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7 April, 2021 - Dragon Queen, Moss Vale birding, Seduction of the Innocent, the BIG Australia, Easter and Witness

I have received copies from the USA of my novel Dragon Queen. Looking good with cover by Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr who nowadays live in Victoria.

Dragon Queen is science fiction where the dragons are mutants.

Take a female mutant known as a dragon who shouldn’t exist because she is female. Put her on an island and tell her she must not even think of leaving. She knows male dragons are not treated well in the society beyond where she has been placed. In isolation, she is a valued scientist. In the world beyond her island, she is a menace to those who rule. Will she stay on her island or leave? Will she risk death for adventure or live a comfortable if somewhat dull life? Dragon Queen by Rod Marsden is a Night to Dawn Publication, Barbara Custer Publisher.

This month Goddess Fish Promotions is launching an advertising blitz for Dragon Queen. They have already launched such a blitz for the latest issue of Night to Dawn in which my short story Hearts Rule has been featured. Barbara Custer arranged for this to happen.

In late March I took a trip with Andrew Wood to Moss Vale to see what was in and around the ponds found there. We saw plenty of Eastern Rosellas in flight, caught a glimpse of a lively blue-tongue lizard and three yellow tailed black cockatoos. One landed on the top of a tall tree. Just as I was getting him in my sights, however, he took off. Such is the life of the fellow with the camera sometimes.

There were ibis around as well as, in one pond, a white-necked heron.

I saw a Grebe from an unusual angle and took a photo. Apparently they do have large, white backsides. There was also a black duck and a turtle on a rock.

Great Cormorants are not an unusual sight in these ponds and nor are Wood Ducks.

After so much rain in much of March, it was good to get out and about and do some birding.

Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham continues to be a disturbing and rather warped read concerning American comics from 1936 to 1954. Even with swapping with other kids and buying comics second hand, I can’t see how any kid, even in 1950s America, could go though fifty of them a week as mentioned in a section of Wertham’s book. My take is that it is some child’s exaggeration taken by Doctor Wertham to be true. Just glancing through fifty comics, with no regard for text, still seems to me to be a no go for that amount. To me, a week simply cannot be long enough.

In his book, Doctor Fredric Wertham makes out that publishers and editors of comic books published from 1936 to 1954 to be like gangsters pushing comics like drugs onto children. Even though there may have been things wrong with certain pre-code comic books, I also find this too to be an exaggeration.

In the issue of Crime Does Not Pay I have there is a crime family that manages to live on as a family despite numerous arrests and beheadings. In another story a young lad turns to crime and is only successful in being thrown into various institutions until finally he is gunned down. There is no question here as to how well crime pays. It doesn’t pay at all.

Wertham does mention unsuccessful attempts by comic book publishers to clean up their act before the Comics Code Authority was established as chief self censor thanks to his campaign.

Personally, my interest in comics, growing up, centered on the costumed characters variety such as Captain America and The Fantastic Four. Recently, I have looked at the pre-code books in that field and, yes, I suppose there were problems that needed addressing. African Americans and Asians in general were not shown in a good light. Strangely enough, Germans were not made out to all be Nazis during the Second World War but the Japanese tended to be portrayed as Imperialists with no thought but conquest on their minds.

There has been talk again of a BIG Australia and how Australians in general are not having enough children. This is one hundred percent propaganda for the end of the corona virus panic and a return to bringing in more and more migrants into Australia. There is mention in one recent article of how turning off the migrant tap has been devastating to our economy.

Do we really need a BIG Australia such as former Prime Minister Rudd had in mind? I say no. The prospect terrifies me. He and others ask too much of both the land and its people.

Is accepting migrants into Australia still a good idea? I say yes but with caution. Genuine refugees first and, if they need counseling to get over war trauma, then they should have it. Without it they might become a menace to the local community where they settle and also a menace to themselves. Finding peace, even in a peaceful land, isn’t always easy.

When we do turn back on the migrant tap should it be turned up all the way, full blast? I say no. A steady trickle will do. We must think of their needs as well as our own. Would such a trickle help our economy? This is true in the short term. Of course we want to keep our forests and other wild places the way they are for as long as possible. Also Australia, despite the rains of recent months, is drying out and drinking water will become more and more precious in the coming years.

How large a population can we have and still retain a good lifestyle that avoids thirst and starvation for our population? We don’t appear to be on the cusp yet of that happening but, when we do get there, how will we know? Will we be able to read the signs before moving, or being pushed, into that great disaster? No one seems to know or, if they do, they are not allowed to speak up. Meanwhile wars continue in other parts of our world, fueled by religion, hunger and thirst.

Easter has been wonderful. Good to see family. It was great to get a new computer. It was badly needed since the one I still have is fifteen years old and cannot last forever. Some people say Easter is more pagan than Christian. Those who say this are right. I don’t care. I love the pagan elements such as chocolate bunnies and painted eggs. In the northern hemisphere it is about renewal. For us in the south it is the last hurrah before the cold sets in.

I will be taking a few copies of my book Dragon Queen to Wollongong Library to see what the librarians there think of it.

This book by author Patt O’Neil, available on Amazon, is doing quite well in the market. Witness Testimony and Other Tales, now has 28 Five star ratings. P.A. O’Neil has been writing professionally for four years. In that time, her stories have been featured in multiple anthologies (many of them international best-sellers), as well as on-line journals and magazines from several continents. She and her husband reside in Olympia, Washington, with her adult children living nearby.

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