nan lundeen

the big lie

In modern times, Adolf Hitler was a big fan of the big lie. His writing on the topic in his Mein Kampf is exquisitely evil.

Lies are a propaganda tool. Think what Hitler and his propaganda henchman Joseph Goebbels could have done if they’d had television and social media.

Think what they did without them.

Hitler accused the Jews of using “the big lie” to blame Germany’s loss in World War I on German general Erich Ludendorff, a nationalist and anti-Semitic political leader.

Hitler claimed that they were – “inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

“It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X, according to a translation by James Murphy.

Jeffrey Herf, a distinguished professor of modern European history at the University of Maryland whose field is 20th Century Germany, maintains, according to Wikipedia, that Goebbels used the Big Lie to turn long-standing anti-Semitism into mass murder. The “big lie” went like this: Germany was besieged by “international Jewry” which started World War I. Jews held all the real power in Britain, Russia, and the U.S. Jews had begun a war of extermination against Germany so Germany had a duty and a right to annihilate the Jews in self-defense.

Now let’s look at a contemporary “big lie.”

In September of 2016 Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about investigations by media, including the Los Angeles Times, and by the NY State Attorney General that as early as the 1970s Exxon Mobil understood more about climate change than it had let on and had deliberately misled the public about it.

Bloomberg quotes environmentalist Bill McKibben, originator of the worldwide environmental organization, 350.org., saying, “Exxon helped organize the most consequential lie in human history.”

Exxon denies its culpability.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s investments in Russia to develop oil fields, were sidelined by sanctions slapped against Russia after it annexed Crimea and fomented war in Ukraine.

Now, Rex Tillerson, former head of Exxon Mobil, serves as secretary of state and a climate change denier serves as head of the EPA.

The New York Times reported in December 2016 that Tillerson has opposed sanctions on Russia, which are the single greatest obstacle to foreign investment in that country. Russia has two enormous areas for new oil development, in the Barents Sea and a shale field in western Siberia. They’re essentially closed to development because of a lack of foreign capital and expertise. Exxon was poised to invest in both areas before the sanctions.

When it comes time once more for the slogan “drill, baby, drill,” I predict we’ll experience another round of attempts by the fossil fuel industries to debunk scientific facts. I see the denial of climate change by the U.S. Congress as simply a façade in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of its urgency—an excuse to enable further fossil fuel production and pollution by the oil and gas industry that pulls the strings of many a Congressional campaign for re-election. Congress and the current Administration already are rolling back clean air and water regulations vital to human health and the viability of life on planet Earth, crucial to us all regardless of our political positions.

Some of you may know that poison ivy and cockroaches thrive on a warming planet. Although I spent 30 years as a newspaper reporter, I now write poetry. I’ll close with my poem,

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.                                                  …Psalm 37: 35,36.

Who will say

I told you so

when all the bumblebees

and the last

lemur-sea lion-gorilla-black rhino-polar bear-humpback whale-snow leopard-chimpanzee-green turtle-spider monkey-giant panda-piping plover-staghorn coral-Sumatran tiger-emerald dragonfly-Asian elephant-monarch butterfly-indigo macaw-yellow-shouldered blackbird perish?

Who will say

I told you so

when oceans

swallow nations

when droughts

starve generations

when the last redwood falls?

Who will say

I told you so

when Sandys and Katrinas

obliterate cities

when wildfires

devour homes

melt forests like Icarus wings

leaving the land hollow and alone?

Here’s who—

Cockroach parks his

turbocharged V-8

and walks into a bar.

He says to Poison Ivy

ain’t life grand?

–Nan Lundeen copyright 2017

inspired by the turning of the wheel

Winter Solstice 2016 by Ron DeKett

There’s something about solstices and equinoxes that turns my creative mind to nature. My talented husband Ron DeKett wandered with his camera down the steep path behind our house to Love Creek at the bottom of the ravine we call ours. He found  beauty. (And below is a poem to accompany it). Happy Solstice!

Winter Solstice at Love Creek (2016)

Snow shouldering bare-limbed

shadows

flows down to a silent stream’s

mute beauty.

Is it enough

when trouble is too much

with us and both eyes sting

from hate’s rebuke?

It will have to be.

–Nan Lundeen

the beech with elephant knees

The Beech With Elephant Knees by Nan Lundeen
The Beech With Elephant Knees by Nan Lundeen

The beech rises

stalwart on the ridge

brooking no challenge,

his smooth gray bark

shining in Fall sun

among yellowing leaves

and as I lean

to watch, a golden leaf

falls, whippling,

barely stirring air

to come to rest gently

on a twigged fork.

 

On a day

when politics

is too much with us,

I repair to the woods

to admire the beech

with a crook

like an elephant’s knee

in its massive trunk.

renewed respect

the house as night falls

Fellow writers, this summer, I am learning to respect and admire people with disabilities even more than I did before. I have a friend who has muscular dystrophy, lives in a big city, and succeeds in taking a city bus to work every day. I’ve been reminded of her pluck every day this summer while I am wheelchair-bound with a broken leg and compression fracture in my back. What challenges she faces for the rest of her life! I only have to survive this for 12 weeks.

Of course, one of the biggest challenges is mental. Most of the time, I have the eight walls of our living room and kitchen/dining room to look at. (My husband moved a bed into the living room for me).

Yet, there are blessings. My confinement presents its own entertainment. I have time to read books. A chipmunk’s antics viewed through our dining room window delights and inspired me to write a children’s story. When my accident happened and I came home from the hospital with a metal plate and screws holding my tibia plateau together, people emailed me—you’ll have plenty of time to write! The thing is: it’s really difficult to use a laptop lying down, and my painful back allowed for only very short sitting time. Only now, after 8 weeks, can I sit long enough to use the laptop for an hour or so. But, I learned I can still write using pen and paper. I wrote the chipmunk story in a small journal a good writing buddy gave me.

I’m discovering the fascinating world visible from our kitchen. There’s a little spider living in a windowsill that I have struck up a friendship with. He crawls around on the screen while I’m standing at the kitchen sink on one leg brushing my teeth.

But most exciting of all – I was sitting in my wheelchair staring out the window daydreaming when I saw a plant grow!! My grandson, Little Dude, and I had started flowers from seed in my sunroom early this spring. Some of them are morning glories which we planted in window boxes under the kitchen windows. One had been curling up tall enough to be visible from inside the house, and as I watched, it popped taller! I saw a plant grow! Maybe as much as a half inch.

I saw that as a miracle.

And it is one that never would have happened if my 80-pound granddog hadn’t crashed into me running full speed and laid me down on the ground on Memorial Day weekend.

So, I am grateful for miracles, and my friend who is spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair—my hat is off to you!

Happy writing, everybody!

Nan

www.nanlundeen.com

 

challenge met!

Front CoverThe Moo of Writing process worked for me. I wrote 30 poems in 30 days for a challenge thrown down by Local Gems Press. Those of us who participated in the chapbook contest have until May 5 to email the ms. to Local Gems. I sat each day with my Moo Stone for a short time, did deep breathing and meditation. Once I had the first line of the poem, I was off and running. I didn’t know whether I could produce a poem every day, and was thrilled to discover I could! Those who didn’t participate in the Local Gems contest, but would like to see their poems published here, please send them to me. Writers, we can accomplish more than we think we can! Happy writing and good luck with the contest.

Nan

 

last call!

Wood violet on woodland path at Paris Mountain. April 2014
Wood violet on woodland path at Paris Mountain. April 2014

Will you rise to the challenge of writing a poem a day during April? So far, five of us are in—Adamy Damaris Diaz, Jacquelyn Weddington, Cindy Carver Hosea, Cathy Zellmann and me. Choose a theme (which can be changed up to mid-month). Adamy is looking at “Memory Lane.” Cathy may choose “Places.” I’ve already changed mine—as a warm-up exercise I’ve been writing a poem a day and discovered I can’t keep to a topic. Instead, I need to write what the Muse inspires, so I’m thinking of changing my theme from goddesses to something less specific. We’d be happy to consider publishing the poems you wish to share here at mooingaround.com. Happy writing!

in memoriam

Adamy Damaris Diaz
Adamy Damaris Diaz

Sincere condolences to a member of our creative community and the creator of mooingaround, Adamy Damaris Diaz, upon the death of her father, Felix Diaz Mendez, January 22 in San Juan.

Adamy, a father’s love lives on. My father passed away fifty-four years ago, and yet I feel his love, still. I know that you still feel your mother’s love although she has been gone from this physical life a good many years. Your father’s love lives in the memory of strong hugs, of a smile when he saw you when you visited, in the spark in his eyes when you came into view. I never met your parents but I know they must have been good people—because you are good people. Ever since I met you, you have been fun, kind, creative, nurturing, and unbelievably giving. And let us not forget strong—even in the midst of your heartrending grief, strong and loving. You are sincerely interested in other peoples’ lives, you listen, you are generous, you are truly happy when others succeed, and what a determined woman—to run marathons! Your grief may feel like a marathon now, but you are a strong earth mother, your wisdom runs deep.

Peace, my friend.

Nan Lundeen

writers benefit from belly wisdom

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How many tentative, weak personalities do you know who write beautifully? Don’t confuse shy or introverted with “tentative and weak.” I’m talking about the type of person who is muddled about who he or she is. I’m sitting here in my writing room on a country road in Michigan about one-half mile from a pickle factory, and the sound of a laboring truck engine fills the room. He’s pulling two huge loads of cucumbers. I’m wondering if he’s going to make it up the slight incline in front of our house. He powers on. Struggles, maybe, but pulls up the incline and motors on down to the factory where he’ll dump his load into vats full of pungent brine. Sometimes, writing is like that. It takes a bit of extra work—a struggle to maintain equilibrium, to believe you can do it like the truck pulling two loads of cucumbers or the little engine that could. Fortunately, we’re not engines. We can give ourselves a good talking-to, read self-help books, seek support from writers’ groups, and listen to our belly wisdom.

In chapter 5 of Moo of Writing: How to Milk Your Potential, I advise, “The belly is a wise old soul. Some say it has a mind of its own. While intuition resides in a ‘sixth sense’ or as some believe, on a spiritual plane, it also houses itself in ample amounts in the gut.”

Write from your center—your place of power—and hidden fears cannot drive you.

How do you tap into gut power?

 Cultivate your third chakra.

The word “chakra” comes from the Sanskrit language of India and means “wheel.” The tradition teaches that the seven major chakras are spinning vortexes of energy or wheels of light arranged vertically from the base of the spine to the top of the head, governing physical, earthy energies at the base and progressing to spiritual energies at the top, or seventh chakra.

The energy of the core self spins in the third chakra located at the solar plexus (between the belly button and the bottom of the rib cage). It involves the digestion of life experiences and the application of personal power. Each chakra is associated with a color. The third chakra’s color is yellow.

To harness the energies life dishes up for us—to put them to use and be active, not passive, requires a strong sense of self and more than a dollop of ambition. Self-esteem and strength of character revolve around the third chakra.

What is your vision of a writer with healthy self-esteem? I see a person who has fun writing, rather than feeling driven to prove herself, someone with the discipline to keep to a writing schedule and submit work often, and who remains calm and focused even if she receives harsh criticism. A person with healthy self-esteem respects other writers, letting envy and jealousy find a home elsewhere rather than in her own heart. She stays the course because she feels confident.

Visit my website at www.nanlundeen.com, click on “Moo Meditations” and then “Belly Meditation” to learn how to hear what your wise belly is saying.

Happy writing!

book reviewer praises moo of writing!

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I am happy and so grateful to Book Editor Lucy Walton-Lange of femalefirst.co.uk for this review:

“I am ashamed to say it but Moo of Writing is the first self-help writing book I have read and I wish that I had had a copy when I was studying my masters.

It is tempting to think of writing as a single activity; however Nan Lundeen shows you that there are so many things to channel into good writing from exercise, to mediation and science.

Each chapter addresses each one of these areas in bite-sized chunks so you can learn and then apply your new knowledge in a practical way.

The book is a great investment; you can finish the chapters in one sitting but it allows you to make notes and gives you exercises throughout to break away and try new things to give yourself and inevitably your writing a chance to evolve. Some of which you might want to revisit and try again at some point, so it’s not a book you read and then pop back on your shelf- it’s an ongoing process.

The book talks about everything a writer is concerned with- most importantly self-confidence and how to overcome our inner demons who prevent us from moving forward and encourage us to hang onto negativity. As we all know, this can make or break a writer- so having new ways to tackle this is vital.

The thing I liked most about the book was its flexibility. Lundeen offers many different suggestions and scenarios that will cater for a wide readership and she doesn’t assume anything. In reading it, it didn’t make me feel abnormal for having a new approach to something or a different point of view. It’s welcoming and chatty and certainly doesn’t exclude any writer whatever their genre of choice. Lundeen has a background in journalism, story writing and poetry so her own experiences are varied and this shines through in the book.

There are no right or wrong answers here. Lundeen is a woman whose passion to help others with their writing emanates from the page- and that is all we can ask for from a book of this nature.”

Visit the review online here:

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/moo-of-writing-how-to-milk-your-potential-nan-lundeen-776489.html

(reprinted by permission of the reviewer)

i write because . . .

cow3

Why do you write? Moo of Writing: how to milk your potential, recommends a writing exercise—”I write because . . .” So, I sat myself down on this cool, sunny, green morning early in May and assigned myself this exercise. When I’ve thought about it, my conclusion was: because it’s what I do. As my four-year-old grandson Elijah would say, “But WHY?” Here goes stream of consciousness—I write because I always have. Because the world is indecipherable and I feel a compelling need to make sense of it. No, not so much to make sense of it but to report what I’m experiencing, as if someone needed to know this information. Here I am a 71-year-old woman living in South Carolina, USA, in 2015, and I’m reporting bird song. Repetitive bird song. And sun-washed leaves, freshly green on sweet gum and poplar trees lining the creek outside our back door that sings its own song over rocks day after day and through the night when the window to my bedroom stands open and the world presents itself as indecipherable again—even more of a mystery—in dreams.

Comment below if you’d like to share why you write. You needn’t register with this site to comment.

 

to market! to market!

to market! to market! drawn by Cynthia Morgan
to market! to market!
drawn by Cynthia Morgan

Hey, writers, do you hate to market? I’ve heard the old saying that writers hate to market and aren’t very good at it. That’s kind of off-putting. Actually, I’m discovering it can be fun. The reason? There are lots of nice people out there eager to help. Marketing is about building relationships. For instance, I made a cold call at Joe’s Place, an intimate used and new bookstore downtown Greenville, SC, and instantly made new friends after I read them “The Redemptive Red Bra” from The Pantyhose Declarations. Since then, they invited me to read there with two other poets and will host the launch of Moo of Writing 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Penny Padgett at The Book Shelf in Tryon, NC, is offering Moo of Writing at the Lanier Poetry Festival this weekend and will stock the book, along with my poetry books, on her shelves. As the Page Turns in Greenville carries my poetry. Lucy Walton-Lange, book editor, at femalefirst.co.uk is considering a Moo book review. She said I’d been her first blogger. Visit the site, put my name in the search column, and you’ll find a bunch of Moo columns. Another UK editor, Jonathan Telfer of Writers’ News and Writing Magazine, graciously wrote a blurb for the book cover after he ran my “Find Your Moos” article in the magazine. Many wonderful friends and former Moo of Writing workshop participants plan to come to Moo’s book launch May 3. The next step is to expand the circle online. The book is available through Amazon and Ingram, and this weekend I’m submitting it to Publisher’s Weekly. They’ve started doing book reviews by self-published authors. Yay! They may or may not accept it. They may or may not like it. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, Twitter, here I come!!

Happy writing!

Nan Lundeen

www.nanlundeen.com

Mooooooooo!

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MOOOOO! I’m Nan Lundeen’s friend the dairy cow here to tell you her unique how-to-write handbook is available! Some of you’ve been waiting forever for Moo of Writing: how to milk your potential, I know. Some of you helped her by reading and critiquing. Some of you took Moo of Writing workshops and were promised the handbook was coming out soon. And some of you are just now leaning over the pasture fence to get acquainted. Well, come on in and set a spell. Buy Moo of Writing at Amazon.com or come to our book signing 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Joe’s Place, a lovely indie bookshop at 640 S. Main St., Greenville, SC. Besides a friendly place to buy new and used books, Joe’s features local art and a wine and coffee bar. A free Moo stone to those who attend (while supplies last). Y’all come! Click on my website to learn more and to buy the book. www.nanlundeen.com