?: NOT FOR USE WITH CANNED TUNA!

This morning, The Nameless One left me with idiot-proof instructions regarding a delicious and healthy meal that was to be made with the F@#!ing Vitamix superblender. This blender is so powerful that some 3rd world nations use it for tire recycling. With this monstrosity of unrestrained kitchen torque as my mystic culinary temple, and much like the mystic Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Nameless One left me her cryptic and timeless message on the kitchen blackboard: beets; carrots; dates; coconut; almonds. There. The mystery of the universe, solved. Whatever the bloody hell could ever go wrong with just five ingredients?

Plenty.

The first thing that a man must do–and when mustn’t a man do what a man must do?–when confronted with such a righteous quest is to pull out Excaliber or some other holy and +3 magic sword. Not having one lying around, I whipped out the next best thing: the 10″ Shun Classic chef’s knife / Bilbo Baggins’ special.

I'm compensating for what?!

I’m compensating for what?!

Having scrubbed and chopped both red AND orange beets, as two colours surely must be healthier than one, I then pondered the stupid coconut. The goal was to get the uber-fresh coconut milk from inside the coconut AND into the destroyer of vegetables that I so dearly love.

We couldn’t have canned coconut milk. No. That wouldn’t be cricket. So, having left my light sabre at the office and not wanting to provoke a 911 call for having attacked an unarmed coconut with a reciprocating saw, I decided to use our U.N. Human Rights Commission-Approved Guantanamo Bay  Ethical Restraining Device, to keep the coconut from hurting itself while I punctured the bloody life out of it.

Respecting the dignity of all mankind.

Respecting the dignity of all mankind.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the cognitive stress of solving the Mystery of the Sealed Coconut so taxed my poor asymmetric brain that I forgot all about the bloody dates. Might as well try to re-start the warp core without di-lithium crystals. Otherwise, all the ingredients went into the F@#!ing Vitamix. I followed the proper VM ignition sequence protocol, just like they teach at NASA.

The lid was sealed. Low power, minimum speed. Slowly increase the speed via the correct rotary dial control knob as the tire recycler chomped through the hard bits of beets and carrots and almonds like a pit bull going through prime rib. Just when you think you’ve reached the point of maximum vegetable violence (MVV), throw ‘er into high gear, and stand back as time and space warp under the awesome power of the F@#!ing Vitamix.

A bowl of rotten Pepto-friggin’-Bismol and cheap port would have tasted better than this Tinkerbell-pink healthy crap. I’m so glad I added the hairy-assed coconut milk; what a disaster it would have been had I forgotten that, too. I had a Campbell’s Chunky Soup moment upon first tasting it: maybe God is punishing me, so I should use a spoon, to get every friggin’ drop. “Jeez, all that’s missing is a touch of dates,” Nav said to himself. \

Who needs hot yoga or Pilates to strengthen my core, when I can just drink this crap and  send my guts to the digestive olympics decathlon? No colon cancer for this culinary cowboy, no ma’am. There’s fibre, and then there’s Vitamix! Might make the U.S. Navy super gun R&D team green with envy, which is preferable to being internally pink and gurgling with my concoction.

Whatever reason God put me on this Earth, I can with great confidence say this one thing about it: it surely wasn’t to make food.

Copyright (c) and Pseudonyms: What Every Author Should Know

25 Apr
The cover I didn't choose

The cover I didn’t choose

There can be a number of reasons why an author would want to write under another name. For example, horror master Stephen King also wrote under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, so he could publish more often without saturating the Stephen King brand. More recently, Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling wrote for an adult audience as Robert Galbraith, to escape the Harry Potter hype.

These are examples from fiction. I am a non-fiction writer (well, for the moment, at least) who is writing as “Michael M. McConaughey.” Who I really am must remain an eternal mystery, just like the Bruce Wayne – Batman thing. Besides wanting privacy due to the rather controversial nature of my true story, there is actually a legal requirement that I not be publicly identified in association with my case. Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act s. 45.(8), under “Hearings and Orders,” is quite explicit:

Prohibition: identifying child
(8)  No person shall publish or make public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is a witness at or a participant in a hearing or the subject of a proceeding, or the child’s parent or foster parent or a member of the child’s family. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 45 (8).

I have a little bit of a problem, don’t I? My account manager at FriesenPress.com has informed me that we are now at the stage where she must submit the application for copyright to the U.S. Copyright Office on my behalf. I can’t very well have “Copyright (c) 2014 [INSERT MyRealName]” printed in the book, can I? As it turns out, I can’t use “Copyright (c) 2014 MYPRIVATECORPORATION INC,” either. All someone would have to do is Google the corporation name, and my real name would come up as a director (if I had one), as this is a matter of public record.

However, I can register the copyright of my book under my pseudonym. Here’s what the guidance says:

An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nicknames and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Copyright does not protect pseudonyms or other names.

If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office’s records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check “pseudonymous” on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author’s name is given, it will become part of the Office’s online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.

Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author’s identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author’s life plus 70 years.

So, in my case, here’s what I have to do:

1 – Get my FriesenPress.com Case Manager to put my pseudonym of Matthew M. McConaughey on the copyright application, and identify it as such.
2 – Leave the space for the real name blank. DO NOT PUT MY REAL NAME ON THE APPLICATION!!!
3 – Recognize the difference in the duration of copyright by doing this (not a big deal, for me).
4 – Make certain that I can prove that it’s my work, in case some clown tries to claim that he or she wrote the book and is “Michael M. McConaughey.”
5 – Consult an attorney.

In my case, 1 and 2 will be taken care of by FriesenPress.com on my behalf, as this is part of the package that was paid for. 3 is really not an issue for me, at the tender age of 48. For 4, I have my correspondence with FriesenPress.com as evidence that I wrote my book. I could also show the manuscript to a lawyer before it is published, as such a lawyer would make for a credible witness. I can also mail myself a copy of the manuscript before it is published, but not open it (i.e., leave it sealed) when it arrives. This allows me to prove that I wrote the manuscript before I published it, as the mail would have a date stamp (hopefully).

For 5 (don’t skip this!), I would look for an honourable and competent attorney with expertise in defamation and copyright law, such as Toronto’s Mr. Gil Zvulony.

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)

 

If you’ve done your homework, all it might take is a 15 to 30 minute telephone call with such an attorney to confirm that this applies in your legal jurisdiction (mine is the Holy Feminist Matriarchy of Canada). Being a little older and wiser, my book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood will be Copyright (c) 2014 Michael M. McConaughey.

Thus, I shall remain the most mysterious Michael M. McConaughey, Scourge of the Matriarchy.

[CAVEAT: This post is not to be construed as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only, to prepare you for discussion with a licensed attorney.]

Children’s Aid Society (CAS) Feminist Social Workers Still At It

21 Apr
Justice is blind, or, at least, it should be. (Source: http://www.photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/7606/10212statue_of_justice.jpg)

Justice is blind, or, at least, it should be. (Source: http://www.photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/7606/10212statue_of_justice.jpg)

Those who’ve followed this blog (and especially those who’ve read the manuscript for my forthcoming book) know my feelings about feminist child “protection” social workers. In the jurisdiction where I live—Ontario, Canada—, child protection agencies are officially known as Children’s Aid Societies, or CAS for short. These odious feminist entities are borderline above the law, and they know it.

As I discovered to my horror back in 2008, feminists have rigged key definitions and practices in the mandatory Child Protection Standards in Ontario regulatory document. Since 2007, if a mother does not win custody of the kids in divorce (and hence the child support payments), then it is considered child ‘abuse,’ especially if mother is a child abuser. This is to rationalize malicious feminist interference in divorce custody on mothers’ behalf via fraudulent child ‘protection’ action on a province-wide scale.

For those who might be inclined to think that I exaggerate in my analysis of Ontario’s Matriarchal feminist child protection system, consider this recent column by the National Post’s Barb Kay entitled “Children’s Aid Societies gone rogue.”

Here are the highlights of this 154 day case:

– In 2010, the London-Middlesex CAS applied to protect three boys (5, 12, and 15) after a parental separation.

– Mother vilified Father, claiming: he had emotionally abused her; that he was a sexual abuser; and that he was a murderer who tried to exploit the kids to try and kill the mother.

– Mother, no surprise, turned out to be unreliable and manipulative. [Nav: Probably covert narcissist or borderline personality disorder]

– The CAS ignored the boys’ repeated reports of Mother’s “… violence, alcoholism and sexual indiscretions.”

– The mother eventually resorted to alleging that the oldest son tried to kill her, which brought the matter to criminal court.

– Luckily, there was a good judge on the case, Mr. Justice Harper (Where were you in 2008!). Justice Harper slammed the CAS as being the driving force behind the trial and being an advocate for mother (remember, a CAS is only supposed to protect children). He stuck the CAS with 2/3’s of the record $1.4M court costs, and assigned mother the other 1/3 ($604,500).

– The London-Middlesex CAS’s notes referred to Mother as their “client.”

– Mandatory CAS document sharing for court was discovered to be running a year late.

– One CAS supervisor, tasked with providing documents to lawyers, removed 475 pages of notes, emails, records, and summaries from the file. This should be a criminal offence.

– Justice Harper felt that the kids were permanently scarred by all of this, and that “This was exacerbated by the actions of the Society, some police officers, some women’s groups, a school board and her employers … many of whom accepted without any level of scrutiny the (woman’s) self-reports.”

– Justice Harper noted that the CAS had acted in bad faith. This means that the CAS workers involved in this case do not necessarily enjoy the “Good Samaritan” clause protection of Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act. [My opinion.]

– Barb Kay gets, on average, one CAS horror story a week.

It is this systemic and fraudulent feminist child “protection” scam that The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood will be exposing. I suspect that it is going to make for an interesting if unpleasant read for good judges like Justice Harper. God as my Witness, I will expose this heinous practice for all the world to see.

Scrivener! The Writer’s Best Friend

17 Apr

I suppose one of the advantages to the new reality of first-time authors having to self-publish is that it forces us to learn so much about writing and publishing in general. For example, to learn more about marketing self-published books, I turned to Michael Hyatt’s modern classic PLATFORM – Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I learned that Mr. Hyatt uses Scrivener as his exclusive writing software / app.

Mr. Hyatt lists five reasons as to why he made the switch to Scrivener:

1. It provides a hierarchical file structure. I like this aspect of Scrivener, too, as I naturally tend to organize documents this way. For a simple example, think of a book, with its underlying chapters forming a hierarchy. The file structure of Scrivener can be exactly matched to your book’s structure, which, hopefully, has already been flushed out in the process of writing your book proposal. I’ve done this with Scrivener for my nascent Book Two:

My 2nd "child," in utereo

My 2nd “child,” in utereo

2. It has a distraction-free composition mode. Ultimately, a writer has to write. Scrivener’s composition mode is about as close to having nothing but a blank sheet of paper in front of you as you can get:

No distractions, so just write

No distractions, so just write

3. It was created with writers in mind. Scrivener has so many useful features, and you can use as few or as many as you would like. Some of these are:

– It organizes each project (i.e., a book) as a separate binder.
– It has helpful views besides basic writing, such as a cork board with file summary notes or an outline view.
– You can keep research articles (text, photos, etc.) together in a binder. For a non-fiction writer such as I, this is a significant feature.
– You can split your screen. Thus, I can view a research article (maybe a newspaper article, for example) while I am writing about it in the other half of the screen. Or, I can view footnotes in the 2nd screen as I peruse the main document.
– It has the stats a writer would want access to (e.g., word counts).
– It has an “inspector window where I can keep notes, track status, link to articles, or even create custom meta data.” (Hyatt)

What a great way to organize your writing

What a great way to organize your writing

4. It supports multi-markdown. According to Hyatt, this feature allows us as writers to separate the content creation phase (i.e., the writing) from the formatting, with Scrivener doing much of the work for us.

5. It allows for a variety of export options. This is potentially exciting for self-published authors, as Scrivener allows you to export directly to Kindle, iBooks Author, ePub, or PDF formats. This alone might make Scrivener worth its price of admission.

Hyatt mentions that he still uses Evernote as his main information warehouse, but that he does all his writing with Scrivener. I use both Evernote and Pocket for writing-relating information storage, and, as I am still relatively new to Scrivener, I am going to have to see how to work the relationship between these apps.

Think you might be interested in Scrivener? Check out the 10 minute An Introduction To Scrivener video.

If you’re interested, also note that Hyatt’s article says you can get a 20% discount by using his affiliate code MICHAELHYATT when purchasing it. Since it is now on sale for $45, the MICHAELHYATT discount code would reduce the price by $9, for a cost of $36. My preliminary use of Scrivener suggests that it is the real deal for serious writers, and I think that $36 is a fair price for a useful piece of software.

I’ve heard of other writings apps, such as the $100 Snowflake for the Snowflake Method, but have not used them.

From what I’ve seen so far, I wish I had had Scrivener to write Book One with, and I am certainly glad that I have it for Book Two. I’ll keep you updated as I get more familiar with Scrivener. For the record, I have no commercial interest with Scrivener; I bought my copy. (Scrivener is available for both Mac and Windows.)