Sunday, August 8, 2021

Mark Your Calendars: WAM!

 

The first-ever first annual Watertown Arts Market is being held Saturday, August 21st from noon to 5 PM at Arsenal Park, located behind the new refurbished Arsenal Yards, in Watertown, MA.

https://www.watertownartsmarket.com/

Over 70 artists will be displaying and offering their goods for sale: paintings, sketches, photographs, quilts, sculpture, jewelry, poetry, pottery, and books, including live demonstrations, poetry readings, and book talks (including one about how The Happy Clam came to be), plus live music and dancing performances. And food trucks.

There is a vibrant artist community in Watertown, that has been quietly humming away this past year, processing all the stress and turmoil, suffering and isolation, and moments of joy and beauty, into their work. Come check it out!

For a full listing of artists participating:

https://www.watertownartsmarket.com/participants

 

BOOK NEWS:

Please do stop by my table for a book talk about how The Happy Clam came to be at 3 PM. Look for the blue umbrella.

Books will be for sale, both The Happy Clam & Go Forward, Support!

Accepting cash and Venmo for payment; working on getting the credit card payment working!

Price Drop! The Kindle version is now marked down to $4.99 while we still have a few beach reading days left in summer.

Cover re-boot, updated this summer:


 WAM LOGISTICS:

Parking is available at the park and at Arsenal Yards; suggest the Purple Garage behind Chipotle. Can also walk in from the gate at the corner of Greenough and North Beacon.

Food: In addition to food trucks, plenty of food options to explore at the Yards: Shake Shack, Chipotle, Garbanzo, City Streets, Ben & Jerry’s, and MORE to come.

COVID protocols will be in place consistent w/ all current regulations and guidance. I’ll have hand sanitizer at my table. While the event is outdoors, we are anticipating a sizable crowd, and so some artists and attendees may opt to wear masks. And it’s also possible that the event could be canceled depending on conditions.

THANKS to the Watertown Business Coalition and the Watertown Public Library for spearheading this initiative to highlight the artists in our community.

RAIN DATE: 28 August 2021

 



CALENDAR:

Sep 25 Faire on the Square

Oct 11 National Coming Out Day

Oct 16 Boston Book Fest – Copley Square

Oct 23 Boston Book Fest – Nubian Square

 

2021 Readers Choice Awards – Don’t forget to vote!

The Happy Clam has been nominated for the 2021 Readers Choice Awards. Voting is open through Nov 13, 2021.

Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/

Category: General Non-Fiction (page 5)

 

Good Reads

Read more about the book here on Good Reads and see who else is reading it now:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54740921-the-happy-clam

Author’s web page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/254930.Rosemary_A_Schmidt

 

Soundtrack:

Don’t forget to go back to the July 2020 blog for the book’s soundtrack!

http://www.gainline.com/2020/07/the-happy-clam.html

 

The Happy Clam is out and available at:

-       Belmont Books

-       Brookline Booksmith

-       Concord Bookshop

-       Bookshop.org

-       Amazon.com


POST SCRIPT

A couple of songs to capture the feel these days:

Lost in My Mind, by The Head and The Heart

https://youtu.be/xjoA4nYBD5U

Catch and Release, by Matt Simons

https://youtu.be/Rip0bX2qrIs

Lastly, stay safe, stay well, everyone. I can’t tell anyone to get vaccinated, but I can tell you that you’d be missed if you’re gone. It’s all up to you.


© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS



Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Happy Clam – 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Category Finalist

 

          



The results are in!

Good news, The Happy Clam was just recognized as a Category Finalist in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. A full listing of Category Finalists and all award recipients are shown on the next two links.

http://www.hofferaward.com/Eric-Hoffer-Award-category-finalists.html#.YLU7MahKiUk

http://www.hofferaward.com/Eric-Hoffer-Award-prizes.html

 

“Schmidt has constructed a thought-provoking examination of what produces happiness and how we can change our lives to widen our enjoyment and effectiveness within our daily, individual spheres.”

Eric Hoffer Awards

Read the judge’s full commentary in the US Review of Books:

https://www.theUSreview.com/reviews-1/The-Happy-Clam-by-Rosemary-A-Schmidt.html

 

2021 Readers Choice Awards – Voting is now open!

The Happy Clam was just nominated for the 2021 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing! Voting is open through Nov. 13, 2021.

Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/

Category: General Non-Fiction (page 5)

 

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award:

More commentary from the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award Judges:

“This short, sweet book is like a long conversation with your really smart best friend. The writing style is casual and funny and very well-informed.”

“I found this to be a very informative and uplifting book. It seems, perhaps at first glance, a very simplified guide to life. However, the personal insights shared, the failures and successes, the tips on how to find the positive and even the recipes all add to make this a very good workbook for living.”

“This book delves into the common areas of psychology and spirituality, drawing cautiously from resources of both. The author’s viewpoint is open-minded about all perspectives in these areas, in fact, the importance of being open to all ideas is one of the themes of this book which is consistently addressed. It is a particularly timely topic right now.”

 

Good Reads

Read more about the book here on Good Reads and see who else is reading it now:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54740921-the-happy-clam

Author’s web page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/254930.Rosemary_A_Schmidt

 

Soundtrack:

Don’t forget to go back to the July 2020 blog for the book’s soundtrack!

http://www.gainline.com/2020/07/the-happy-clam.html

 

The Happy Clam is out and available at:

-       Belmont Books

-       Brookline Booksmith

-       Concord Bookshop

-       Bookshop.org

-       Amazon.com

 

Just in time for the summer, the perfect beach read!

 Stay well!  Keep reading on!

 KEEP CLAM AND CARRY ON!

 

© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

 

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)

 



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, celebrating the day apart or together in these strange times, and Happy Motherless Day to those whose Moms have already gone on to the great beyond, trust me, they are with you still.

Sharing a gift w/ everyone: Jane The Virgin.

On Netflix, five seasons, a total of 100 episodes, a sweeping multigenerational story celebrating the miracle of motherhood. The best of “magical realism,” it will take you on a whimsical journey of many twists and turns. It’s seriously probably one of the best and funniest things I’ve ever seen. Ever. Evah! As we say in Boston.

As a writer of prose, I stand in awe of the fiction writers and their wild imagination, creating entire new worlds unknown.  Thank You! Enjoy! You’re Welcome!

If you’re still craving a little non-fiction, reminder that my new book, The Happy Clam, is out there and available at:

-           Belmont Books

-           Brookline Booksmith

-           Concord Bookshop

-           Bookshop.org

-           Amazon.com


© 2021 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press, 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)

 





Sunday, November 1, 2020

VOTE!

 VOTE!

Well, it has been four years, and the election is days away, and whether Biden or Trump is declared the winner, the only thing that is certain is that we are a country more divided than ever. The problem far exceeds the individual who has made a mockery of the presidency the past four years. The problem is two-fold: 

-       The people who Trump represents. Even if Trump is not re-elected, we still have to figure out how to mend our country. The people who have supported Trump are not going away.

-       The Electoral College. The current system allows a handful of “battleground” “swing” states to determine the outcome of the election, essentially making my vote not count. This antiquated system should be kicked to the curb, and replaced with a system where every vote counts. Every vote SHOULD count! 

In many ways, Trump is simply the outward expression of the pent-up rage of the far right, white, disenfranchised Middle America. This is less a battle between states, and far more the tension between (typically more progressive) cities and (typically more conservative) rural America.  

I’ve seen so many times, friends talking about people they know who are ardent Trump supporters, and just shaking their heads. They have just given up on them. They can’t even discuss politics with them anymore, because there is no way to reason with them. 

A couple of thoughts jump to mind from my book:

-       You have to meet people where they are.

-       You can’t have a rational conversation with someone who isn’t rational. 

The Trump supporters are not rational. Their allegiance is visceral, and based purely on emotion. Trump crafted a message that resonated with white, disenfranchised voters, and fanned the flames of racism, hatred, and intolerance. 

How would you even start a conversation with them? What is it that has caused them so much anger and pain? I think they’re afraid of losing their rights, their freedoms, and having big government take over. 

I am equally afraid of losing my rights and freedoms. 

One person’s rights extend only as far as where the next person’s rights begin. To some degree, we look to our Government to help draw these lines. 

We need to live and let live, and learn how to live together. 

Apart. Because of course there’s still that: we’re in a pandemic. 



© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt

Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS 

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)





Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Happy Clam!




Hot off the press! The Happy Clam, was just released by Amazon overnight, and is now available as a paperback and as an eBook. I hope it helps lift spirits in the midst of this pandemic, civil rights unrest, and political melee.  Enjoy the read!
 
Available now at Belmont Books and on Bookshop.org:



Thank you to everyone who contributed to its making, especially Susan who has been with me throughout the writing process, Meghan Regan-Loomis for her editorial insights, Carol Aust for permission to reproduce her artwork on the cover, Scot Langdon for his photography skills in properly capturing the image, Eric C. Kintner for letting me share his letter to the editor, General Colin L. Powell for permission to share his first rule of leadership, the folks at the Einstein Archives at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for permission to share the quote by Albert Einstein,  the folks at PEEPS ® for just being such truly nice people (and who wouldn’t be, surrounded by yellow marshmallowy confections all day?), my niece Jenny for her support and encouragement through this all, and the encouragement that has come from such far-flung corners of the universe over the years: Linda Francis, Nancy Etcoff, Brian McGrory, Keith Elchert and Gayle Heiby Podczerwinski (my old University of Dayton editors at the Flyer News), and my circle of friends: Lisa Jo, Nancy, Betsy, Joanne & Ali, Patty & Bubba, Judy & Tom, Nancy & Al, Dee & Dave, and I’m sure I’m forgetting people.

And now – the soundtrack to accompany the book!

Chapter 1 – Introduction
“Turn to Stone,” by Electric Light Orchestra:

Chapter 4 – Your Happy Place
“Crazy Train,” by Ozzy Osbourne:

“Sweet Caroline,” by Neil Diamond:

Chapter 5 – Happiness Is As Happiness Does
“Que Sera Sera,” by Doris Day:

Chapter 6 – Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
“Make Me Smile,” by Chicago:

Chapter 7 – Mind Over Matter
“In My Blood,” by Shawn Mendes:

“I Wanna’ Get Better,” by Bleachers:

“You’re Somebody Else,” by Flora Cash:

“Missing Home,” by Flora Cash:

“Hunger,” by Florence + The Machine:

“When the Stars Go Blue,” by Tim McGraw:

Chapter 8 – The Bird Outside the Window
“Ripple,” by the Grateful Dead:

“Box of Rain,” by the Grateful Dead:

“Upside Down,” by Jack Johnson:

“Let It Be,” by the Beatles:

Chapter 9 – Focus On What You Can Do!
“Just the Way You Are,” by Billy Joel:

Chapter 10 – Do You Want To Change?
“Under Pressure,” by Queen featuring David Bowie:

“Changes,” by David Bowie:

“Change,” by Tracy Chapman:

Chapter 12 – Boston
“Five Hundred Miles,” by Peter, Paul, and Mary:

“In the Sun,” by Michael Stipe with Chris Martin and Coldplay:

Chapter 14 – Love Is God
“One,” by U2:

Post Script
“Everybody Lost Somebody,” by Bleachers:

“The Ghost in You,” by Psychedelic Furs:

“Pale Grass Blue,” by Enya:

“Across the Lines,” by Tracy Chapman:

“Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution,” by Tracy Chapman:

“It’s Time,” by Imagine Dragons:

© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt
Rose Schmidt is the author of The Happy Clam (Gainline Press, 2020), and Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS

Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)



Sunday, March 29, 2020

How Did We Get Here?



An old photo looking back at NYC, from a train headed north.
My heart goes out to you, New York.
Every storm runs out of rain.

***Post updated 4 April 2020


***Disclaimer: I am neither a Physician nor an Epidemiologist, but I am a scientist and I can read.

Like many of you, I wake up each morning and ask, “How did we get here?” Things seemed to change overnight, and yet they didn’t. There were plenty of people trying to sound the alarm, but again people have refused to listen to science, and instead trusted their leadership, and outside a few bright spots in this – folks like Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, LTG Todd T. Semonite, and Dr. Anthony Fauci – there has been a failure of leadership at practically every level, and a delay in taking action.

***
There are a couple of really good articles that detail the timeline:

Abutaleb, Yasmeen, Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller. 2020. The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged. The Washington Post. 4 April 2020.

Schumaker, Erin. 2020. Timeline: How coronavirus got started. ABC News. 25 March 2020.

***

All through January and February, there were the continued reports out of China, and the extreme efforts taken there to try to contain the virus. But, as early as 31 January, the first two cases had been confirmed in Rome. And by 1 February, the Diamond Princess cruise ship reported its first confirmed case, which would lead to the multi-week saga of the quarantined passengers on the ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. It had gotten out.


16 February 2020. The US Embassy announced they would bring home the US citizens onboard the ship for treatment and quarantine.

25 February 2020. In a press conference, Dr. Anne Schuchet from the CDC said:

“Current global circumstances suggest it’s likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen, and how many people in this country will become infected, and how many of those will develop severe or more complicated disease.”

Alex Azar, Secretary of Human Health Services stated:  

“Abroad, this is spreading quite rapidly. In the United States, thanks to the President and this team’s aggressive containment efforts, this disease as Dr. Schuchet  said, is contained. As we’ve always said, we expect to see more cases.”


By this time, Italy had recorded 10 deaths and a total of 322 cases, and Iran had experienced a second cluster.

26 February 2020. First case of locally transmitted COVID-19 in California, unrelated to foreign travel (Schumaker, 2020).

28 February 2020. President Donald Trump, speaking at a campaign rally in South Carolina, called the Democrats’ criticism of his coronavirus response their “new hoax.”



True, the wording in his speech is ambiguous, and it’s not clear whether President Trump was saying that the coronavirus itself was a hoax, or the fact that Democrats were talking about it in their speeches and “politicizing” it. Either way, the problem is that words matter. President Trump’s blatant disregard for the potential hazard had a grave trickle-down effect in Government. For a president who values loyalty above all else, everyone knows that disagreement is not an option, if one wants to stay in the game.

President Trump’s early dismissal and false reassurances that the coronavirus was contained and would go away set the wheels in motion allowing continued spread, in the absence of rigorous testing, which was not available, and delayed action across the country at all levels of Government. 

For example, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said they never considered canceling Mardi Gras because the message from the Federal Government was that the virus was contained, and there was no warning otherwise (Finch, 2020; Montgomery, Cha, and Webster, 2020). New Orleans has become a new hot spot due to revelers unwittingly spreading the virus there. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) was on February 25th.



Later that same week, in a similar way, Biogen proceeded with its conference in Boston 26-27 February, leading to a cluster of cases in the Boston area that grew from three cases to nearly 100, and likely continues to spread.

The following series of video shows the progression of President Trump’s messaging, saying that it would go away, “like a miracle,” and that everything was well under control.


6 March 2020. President Trump visited the CDC and said that “anybody that needs a test can have a test,” and Alex Azar promised “up to 4 million test kits available in the United States by the end of next week.” It’s the end of March, and we’re still waiting.


11 March 2020. WHO declared a global pandemic. That night, President Trump made an Address to the Nation, and appeared to finally grasp the severity of the situation.


12 March 2020. US declared a National State of Emergency.

What changed? A lot of people theorize that someone finally got President Trump’s ear, and showed him the predictions scientists were making about fatalities and number of patients requiring advanced care, such as ventilators.

16 March 2020. The Imperial College Report was published (Booth, 2020; Ferguson, et al., 2020). Authored by Neil Ferguson’s group, the report predicts death rates, based on modeling the effects of mitigation, virus transmission, and severity of cases. In some ways it’s not so different from modeling the flow of groundwater through a porous media, such as a sandy aquifer. In this case, the model requires knowledge of the virus properties, and how the population helps or hinders its transmission. By social distancing, we can be more like clay, and less like sand and gravel, and slow the flow.


Here’s a link to the report, and you can read it for yourself.


It is painfully ironic that Neil Ferguson himself recently contracted the virus, and I wish him well as this crisis now hits close to home for him.

I am also grateful to all the healthcare workers and all those on the front lines – grocery store and restaurant workers, pharmacies and delivery persons – for taking care of us, while we stay home.

***The President presented predictions on possible number of fatalities this past week on 31 March 2020, as if it were new news, but the math has been out there literally for months. The numbers out of China showed a fatality rate of about 2 to 4 percent of diagnosed cases. And we’ve been told that we can expect that eventually 40 to 70 percent of the Earth’s population will eventually contract the virus. So, let’s say the US population is 327 million, and to make the math easy, let’s just call it 300 million, and let’s say one third of the population gets infected, i.e., 100 million people. Eighty percent will have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and will probably not even be tested. The other 20 percent will have more severe symptoms, and these cases probably account for the bulk of the diagnosed cases in the US right now (test positive). For these 20 million cases, even with a one percent mortality rate, this would result in 200,000 deaths. If two thirds of the population gets it, just double this number. If the virus is more lethal, the numbers could double or even triple. These are just back-of-the-envelope calculations that people were doing even way before the Imperial College report came out.

***

The numbers continue to climb. The US has over 100,000 confirmed cases, and 2,000 deaths. Massachusetts has over 4,000 cases, and 44 deaths, when it suffered its first death only one week ago. The true number of cases is likely at least twice that, if not tenfold, given the limited testing. For every confirmed case, there are probably at least a half dozen or more cases where people had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

Which is why for now we have to act as if any one of us might have it.

***
A week later (4 April 2020) and the US is approaching 300,000 cases, and over 7,000 deaths.

***

It must be hard for places in the Midwest and elsewhere that are a week or two behind us. New York City is a week or two ahead of us, and offers a chilling preview of what might be to come.

There is hope.

People who have already had the virus might have immunity, we’re told. Imagine what you could do, if you had immunity. We could go where others dare not tread. In addition to increasing testing to determine who has the virus, it may be equally if not more important to test to determine who has immunity. Ironically, as I was scratching this very thought out, pencil on paper, the CBS News Sunday Morning show aired a segment by Dr. John LaPook this morning, suggesting the very same thing. 


Because, eventually there will be a vaccine, and eventually the virus will run out of new victims, just as every storm runs out of rain.

Song for the day: “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” by Gary Allen.

#MoreTestingLessSpreading


***
A big THANK YOU to Governor Charlie Baker and Robert Kraft, for using the Patriots plane to fly over a million N95 masks back from China in an extraordinary humanitarian mission. THANK YOU!!!

***

References

Booth, William. 2020. A chilling scientific paper helped upend US and UK coronavirus strategies. The Washington Post. 17 March 2020.

Ferguson, Neil, et al. 2020. Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team. 16 March 2020.

Finch, Chris. 2020. Video: New Orleans Mayor Cantrell says city saw no reason to cancel Mardi Gras, needs medical supplies. Fox8. 28 March 2020.

LaPook, Jonathan. 2020. Dr. Jon LaPook on the value of antibody tests for past coronavirus infection. CBS News Sunday Morning. 29 March 2020.

Montgomery, David, Ariana Eunjung Cha, and Richard A. Webster. 2020. ‘We were not given a warning’: New Orleans Mayor says federal inaction informed Mardi Gras decision ahead of covid-19 outbreak. The Washington Post. 26 March 2020.

Schumaker, Erin. 2020. Timeline: How coronavirus got started. ABC News. 25 March 2020.

© 2020 Rosemary A. Schmidt
Rose Schmidt is the author of “Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life” (Gainline Press 2004). The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of any other agency or organization. Use of individual quotes with proper citation and attribution, within the limits of fair use, is permitted. If you would like to request permission to use or reprint any of the content on the site, please contact me. Twitter: Rosebud@GainlineRS


Mission Statement: To Educate, Inform, Entertain, Inspire, and Open Minds. (E.I.E.I.O.M.)