Tuesday, July 31, 2007
This week on the Clues-N-News eloop of the Kiss of Death Chapter we've been debating the differences (if any) between a sociopath and a psychopath. The man above is James Imeson, 22 yrs old, who was finally captured today after nearly two weeks on the run. He was heading east to Quebec, when all police forces thought he'd head west because he had family out here.
This man allegedly murdered three people - one in his own apartment, and an elderly married couple in their home, during what was likely a home invasion to find food and money.
So, look into his eyes. What do you see? Evil? Despair? A con man? A ruined man? A man with no conscience?
I see a young man with nothing to lose. He's likely a sociopath due to the fact that he allegedly killed two unarmed retired people by shooting them - something he didn't have to do, but they were in his way. He'll show no remorse for any of the murders, and the murder in his apartment in Windsor was probably personal in nature -a debt, something about his two year old daughter, a rival for his lover...a writer's mind can go on and on with the possibilities.
His was the last face those three people saw. Now, we'll see his face on the news for the next month or so, while he's arraigned, bail is set, his lawyer hired.
We discussed the nature or nurture question, regarding sociopaths. In his eyes, I see the lack of nurturing, the abusive background, the jail time, and solitary living. His one redeeming feature may be that they think he was going back to Windsor to get his little girl.
It was time he was caught - a desperate man with nothing to lose is dangerous, especially when he's already killed three people. Whatever has caused James Imeson to be what he's become, he's going to spend most of his adult life in federal prison.
Such a waste of a life.
The news is full of the political posturing between our Defense Minister, Gordon O'Connor, and our Chief of Defense Staff, General Rick Hillier. Personally, I believe Gen. Hillier is the only one with a true vision of what it's going to take to get the Afghan Army up and running. In the meantime, I've posted this tribute to our Canadian Forces to remind us all that this mission is worthy of Canadian participation.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Click on the link above to see what's new in Russia - a Chick-Lit writer's dream event! Personally, I confess to a shoe addiction which I've never been able to afford - I love shoes; high heels, glitzy, red, gold, satin, stiletto sandals, you name it - I love it! Guess that's why my current heroine wears stilettos while undercover.
Unfortunately, I'm usually stuck with a SAHM's usual runners or slip-on sandals. But the day is coming.... :)
What kind of shoes do you favour? Are you a secret collector? Do you still have your prom shoes? (I have my wedding pumps securely tucked away in tissue in a sealed box)
Some women collect charm bracelets, earrings, shoes, or rock concert Tshirts. What do you like to collect?
Monday, July 23, 2007
Eleven year old Ephraim Brown was slain this past weekend when two gangs opened fire on each other outside a kid's birthday party. Ephraim had the misfortune to be standing on the wrong spot on the sidewalk, and was shot in the neck, dying almost instantly.
His older sisters were interviewed on TV asking the North End Toronto gangs to break their code of silence, so police could find the killer(s) of their little brother. So far, the police have arrested one suspect, Akiel Eubank, aged twenty-one. "Mr." Eubank's well-known to police as a gang-banger with a long criminal history.
As usual, I'm "preaching to the choir", as I did last Dec.26th, when I say that until the black community comes together and does something about their gang problem, more shootings and deaths will continue. Ephraim's sisters are correct - the black community must stop living in fear of retaliation from these animals, and take back their neighborhoods. Easy to say, maybe not easy to do. Ephraim's not the only child to die this year from a gang shooting. If the black community leaders who lobby City Hall constantly for other considerations do their job, Ephraim will be the last child murdered by Toronto gang-bangers.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saskatchewan truly is the "land of living skies". I love the huge vistas of grain edging upon the horizon. The skies are either pure azure blue, blue with fluffy clouds, or splashed grey with thunder coming. The sun never seems to stop shining, and the breeze Saskatchewan is known for, never stops blowing, whether softly or in wild passion among what few trees there are here. I'm going to miss the wide, open spaces so much when we move.
I wanted to share the beauty we've found on our holiday.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
MIRA books has a new debut author - Rachel Vincent. Her book STRAY is out now and she's got plans for a trilogy on this fantastic heroine who's a grad student by day and a werecat whenever the situation calls for it. Her next book is ROGUE, to be followed by PRIDE.
Her world-building is spectacular - I don't think I've ever read an author who can pull you in so quickly to accepting the laws and boundaries of this world she's created. It's nice to see a change from werewolves too, although they have their place for all you paranormal lovers out there! Werecats are sleek, sexy, and heavy on the mystique.
I urge you to run, not walk, to your nearest WalMart, Borders, Barnes & Noble, or get on Amazon.com to get this book before copies are sold out. You won't regret it. I promise.
Click on RACHEL VINCENT to visit her website and learn all about this fascinating new author. She's going to be to the paranormal, what Lisa Gardner is to romantic suspense thrillers. And you heard it here, first!
Monday, July 09, 2007
Canadian justice has come into it's own at last. Today a court convicted a 13yr old girl on three counts of first-degree murder. And boy, did she have this coming to her. She's the youngest person ever to be convicted in Canada of such a heinous crime.
For those of you who don't read online or get Canadian papers, let me just say that this little psychopath cooked up a plot to murder her parents and eight year old brother with her then 23 year old boyfriend. They sent emails and love letters back and forth figuring out how to do it - she was upset because she was being grounded all the time, and she "hated" them. She even drew a picture of the three members of her family being burned alive, which was admitted into evidence.
The maximum this chickie'll get is 10 years, with only 6 yrs to be served in a maximum jail setting. Luckily, they didn't buy her meek, whispery voice, or the defense that she was caught up in a sexual/co-dependent relationship with an "older man".
Right after the murders, she took her mom's ATM card out of her purse, called a cab, and went to a friend's house. She partied with her now cleaned up boyfriend (he did much of the stabbing and killing - she held her eight year old brother down in a choke hold just to help her boyfriend along.) She even copped to stabbing him once in the chest, but the killing wound was a throat slash that severed his jugular, and larynx. Eight years old, and she testified that he was pleading with her to save him.
Karla Homolka has nothing on this kid - at least Karla was 19 or so before she offered up her drugged little sister to her then-boyfriend, Paul Bernardo, as a "virgin offering".
What can possibly explain this kind of psychopathic behaviour in a 13 yr old girl?
Evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. We don't like to talk about it, we like to sugar-coat things and put psychological labels on them.
But these two are evil. Plain and simple. If any of us had thought up this plot, it's grisly details might have turned most editors off.
Six years from now, she'll have finished high school in prison, because in Canada we pay for things like education, both high school and university for our prisoners. She won't be rehabilitated because no system can possibly reach a girl who can coldly, and callously massacre her entire family.
For her mother who was a naturopathic healer, her father who was a hard worker in an industrial field, and her poor, innocent little brother, I can only hope that somehow they're at rest and at peace.
Evil. Sometimes we don't like to face it.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Yesterday I wrote 10 brand new pages, which is alot considering the small amount of time I've got alloted during the day. That's approx. 2500 words, whoopee! I know alot of writers can go faster, but I'm realizing that I've taken this story in a much farther direction than I first thought. That's what happens when you let your characters do the talking. :)
I've put up new pics of JC, my hero, and Leanne, my heroine, to keep me inspired. Hope your characters are behaving for you all!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I've just had two major things happen - well, they're major to me, lol! and I figured, why not share them with you? :)
1) My 14 yr old washing machine died in the middle of a load. A load which included most of our towels, and is now sitting there half full of water. Anything like this ever happen to you? The repairman can't come till 10 a.m. tomorrow, and as it sounds like the motor's seized, we'll likely have to buy a new one. Just when we're moving and have all THOSE expenses to consider. (Like paying $300.00 for our pets to be vaccinated and documented just so we can cross the Saskatchewan border into Manitoba - give me a break!) So, ARGH!! It's ruined my stream-lined writing day, not to mention if we have to buy a NEW washer, it won't get here till next Tuesday. (see Laurie in the town's seedy laundrymat - we only have one, and I'm afraid we'd pick up iggly-wiggleys, and goodness knows what else!)
2) I just called our Worship Pastor (who's the only guy around - our new Senior Pastor doesn't start till Sept.1) to rant about our church having to cancel the final week of Vacation Bible School - we only run three weeks, and they had to plead from the pulpit this past Sunday for more volunteers just to get through next week. (I'm one of the volunteers) We only need 14 people to run a week, we've got kids on a waiting list, and only four people volunteered for the third week. It seems most women like dealing with the preschoolers, and not the grades 4-6 kids.
I'm absolutely appalled that a church with over 500 people can't come up with 14 for a week of volunteering. And I know the problem isn't just with my church - it's a universal problem to get volunteers out of the pews and off their butts in just about ANY church. I "volunteered" to speak on the platform about how the congregation needs to be held accountable for this unbelievable lack of desire to minister to children - and they're not just "church" kids, which is the whole point of having a Vacation Bible School. (He just laughed, and I know he won't let me anywhere near the platform! But he did promise to address it)
How does a church solve this problem? How can a church get people motivated to actually *serve* in their churches??? Back in Ontario, we belonged (over the years) to two churches who had to BUS kids in from the country, and run shuttles from meeting points like shopping malls to the church. People signed up in March to be volunteers, and we had an average of 180 kids per WEEK!!
I don't think this is just because Saskatchewan is an under-populated province. This is a 35,000 person city, and also draws from the rural areas. I think it's the old "someone else will do it", syndrome.
If you're reading this, and you haven't volunteered to do something at your church for their Vacation Bible School, please reconsider your time commitments and get out there to help your leaders. VBS reaches children in a different way than just going to Sunday School, and it's easier to get their friends to sign up with them. VBS can have a direct impact on a child's spiritual journey. It's a crucial program in any church.
Okay, enough ranting. If you're not serving in some capacity in your church already, please check your Biblical concordances and look up "servanthood" and "ministry". Maybe it's time to get out of the pew and into the trenches. Just think about it, and after that, like Nike says, Just Do It!!!
Monday, July 02, 2007
On Saturday, June 30th, Margaret Wente, a columnist with the GLOBE AND MAIL - one of our national newspapers, wrote "254 Solitudes, and Counting". It was a dreary, depressing, and cynical essay on why Canada's not working, and why we've lost our "values and aspirations". Let me quote:
"If Canada has one claim to fame, it is as the immigration country that works. Wherever I travelled in Europe last fall, people would ask me, "How do you do it?" And I would smile sweetly and pretend that Canadians are simply more tolerant, more welcoming, and more eager to celebrate diversity than any other nation in the world. Let's hope they don't find out the truth...In 1981, Statistics Canada identified six "ethnic enclaves" across the country - communities where a single visible minority group made up more than 30 per cent of the population. Twenty years later, there were 254."
Margaret doesn't list which 254 minorities comprise Canada today, but she has alot to say about how "the job of civic society is to overcome these tribal resentments (she's talking about how people of one ethnic group tend to live together and resent the "majority"), and replace them with a set of values and aspirations that are shared. But our age is all about accentuating differences. We're supposed to not just recognize and tolerate these differences, but to embrace and celebrate them."
Hmmm, good thing you "smiled sweetly" last fall, Margaret. It is a fact that Canada has the highest immigration rate in the world. It's also a fact that yesterday on CTV Live, I saw many, many, different races of people, and their children wearing red and white hats, wash-off tattoos of our flag, and waving flags vehemently as our Governor-General arrived on Parliament Hill. Why were they all waving flags and happy to be here?
Because Canada does have strong values and aspirations that our immigrants have come here for,and for good reason;
1) Freedom of speech, liberty, and safety of persons. Ask anyone from Afghanistan, Somalia, the Czech Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba (need I go on?) how they feel about residing in a country where they're not afraid of soldiers taking away their children, they can practice their religion in freedom, and don't have to submit to policed road checks, whether they enjoy living here. Bet they'll say "Thank God!", Margaret.
2) Class-free education for everyone, universal health care, and suitable housing. We Canadians put a high price on our educational system, health care, and keeping our homeless off the streets.
3) We value dignity for all, the *inclusion* of all in our society, and educate our children to value this as well.
Margaret Wente would have us believe that the only values taught in our schools today are "anti-bullying and recycling. These are good things, to be sure. But maybe not quite enough to build a whole society on."
A "whole society"? We have a whole society, Margaret. We're not perfect, and there is some inherent racism, as there is in any society. But I'd submit that by celebrating and tolerating the differences in the immigrants who come here, we're preventing the repression of the second and third generations of immigrant's children who rise up in search of their "real" identity. The UK and Europe have taught us that much.
Our "whole" society allows people to be who they are - and if they feel divided between being "Afghanistan-Canadian" or "African-Canadian" or "First Nations Canadian", then that is their personal problem, not the society they live in.
If we fail to tolerate each other's differences, we are on the slippery slope to something the '40's called "Nazisim" - the idea of a supreme race over every other race. And that is something Canada will never tolerate - our Charter of Rights and Freedoms attests to that.
I know several family members, and friends, who don't share my views. They're afraid of the "Asian incursion", the "al Quada kids" who live in the projects (referring to Muslims, of course), etc. They feel they're in the minority where they live. Well, there's a solution for that - if you don't like living in "Chinatown", then move. If you can't stand the sight of little girls walking to school wearing head scarves, then move somewhere else.
The first immigrants to this country were French and English. Then later, the Irish, the Hutterites and Mennonites running from religious prosecution, the Germans and Ukranians who populated our Prairies, the Chinese who built our trans-Canada rail road, the blacks who came North during the Civil War...they built this countries economy, infrastructure, and developed it into what it is today.
Let's face it, Margaret, the only people who weren't immigrants, were the First Nations peoples. And their history and inclusion in our society is our only weak link in an otherwise empowering, tolerant, and compassionate Canada.
But that's the source of another blog! I hope everyone had a great Canada Day and long weekend!