Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Daily Drama and some new Links...

There I am, falling off the balcony of my real life...a dear friend wrote to me "This too shall pass", and I know she's right. Will it pass soon enough? is the question!

While tripping around the blogosphere, I came across two new crime writer links I just had to add to my list of Favs.

There's EVIL-E, a refreshing look at an anonymous writers take on what's going on in the Thriller World. It looks like it's going to be worth taking a daily, or at least a twice-weekly look.

Also, I found a terrific new crime writer (and cop) at JAMES O. BORN He's got three books out and the next one in the series is coming in February 2008. Check out this blog for worthwhile information on his pet peeves about mistakes TV and book writers make in their research.

In the meantime, I'm tying a knot in my rope and hanging on! I've always been a tough cookie, and I'm not going to change my MO now.

Have a great writing day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad Week for Commenting on the Globe and Mail...

I rarely post on the general forums re articles in our national newspaper The Globe and Mail. In fact, these forums are so ferocious as boards go, I use another name. This week I got slammed on posting about two major articles. That's okay, I've got broad shoulders! However, I thought it might be interesting to comment on them here as well.

The first article was about the Ontario Supreme Court striking down the recent addition to the Adoption Act. This addition allowed birth parents to locate their adopted children, and vice versa, freely with complete identification. The law was struck down on Constitutional grounds - the right to privacy.

Imagine my surprise when the usual liberal blatherers on this forum attacked this because of the prevailing belief in the "right of adopted children to know their heritage". Okay, before you throw tomatos at me, let me say that I have nothing against people knowing "their heritage". I *do*, however, have something to say about birth parents or siblings arriving on my doorstep to check on my adopted teenagers. I'm *thrilled* this law was eliminated, as I believe strongly in my right to privacy, and the privacy of my children.

My post on the forum was shot down by several sarcastic and nasty people who told me I was "insecure" and "paranoid" about whether or not my adopted children love me. Well, I know they love me, my husband, and we love them. We're just a regular family. :)

The reason I was protesting on the forum was to try and educate these lunatics: at adoption, adoptive parents are provided with as complete a file as possible on their child's birth family - right down to extended family, their "heritage" in terms of ethnicity, the facts surrounding their health at birth, the health of the birth family - even what city/town/county they came from. How is having this information not letting an adopted child "know their true heritage"??? I found it ludicrous.

We even know that my son's extended family members were good at woodworking. My son loves to do woodworking shop. Obviously, a talent passed on. If such detailed information is given at the time of adoption, I fail to see why birth parents/family should have the right to check on my address. They received just as detailed a dossier on us as a family, minus that kind of identifying information.

I say kudos to lawyer Clayton Ruby (a very controversial Canadian lawyer) who worked hard to have this law struck on Constitutional grounds. My children know "their heritage". Every adoption is different - the circumstances, the extent the birth family wants to be involved or not involved, and whether the records are sealed.

Am I insecure and paranoid? Nope - I just expect the laws of my country to protect my privacy and that of my family.

The second article had to do with genetic research. It stated that Geneticists are against using their research to screen pregnancies for rare diseases, or conditions such as Down Syndrome. In this case, they were talking about Gaucher's disease - a common disease found in Eastern European Jews and their descendants, which is quite treatable. However, the number of abortions obtained by expecting parents who think they "can't cope" with this disease is scary.

"Selective abortion" in the case of multiple births is common knowledge. Every woman who "tests" positve for a Down Syndrome baby is given the option to abort. However, it's also common knowledge that these genetic tests done in utero are not infallible - whether for Downs, Gauchers, or spina bifida. And yet thousands of women abort in the fear of having an "abnormal" child.

So, I got on my soapbox (anyone who regularly reads this blog knows I have one!) and protested that the Nazis murdered thousands of "mentally retarded" and "mentally ill" people, while they were busy gassing Jews. They also murdered as many gay people, or people accused of being gay, as they could get their hands on. People were outraged, once the Nazis started zeroing in on those with brown hair and brown eyes. They ignored the suffering Jews and the above people, until the Nazis started rounding up those who didn't have blonde hair and blue eyes. And yet, what were the Nazis practising? "Selective cleansing" based on genetics.

My point? If we start using genetic testing in utero, we're playing God and deciding what's "normal", what's "appropriate", and who can or can't "cope" with various medical conditions their child may have. Who's to say a person who's disabled can't have a full and worthwhile life? Hello, Steven Hawkins!

Should society project fear on to parenthood? Should we allow ourselves to be brainwashed that it's not "possible" to cope with various medical situations that may rear their heads when our babies are born? Are we that weak? Are we so used to being pushed around by our governments that we can't think for ourselves at all?

Rhetorical questions. If the geneticists in Canada are afraid of the ethical use of their research, then society should take note, and doctors should do some serious thinking before they counsel parents to abort what may or may not be a healthy fetus. We're not God, and we can't predict the future happiness and well-being of a child who may be born with some kind of "defect". If people are so unwilling to accept anything less than a "perfect" baby, I suggest new parents look in the mirror and decide whether their less than "perfect" medical history would have been grounds for aborting them. (cancer, anyone? high blood pressure? heart disease in the family?)

Instead of testing pregnancies already in progress, it makes more sense to test a couple's DNA before they create a baby. If there's problems with their DNA combining, that's the time to find out. Not when mom is carrying a four month old fetus.

Okay, off my soapbox now!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Prison Break premiered last night - did you catch it? Another heart-pounding episode guaranteed to suck you back in to the story. The writing on this show is tight, the dialogue smooth and exactly the way editors tell us to "do it", and I love the characters and their conflicts.

Last night's highlight for me was the FBI agent intervening in Michael's fight and killing the henchman. Maybe that sounds bloodthirsty on my part, lol, but the set-up to his saving Michael was solid and made me think about some of my foreshadowing and character actions. Watching a show like this can teach you alot about writing. JMHO.

And if fall and winter have to come upon us all, at least fall brings all the great shows back to help us get through another long, dark, winter.

What's your favourite TV show in the current line-up?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sweet, sweet, Madeline....

I know I'm not the only blogger to post about this ghastly situation involving Madeline McCann, the four year old all of Europe has been looking for since May. The kidnapping of a child is a parent's worst nightmare.

As an ex-police officer, I knew immediately that the Portuguese police would be looking at her parents in regards to her disappearance. Parents and close family are always the first suspects in a family members disappearance. They're normally grilled for hours - right away - and the only explanation I can think of for the McCann's not making it into the interrogation room before this past weekend, is that the police had their suspicions but no hard evidence. They obviously do things differently in Europe, or the McCanns would have been held for a bail hearing and not allowed to return to England. And I think the McCann's will find out that the DNA evidence is damning at best. But for the police and prosecutors, knowing something is true, and proving it to be true, are two different things.

Their pitiful story about leaving Madeline and their 2 yr. old twins asleep in their hotel room while they went to dinner, would earn them a "child endangerment/abandonment" charge in Canada. People do all kinds of stupid things, but leaving three children four and under alone in a strange hotel, has to be #1 on David Letterman's Top Ten List of "Reasons Some People Shouldn't Be Parents".

I've heard people on the news say that "no mother could have pleaded so convincingly" for her child to be returned. Ridiculous. Susan Smith did it, and she'd pushed a car containing her 3 yr old and 1 yr old boys into a lake and watched their frantic little faces screaming at her as they went under the surface. Diane Downs, a famous US killer, murdered one daughter, paralyzed another, and traumatized her 4 yr old son when she pulled over on a dark, back road, and shot them point blank in the rear seat of their car. Her story was that a black man had tried to car-jack them (on an unlit and untraveled road), and shot her in the forearm (it was later proven she shot herself, giving herself a flesh wound) while she was trying to protect her kids. Strangely, he disappeared in to the bush and didn't take her car after all.

So, is it so bizarre that these parents would try to palm off the story that an u/k kidnapper took their four year old out of a locked hotel room, and she hasn't been found in the past four months?

I only wish the "kidnapping" had happened in Britain, Canada, or the US, where our laws would prevent them from being out on bail, and they'd face the investigation they undoubtedly deserve. Whether Madeline died "accidently" or not, these two doctors have had a part in conspiring to hide her body, have hid her body, and at the worst, have murdered her.

It's Jon-Benet Ramsay all over again. And in the justice system, it's unfortunately true that some people can get away with murder. If in later months, I'm proven wrong, I'll gladly say the same on this blog.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My New Home

It's taken a couple of weeks, and long days packing and unpacking, but we're finally in our new home. Our kids are in a fantastic school program, the city is gorgeous, and I can't believe that it only takes five minutes for me to drive to ten stores all in one place.

I loved Saskatchewan, and I'm sure glad we lived there, but this new adventure promises to be an exciting and invigorating environment. I do hate unpacking, reorganizing, putting up pictures, hanging blinds, and figuring out how to find new doctors, dentists, and dance classes. However, the kids are so happy, my dh *will* be happy once he gets his teeth into work again, and I'm happy to be somewhere where I've got friends and relatives once again.

And my computer's finally hooked up and ready for me to hit the keyboard again. I've got some thoughts for a new story, and am searching for an agent - someone who'll see my potential and if my first or second submission isn't quite right for her/him, will still let me learn on the fly. I know this is possible, because it's happened to other author friends of mine. I'm looking for an agent with sales, great contacts, and who'll have faith in me.

It's going to be a fast and furious September! How was your summer?