Monday, November 21, 2011

A Disturbing Expose on Counter Terrorism. Gave it 5 Stars!

Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, have written an incredibly important book. “Top Secret America.” Bottom-line, they have unveiled JSOP, Joint Special Operations Command, the pentagon’s secret killing machine and the growth of America’s post 9/11 counter terrorism agencies. Frightening.
            Priest is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and along with Arkin, they expose the secret buildings, unlimited funding in the billions and sadly how no one in Congress is accountable.
            Some worry about surveillance by Goggle and Facebook! It’s nothing compared to what the government is doing in the name security. Not sure what we are getting for the vast dollar amount spent by Congress. Close to a trillion dollars has been spent!
            The CIA, NSA and who knows how many other secret agencies involved missed the “Arab Spring.”
            The book is a must read for anyone interested in where our nation is headed.
            Dana Priest and William M. Arkin deserve another Pulitzer.

Norm Applegate
Author of Shockwave

Sunday, November 20, 2011

7 Sentence Structures

Sentence structure can be categorized into seven patterns: one simple, three compound, two complex, and one compound-complex. Here are examples of each pattern with accompanying formulas, all to help you think of how to craft sentences in a greater variety of syntax:

1. Simple sentence (independent clause): “I went for a walk.”
(An independent clause is set of words that includes a subject and a predicate. It can be a sentence or part of one. A dependent, or subordinate, clause is one that cannot stand on its own but provides additional information to supplement an independent clause.)
2. Compound sentence, IC+CC+IC (independent clause plus coordinating conjunction plus independent clause): “I went for a walk, and I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Coordinating conjunctions are words that link one independent clause to another to form a compound sentence. These words can be recalled with the mnemonic FANBOYS and include forandnorbutoryet, and so.)
3. Compound sentence, IC+S+IC (independent clause plus semicolon plus independent clause): “I went for a walk; I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
4. Compound sentence, IC+AC+IC (independent clause plus adverbial conjunction plus independent clause): “I went for a walk; consequently, I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Adverbial conjunctions are adverbs that serve, when following a semicolon, to link independent clauses. They include consequentlyhowevermoreoverneverthelesstherefore, and thus.)
5. Complex sentence, DM+C+IC (dependent marker plus clause plus independent clause): “Because I hoped to be soothed by the gentle night air, I went for a walk.”
(Dependent markers are words that provide a relative context for a subordinate clause. They include after,althoughas, “as if,” becausebeforeifsincethoughuntilwhenwherewhether, and while.)
6. Complex sentence, RP+C (relative pronoun plus clause): “Whatever doubts I had about taking a walk dissipated when I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Relative pronouns are pronouns that relate a subordinate clause to the noun it modifies. They include who,whomwhosewhoeverwhosoeverwhomeverwhichwhatwhatever, and sometimes that.)
7. Compound-complex sentence, DC+IC+CC+IC (dependent clause plus independent clause plus coordinating conjunction plus independent clause): “As I headed out for a walk, my doubts about doing so dissipated, and I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
There are, of course, many variations to these patterns; even a simple sentence, for instance, can begin with the object in the example converted to the subject of another simple sentence: “A walk was my next order of business.”

Norm Applegate author of:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Amazon Lending Books - good or bad for the author?

Change is difficult. I'm sure we're going to see a lot of chatter about this one...I'm not so quick to say lending books is bad. Bad for who? Not for Amazon. Maybe not for the publishing company. They are being compensated. Amazon has been working a deal with them. Not all companies are participating, yet. I predict all the big ones will! 
Question: what does it mean for the author?

Think about Apple's iTunes. The music industry was against it. Now look. Buying a single song for $0.99 works. Artists, record labels, everyone is benefiting.
Think Netflix. Streaming movies...brilliant!
Are we surprised books are next? Shouldn't be. It just how does everyone in the supply chain get compensated. here's the article from Fox News.

As the e-reader and tablet wars heat up, Inc. is launching a digital-book lending library that will be available only to owners of its Kindle and Kindle Fire devices who are also subscribers to its Amazon Prime program.
The program will be limited, at least at the beginning, in what is available to borrow. Amazon will initially offer slightly more than 5,000 titles in the library, including more than 100 current and former national bestsellers, such as Stephen R. Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

None of the six largest publishers in the US are participating. Several senior publishing executives said recently they were concerned that a digital-lending program of the sort contemplated by Amazon would harm future sales of their older titles or damage ties to other book retailers.

Moreover, Amazon will restrict borrowers to one title at a time, one per month. Borrowers can keep a book for as long as they like, but when they borrow a new title, the previously borrowed book automatically disappears from their device.
The new program, called Kindle Owners' Lending Library, cannot be accessed via apps on other devices, which means it won't work on Apple Inc.'s iPad or iPhone, even though people can read Kindle books on both devices. This restriction is intended to drive Kindle device sales, says Amazon.

The program, which is effective Thursday, comes a few weeks before Amazon ships the Kindle Fire tablet on Nov. 15, which is a direct competitor with the iPad.
The lending library reflects a broader effort by Amazon to lure consumers to Prime, a service that costs $79 a year.

Amazon Prime began as a membership plan to offer package-shipping perks. Then, earlier this year Prime added a video-streaming feature to the subscription. Nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows are now available under the streaming feature.
Amazon, the market leader in e-readers, made Kindle titles available to libraries beginning in September and libraries said the impact already has been significant.

At the Seattle public-library system, e-book borrowing rose 32 percent in the month after Kindle books became available, said Seattle's electronic-resources librarian Kirk Blankenship. E-book borrowing had typically been rising 10 percent or 15 percent a month, he said.

Norm Applegate author of: