Thursday, January 20, 2022

BADGE OF COMMUNISM: THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE ABUSE OF MASKING CHILDREN

 


A Published Op/Ed

by 

Summer Lane


It is a warm spring day. I stand in the parking lot with my daughter watching a surreal scene. Two women wearing cloth face masks are taking a walk on the public trail. Each of them is walking a dog. Amazing, I think, to see humans muzzled instead of dogs. And yet this is the sad reality of the world we live in; a world where the unique individuality of human beings is being traded for a collective, faceless badge of communism that is worn over the mouth and nose…and for what? A placebic sense of safety? A lofty attitude of doing your part to stop a virus that has a 99.9 percent survival rate? For this, we muzzle our children like animals and send them off to socially-distanced desks in failing, government-funded schools? For this, we acquiesce our children’s sense of security in the world and subject them to unnecessary anxiety and depression, feeding their yet undeveloped brains with paranoia about things like breathing air, and shaking hands and sneezing?

And yet, here we are. A society hellbent on victimizing the most vulnerable population in the world: our youth. With our keening, dogmatic devotion to “following the science” of the political imagination, we have taught our children to live in fear. To live inside. To stand six feet apart from their neighbors. To hide their faces in restaurants. To panic with every runny nose and cough. We have, as a society, taught our children to live as compliant, well-behaved little communists who trust fully in the all-powerful state who will surely save us from this never-ending drama; this fifteen-day pandemic that has lasted for two years.

 Imagine this. You stand in a crowded grocery store, waiting your turn in the check-out line, when you see it: a toddler wearing a cloth face mask. The mask is too big, covering more than half of his face and hanging loosely around his cheeks, obscuring all but his bright, curious eyes. Your gaze meets his, and as a smile touches your lips, his hidden face remains obfuscated behind the cloth mask. This interaction signals a cataclysmic break in what communications professors would call the transactional model – that is, the cycle of communication that occurs between two individuals, a process of encoding, sending, and decoding. Only, without nonverbal communication – in this case, facial expression, which is often more telling than words – true communication cannot and will not occur. And even if the message is indeed received and understood, the emotional intent will never be fully translated.

The psychological damage inflicted on a child who is being masked is hefty. According to an article written for the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, Neeraj Sood, PhD., and Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD., assert that masking is not only a psychological stressor for a child, but it reduces the ability of a teacher and a pupil to communicate in the classroom. This, of course, should come as a shock to no one. How many times have you had to ask a cashier or a secretary to repeat something they said to you simply because you couldn’t gauge their message thanks to the mask they were wearing?


Sood also says that masking the face eradicates all vestiges of positive emotions such as smiling and laughing, while simultaneously amplifying negative ones. Additionally, masking increases the chances of a child developing anxiety and depression. Honestly, is anyone surprised by this? Does anyone, in any sane universe, believe that muzzling a child like a circus animal will actually do anything positive for his or her psyche?

We live in a time of false stress. The television tells you to be afraid, and so you are. Your social media friends echo in robotic unison, “Mask up! It’s what nice, caring people do!” So, you do. The sign outside of the clothing store says to wear a mask…so you put one on. Get in line. Put on your badge of communism. Keep your head down. Do what you’re told. And don’t forget to put a mask on your two-year-old. That, of course, is absolutely essential.

I present to you an alternative path. A path of quiet but effective rebellion against the tyranny of our times. In my opinion, there is far too much acquiescing to the iron-fisted rule of fear that is being pressed down upon us. There is no reason – none – to mask a child. Not for a minute, not for an hour. Not ever. Masking up for Disneyland? Ask yourself if it’s worth it. Is it worth it, parent, to teach your innocent child’s still-developing brain that wearing a face mask in public is even relatively normal? Acceptable? Commonplace? A child’s view of the world begins forming immediately from birth, and you are tasked with protecting your child from the abuse and chaos of our corrupt and sodden culture.

Will you stand against the tide, a pebble in a stream, and give your child a sane, normal childhood? Or will you go with the flow and hope, with time, that it will all just “get better,” all the while halfheartedly “wishing” that your school district will allow your child to show his or her face in public? Parents, speak up for your children. They are the hope and future of tomorrow, and if you do not protect them, absolutely no one else will. Like it or not, it all comes down to you. Do not fail them.

 

Source:

Sood, Nareej and Bhattacharya, Jay. (2021) USC Schaeffer. Mandatory Masking of School Children is a Bad Idea.

 All opinions are my own. All images shared on this website are royalty-free, license-free images. 

 

 

 

 

Friday, January 7, 2022

TODAY: I PUBLISHED MY 30th NOVEL! VENGEFUL DAWN IS AVAILABLE NOW!


Finally! That's all I can say. After what seems like forever (in my world),
Vengeful Dawn is officially on the market. The last time I released a book was in 2020, so for me, it's been a hot minute since I've published anything. Vengeful Dawn is a big deal, because not only does it cap off the Resurrection Series (which began in 2018), but it also concludes Cassidy Hart's wartime adventures. I don't want to spoil anything for anybody, so I'll just leave it at that and finally confirm that Cassidy will return (eventually) in a trilogy of political thrillers. But as far as Cassidy being in the field, on the front lines of a major apocalyptic wartime event...Resurrection is literally the end! It's bittersweet but I'm looking forward to developing Cassidy's character as she continues to get older in later books. 

A few notes about the release: 

- The paperback will release in a few weeks. This is a "soft release," which means it is all digital. 

- There will also be a digital tour for the book in a couple of weeks, too! 

- I had some problems while uploading the book to Kindle, so if you bought a copy of the book and it had formatting errors, I'm sorry about that! I have a formatter working on it right now, and the issue should be rectified ASAP! 

In the meantime, my next project is - you guessed it - Expedition 99, the new Legion Collection that I've been working on behind the scenes for the past two years. I am finally in the home stretch of getting my B.A., so I likely will not release the book until after I graduate. However, I won't guarantee that I won't...because with me, you never know! 

I just wanted to commemorate this occasion because Vengeful Dawn marks my thirtieth published book. I feel like I need to pop some champagne or something now, seriously! I began publishing novels nine years ago this month...and I can't believe how many books I have released since then. It feels like a lifetime ago and a blink all at once. I am forever grateful for my readers. The fans are what made Cassidy Hart a success, and I will never NOT be humbled by that. I'm just so grateful that I get to write books that I love...because at the end of the day, it's just plain FUN. 

I will keep you all updated on Expedition 99 as I can. Currently, I need to write about 250-300 more pages before the book is finished. It marks a brand new series, brand new adventures, and a brand new storyworld. For me, it's been really fun to be able to create an entirely new story setting from scratch after working in the same story universe for a decade. So, that being said, I'm REALLY excited about Expedition 99 and all of the adventures that it will bring, too! 

BUT YES: Cassidy Hart WILL return. She won't make an appearance again until AFTER I release Expedition 99, but I've already got timelines and storylines cooking right now. I've always had Cassidy's story and life mapped out, so I'm just grateful and excited that my readers love her enough to ask me to continue the story. So I will!

***

NOW AVAILABLE IN THE KINDLE STORE



It all comes down to this.


This moment. 

This fight. 

This opportunity to avenge the fallen and restore the republic.


This is my war now, and mine alone.

Cassidy Hart is broken but alive.
After emerging from a bunker in the Yukon wilderness, Cassidy is once again united with the Freedom Fighters of the militia. Shattered from a gutting loss and struggling to readjust to life above ground, she is shocked at how much the world has changed during her time in Silo Nation.
The world is tightly controlled by a technologically advanced AI army that answers to the terrifying and evil globalist kingpin, Ares. Cassidy’s three-year-old daughter, Penny, has been taken by Ares’ forces, a crucial political hostage. Cassidy will stop at nothing to get her back.
For Cassidy, the war isn’t just about freedom anymore: it’s about vengeance. It’s about rescuing her daughter from Ares’ evil influence. It’s about taking the post-apocalyptic world back from a diabolical madman and his seemingly invincible forces. It’s about finding the ability to love again, accepting past deaths, and facing her first love, Commander Chris Young, once more. It’s about bringing the fight for independence and liberty to a final close and making the ultimate sacrifice.
This is the end of the line.
This is the world’s vengeful, burgeoning dawn.

The final, thrilling installment in the bestselling Resurrection Series, by Summer Lane.

Here's what reviewers are saying about the Resurrection Series:


"Another amazing book by Summer Lane!"

"Wow just wow. Summer has taken us on a wild ride, one that cannot be predicted."

"Lane’s writing has become intense and descriptive since the first book “State of Emergency”. She’s killing it (pun intended)."

"Resurrection was a rollercoaster that I did not want to get off of. I honestly didn't want to finish it, just because I knew once I did I would have to wait so long for the next one!"

"Summer has wrote an amazing character with Cassidy and with everyone else in this story. When they go through their emotions you go through them with them. She knows how to tug at your heart in your chest.
She has a way of writing with her characters, story and world building that is second to none."


Monday, December 20, 2021

Butterfly Wings in the Hall - A Short Story


There are butterfly wings in the hall. There’s glitter on the couch. A highway of unrolled wrapping paper winds throughout the house, strewn with tiny cars and mismatched pairs of socks. The Christmas tree is decorated haphazardly, candy canes hung in crowded clumps and glitter balls fastened to too-small branches. Dried specks of play-doh dot the carpet, coupled with stolen kitchen items like spatulas and kabob skewers. Couch pillows are thrown to the ground in an unceremonious heap. Tiny feet leap from cushion to cushion. “Look, mommy,” she says. “I made a house!” 

There are the days of endless energy and rainbow-colored art projects. Days of glue and pom-poms and popsicle sticks. There are the days of runny noses and tired eyes and long, steamy baths with overflowing bubbles. There are the days of dirt and grass and chasing cats and riding bikes. There are days of crying and throwing things and fighting. There are the days of endless pleas of, “Play with me, mommy!” Days of frustration and sadness and time slipped away in the thankless maw of career and school


She makes me food. A restauranter proudly serving her most loyal customer. “Coffee for you,” she says cheerfully. She pours me a cup. “It’s hot,” she warns. “Blow on it.” I do. She makes me chicken and beans and gives me a chocolate donut for dessert. “Wow,” I say. “This is really good.” She replies matter-of-factly, “It is.” 


When I make dinner, she brings a step stool into the kitchen. “I’m going to help you!” she exclaims. Her favorite phrase. 

“I want to do it,” she adds. “Let me do it. I want to help.” There is no task too daunting for her curious hands. “Put these potatoes in this bowl,” I tell her. 

“Of course!” she says. She looks for seasoning. She finds cinnamon and sugar. “This will be just perfect,” she tells me. 

“Potatoes and cinnamon,” I reply. “Interesting.” 


“Build a house with me,” she demands. Another favorite request. Building and fixing and figuring out how things work. She fits together a meticulous piece of construction. “It’s a carwash,” she says proudly. “Wow,” I tell her. “That is a great carwash. You are so amazing at building things!” “Yes,” she agrees. “I am.” 


We are arguing about something and Daddy turns to her and says, “Hey, I made you so that means I’m in charge.” She turns very serious, contemplating this. “No, daddy,” she replies, frowning. “God made me.” We both fall silent. What can you say to that? 


At night when we say goodnight she asks for books and songs and squishy hugs. Bedtime is a last-ditch effort to squeeze more awake-time out of the day, to delay the inevitable moment of turning off the lights and closing her eyes. “What song would you like me to sing tonight?” I ask. She holds up her hand. “A lot of songs,” she says. “This many.” I sing her Happy Trails and Away in a Manger. “Okay, goodnight,” I say. “I love you.” Sometimes, she says she loves me too. Sometimes she says she loves me most. Sometimes she doesn’t say anything at all. 


But, at the end of the day, when she is asleep and the house is quiet again and I’m left wading through a sea of toys and ponytails and princess dresses, I slip down the hall and I think about the silence and the void that it leaves. I think about the future and the impending quiet of my someday house, when butterfly wings and glitter trails are remnants of days past; vestiges of bouncing curls and late-night hugs and chubby fingers in cookie dough. I think about these things as I walk down the hall, and instead of picking up the butterfly wings, I leave them where they are and step around them. I want to remember them forever, I decide. I want them to stay just as they are, for as long as they can, until chubby fingers turn to slender hands and princess dresses turn to prom dresses. I want all of it, for as long as it lasts, for always.

little princess



A short story by Summer Lane. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without express permission of the author. Sharing or quoting is permitted. Thank you. 



Monday, December 13, 2021

COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: THE MIRACLE OF AMERICA, THE BATTLE OF TRENTON, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON



Frigid, unforgiving wind swept across the ice-crusted Delaware River as General Washington surveyed the darkness. It was madness, impossible. What they were about to do…could not be done. Unless…by some stroke of luck…or perhaps the merciful hand of Divine Providence…that this ragged, threadbare, blood-caked regiment of Continental soldiers would make it across the dangerous, murky waters in the dead of night.

The date was December 25, 1776.

Christmas Day, early morning. Freezing cold. Dead of winter.

Washington’s soldiers were running out of supplies. Morale was depressingly low. The Declaration of Independence had been signed just months before in a fever pitch of patriotism and independent zeal, but now, in the thankless, deathly colonial winter, it was difficult to remember exactly what they were fighting for.

Freedom. Independence. “Liberty or death,” as Patrick Henry so eloquently expressed just one year before in his timeless speech delivered to the Virginia Assembly in 1775. Now, perched in the wilderness, Washington was forced to make a difficult decision. His American forces desperately needed a victory to boost morale, and the nearly 1400 Hessian troops (trained mercenaries) at the fort in Trenton across the river would be an easy target for his considerably bigger force. However, the Delaware River had turned into a churning deathtrap of ice and snow…and what’s more, the Hessians were aware of Washington’s presence, as well as the possibility of an attack from the beleaguered American forces.

But no one would be crazy enough to cross the Delaware. Especially on Christmas Day.

No one, of course, except for Washington.

Despite insanely cold weather – a storm blew in that morning that pelted the troops with hellish snow, hail, and sleet – they managed somehow to get their boats into the water. Hours of fighting the ice, rain, and freezing elements finally yielded results when the troops touched the banks of the other side of the river, exhausted but alive. Once on dry land, they marched to Trenton, where they swiftly and easily overtook the shocked Hessian forces, scoring the Continental Army their first major victory of the American Revolution.

Washington’s gamble had paid off. The American Revolution was well underway, and his men were flying high on the ecstasy of a long-awaited victory, which would also strategically serve to encourage more troops to enlist to fight for the cause for independence. It was a Christmas miracle, but it would not be the only miracle that occurred throughout the course of the War for Independence. In 1779, General Washington and another officer rode between Brandywine Creek in Philadelphia and General Howe’s British camp. While riding, four British sharpshooters sighted the Continental officers, and, as the story goes, Washington turned and met the gaze of Major Patrick Ferguson, who for some inexplicable reason decided to spare the lives of the men in his sights. Later, Ferguson would learn the identity of the man he locked eyes with, remarking later that “I am sorry that I did not know at the time who it was” (Medved, 2016).

Yet another astonishing miracle is recorded in history when Washington and the Continental Army found themselves in a tight spot in Brooklyn Heights, where they had been working on defenses all summer. In August, British General Howe struck the Americans with riotous force, driving them back onto the bluff, boxed in by the river. There was no escape…and yet another American miracle prevailed. The next day, the temperature dropped and a freak thunderstorm swept into the harbor, preventing British ships from sailing to shore and lambasting the sopping, exhausted Continentals. Another miracle was yet to be had: as the weather died down, an intense, soupy fog rolled across Brooklyn, providing Washington’s men with the perfect opportunity to retreat across the river, invisible to the enemy that was pressing in on them from the front. Washington led his men in a successful retreat, and once again, the Continental Army escaped nearly unscathed (McNair, 2006). Without the perfect, well-timed intervention of weather and wind, the Revolutionary Army would have been squashed that day.

America itself, from the first moment that the Pilgrims placed their worn boots on Plymouth Rock to the blood-soaked battles that won the Revolutionary War, is a country borne from more than simple grit and determination. Like the divinely-appointed birth of Christ, whom we celebrate every Christmas season, so America’s very conception seems to have been stirred by God Himself. Between miraculous, last-minute escapes to the seemingly supernatural protection over Washington’s life, America exists because miracles exist, and because God, in his gracious mercy and goodness, gave humble American colonists the chance to live free – a chance that many generations of Americans after have relentlessly continued to preserve and protect through both word and deed.

 

 

Sourced:

Crossing of the Delaware. (2021). Washington Library. Mount Vernon.

McNair, Rod. (2006). Brooklyn Heights: The Dunkirk of the American Revolution. Tomorrow’s World.

Medved, Michael. (2016). American Miracle.

 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

SURPRISE!!! VENGEFUL DAWN IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER IN THE KINDLE STORE!

 


You have been patient. You have been waiting. And I have been working so hard over the past year to find time to work Resurrection: Vengeful Dawn into my writing roster...and here it is. The pre-order link is OFFICIALLY LIVE, and you can pre-order the Kindle version of the book right now! The official launch of the novel is scheduled for JANUARY 7, 2022. Also, how cool is the final cover?? Steven J. Catizone designed it for me, as usual, and he did an AMAZING job. It tells the story of the novel SO WELL. 

It's hard to believe that I originally conceived upon the idea and wrote the original manuscript about Cassidy Hart in 2012, officially making the series 10 years old next year (I'M GETTING OLD - SEND HELP IMMEDIATELY). 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting my novels and Cassidy Hart's stories over the years. This finale novel is, as I said, the final installment in the Resurrection story line. Following this, I will launch Expedition 99 (which is mostly already written), and Cassidy Hart's story will continue in a new series of political and dystopian thrillers, which will be a more adult continuation of Cassidy's story. 

I've had a lot of delays and unforeseen bumps in the road pop up through 2021 that made it impossible to get my books launched in the Spring and Summer, but I'm making up for it now...finally!

Without further ado, here is the official pre-order link, which is ONLY 2.99 right now!! I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas season, and I can't wait to share Cassidy's final Resurrection adventure with you: 


OFFICIAL PRE-ORDER LINK 


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: 

It all comes down to this.

This moment. This fight. This opportunity to avenge the fallen and restore the republic.

This is my war now, and mine alone.

Cassidy Hart is broken but alive.

After emerging from a bunker in the Yukon wilderness, Cassidy is once again united with the Freedom Fighters of the militia. Shattered from a gutting loss and struggling to readjust to life above ground, she is shocked at how much the world has changed during her time in Silo Nation.

The world is tightly controlled by a technologically advanced AI army that answers to the terrifying and evil globalist kingpin, Ares. Cassidy’s three-year-old daughter, Penny, has been taken by Ares’ forces, a crucial political hostage. Cassidy will stop at nothing to get her back.

For Cassidy, the war isn’t just about freedom anymore: it’s about vengeance. It’s about rescuing her daughter from Ares’ evil influence. It’s about taking the post-apocalyptic world back from a diabolical madman and his seemingly invincible forces. It’s about finding the ability to love again and facing her first love, Commander Chris Young, once more. It’s about bringing the fight for independence and liberty to a final close and making the ultimate sacrifice.

This is the end of the line.

This is the world’s vengeful, burgeoning dawn.

The final, thrilling installment in the bestselling Resurrection Series, by Summer Lane.





Wednesday, October 13, 2021

'LIVE NOT BY LIES': FROM 1798 TO 2021, HOW FALSE NARRATIVES AND MEDIA BRUSH FIRES THREATEN LIBERTY


From a purely psychological standpoint, deception has a price. Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT, said in an article that she wrote for Psychology Today the following about romantic relationships in which secrets are kept and then exposed: 

"There’s a natural desire to seek explanations and to know more facts. Aggrieved partners begin to review details of prior events and conversations, seeking overlooked clues and evidence of lies. They may painfully conclude that they and their partner have been living in two very different realities, which they once believed were shared. If the relationship ends, both partners may suffer from shame and blame, compounding grief." 

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how God designed the human brain, and how all of mankind has a thirsting after facts and truth. The above excerpt, although it applies to a couple in a romantic relationship, reminds me of the relationship between information and the American public. We live in a society that is saturated in saccharine mass media soundbites. We live, also, in a society that gets its news mostly from social media. Now, I love social media in many ways. It is a great way to communicate with other people, it's a wonderful business tool for promotion, and it just makes life more convenient for everyone. The dark side of social media, of course, are the people who control most of its tributaries of data. Companies like Facebook and Instagram come into question, and you begin to understand that the flood of information coming at you is often carefully curated to blow up, go viral, and send a specific message - usually one that is rhetorically inflammatory. 

Let me give you a rather specific example. Just a couple of weeks ago, a photo of a Border Patrol agent allegedly "whipping" an illegal Haitian migrant at the Southern Border went viral.  Here's an example of a Tweet from Yamiche Alcindor on Twitter, via the El Paso Times:

Unfortunately for the social justice keyboard warriors scattered across the fruited plain, this photo was not accurately portrayed. The image was spread all around Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, shared by big media outlets like MSNBC and talk show hosts like Joy Reid (who is anything but joyful, in my opinion).  Unfortunately, this wildfire piece of yellow journalism was deeply obfuscated.

The Border Patrol agent was not, in fact, "whipping" the migrants at the border. The leather cords in question are actually the reins to his horse. The false narrative that BP agents were whipping people did serious reputation-damage to the agents in question, and they have been relegated to desk duty pending an "investigation" of the incident. So much for fact-checking! Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook force incredible levels of fact-checking on anything related to the 2020 presidential election or COVID-19, and yet they did nothing to suppress the spreading of deliberately-false information toward the Border Patrol agents. Why? 

We can look at the damage done when a malicious rumor like this is propagated in the mainstream media. The information sparks a brush fire, the general public latches onto an immediate, outraged, emotional response, and then by the time the media admits the information was false (and offers a weak, barely-publicized retraction), the damage is done. People have moved on, and all they remember is the false, caricatured narrative of BP agents whipping people. 

It begs the question, then: what kind of psychological damage does a culture of half-truths and deceit inflict upon the American population? Personally, I think the damage is pretty deep - and if the American people do begin to find out the truth for themselves, the relationship between information-machines and those receiving the information breaks down. Like a scorned lover, the American public is bewildered, shocked, and confused. Why have they been lied to? 

Let's examine the statistics on this one. Gallup just released a survey with some pretty startling data on how much the American people trust the media. The survey found that while 68% of Democrats trust the media, only 11% of Republicans do. Across all demographics, overall trust is down a full four points, which apparently makes 2021 the second-lowest "trust the media" year so far, coming in second to 2016. Clearly, Americans as a whole aren't sure about whether or not the data coming at them every moment of every day is trustworthy or not. And to be perfectly frank, I think even Gallup's estimates are conservative. I think a lot more people distrust the media today than what's being reported. 

Like the example of a scorned lover, we can imagine Americans who, shocked and angry that they have been lied to, also demand to know the whole story. Who doesn't want to know the full picture when they've been deceived? If the media itself - whether it comes through social media or the nightly news - can no longer be completely trusted, who can be trusted at all?  

It's interesting to note here that the "media" in America has taken on many forms since the founding of the United States. Media back in the day would have referred to the physical paper press. As the Revolutionary War began to bubble and brew, great writers and philosophical thinkers published their ideas in local newspapers and the like. Ben Franklin even anonymously published his "radical" ideas under a pen name, Silence Dogood. The press was used to stir the pot of liberty, but no more than 30 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, trouble appeared in the colonies. 

In the late 1790s, the Sedition Act was passed. This was an unabashed attack on free speech, as it literally outlawed the publication of “false, scandalous, or malicious writing” against the government of the United States." Basically, this law established that it would be illegal to criticize the government. Government-sponsored censorship - sound familiar? Remember, history doesn't repeat itself. It echoes. Shockingly, it was the patriot John Adams who signed this bill into law.

How did the early Americans fight back against this incredibly tyrannical act - an act that weaponized the earliest form of mass media against the general public by protecting the narrative espoused from a very small but very shaky federal government? They voted in a new president, Thomas Jefferson. The bill ended up expiring in 1801, and Jefferson continued on with own presidency. 

We can see here that the media has often been manipulated to guide and control the people. Indeed, if Karl Marx odiously observed that religion was the "opium of the masses," we may well conclude here that America's opium is the unchecked power of a controlling media stream. For those that study communications, you might already know that there is something called a total message stream. This is the summation of verbal and nonverbal coding, redundancy, sensory information, and data noise that combines to create one, comprehensive picture of communicated ideas and information. When a media is complicity corrupt in spreading false information - whatever that information may be - it participates in sending a delusional total message stream, therefore constructing an alternate and fallacious reality. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel winner and philosopher, released his famous essay, Live Not By Lies the same day that he was arrested in 1974 as a political prisoner (he was an outspoken critic of communism and oppression). He said, "We have internalized well the lessons drummed into us by the state; we are forever content and comfortable with its premise: we cannot escape the environment, the social conditions; they shape us, “being determines consciousness.” What have we to do with this? We can do nothing."

In addition, he eloquently gave people the solution to surviving and fighting back in a society predicated on deceit: 

And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me!

And this is the way to break out of the imaginary encirclement of our inertness, the easiest way for us and the most devastating for the lies. For when people renounce lies, lies simply cease to exist. Like parasites, they can only survive when attached to a person.

We are not called upon to step out onto the square and shout out the truth, to say out loud what we think—this is scary, we are not ready. But let us at least refuse to say what we do not think!

Here, Solzhenitsyn is advocating for peaceful pushback. He's saying, even if you don't want to openly shout the truth from the city square, at least do not regurgitate a known lie. Doing so does more damage than remaining peaceably silent. Here in America, we can approach this a little differently (remember, he was living in Soviet Russia, and he was arrested what he believed). We still can verbally push back a little bit, although we can see that the media will utilize every weapon in their arsenal to shut you down. They do this through what is now called "Cancel Culture." The media will use their bullhorn to blast a message about you throughout the world, expecting the feckless sheep to echo that message and destroy the life of the one being "called out." 

Fortunately, people are cancelled so frequently these days, that it would seem this occurrence has become white noise. Comedians like Dave Chappelle have recently spoken out about this (through humor, of course), and so has popular podcast talk show host Joe Rogan. It would appear that the curtain is coming down on cancel culture. In a way, it's almost lost its meaning. When everyone is cancelled...nobody is cancelled. 

False narratives, however, are dangerous. They destroy the foundation of a society, building up a culture on delusions and deceit. No society can survive that is built on total and complete lies. So the burden of truth falls on us, the citizenry, to sift through the flood of falsehoods. Critical thinking, separating fact from fiction, and disconnecting emotional response to stories circulated on social media before the full story is even known. 

I'll leave you with the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: 


It will not be an easy path, perhaps, but it is the easiest among those that lie before us. Not an easy choice for the body, but the only one for the soul. No, not an easy path, but then we already have among us people, dozens even, who have for years abided by all these rules, who live by the truth.

And so: We need not be the first to set out on this path, Ours is but to join! The more of us set out together, the thicker our ranks, the easier and shorter will this path be for us all! If we become thousands—they will not cope, they will be unable to touch us. If we will grow to tens of thousands—we will not recognize our country!




Thursday, October 7, 2021

PREORDER INFORMATION FOR VENGEFUL DAWN (RESURRECTION #6)

Cassidy Hart, All Rights Reserved 

I've discussed this a little on a few of my social media platforms in the weeks leading up to this post, but I thought I should drop some information about the Vengeful Dawn pre-order here today. 

Timeline on the Process

Currently, I am in the last couple of chapters of Resurrection #6. After I have finished working on the final chapters, I will iron out a few plot elements (which will really only take 1-2 days). At that point, this novel will go to editing. Typically, editing only takes a few weeks. I actually edit the book as I'm writing these days, so by the time it goes into "official" editing, it's already pretty clean. 

After the novel makes it through the editorial rounds with my crew, it will be sent to formatting. At the point where the final edits are done, there will be a live pre-order link that I will share here, in my newsletter, and on my social media platforms. At that point, the official cover and synopsis will also be released. 

Future of Cassidy Hart

I've discussed this pretty in-depth elsewhere, but the short version is this: I've had so much feedback from readers asking me NOT to permanently end Cassidy's story that I have chosen to go with the will of the people! While Vengeful Dawn will definitely be the end of the Resurrection Series, Cassidy's story will eventually continue in a series of political thrillers - and that's all I can tell you about that so far without spoiling the ending of VD! 

After Vengeful Dawn 

I am extremely busy these days. I'm always working several jobs - plus, I'm still going to school myself - so the timeline on the next Cassidy Hart novels are fuzzy. When it comes to Cassidy's continuing story, I won't be announcing anything until I've got the first novel finished. In the meantime, I will be prioritizing the release of Expedition 99. You may remember that I shelved the release of this dystopian adventure novel in the Spring so that I could focus on getting Vengeful Dawn done. Well, once VD is done, Expedition 99 will be the next priority. 

Other Work 

You can catch me jumping around the web these days on several different social media platforms. The usual are: 

Twitter: @SummerEllenLane 

Facebook: Summer Lane Author 

GETTR: @summerellenlane 

Instagram: @writingbelle 

I'm also writing weekly articles/breaking news for the amazing RSBNetwork. I just joined their writing team, and I'm very excited to be there! You can check out my work there by clicking on the link above, or by downloading the app. 

I currently write periodic columns in different magazines and newspapers around the CA area, as well. When those are available digitally, I usually share them on my social media pages. I have a new column upcoming in The Kingsburg Times that will focus on tying American history to the events of today. I can't wait to share that with you, too! 

And of course, I also write my local commentaries here at Writing Belle. These are special, because they are published on a weekly basis, and I often tackle some pretty intense subjects! 

Thanks for reading, and I am looking forward to giving you the final Resurrection installment VERY soon!