BEWARE THE SCAM-2

Monday, August 29, 2016

FREEDOM FROM ADDICTIVE DRUGS

I‘ve been a reader of THE PASSIVE VOICE (and occasionally a commenter) for 4 or 5 years. Then, in March, I fell and broke the femur in my left leg and also got a blood clot in my right leg, which put me out of commission for the last four months. But I’m recovered from that now and caught up on all the TPVs I missed due to the fall. Since I‘ve wanted to contribute something that would be helpful to some of your readers, I’m attaching a true story.

This is not about writing, but could be about writers who have fallen into the trap of taking opioids and getting “hooked.” It happened to me almost five years ago. I had a knee transplant and was prescribed a painkiller that was very effective, but which I didn’t know (and no one at the hospital or doctors’ offices told me) that Percocet is very addictive. So, when I ran out, I took the form they gave me to my local Walgreen’s and ordered more.

When I decided I didn’t need it anymore, I discovered the awful truth. When I went to bed the first night I hadn’t had Percocet, I couldn’t sleep. I felt as if bugs were crawling all over me, and I had to turn over every few seconds. Neither my husband nor I could get to sleep until he insisted I take a Percocet.

Unlike today when newspapers and magazines are busy warning people about these drugs, five years ago there was no one telling me about the danger. My husband said I was addicted to it and he fashioned a way to get me free. He cut one of the pills in half and I took that half just before bedtime every night for two months. It worked. I could sleep without constant turning over or feeling as if bugs were all over me. Next he cut the half pill in half and I took that quarter pill every night for another two months. When I finally went “cold turkey,” I was able to sleep without the Percocet.

Yesterday our local daily newspaper ran a cover story about how over 200 people suffered (and some died) from overdoses of opioids that weekend. Officials are busy trying to learn who had provided the drugs and get it stopped.

I don’t know what doctors are advising patients to do, but if my experience getting off Percocet helps someone else get off these drugs, I’m glad I shared my story.

Thanks so much for giving us TPV every day. I never miss it.

AN INTERESTING MOVIE

 When I’m required to sit for some time with both my legs up on a footstool (doctors orders, among exercises and walking without my walker or wheelchair), I often watch old movies on television. Last week, it was THE INSIDER, about the tobacco-company worker who told the famous TV host of 60 MINUTES that the manufacturer knew smoking cigarettes caused lung cancer, but was keeping it a secret and had fired him.

 The show grew from an article, titled, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, by Marie Brenner, which was published in VANITY FAIR. The story aired in 1964 and this film was made in 1999. It stars Al Pacino as Lowell Bergman, Christopher Plummer as Mike Wallace, and Russell Crowe as Jeffrey Wigand, the whistle-blower. Although telling the truth, which he thought was the right thing to do, Wigand lost his wife and children (she divorced him), in addition to his job. He became a high school teacher, and, after that, he lectured in cities around the world, hoping to stem the use of cigarettes.

 Although the film version didn’t earn as much money as it cost to make, it garnered lots of awards, including nominations and Academy Awards for both Russell Crowe and Christopher Plummer in the U.S., and other awards in other countries.

 I had seen this film when it first came out, but had forgotten lots of it in the years since then. It reminded me of the curent Presidential election, in which people have no great afffection for either Hillary Clinton (the Democratic Party nominee) or Donald Trump (the Republican nominee). But lots of unpleasant words are being tossed around, words we’ve never heard at a time like this before.

 I’m not suggesting you watch the film (unless you want to); however, it intrigued me and offers plenty of opportunities to worry about how this 2016 election managed to become so hostile. And how it will end.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SHERRY'S FRIEND'S WEDDING


 My Blog this week is about the fourth Sherlock Holmes short story. Yes, like many other authors, I’m writing about the master detective invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, Doyle’s stories were written in the 19th century, and my Holmes is living in the 21st century in the San Francisco apartment of Sheridan (“Sherry”) Holmes.

 In this story, Sherry’s friend tells her about her planned wedding and invites her to attend. Along with her sickly father’s nurse, plus Sherry’s grandmother, Tessa, and Watson, the young, good-looking man who keeps all the old San Francisco Victorians in good working condition.

 But, wait, strange things happen in this story. For one thing the fiancĂ©’ is eager to marry her and take her to his home in Hungary to live. For another, the wedding chapel is painted purple and is staffed by a strange young man who doesn’t even know the groom. But then the groom never shows up. Instead, he writes her a lovely note explaining his anxiety to marry and take her back to Hungary with him. She’s eager to do so because she’s rather obese and never had a boyfriend.

 After that, things escalate. The bride wants to kill the groom, but strange things occur on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. What happens to the groom? Will the bride ever get married? What does Sherlock think of this strange story?


 If you haven’t read my first three Holmes’ stories, here’s your chance. The first story, titled A STUDY IN AMBER (Doyle’s first story about his Holmes, was titled A STUDY IN SCARLET.) And it’s free on Amazon. I made it free so readers who first find my stories by reading later novellas, learn how he came to be a ghost in the 21st century. Except for the three-book story, the rest will cost you the current price of the novellas, $1.99 each.

 A STUDY IN AMBER also contains a mystery which Holmes resolves, and the book (all the novellas) have a certain amount of humor along with a mystery. And, in addition, the fourth story, titled THE MISSING MAN, is coming out as an e-book at the same time. It, too, will show up in printed version later.  So, check Amazon for the new three-story book, and, if you have an e-reader, get a copy of THE MISSING MAN.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

HOLMES and HOLMES

My Blog this week is about a fourth Sherlock Holmes short story. Yes, like many other authors, I’m writing about the master detective invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, Doyle’s stories were written in the 19th century, and my Holmes is living in the 21st century in the San Francisco apartment of Sheridan (“Sherry”) Holmes.

 If you haven’t read my first three Holmes’ stories, here’s your chance. The first story, titled A STUDY IN AMBER (Doyle’s first story about his Holmes, was titled A STUDY IN SCARLET.) And it’s free on Amazon. I made it free so readers who first find my stories by reading later novellas, can learn how he came to be a ghost in 21st century San Francisco. However, if you want to read books two and three, (and I sincerely hope you like the first enough to try the others) they’ll cost you the price of these novellas, currently $1.99 each.

 As I indicated, Holmes’s story about how he came to live in San Francisco in the 21st century is spelled out in book One, A STUDY IN AMBER, so I’m not going to repeat that here. That book also contains a mystery which Holmes resolves, and the book (all the novellas) have a certain amount of humor along with a mystery.

 Originally, these novellas were e-books only, but I have a lot of relatives, most of whom don’t have an e-book reader, so they’ve been unable to read them. Until now. This coming November, however, will see a three-story book on Amazon, which will contain all three of those first stories in print. It’s titled (what else?) HOLMES AND HOLMES. And, in addition, the fourth story, titled THE MISSING MAN, is coming out as an e-book at the same time. Eventually, that too will show up in a printed version.

 So, check Amazon for the new three-story book, and, if you have an e-reader, get a copy of THE MISSING MAN. Doyle wrote some 50-plus stories about his 19th century Holmes, so I have plenty of work ahead of me. Book number five is already plotted and ready to be written and published. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

 Please tell your friends who were reading my Holmes stories about these new books. And Happy Reading to you-all.

Friday, July 8, 2016

REPORT FROM A CRIPPLED LADY

Well, I’m not really crippled - at least only temporarily - so I expect to be normal again in a few more months. Three months have gone by since I fell in my bathroom and broke the bone in my left leg. The doctor clamped the bone to my hip, and says the X-Rays look good, so who am I to quarrel with him?



What happened next is that I got a blood clot in my right leg, which became very swollen and red, causing me to need a walker to get around easily (although I do walk a few steps when I need to), and my doctor says another six months of healing may be necessary before it’s normal again. It’s already only pale pink instead of red, and much less swollen. So here’s to a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Between now and then, if you are one of my former Blog readers, please start reading my Blogs every Wednesday again. And tell your friends and, especially, anyone who was reading me before March 25. Many thanks for your help in getting the word out that I’m back in Blog business again.


As for advice, obey your doctor, and any nurses they send around and you, too, may overcome a blood clot in nine months (or fewer).

For advice about how to overcome an addiction to an opioid painkiller, I did that over three years ago, and it worked, so try what I did, even though I’m not a doctor. Three years ago, addiction to painkillers was not making newspaper headlines, but it is now, so this is offered to help anyone who is caught right now.


About four years ago, I had an operation to replace my right knee. I was given, among other drugs, one called Percocet, and then given a prescription at my nearby Walgreen’s. After another month, I thought I was through with that, and stopped taking Percocet. Whoa.

Without the drug I couldn’t sleep. My skin felt as if insects were crawling all over it, and I turned and tossed in bed every five seconds. I went back to taking Percocet so I could get some sleep. And then my husband, who is also not a doctor (but a very smart guy), told me I was addicted and suggested a way to fix that.

It took several months, but it worked, so here it is for anyone who needs it. We started by my taking half a Percocet at bedtime, and I was able to sleep. We did that for two months, than switched to a quarter of a tablet, and that worked too. After two months of that, we switched to an eighth of a tablet for another two months, and when I finally stopped taking it altogether, I felt normal. Good luck.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Two Olivia Grant Cozy Mysteries

 As you may remember, my plan was to get back to blogging once a
week. However, as you now know, I failed again last week. But it
wasn't my fault. It was my publisher's. 
    
     The publisher of DEAD IN THE WATER, my cozy, humorous mystery,
which came out last October, wanted to release the second book in the
series, titled DEAD MEN'S TALES, on March 21st, but they never gave it
to me to proofread. Since DEAD IN THE WATER had been so easy to
proofread, they apparently assumed DEAD MEN'S TALES would be too.
     Had they allowed me to proofread it, I could have fixed the
problems they found much easier than waiting until only two days
before launch to ask me to fix them. So, in spite of having to attend
the three day Arts & Crafts Show held twice a year here, I had a mere
day and a half to do it. I've ordered an E-version of the book, but
haven't read it yet, so I don't even know if my changes helped or not.
     You see I knew - which the publisher didn't know - that the books
are set in different places. DEAD IN THE WATER is set mostly in
England, where my heroine solves the murder of a distant relative.
     DEAD MEN'S TALES is set in San Francisco, after Olivia goes back
home to continue working in the P.I. office of her brother. And the
plot of the second book involves which of the possible suspects goes
into the room where the victim had gone to read his speech before
giving it.
     It also involves searching for an old VHS tape which has valuable
information on it. Making the reader aware of that VHS tape's use was
my most important change, and I made it, and I hope readers will
follow the trail.
     So, DEAD MEN'S TALES was released yesterday by Smashwords and -
for a short time - is selling for $.99 as an E-book. All I know right
now is that - within the first two days, Monday and Tuesday - it
received 25 five-star reviews. For which I am most grateful. ______________________________________________________