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Monday, December 7, 2015

There's Profit in Skulls Design, the Paranormal, and Mental Health

Group skulls design sketches and little memes about the undead? One of the most popular books on eBay. Mental health may be skewed to the paranormal and bizarre nowadays.

What does that mean for those of us who write about mental health?

My blog on the Great West Newspapers LP website is called The Potter's Hand 

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam says "What, did the potter's hand shake?" The Bible also refers to God as the potter, and the potter's hand. The idea is, did the potter make a mistake in creating me?

I co-authored a book with Austin Mardon, PhD, CM (Order of Canada) called The Insanity Machine . On a recent visit, a publisher suggested the name should be changed, and he asked me why we decided on The Insanity Machine. He thought it sounded like a negative review of pharmaceutical companies, the companies being the "machine" - it is far from that. He suggested we rename it something like

"A Reference Book for the Mentally Ill, their Families and Therapists" 
or something along those lines.

Perhaps we will rename the book at some point, but writing is my passion, not promotion. I know promotion is necessary - I would use skulls and the undead to promote my newest collection of three novellas, Dark Angels, if I suspected my readers thought that was a good idea.

I may run a little questionnaire by my email group and my Facebook readers. What do you think of skulls design and mental health? Or mental health and the paranormal?

This is a topic for later blog posts. Perhaps an article or two, and maybe a book...skulls and mental health...Death as the topic of a life giving experience, because I found life through mental illness...and Death raises us all to a pinnacle of change that's forced on us, just as mental illness does the same.

Do you think Death is a change that is forced on us? Or the end of all consciousness and life?

I am like the monkey contemplating a skull. I overthink or underthink, there is no Goldilocks "just right" setting on my brain.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Potter's Hand, a blog

Edmonton Senior/Calgary Senior newspapers are featuring my blog, "The Potter's Hand" on their website.

If I get a following and enough comments, it's possible the blog will morph into a paid column in time.

The blog is about mental illness in all its aspects, and its impact on family, friends, the world, and the individual.

John Nash died this week. 

He left a legacy of "A Beautiful Mind" and 86 years of living, for most of his life with the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He said that all is not suffering, and that is true. For many, mental illness is both an escape and a refuge. I can attest to that at various times in my life.

I've come out of the shadows.

Please visit "The Potter's Hand" and comment.

Thank you.

Brought to you by SpaceHive, Kenna's debut novel originally published by a traditional small press in 2012 and republished by Authors for a Cause in March 2015. A rollicking adventure of friendly alien bees and the vicious wasp General Vard, a 12-year-old boy and his Muslim buddy who must alone save the world, and the formidable SpaceHive...on which Jason is abducted by the alien attackers and taken to India where the final Battle takes place.

Also by The Insanity Machine, our adventure and journey with paranoid schizophrenia, including the latest research available at the time of writing.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Highway to Hawaii

An article was published in the Calgary Senior about our trip to Hawaii in December 2014 for Christmas. As it's May now, the editor asked that I downplay the Christmas part.

Here's the article.

It was truly a Paradise for a prairie girl from Canada in the middle of a cold, dark winter.

View from our condo in Maui, sunset

Scuba diver outside our
 glass walled boat

An unidentified surfer off the coast of Maui

Brought to you by Benjamin & Rumblechum, an exciting new children's chapter book by Kenna McKinnon and Emma Shirley Brinson. Two children travel across Canada with their two eccentric aunts and stuffed monkey Benjamin and have lots of adventures!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Guest Blog with the Amazing Bibliophile Alan Black

Author Alan Black at home

Alan Black has been writing novels since 1997 when he started Eye on The Prize. His writing tastes are as eclectic as his reading preferences. Alan admits that he loves writing much more than editing and the whole publishing process. Marketing of his work leaves him as baffled as the whole string theory thing.

Alan was born in central Kansas and grew up in Gladstone, Missouri. He graduated from Oak Park Senior High School and eventually earned a liberal arts degree from Longview Community college. He spent most of his adult life in the Kansas City area. The exception came at the orders from the U.S. Air Force when he was stationed in Texas, California, Maryland, and Japan. He and his wife were married in the late 70s and moved back to Independence, Missouri, but now live in sunny Arizona. He says the dry desert air stimulates his creativity more than the juicy air in Missouri (pronounced here as 'misery') and he has yet to shovel sunshine out of the driveway.

His desire to write started in the second grade. He was given an assignment to write a short story about Greek mythology. His teacher took the time to call his parents and express her appreciation of the story. Although neither of his parents remembered the incident, it had an impact on him, eventually leading him to write Eye On The Prize, taking two years to complete. He has gotten faster since then, completing a recent manuscript in three weeks

Alan Black is a #1 bestselling author on Amazon and Kindle for Metal Boxes,
a young adult, science fiction, military, action adventure. He has published eight. Black is a self-published multi-genre writer. One writer friend called him 'timeless' because he wrote historical books, novels based in the present and tales of the future. His main goal is to write story driven novels, with sci-fi novels that are more character and action driven than focused on science, story driven historical that are not history lessons and entertainment based literary fiction.

Alan Black's vision statement: "I want my readers amazed they missed sleep because they could not put down one of my books. I want my readers amazed I made them laugh on one page and cry on the next. I want to give my readers a pleasurable respite from the cares of the world for a few hours.

I want to offer stories I would want to read."

Alan Black
author of
Chasing Harpo,
Empty Space, Titanium Texicans, Metal Boxes, Chewing Rocks, Steel Walls and Dirt Drops,
The Friendship Stones, The Granite Heart, and The Heaviest Rock &
A Cold Winter
(Amazon Author Page)

This guest blog brought to you by Red Herrings, a mystery/thriller by Kenna McKinnon starring a female schizophrenic private eye and her unique vision of the world. Will Annie and her handsome partner Mark solve two macabre murders in the little island town of Serendipity? Did she perpetrate the nasty business herself? Learn more about schizophrenia and the great country of Canada while trying to solve this grisly murder, and place your review on Amazon to titillate another generation of readers.
No resemblance to living persons intended and with great respect to our African (including Sudanese) friends who have emigrated to Canada during this time of unrest in the beautiful continent of Africa.
Sunday, February 1, 2015

Secret violence unpremeditated and vicarious

Red Herrings was featured on Book Goodies, but now it's buried on the first page. I regret I don't keep up my website/blog, and would love some input for future features if you could.

I thought I'd talk about violence, which many experience vicariously through mysteries and thrillers. I just watched a Star Trek episode which claimed that the "seeds of violence" are present in all of us.

Years ago in 1975 or 1976 two of my actions were violent, and though it didn't lead to post traumatic stress syndrome for the victim, still I feared that, and regretted the incidents very much. I've been told also that anyone can become violent if pushed far enough. At that time, I was being pushed, also, I was undiagnosed and unmedicated.

In 1984, when I was married to an emotionally/sexually abusive husband, after my first husband had died in a motorcycle accident 10 years before, I pounded my second husband on the back of his neck at one time, so frustrated and abused I felt.

I wonder if the violence present in movies and on TV appeals to that part of the audience who are being "pushed too far" in life?

As I was, and reacted. I vowed never again to use violence or lust as an excuse for socially abusive behavior.

If you wish to experience vicarious violence, do read Red Herrings where two macabre, indeed disgusting, murders take place.

Imaginary and pretend, like my life has often been.

I think there's nothing wrong with humility, humanity, and honesty. Talk tough, pound a pillow, or lose yourself in a good thriller. Don't use force or bully an innocent victim. I have grown gentle though I still love martial arts. It's possible to overcome a troubled childhood and a significant mental illness.

With love and persistence and honesty.

What's your favorite form of escapism? Is it a thriller, a crime novel, a mystery? And why? What seeds of violence in yourself do they nourish? Or lust (close to violence, in my opinion)

This post brought to you by Red Herrings, a mystery thriller starring a schizophrenic private eye, a handsome detective, and two macabre murders to solve in a small island town in Canada.