This month I have been busy getting my first book ready to be published. Naturally editing and formatting takes longer then I expected. Helenpous is a political and military science fiction book that follows a group of characters dealing with a political crisis. Helenpous will be available in December of this year.
The Alliance for Humanity has dominated politics since the end of a long cold war. However, the political union is threatened by internal forces.
Allies are plotting against each other as ideologies clash. Will the Alliance for Humanity survive the intrigues of its members or is it doomed?
Meanwhile, nationalism is on the rise, a young self-styled cardinal has induced his devotes to revolt, and an Alliance team is on an expedition into an old enemies turf.
The town of Barre was were I grew up. It is a rural area that is not far from major urban areas. Despite being in a very different place now, it was a great place to grow up. Located in Worchester County it was incorporated in 1774 as Hutchinson after Thomas Hutchinson the Governor of the colony. However, in 1776 it was renamed Barre after Isaac Barre, a Parliament member that opposed the stamp tax. The Barre Historical Society is on the west side of the town common at 18 Common St. Barre Historical Society is open on Thursdays from 10 am until noon and on Sundays during the farmers market (summer mornings) and can be called at 978-355-4978.
October saw me visiting Taipei two times. The first time was a rainy weekend that saw me break an umbrella and visit the Contemporary Art Museum. All art is in some way about desire. Contemporary art just gets to be more blatant with its depictions of genitalia The second weekend I was in Taipei for a costume party. I spent Sunday walking around the botanical garden in some of the best weather we have had in October. I stayed in the NiHao@Taipei Hostel near the main station.
I read a few books a month, and am thinking of making this a monthly post. This October I read four different books. I suspect this is an average month but writing about my reading habits will help me keep track. Of the four books, one was a reread. It included horror, crime thriller, graphic novels, and young adult fiction. I read zero nonfiction books this month.
My first year and first job in Taiwan was coming to a close. My first field trip had been to a mountain, this one was too the Luodong Forest Culture Park. It was not my first trip to the Forest Culture Park but it was my most memorable. When the rain was forcing us to take cover we played games and I showed the students how some of the old logging methods worked. The strange mix of history, art, nature and old wood made a strangely compelling mix.
The first time I saw this mountain was on a field trip. I had just started teaching a class of kindergartners and we were on our first field trip. It was probably my second or third week of being a teacher. Needless to say, my co-teacher was the real MVP. Who am I kidding she was always the MVP. Cars can not drive up to the top so we parked at the parking lot and started up the mountain.
Overlooking the beautiful Lake Meihua, Sanqing Temple is a major Taoist temple in Taiwan. The Temple is based on classical Northern Chinese Palace designs. Interestingly paper money is not burnt hear and offerings are instead made of incense, flowers, and fruit. Naturally, the temple is the busiest during holidays. In fact, they perform a special blessing during Chinese New Years.
In addition to being a religious site, Sanqing Temple is known for its beauty. The temples elevation and location gives it a good view of Meihua and the surrounding area. There is also are a few mountain trails around the temple. The temples plaza is a popular place to view the scenery at both day and night.
My first year in Taiwan had been spent living in Yilan County. I wish I had started this blog when living in the city of LuoDong. One place I biked to a lot that year was Lake Meihua. It is part of a loop that you can bike form LuoDong sports park, down to Dongshan and back.
Lake Meihua is located south of LuoDong and is a popular and easy trip. In addition to a 4km long bike path, there are many shops that have bikes and carts that you can rent. Lake Meihua is a popular tourist site in Dongshan Township, resulting in many cafes and shops around the north side of the lake. Located at No.1, Dapi Rd. and “open” (as in the stores and office is open) from 0900 to 1730.
We interrupt our normally scheduled programming for a rant. it’s a simple but timely but timeless rant. With the recent shooting in Los Vegas, I once again realize that first aid must be the most under-appreciated skill. First aid is one of the most universally useful skills. It does not matter your age, job, location, creed, or race, first aid is useful to you. It’s useful to me being an expatriate that lives alone as it to my married friends with kids back in the USA.
Woodstock Vermont is the type of place you drive through the center and think, “I wonder what a house hear costs”. The short answer is a lot. The Rockefeller and Billings families influenced the growth of the town. The Rockefeller’s were responsible for the creation of the Woodstock country club, where I tried to learn to golf. That family also paid to have all the power lines in town buried to make it look nicer. The Billings family also was wealthy and set up their own farm where they used experimental farming methods and conducted research. Naturally having a string of well-known wealthy families attracted more wealthy and well-known families to the area. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion became a park in 1992 when it was transferred to the government.