Thank you to my earth angels for navigating me along on this expedition – Tanya R. Taylor aka Cookie Cake and Diana Layne aka Truth Slayer. I am extremely blessed to have such TOUGH women in my life.
For all those times I want to bolt and say, “NO MORE! I CANNOT EDIT ANOTHER BLASTED THING!!!” Just remember, I am in the throes of giving in to my #SPOILEDBRATPROBLEMS! Hahaha!!!
Gin, Hope and Zeus thank you for being my trio of blessings!
COMING DECEMBER 30, 2016!
My name is Vivianna Grace Diamant. I am a Glow Caster. I see spirits appear by their glow. I cast them back to their rightful dimensions. The Commendable Spirits are sent to the Seraph Verse and the Unvirtuous Ones to the Spectral Verse. As both a Spirit Healer and a Shadow Angel, I expel malevolent spirits from the earth and direct the departed back to their proper resting places. I inherited my gift on December 30th, my seventeenth birthday. I am the only one in my ancestry to be gifted the vision.
I live in Old Sea Harbor, New York, a small beach town on the South Shore of Long Island where spirits seem to wander freely among the living often taking on human form to trick Glow Casters from banishing them over to the Spectral Verse.
A clan of Crimson Infernals, known as, Breath Pirates, offer to join forces with the Obsidian Dwellers to make the Spectral Verse the only Verse on the planet. They will stop at nothing to bring their evil plot to fruition, leaving me no choice but to go to the Nautical Seraphs to seek direction from their Naval Archangels. Which leads me to an unlikely ally.
I join forces with Nathan Fox, half Spark Caster / half Obsidian Dweller and together we must stop the two verses from becoming one.
GLOW CASTERS, BREATH PIRATES, AND OBSIDIAN DWELLERS ABOUND IN THIS EXHILARATING OPENING TO DIANE MORASCO’S OLD SEA HARBOR SERIES.
WATCH OUT FOR THIS ELECTRIFYING PARANORMAL NOVEL TO BE RELEASED DECEMBER 30TH 2016.
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SPIRITS UNLEASHED AND ALL THE OLD SEA HARBOR NOVELS™ are created exclusively by TRT STUDIOS™.
Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Cover design © 2016 by TRT STUDIOS™
Important. And pass it on…
John M. Ford was pretty much the smartest writer I knew. Mostly. He did one thing that was less than smart, though: he knew he wasn’t in the best of health, but he still didn’t leave a proper will, and so didn’t, in death, dispose of his literary estate in the way that he intended to while he was alive, which has caused grief and concern to the people who were closest to him.
He’s not the first writer I know who didn’t think to take care of his or her posthumous intellectual property. For example, I knew a writer — a great writer — separated from and estranged from his wife during the last five years of his life. He died without making a will, and his partner, who understood and respected his writing, was shut out, while his wife got the intellectual property, and has not, I think, treated it as it should have been treated. These things happen, and they happen too often.
There are writers who blithely explain to the world that they didn’t make a will because they don’t mind who gets their jeans and old guitar when they die but who would have conniptions if they realised how much aggravation their books or articles or poems or songs would cause their loved ones (or editors, anthologists or fans) after their death…
Writers put off making wills (well, human beings put off making wills, and most writers are probably human beings). Some of us think it’s self-aggrandising or foolish to pretend that anyone would be interested in their books or creations after they’re dead. Others secretly believe we’re going to live forever and that making a will would mean letting Death in a crack.
Others make wills, but don’t think to take into account what happens to our literary estate as a separate thing from the disposition of our second-best beds, which means unqualified or uninterested relatives can find themselves in control of everything the author’s written. Some of us are just cheap.
All this bothered me, and still bothers me.
Shortly after Mike Ford’s death, I spoke to Les Klinger about it. Les is a lawyer, and a very good one, and also an author. I met him through Michael Dirda, and the Baker Street Irregulars (here’s Les’s Sherlockian webpage).
Les immediately saw my point, understood my crusade and went off and made a document for authors. Especially the lazy sort of authors, or just the ones who haven’t quite got around to seeing a lawyer, or who figure that one day it’ll all sort itself out, or even the ones to whom it has never occurred that they need to think about this stuff.
It’s a PDF file, which you can, and should, if you’re a creative person, download here:
As Les says, your options are:
1) Recopy the document ENTIRELY by hand, date it, and sign it at the end. No witnesses required.
2) Type the document, date it, sign it IN FRONT OF at least two witnesses, who are not family or named in the Will, and have each witness sign IN FRONT OF YOU and the other witnesses. Better yet, go to a lawyer with this form and discuss your choices!
Having said that, the first option, a “holographic will” isn’t valid everywhere — according to Wikipedia, In the United States, unwitnessed holographic wills are valid in around 30 out of the 50 states. Jurisdictions that do not themselves recognize such holographic wills may nonetheless accept them under a “foreign wills act” if it was drafted in another jurisdiction in which it would be valid. In the United Kingdom, unwitnessed holographic wills are valid in Scotland, but not in England and Wales.
So the second option is by far the wisest.
Pass it on. Spread it around. And then, if you’re an author, or even a weekend author with just a few short stories published, or one thin book you don’t think anyone read or would want to republish, fill it out. Sign it and date it in front of witnesses. Put it somewhere safe. And rest easily in the knowledge that you may have made some anthologist, or some loved one, in the future, a bit happier and made their lives a little easier.
(Or better still, print it out and take it to your own lawyer/ solicitor or equivalent legal person when you get a formal will drawn up. As Les says, take it to a lawyer and discuss your choices.)
Feel very free to repost it on your own webpages, or to link to it above, or link to this blog entry — it’s http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2006/10/important-and-pass-it-on.html — which contains all this information.
(And the same goes for you artists, photographers and songwriters, although a few words may have to be changed or added.)
[Edit to add, Les’s template is appropriate for the US. If you’re outside of the US, go and see a lawyer — you can take Les’s template with them to show them the sort of thing you have in mind. And if you’re an estate planning sort of lawyer in a foreign land and you feel like doing a template document, send it to me and I’ll put up a webpage here with all of them on.]
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am absolutely enchanted by your beautiful stories. You are unequivocally, a prolific storytelling phenomenon.
I was pleasantly surprised several weeks back when the very talented and gifted Diane Morasco from Morasco Media and J. Fox Ink told me that she already had almost all of my books and was about to get busy reading them. Since then, she has read three of them and I, of course, am very happy that she enjoyed them all.
Recently, her review of my latest release Haunted Cruise: The Shakedownwas posted on Blogcritics and swept up by America’s Most Haunted. Yes! They, in turn, tweeted about it (their tweet is listed here to the right corner of this site).
Now, today, Diane’s review of my #1 best selling book Cornelius has gone live. I am humbled by what she has written in each instance. You may find her review of Corneliushere 🙂 : http://blogcritics.org/book-review-cornelius-by-tanya-r-taylor/
I was nine years old when my eating disorder started. It started in January in Bay Shore, New York. It was the day my uncle put his hands and mouth on me. I was in the kitchen making Campbell’s Vegetable Soup to have with my cheese and salami sandwich. It was the last time there was ever a “normal relationship” between me and eating. I remember when he was done I ran into the bathroom, locked the door, grabbed a towel from the closet and puked. I was in too much shock to cry.
I was always the tall kid with long arms and legs. My mom’s DNA would ask my grandma if I was eating. She would get so mad at the idiots questioning her about my eating habits. She would answer in exasperation, “Yes, Diane eats. She eats whatever she wants when she is hungry, Ann.” I am almost sure my uncle’s wife was trying to compose herself by looking for a tranquilizer in her purse or she was uncomfortable with my grandma’s reaction to her ridiculous nonsense yet again eager to pop one. Aunt Ann said, “She is so skinny.” My grandma said, “She is healthy and she takes after me. If she wants spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast I make it, a cheeseburger, pizza, a hotdog, I make it for her. She is not going to eat because someone wants her to eat. You need to mind your own business and leave her alone.”
Everything changed after my grandma died when I was eight. My mom’s sister Elaine was married to a Westchester County police officer. She thought she had it made moving from the Bronx to Mount Vernon. I didn’t think so then and I don’t now. My aunt and uncle were buying a house on Long Island and my uncle thought it would be better for me to be raised in the suburbs than in the city. I don’t know how he convinced my grandpa to let me and my mom go out to the sticks and leave him and my other aunt behind, but he did.
I was not happy at all. I cried, screamed and had tantrums. I felt I was leaving my grandma behind. I didn’t want to leave my dogs behind. I didn’t want to leave my grandpa behind, and I didn’t want to leave my aunt behind. I didn’t want to live with my aunt and her husband. I didn’t like him. I didn’t like him at all. The abuse went on for years and years. My eating disorder grabbed me by my throat and ran rampant. I turned 10 years old six months later. I went through that summer chewing my food and feeding it to the dog. When my aunt caught me, she put the dog in one of the bedrooms or outside. I chewed my food and spit it in a napkin to throw away or sneak it to the dog later.
When my breasts started to grow I was horrified. I wasn’t one of those girls to wear a training bra. I went straight into a woman’s size and was bigger than my aunts and my mom. The summer I was 12 we were shopping at Modell’s for school clothes. My aunt made a comment that sent me falling deeper into the insidiousness of my eating disorder. She said I was “top-heavy” – all I heard was heavy. Which I took as FAT!
I was growing into my body and didn’t like the changes. I didn’t want to have woman parts. My uncle was doing unspeakable things to me with child parts. I couldn’t comprehend what he would do to me with woman parts.
My aunt went on, “Diane, don’t you want boys to notice you? Don’t you want a man to marry like I have? Don’t you want a man like your uncle to provide for you, to give you a house, to look good for?” No I did not. I sure as hell did not want a pig like your husband. I can get whatever I need myself. She looked at my breasts and said, “Men love breasts. You know how your uncle is.”
I mumbled I had to use the restroom. I went to the snack counter bought a hot pretzel and a soda. I ate it and went to the bathroom and vomited it in the stall. I looked at my chest and wished them away. I hated them. I didn’t want them to be the reason more men would put their unwanted mitts on me. I purged the remainder until there was nothing to bring up but bile. Instead of going back to the dressing room I grabbed a few books to read and hid in the pet section. Of course, after a while, I heard my name over the store intercom asking me to return to the woman’s fitting room.
I did gain some weight when we moved to Long Island. I did not know I was stuffing the abuse down. I didn’t drink or smoke pot to deal with my chaotic environment, so I didn’t realize food became my coping mechanism. I was less arms and legs and more boobs and curves. I was becoming more like an hourglass. Which I thought meant fat. And when my aunt started focusing in on my curviness I started to “perfect” my eating disorder.
She would tell everyone, “I don’t know who she takes after. If she watches what she eats and takes care of her figure she will have boys lined up around the corner. Her grandfather will have a shit fit and Charlie will have to chase them away.” I did not want any male attention. I was still playing with Barbies. I was just 12, for goodness’ sake. My aunt exclaimed, “You’ll be going to the seventh grade. You’ll be meeting new boys.” What, was she out of her mind? New boys? I didn’t like the old boys – unless they were willing to play hide and seek or go bike riding. And even that was pushing it. I just wanted to be with the animals and read.
One Friday night when Mister Softee came around an older neighborhood boy asked to buy me an ice cream. He always looked at me funny. He would always come into his sister’s room to talk and show off. Whatever. He would ask us to come into his room and listen to music. He was a drinker and a pothead so I steered clear.
He said, “Hey, you ignoring me?” Nope. Keep your eyes above please. I answered coolly, “No, thanks.” His younger brother Jimmy pedaled over. He pulled out his Pac-Man wallet to buy ice cream and candy for himself and a Mickey Mouse cone for me. He looked at his brother with a smirk and walked away.
He asked if he could sit on the stoop with me. I said yes and we talked. His mother called from across the street that Dukes of Hazzard was coming on. He said he wanted to stay and hang out with me. Hmmm…He never missed the Duke brothers. His brother sauntered over and said he was going to miss it. He said, “I already told mom I was staying here with Diane.” Joseph looked at his brother, then me, then his brother, then me and his brother again while casting his eyes at me. He stood there. Uninvited. Jimmy said leave. Joseph said, “You can’t make me.” Jimmy turned to me and in a whine said, “tell him to leave.” I looked at Joseph and said, Do you mind? Your brother and I are talking.” He volleyed, “You’d rather talk to my brother? My little brother?” Jimmy interjected, “She thinks I’m cuter.”
I was totally thrown by this interaction. I thanked Jimmy for the ice cream and said I was going in. I stood up and went inside. My aunt started laughing and said it hasn’t even started. I went into the bedroom to read.
I went from bingeing and purging to learning the art of starving after my aunt made a comment that I wasn’t going to be able to eat whatever I wanted soon. She had to toss in that I had to be careful I didn’t end up as big as a house. WHAT? You don’t say that to a 12-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy, a 20-something-year-old, a 60-something or 90-something. You just don’t. It is wrong. It is wrong on so many levels. It is dangerous.
My disease progressed rapidly. I perfected starving the best. I was so caught up in my disease I did not see how dangerous all this was. I liked the control. I liked having control in an environment filled with pandemonium. It was my saving grace to focus on what was going in and out of my mouth. I needed to have something I was able to dictate. I did not realize just how out of control I was. Nor how it was destroying me.
Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Article first appeared in Blogcritics.