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The Inner Mind of a Computer Geek

September 17, 2021 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , ,

Presented by: J.T. Evans
Date: October 1 – 31, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15
Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

Arthur C. Clarke’s third law states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This means that the minds of the people who create “sufficiently advanced technology” are equally magical. In this course, I’ll delve into what motivates me as a computer technologist to continue to work in my field after an active career of over twenty-five years.

I’ll also touch upon the various technical fields in which I have expertise to provide insight into how things are done, why are they are done that way, and how mistakes can be made to reduce the security stance of a computer or network. I’ll also cover how criminal enterprises are leveraging technology to increase their revenue and reach. The flip side of the coin—what information security professionals are doing to put a stop to these nefarious activities—will also be taught as part of this class. Lastly, I’ll explore some futurist thoughts into what magic may pour forth from near-future technological advancements.

About the Presenter:

J.T. Evans started creating software for his grandfather’s business in 1980 at the tender age of seven using a TSR-80 from Radio Shack. In the intervening decades, he’s seen a world of change in technological leaps, and pervasiveness of computing in everyday life. Even trying to keep up with the latest and greatest advancements keeps J.T. busy, but he does his best because his career success in computing requires rapid shifts and constant learning.

Taking on the challenges of constant learning, J.T. has worked in a wide variety of computer-based jobs. Most of his professional career, he’s been a software engineer. However, he’s also worked as a Windows system administrator, Linux system administrator, systems engineer, support technician for various technologies, deep support troubleshooter, information security engineer, database administrator, system architect, and probably a few more fancy titles that have been forgotten to the ages. In a nutshell, if there’s a computer-based job out there in the world, J.T. has touched upon it at some level.

J.T’s first two novels in his Modern Mythology series from WordFire Press GRIFFIN’S FEATHER and VIPER’S BANE are out now.


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BACK TO SCHOOL: The Write Way to Learn your Craft

September 15, 2021 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster, Writing tagged as , , ,

I never thought I’d be a novelist, much less a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. I wish I could say that I was an overnight success, but it’s taken years to hone my skills because I am self-taught. The extent of my writing education was to crack open a bestselling novel (with a glass of wine by my side), highlight important passages and transitions, and then mimic the authors’ style. At some point, I found my own voice, and it was magical. I could have cut years off my learning curve if I had access to the online information that is available now. While I love the energy of in-person education, I found two intriguing options for writers, whether they are new or experienced. Maybe one will be right for you.

‘Ninety-Day Novel’ walks you through finishing your first book in three months. There are weekly in person Zoom meetings, recorded lessons, and exercises landing in your mailbox to help you along. It doesn’t get more hands on than this.

Masterclass’ is awesome. This platform provides virtual classes taught by award-winning authors such as Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell, and James Patterson to name just a few. Masterclass will elevate your work, and as an added bonus you’ll learn how to get your finished work published.

CreativeLive is perfect for authors who are feeling pretty good about their craft but are looking for practical advice. No celebrity authors here. Rather, you’ll be learning from entrepreneurs, bloggers, and online personalities. 

This September take a cue from the kids. Get back to school and learn from the people who wrote the books on writing. You won’t even need a backpack!

*These links are for information only. Masterclass is $15.00 a month billed annually. Ninety-Day Novel is donation based, with $1,000 being suggested but $500 being the least amount accepted. Creative Live is $13.00 a month.

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The toughest book I’ve ever written… by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , ,

Sometimes there are no words for how you feel… and a picture says it best.

Tonight I got hit by a double whammy.

9/11 and Dachau.

I watched two TV shows back to back… the first dealing with the fabulous documentary on CNN by French filmmakers and brothers, Gédéon and Jules Naudet, and firefighter James Hanlon. on 9/11 and the New York Fire Department… exceptional and gripping filmmaking.

And next a story about World War 2 shot in color by Hollywood director, George Stevens, and what he filmed when he visited Dachau in May 1945.

What do they have in common?

Well, this story will post on 9/11 on the 20th anniversary and I can’t not take a few moments to stop and ask for a moment of silence for all those who died… and those who survived who still have nightmares and heavy hearts. It’s something we do every year and this year it’s especially important.

May we never forget.

———-

The second TV show has to do with the toughest book I ever had to write. It’s about a beautiful perfumer who fights the Nazis, is arrested and sent to Dachau… I won’t give away the story except to say my heroine’s ability as a ‘nose’ or perfume creator gives her a different perspective on what survivors of the Holocaust experienced. Her talent puts her in a unique situation to tread on a different plane when she’s sent to the infamous concentration camp near Munich, Germany.

And how she survives…

Doing the research for my book was a soul-searching experience that makes me grateful for every day lived, every meal I enjoy…. every night of blissful sleep. No one coming for you… no beatings, degradation and humiliation (especially the treatment of women by SS guards) no rationing of the simplest things, no privacy, and for so many, no hope.

What sent me into tears tonight was when I saw the liberation of Dachau in color… the camp prisoners’ striped ‘pajamas’, the beetle-green German uniforms, the pure white snow… scorched red brick buildings… the hot yellow flames still burning in the crematoriums.

It was chilling.

What made this book so tough to write goes beyond just reading about the horror these people endured. I tried on a very small scale to experience the physical and mental emotions… wearing the same sweats and socks for a few days, not leaving the house, rationing my food to a bare minimum, deactivating social media to cut myself off so I’d have no idea what was happening the world. Setting my alarm to wake myself at odd hours to get a feeling of the uncertainty of life.

I was a mess in a few days.

I want to emphasize what I did was on an extremely small scale compared to the reality of the camps, but the hunger and feeling unclean and the loneliness became very real to me. It gave me a better perspective on how quickly lives changed when innocent, hard-working good people were rounded up — Jews, Roma, LGBT, political dissidents… even German citizens who simply spoke out against the Reich.

How some were sent to their death immediately, while others went to labor camps, a slow death. (‘You don’t come to Auschwitz to live,’ they said, ‘but to die’.) The prisoners in the camps endured unspeakable conditions for months… years.

So many were lost.

But so many did survive.

And it’s their stories I listened to, watched in documentaries, read in first person accounts. I urge you to do so, too.

We must never forget the Holocaust.

And unite in a sisterhood of remembrance. And never, ever, let it happen again.

Jina

——————-

My new Paris WW 2 novel is called THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS and is up on Amazon for pre-order. I don’t have a cover yet, but here’s a graphic I put together and the blurb:

‘I will never forget what the Nazi did to me. Never

1940, Nazi-occupied Paris. A powerful story of love, tragedy and incredible courage, about one woman whose life is ripped apart by war and risks everything to seek justice. Brand new from the bestselling author of The Resistance Girl.

As Nazis patrol the streets of the French capital, Tiena is alone, desperate and on the run. After defending herself against the force of an officer, she must find a new identity in order to survive.

An accidental meeting with members of the Resistance gives her a lifeline, as she is offered the chance to reinvent herself as perfumer Angéline De Cadieux.

However Angéline will never forget what happened to her, and will do everything she can to seek revenge. But vengeance can be a dangerous game, and Angeline can only hide her true identity for so long before her past catches up with her, with some devastating consequences…

Paris, 2003. When the opportunity arises for aspiring journalist Emma Keane to interview world renowned perfumer Madame De Cadieux about her life during World War Two, she is determined to take it. There are secrets from her own family history that she hopes Angéline may be able to help unlock.

But nothing can prepare Emma for Angéline’s story, and one thing is for certain – it will change her own life forever…

An absolutely heartbreaking, unforgettable historical novel of war, sacrifice and survival. Perfect for fans of Suzanne Goldring, Ella Carey and Catherine Hokin.

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

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HERDING BUTTERFLIES: DEFINING A WRITER’S WORK

August 15, 2021 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as ,


“I wish I had your job. All you do is sit around and make up stories all day.”

“I’ve got a great story for you. You write it and I’ll split the royalties.”

 If writers had a dollar for every time someone told them they were on easy street they would be — well—on easy street. But we know the work is hard, that dedication is a prerequisite, and thick skin is the uniform we wear everyday. So if you ever need to explain the life of a writer, here’s how you can break it down.

STEP ONE: Herd Butterflies

Of the millions of words in the world, a writer must choose 100,000, and fit them together like puzzle pieces to create a seamless story. There is no wand to wave so that they magically fall in place. Nor is there a spell to cast that will take the vague, foggy images on the periphery of writer’s consciousness, give them form and function, and create memorable characters. Likewise a plot and story can be elusive. Initially these ideas are as solid as quicksand. One wrong step and the writer sinks. If we’re not willing to do this painstaking work to corral our butterflies, sculpt our characters, and create a solid plot foundation then we are not writers.

STEP TWO: Sit

Writers sit for hours, and days, and weeks on end. Months go by and still we sit. A writer may mentally plot or test dialogue while seeing to real life, but the hard work is accomplished by putting our butts in the chair while everyone else plays. If we give into temptation and join the party, we are not writers.

STEP THREE: Sand, Paint, and Patch

When the typing is done, the editing begins. Editing is an ugly, depressing, miserable process. Shave a word here, add ten there. Delete pages, chapters, chuck the whole book and start again. A writer prints out hard copy, marks it up until the pages look bloody with edits. Then a real pro inputs the edits and starts all over again. If we aren’t our own best critic, one willing to make things right for our readers, we are not real writers.

So when someone says they fancy your job or waxes romantic about a writer’s life, smile. Admit that writing is a wonderful profession. Insist that you would never dream of taking their amazing idea even though you’re tempted. Assure them that they deserve the literary glory. Do offer to look at their manuscript when it’s finished. While you’re waiting, you can start herding butterflies for your next blockbuster.

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A Paris video memory from my student days in France that made it into ‘The Resistance Girl’ by Jina Bacarr

August 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Paris novels, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,
Ah, I love Paris!!
 
So much so I just finished my second WW2 Paris novel… more coming up soon including a cover! 
 
But first… about that memory…
 
My heroine Sylvie Martone loved staying in Marly-le-Roi outside Paris with the man in her life…
 
Here is a memory of mine when I stayed there… yes, that’s me in that wild purple dress.
 
The Resistance Girl Paris 1943
Could a moment of courage change her life?
 
It’s the story of French cinema star Sylvie Martone and her amazing journey from 1920s-1940s and how she defied the Gestapo to save lives…
 
Kindle, Prime and KU:
 

What favorite memories have made it into your stories and books? Let me know!

Bonus video:

 

 




UPDATED: 
The WW 2 letter that inspired HER LOST LOVE (CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN): re: Veronica Jorge’s wonderful comment about my story! Thanks, Veronica!
 
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