Lake High School was destroyed in an F4 tornado, please take a moment to vote!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Future of American Wars

One thing I like about blogging is that I can say whatever I wish. But who am I? Why should anyone care? So I have decided I want to turn this blog into a discussion. I will be posing questions for discussion and well.. I hope you respond and interact in comments! I will post a new question every Monday and Thursday!

Today's Topic: In the information age and knowing what we do now about the Iraq war do you think any American President will ever invade another country or "strike first" in a war? To add to this, do you think the American people would allow it?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What happened to helping Main Street?

Main Street in Millbury Ohio After Tornadoes Struck

On June 5th 2010, my hometown and high school were destroyed by tornados. Six people lost their lives due to the storm. Over 50 homes were completely leveled an many more were severely damaged. Lake High School was hit just 12 hours before graduation was to take place in the auditorium that is now rubble. Lake has been declared a total loss. The community has come together in ways none of us could have expected. Hundreds of volunteers flocked in to help clear debris. Many people started fundraising events and the school has been nominated for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Today I was sadly enough, not shocked, when after a near three week wait FEMA turned down Ohio Governor Strickland's request for emergency assistance. U.S. Representative Bob Latta says his office received a copy of a letter to Governor Strickland Thursday afternoon. Latta said the letter had just arrived in his office and he read a portion of it that stated:

"The damage is not of severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies."

Residents there are outraged at the lack of support. Latta said, "I'm pretty much shocked. I've been to the communities. It was the worst disaster I've ever seen."Many have said that if it were a different country they would have helped immediately. I have to agree. If it had been a bank or a business the government would be signing bills to help them stay afloat. So what happened to helping Main Street? A sad irony, the street hit the worst by these tornados is in fact, Main Street. So many promises have been made but our county is tired of excuses and talk. When are we going to help our fellow citizens? When are we going to see our government take care of problems at home?

NW Ohio is a wonderful community and are being punished because they are responsible tax paying Americans. Ninety Five percent of them kept insurance on their houses and when this happened they came out in hundreds to help each other. Lake High School is in pieces and they are saying the insurance they have for that is not going to cover everything. No one is asking for a handout but this is a disaster and should have been treated as such. If our government refuses to help us we will stand together as one and help ourselves. It's just sad that were we a corrupt corporation or a disaster in another country, money and support would be immediate from our government.


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FEMA Story

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letter to the Editor

Recently, as everyone knows Lake High School and NW Ohio were ravaged by tornadoes. I have been here in Texas far away from my home. I can't describe the heart wrenching feeling you have with such a profound loss, and I am far from the most effected. My family and friends are safe as are their homes. The people in Lake Township have all lost something, though it is tempered by hope and love. The community is an extended family like I have never seen before. Helping each other without question, without expectation, and with complete selflessness. A common thread within this family is Lake High School. No matter where the alumni are in the world too see it's destruction was devastating. It has been the tie that binds. Shaping us into the people we have become, and from where I sit they are some incredibly amazing people. They have risen to heights I wasn't sure still existed. I am profoundly thankful to find out they still do. I don't want to imagine next years seniors being separated from their school and possibly their friends. I nominated Lake High School for Extreme Makeover Home Edition. They deserve it for reminding all of us how sincere and loving people can be, and for making us all wish we were back at home, not a house, but with our community and school which has without a doubt been a home to all of us.

It has been to me,


EMHE Lake High School Nomination

Anyone who knows me and plenty of people who don't at this point know that my hometown was hit by several tornados over the weekend. My high school was destroyed as well just 12 hours before the class of 2010 was scheduled to graduate in the auditorium that is now in pieces. Five people died in the storms and more then 50 houses were completely leveled. With countless others damaged. I am not good at resting on my laurels and have felt rather useless here in Texas as my friends and family pick up the pieces of their lives. I had made several videos in the hopes of drawing attention to the situation and it went well, far better then I anticipated the first 2 days I got over 30k viewers. Then, I decided to do this... I'm sending in a nomination for Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Only I'm sending it in for the school. The communities there were devastated and I simply couldn't choose between so many deserving families. Times like this have made me nostalgic for my small town lifestyle. Here is the video I am sending in. I have already made the nomination and have posted a few other videos showing the storm damage, and a memorial for those that lost their lives. I had asked people to write a few things that Lake meant to them and I have to say I was impressed by so many responses. Anyway watch the video, and let's hope Ty does too!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Independent Authors. The Death of Publishers?

I'm curious as to if this is the goal of most independent authors? Having your book published by a mainstream company is awesome, but that's just it it's mainstream. Do you worry that your book will be changed to conform to a 'mainstream' audience, publishers are businesses and obviously they want to make money, they don't do things out of the kindness of their heart. Which is fine, it's good business. I think as publishers pick up independent authors it worries me somewhat. What if they pick up the book to 'shelve' it basically to not compete with something they want to charge 3 times as much for? Has anyone had this experience? They could also buy indie author book rights at cheap rates simply to attempt control of pricing. With the coming of ereaders and ebooks a significant opportunity has been created for authors to have more control over their writing. More of a opportunity for non (my non favorite word 'mainstream') to be seen. Stuff that would haven't been read before. I love that about independent authors. I realize with a publishing company comes publicity and a lot of people won't pick up books unless they are from a 'legitimate' publisher. I think all of that is going to change. I've started reading indi author books and some are amazing. Have to allow some room for typos and grammar errors but it never is so bad that it eclipses the heart of the stories. As Independent authors we are also taking away the monopoly of publishing companies. Penguin, who threw a fit about Amazon's pricing of books for Kindle never would have been able to do that if there was a larger open market with independent authors. More competition means lower prices and I know I am all for that. I wouldn't mind for Amazon to have a set minimum price though I think what that would do is weed out the 'crap' and allow books to be bought on a merit basis. Everyone still needs to make money obviously with lower prices means more people can afford to buy more books. I don't think customers will go oh woo hoo I can buy this book for 1.99 instead of 5.99 I'm not going to get anything else. Look I saved a few bucks. I think consumers are going to say I only had to spend 1.99 on this I can get a couple more books! Maybe they bought book one in your series, now they can get a few more. One huge deterrent of people not picking up a book is because it's in a series. If you have a series of three for instance usually books 1 & 2 aren't readily available on the shelf. So the people buying your sequels are usually pretty much made up of the people that bought the first one. To get more readers in total which just means more money for the author you could sell the first book at a reduced rate so they could start from the beginning. A couple of other advantages in remaining indie is that you can re release your books without having to beg a publisher or be in conflict with your contract with them. Every few years you are getting a new reading audience. It can be rereleased and made money off of, I mean old doesn't make it any less good. (Lord of the Rings for example)

Someone recently asked if they thought ebooks would 'kill' traditional books. My answer is no. There is still going to be a huge market for regular paper books. Children's books (I know I'm not handing my 2 year old a $400 dollar iPad. Graphic novels, art books, text books (though I'd love to see those get digitized) the point is there will still be a market. Not everyone has an ereader though many have computers to read them on. I don't like reading a book of my computer screen though and I don't think a lot of people do. Anyways I would love feedback on this... thoughts, opinions, predictions...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You Need To Know, By Elise Bell

Have you ever wanted to know what high school is really like? Have you ever wondered what situations you will face without the lame after school special style preaching? I wrote this in an easy conversational style to inform and educate teenagers and even their parents on the reality of issues facing adolescents. On the lighter side, this contains advice on dating and dealing with rumors, frenemies, gossip, and the opposite sex and much more in realistic ways. The 'just ignore it' method doesn't work in case parents haven't caught on yet. Do none of you remember what it was like when you were in school? It's time we all stop burying our heads in the sand. Teens, it's time to inform yourself before you are thrown into the shark tank that is adolescence. In the information age there is no excuse for being naive. Parents; It's time to stop leaving our kids in the dark and making issues taboo, and then being shocked when your son does drugs or your daughter gets pregnant. There is nothing more exciting then the unknown. It is an inevitability that they will seek it. So many people say "If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently." There is no going back. Give yourself or your teen the chance to do it right the first time.

They say if you know what the future holds, you can alter yours. Well, no one knows the future, least of all me. Life moves in cycles. I believe ever young adult should be given the opportunity that knowledge provides. By sharing my past, my view, my thoughts, my advice and warnings, I hope to make young adults futures as bright and informed as impossible. In the end, the choices are your own.

My author website is live as is my book on Amazon and Smashwords! Here are all the links you could ever need to find me.