Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy Book Lovers Day

Gee, I thought every day was book lovers day.



 
Be Happy and Read
 
 








Sunday, August 2, 2015

Happy National Friendship Day

If it's the first Sunday in August, it must be National Friendship Day.

I think we need one a month, or a week. The news of the world is not too friendly these days.

 

According to the Calendar of Days, we are invited to “observe this day in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the culture and other appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities”.

 

Fine sentiment certainly, if a bit staid.

 

A Hallmark Day
 
National Friendship Day was originally founded by Hallmark in 1919 as a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards.  By 1940 the market had dried up, and eventually it died out completely.
 
Winnie and the United Nations to the Rescue
 
 
 
In 1998 Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations, and in April 2011 the United Nations officially recognized International Friendship Day.
 
We should all celebrate with friends nationally and internationally, with chatting or visiting. Post on social media using #NationalFriendshipDay to encourage others to join in paying it forward.
 
It's a good day to have.
 
Gerrie Ferris Finger
 
 
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED
MURMURS OF INSANITY
RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"The Avengers" Patrick Macnee passed at 93.

I just read that one of the actors who passed away in 2015 was Patrick Macnee. He was a British actor and played secret agent John Steed on the spy series "The Avengers." He was 93 when he died in June.

Rest in Peace Patrick Macnee/John Steed.



I'll never forget you, or your famous partner, Emma Peel, played by Diana Rigg. Radio hosts often ask me what real or fictional character my series heroine, Moriah Dru, is most like. The first time I gave it a bit of thought and came out with "Emma Peel of "The Avengers."'

They both drive fast and fell their opponents with crafty martial arts moves. I did not consciously create an Emma Peel-like character, but Dru turned out to be very much like her -- without the catsuit. Maybe one day she'll don a catsuit. You never know with Dru.

However, Richard Lake -- the Atlanta police lieutenant and Dru's lover and partner in fighting crime -- is not at all like John Steed, the buttoned-up Brit who wore a bowler and carried an umbrella. Lake wears a fedora, carries a nine-millimeter in a shoulder holster and is contained but not stiff.

About Patrick Macnee: He came from an upscale Berkshire, England family where his father trained horses. He was a naval veteran of World War II. "The Avengers" premiered in 1961 on UK television. He was partnered with a couple of beautiful and talented women before Diana Rigg. They remain in the public's minds because of their chemistry. They were not lovers; Mrs Peel has/had a husband in the background. 

Come to think of it, Emma and John do have something in common with Dru and Lake. While driving the evil-doers off the streets and out of the world, they exchange quick-witted banter and fight their foes with their intellects as well as their physical talents. 

Gerrie Ferris Finger

The Dru Lake Series: 

THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED
MURMURS OF INSANITY
RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD
COMING IN 2016: AMERICAN NIGHTS



    Saturday, July 25, 2015

    The Calendar of Days

    Yesterday we had fun with National Tequila Day.

    Hungover from the celebration? Have a taco.

    We had consulted the Calendar of Days http://nationaldaycalendar.com/calendar-at-a-glance/ to see what today has in store.

    Here they are:

    July 25th
    Surely y'all can take the time to celebrate the above opportunities.



    We're headed for the mall's parking lot merry-go-round. And since it's hot here in the South, we'll have hot fudge sundaes, but forget the dance until it's cooler. You cowboys can thread the needle.

    Celebrate!

    Gerrie Ferris Finger

    RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD
    MURMURS OF INSANITY
    THE DEVIL LAUGHED
    THE LAST TEMPTATION
     THE END GAME http://amzn.to/1HZxd1A


    Friday, July 24, 2015

    HAPPY TEQUILA DAY

    Today is National Tequila Day. Who sets these dates anyway?

    I like tequila, also known as Mexican Mule, for a reason.

    I like Margueritas, especially those concocted with freshly made agave (tequila) at Pablo's in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

    Salute!



    Some facts garnered from other websites:

    Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant. Blue agave is larger in size and sweeter than regular agave.

    According to NationalDayCalendar.com, Tequila is made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila in Mexico.

    "Mexican law states that Tequila can be produced only in the state of Jaliscoand -- and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas," reports the website.

    Just like the French. Champagne is only Champagne when it comes from the Champagne region in France. I like Champagne. When is Champagne Day?

    Another fun fact: Don Cenobio Sauza, the founder of Sauza Tequila and Municipal President of the Village of Tequila from 1884 to 1885, was the first to export Tequila to the United States.

    And the rest, as they say, is hysterical. Enough to make you take your clothes off.

    Thanks to Total Wine for this kickin' recipe:




    Celebrate!

    Gerrie Ferris Finger

    RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD
    MURMURS OF INSANITY'
    THE DEVIL LAUGHED
    THE LAST TEMPTATION
    THE END GAME
    http://amzn.to/1HZxd1A

    Saturday, June 27, 2015

    OMGs - Oh My God, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs!


    As I suspected when I've done radio spots for RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD, I would be questioned about the plot and the characters. You see Wild Blood is an outlaw motorcycle gang that is under suspicion in the novel for taking part in, or knowing who, killed Juliet Trapp, a 16-year-old student at Winter's Farm Academy. My heroes, Moriah Dru and Richard Lake, delve into the cold case and come to some surprising conclusions and doubts that Wild Blood members did the evil deed. So, they convince the club to allow them to ride in their ranks to a Bike Week charity event in Florida to help solve the crime and perhaps clear their club and its members. There's plenty of distrust on the part of the bikers -- after all Lake's a cop and Dru's a PI. The tension from all sides, plus rival clubs they meet along the way, lends violence to the mystery.

    While I admitted to the radio hosts that I romanticized what many call thugs, I also shared my research on biker clubs in general.


    First Harley Prototype - Wiki

    Biker clubs have been a part of American culture as long as the motorcycle itself. Harley Davidson considered by many as the premier bike had its beginnings in 1901. Although not the first motorcycle invented -- the Indian brand bicycle company invented the motorized bike in 1900 -- it was one of the first when 20 year-old William S. Harley drew up plans for a small engine and four-inch flywheels. For the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson worked on their motor-bicycle in a Milwaukee machine shop. By 1907 they were selling their first bikes.

    The first motorcycle club was formed in 1904 when the Yonkers Bicycle Club morphed into the Yonkers Motorcycle Club -- some 23 years before the founding of the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) in 1927. In San Francisco the very first SFMC meeting, attended by 12 charter members, took place in November 1904 at A. Freed’s Thor Motorcycle Shop near famous Fulton Street.


    When bikers wore coat and tie


    Outlaw "gang" clubs

    One of the first was The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, a one-percenter club that was formed in McCook, Illinois in 1935.

    Probably the most well known American biker gang, The Hell’s Angels, have a long and thorough history on American highways. Much information concerning their origins is hazy due to their long-standing code of secrecy. Sometime in the 1940’s in California Hell’s Angels MC was formed. Their insignia is the “death’s head” logo which is copied from the insignia of the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron.

    Many of the members of outlaw gangs (as well as non-outlaw clubs) gravitate to the motorcycle culture when they leave the military. According to sociologists -- who purport to know these things -- men grow used to the company of men and the culture of war. After service, especially during war time, they find life mundane. The thrills, the wild and free, "don't tread on me," lifestyle has drawn at least 44,000 men to what the Justice Department calls OMGs - Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

    From a riot in Hollister, California to this week's shootout at Waco's Twin Peaks, OMG's have left a history of violence in their wake.

    On of the first and most famous is the American Motorcyclist Association's rallies in Hollister, California. The influx of bikers was good for business at first, but after World War II, the rally was bigger than ever with a flood of veterans drawn to the excitement and freedom associated with motorcycles. Beer bottles littered the streets, and people were sleeping everywhere. Bikers did what bikers do. They raced around and popped wheelies. The state police were called in to clear the town.
    The event got big play in Life magazine and inspired the 1953 film "The Wild One," starring Marlon Brando. His leather jacket and brooding demeanor gave a face to the bad-boy biker image.

    The Hells Angels added to the lore. Hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California, a gang member killed Meredith Hunter, a man who rushed the stage with a gun after an earlier confrontation with Hells Angels. The stabbing was captured on film. Witnesses reported several gang members stomping on Hunter. Promoters had paid the gang in beer, and members had numerous scuffles with concertgoers throughout the day of the concert.

    The Bandidos Motorcycle Club goes down in infamy after two brothers ripped them off in a drug deal, selling them baking powder instead of meth.The gang kidnapped Ray and Mel Tarver, drove them into the Texas desert and forced them to dig their own graves before shooting and killing them.

    My Wild Blood does not practice the devilry of other one-percenters, but are people who love their culture, avoid harming "civilians" or killing cops -- and save Moriah Dru's life.

    Gerrie Ferris Finger
    RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD
    http://amzn.to/1HZxd1A

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    A Tale of Four Flags


    I've been traveling and haven't blogged lately, but being home now, the subject of the Confederate Flag has me weighing in -- from an historical perspective and a personal up-close look at the changes made in one state's flag.

    When I was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a movement initiated by the NAACP grew to change Georgia's flag that had been flying from 1956 to 2001.

    Official State Flag of Georgia 1956-2001

    Seen below is the earlier flag that had been redesigned to incorporate the Southern Cross, misnamed the Confederate Battle Flag, after a controversial ruling known as Brown vs. Board of Education.

    1920-1956








    With the pressure building on the Georgia General Assembly, flag activists' efforts succeeded in 2001 and Governor Roy Barnes pushed through a design that, though continuing to depict the Southern Cross, reduced it prominence. 

    2001-2003
    This move angered both sides of the Southern Cross debate, and contributed to Barnes's defeat in the next election. 






    The following year, amidst dwindling demands for the return of the Southern Cross version, the Georgia General Assembly had the flag redesigned again, adopting a compromise. The design would use the first Flag of the Confederacy called the Stars and Bars with a simplified version of the state seal within the circle of the 13 stars on the flag's canton. That, today, is Georgia's flag.


    Georgia flag 2003-Present
    First Confederate Flag 1861
    The true Stars and Bars


    About the Southern Cross also known as the St. Andrews Cross and the Confederate Battle Flag: Although the Southern Cross was incorporated in a second and third Confederate Flag during the War Between the States, it was never approved by the Confederate Congress as a stand-alone "Battle Flag" of the Confederacy. It began life as the Battle Flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. It is today sometimes called the Stars and Bars, but the true Stars and Bars was the flag of 1861, which was changed in 1863 because it resembled the U. S. Stars and Stripes on the battlefield.

    Called the Stainless Banner, it was the official Confederate Flag in 1865.


    It all began: In December 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union just months after Abraham Lincoln, from the anti-slavery Republican Party, was elected president. In April 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C.

    Ten other states would eventually follow South Carolina in secession, forming the Confederate States of America. However, of the three flags the Confederacy would go on to adopt, none are the Southern Cross "Battle Flag" that is traditionally recognized today. Southern political scientists James Michael Martinez, William Donald Richardson, and Ron McNinch-Su write:
    The battle flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, never flew over any state capitols during the Confederacy, and was never officially used by Confederate veterans' groups. The flag probably would have been relegated to Civil War museums if it had not been resurrected by the resurgent KKK and used by Southern Dixiecrats during the 1948 presidential election




    Georgia's Four Flag since 1920.
    Respectfully,

    Gerrie Ferris Finger