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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Of Chained Dogs and Careless Cruelty



Of Chained Dogs and Careless Cruelty
by
Homer Hickam




As I sat in my office perched on the top floor of my house near Coral Bay on the isle of St. John, I lifted my eyes from my computer and took in the view which was spectacular and inspiring. As always, the magnificent blue sea and green forests of this magic island made me think: "What a wonderful place this is!"

But then I heard dogs barking. The way sound carries and is accentuated along the slopes of our neighborhood, it was almost as if they were just outside my window. Once begun, the barking kept going, eruptions of—what? Distress? Anger? Pain? Boredom? Entrapment? Thirst? Starvation? I had no way of knowing, just as everyone else (except perhaps their owners) who could hear them.

It is well known that there are certain sounds that cut deep into the hard-wired parts of the human brain. One of these is the sound of a crying baby. Babies who cry, our brains tell us, must be tended to. But what about barking dogs? Biologists who study these things believe that many humans respond to a barking dog very much the same as they do to crying children. Every time a dog barks, a shrill alarm goes off in our heads. Something must be done! These continual alarms sadly meant, for me, no work at my writing desk and, as the barking continued, little sleep at night. Night after night, day after day, barking and more barking.

Investigation was clearly in order to discover the source of the barking dogs and to determine if something might be done to solve their distressing behavior. My ears led my eyes toward an inholding property alongside the Johnny Horn trail in the National Park. The corrugations of the land near the Johnny Horn make it a perfect soundboard for vocalizations easily heard along our ridge. The barking was a combination of yelps, whines, and full-throated wailing. This dog (or dogs) clearly had problems.

Four-wheel drive and boots took me to the Johnny Horn property whereupon I discovered a ghastly sight, two big dogs with collars so tight they could scarcely breathe strung up on steel cables. Beside each of them was an empty food bowl and, scattered about, water bowls filled with filthy rain water, leaves, mosquito larvae, and mold. The overpowering stench of dog feces struck me full in the face. One of the dogs, a black female, had a nasty, rotten wood box for shelter although its cable made it nearly impossible to enter and the other one, a brindle pit bull, had no shelter at all. The lot was essentially a junkyard, a battered trailer in one corner, a plastic Home Depot-type tool shed nearby, rusted machinery all over, crushed plastic water jugs tossed about, and general filth and litter tossed indiscriminately everywhere. The dogs greeted me by leaping and straining against their ropes and steel tethers, not to attack but with plaintive, gurgling pleas for attention and assistance. This I provided in the form of food, fresh water, much petting and hugging, and a call to the St. John Animal Care Center.


 The St. John ACC does a magnificent job of caring for animals on our island and is particularly concerned about dogs that are chained up and neglected. The ACC representative I talked to was immediately concerned and subsequently spoke to the owner of the two dogs in question. Unfortunately, the report that came back was that the ACC probably couldn't do anything about the two "Johnny Horn" dogs because said owner told them he fed the dogs. The barking and crying and whimpering continued.


I also spoke to their owner and offered to buy and foster the dogs, or to help in any way I could to relieve their distress. The response from the owner was loud anger and a growling assurance that he would care or not care for his property—meaning the dogs—in any manner he pleased. And there the matter presently rests.



Of course, I haven't given up on saving these dogs. It is not in my nature to do so but I know it won't be easy to make the change for them because the man who owns them must change his view of what it means to own and care for an animal. Cruel people are usually miserable and, I suspect, must occasionally wonder why they are so afflicted. It is my belief that their misery comes from the negative karma that continuously washes across them because of their cruelty to those who depend on them the most, their innocent animals and, usually, their spouses and children, too. I'm not certain there is such a place as Hell but I kind of hope there is, just for people such as these. — Homer Hickam, November, 2014



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Special Newsletter Announcing Homer Hickam's The Lunar Rescue Company, the 3rd in the Helium-3 Series!

Special Homer Hickam Newsletter
June, 2014
SPECIAL TO EVERYONE WORRIED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AMERICA'S CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN




 Dear Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers:

Are you worried about the future of your children, grandchildren, and students? If you are, you aren't alone. Homer Hickam is, too. That's why he wrote the Helium-3 trilogy that began with Crater followed by Crescent and now joined by Crater Trueblood and The Lunar Rescue Company.

These books tell adventurous stories of the future that most young people, even reluctant readers, soon find themselves lost within, turning page after page in eager anticipation of what's going to happen next. Homer has written these tales to not only tell good stories but to also give young people fascinating details of what it will be like to live on the ultimate frontier of space.

How will these novels help your children, grandchildren, and students? Because folded within Homer's fascinating stories are lessons in science that don't seem like lessons at all. We have heard from science teachers nation-wide who love these novels because their students learn science the best way possible. While they are having fun!!!  
Young Crater Reader
Homer wrote these books for readers ages 10-18 but everyone will enjoy them. In fact, we think you'll want to read them before gifting them to the young people in your family or classroom! We're also certain you'll agree that there are few books more likely to be enjoyed by young readers while also teaching them some important lessons, not only in science but also on the value of hard work, courage, duty, and honor.


These books, although following a timeline, can be read in any order with the same enjoyment.  

For instance, early readers have acclaimed Crater Trueblood and The Lunar Rescue Company a great summer book and beach read!
Click on the titles below for the exciting video trailers for the three novels in the series:
To order any of the Helium-3 series from the most popular online booksellers, click on this wonderful interactive website. You will also want to alert teachers to this site because of its overall content which students will love. Many testimonials from teachers has shown that this site is a great help to teach about space science and the moon! 

To instantly order the new Lunar Rescue Company novel from the most popular Internet sites, including e-books, click here: Amazon   Barnes and Noble   ChristianBooks   

For more information on the brand new, just released Lunar Rescue Company novel, click here on Homer Hickam's website. There, you can also see all of Homer's books, great for gifts on any occasion including the upcoming Father's Day as well as Birthdays and other special Holidays.


SPECIAL GIFTS and a SALE!!   

Autographed and Personalized Books!! Homer will autograph and personalize the books you choose and send them to you or your young readers by mail. 
A very collectible Lunar Rescue Company (LRC) patch (pictured below) will be included in the first 40 orders and the next 20 orders will receive LRC stickers.  So act now to get these true collectibles! For our subscribers, ONLY $10, $4 shipping, $14 total. Two books to the same address are $26, sent in a padded Priority mailer.
 
PayPal only. Just open your PayPal, then click "Send Money" at the top. Click the "Send to friend " then key in the amount and use the email address to Linda Hickam, LTHickam@homerhickam.com 

In Instructions area, please include inscription wanted on each book and your shipping address. For more books or special orders, please email Linda Hickam and let her know what you want!

Crater and Crescent , the first two books in the series, 
are also available autographed and personalized for $10 each, $4 shipping.


The entire Helium-3 novels trilogy set is $30, $11 shipping, with a total of $41. More books can fit in that  $11 Priority mail box so please email Linda about that if you wish other Homer Hickam books in the package.  








Any other Questions?

This summer, please help your kids and grandkids get off mind-destroying video games and computers and into reading tales of space, science, and adventure where duty, honor, and courage are celebrated! Your gift of one or more of these novels may be just the push they need!
 




In This Issue

Quick Links

Speaker, Homer Hickam

Homer is an often requested and talented speaker. However he cannot travel and speak and get a book or more written a year without it being well worth his while. Honorariums go towards maintaining our five college scholarships. Thank you for your understanding.
Please contact
Greater Talent Network
to find out his availability.


Eagle Scout Congratulations
This is a prodigious award and Homer could not be prouder of the young men who achieve this major landmark in their lives, but he has been put on some lists where he is receiving up to 50 requests a week! PLEASE, we require a SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE for return congratulation letters. Send the requests and stamped envelope to:

Homer Hickam
Eagle Scout Request 
4906 Whitesburg Dr. S
PO Box 16053
Huntsville AL 35802



Stay Connected - these are Homer's links, say HI!


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube   Visit our blog   Find us on Google+   Find us on Pinterest
www.homerhickam.com
Copyright © 2013 - All Rights Reserved
All photos and content owned by www.homerhickam.com and cannot be used without permission
Crescent

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring 2014 Newsletter from Homer and Linda Hickam


Homer Hickam News
March, 2014
SPRING NEWSLETTER FROM HOMER AND LINDA

The Writer's Life


  Dear Gentle and Prodigious Readers:

Spring has arrived on our little Alabama mountain with some fits and starts. The daffodils have never been more beautiful and we expect the redbud, tulip trees, and dogwood to soon blossom. We still have chilly weather in the forecast but nothing that's going to stop one of our usual glorious springs. The cats are feeling frisky, especially our latest adoptee, the nefarious but thoroughly cute St. Johnian orange kitty, Yawzi. Yawzi is keeping the other cats a little off balance as he settles in. He's friendly but he's sooooo fast, he scares them!
Yawzi, The St. John bush cat!
 
We have several new things to let you know. First, if you are a writer or know someone who wants to be a writer, please consider traveling to Huntsville to attend our second annual Monte Sano Writers Conference on April 5 In Huntsville, Alabama, our home town. Last year's conference was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all of our attendees and presenters! Just $55 for the day ($65 registering on the day of the conference), everyone agrees that the conference is quite a bargain! For the equivalent information and inspiration, writers often spend thousands of dollars so even if you need to travel overnight for the conference, you'll find it well worth the money. Our nine presenters will provide you with the tools to get published, or market effectively if you already are!  Linda and I will also be there to meet and greet you and add what we can. So please sign up now. The poster here gives you the information you need.

Register for the Writers Conference HERE

Here's some great news about Rocket Boys the Musical ! It is to be staged in greater Atlanta's marvelous new Legacy Theatre October 3-26, 2014! We are excited about joining with this fine developmental theater to prepare Rocket Boys for what we hope will eventually be its Broadway premiere! If you are involved with community theater, by the way, go to the musical's website and see about the possibility of staging your own prodigious Rocket Boys show!
The Rocket Boys Musical Team
L-R Carl Tramon (writer)
Homer Hickam (writer)
Diana Belkowski (composer)
Dan Tramon (composer)



Big News! I have a new novel in the Helium-3 series coming out in June! It is the third of the series, and titled:
You'll like it no matter your age or literary interest. It's a rousing, rock 'em, sock 'em (yet romantic and thoughtful) space yarn that never lets up. Here are a few blurbs:

"An exciting romp through a surprisingly realistic future. Homer's knowledge of science gives an interesting backdrop to a universe filled with exotic creatures and amusingly fantastical elements." - Jasper T. Scott, author of the Dark Space
series

"Hickam again displays a knack for suspenseful scenes out in the "big suck" of space..." - Kirkus Reviews

"With vivid prose, wild imagination, and a keen eye for the science behind the fiction, Homer Hickam transports us to a future Moon packed with big-hearted heroes, damsels more than clever enough to get themselves out of distress, villains with double and triple agendas, and - of course - hyper-intelligent slime molds. Lunar Rescue Company is a thrill ride of space battles, runaway asteroids, and all the derring-do any reader could ever hope for." - Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writer and producer of the television series Lost and Helix.

Pre-order today from Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com or your favorite bookseller. For autographed copies, please contact Linda who will be more than happy to send it when it comes out in June along with any other Homer Hickam books!


And speaking of Homer Hickam books, we have a gigantic SALE on my novel The Dinosaur Hunter!

One of my best-reviewed novels which grew from my years of work in the Montana badlands searching out ancient bones, is the thoroughly adult story of Mike Wire, an ex-Los Angeles police detective, wounded on the job, who moves to Montana to become the top hand on a ranch owned by a woman he loves but doesn't love him back. Told in his voice, Mike is confronted by murder and mayhem that arrives on the ranchlands with a peculiar paleontologist who is hot on the trail of a far older crime, the attack of a T.rex mother and her brood by rogue dinosaurs.
For more on
The Dinosaur Hunter,
go here:  
   

Now, for the sale!

We have come into possession of some trade editions of The Dinosaur Hunter and would love to share them with our friends and fans at a very special price 


Only $.99 , plus a shipping and handling charge of $4.00.
(It really does cost that much for Linda to pack and send it), I will personalize and autograph the book and Linda will send it along without delay! We only have a limited number of copies at this price so please go here to order before we run out! So think gifts now - Father's Day, Mother's Day, graduations, birthdays, all holidays! Only $4.99!! Multiples will be $.99 cents but a little more for mailing as many as you like. (Please no resale.)   

Linda will let you know when you get in touch with how many. Contact her at LTerry@hiwaay.net for info on PayPal or Credit or for total cost for multiples. Checks for $4.99 can be sent here. Please remember to include inscription wanted:
 
Linda Hickam
4906 Whitesburg Dr. S

PO Box 16053
Huntsville AL 35802
 
That's it for now. Let us hear from you!     Homer  
  

From Linda

All is well here with the cats and family, thank you! The yard is looking so beautiful with our naturalized daffodils, I love them, so much a happy color. Wyatt is colorful too, below!
Molly paints on my ipad!
Curly Bill sits in a shoebox,
always a favorite with our cats!
Summer, Wyatt and Curly Bill play "as seen on TV"
 Cat's Meow....they love it!
Sometimes, Yawzi can't remember to take his tongue in
April has a Room With a View!
China is a big reader!

Summer and Albert in front of the fireplace

Rainbow Head Wyatt

Please, prayers and support our courageous troops fighting across the world. A shout out for our nephew, Sgt. Ethan Terry, and his team. We have our old oak tree decorated in your honor Ethan, and so look forward to you cutting it off on your safe return.
Ethan's "Old oak tree"  
Happy Spring!
Linda and our Furchildren

Autographed Books - Sale

I would be glad to help you with any special gift of Homer's autographed books, just get in touch at LTerry@hiwaay.net And don't forget

                      The Dinosaur Hunter


trade paperback, inscribed and autographed, for just $4.99, a limited offer, so order bunches now!  

And of course all the Sixteen Others ... 

Rocket Boys hardcover, $30, $41 with shipping.
And of course I have his sixteen other books available too. Please see Homer's website to see the selection and prices or email me.  (click on the white gift book with the green ribbon, looks like below) All of his books are described in detail on his BOOKS page there too.
 
In This Issue

Quick Links

Speaker, Homer Hickam

Homer is an often requested and talented speaker. However he cannot travel and speak and get a book or more written a year without it being well worth his while. Honorariums go towards maintaining our five college scholarships. Thank you for your understanding.
Please contact
Greater Talent Network
to find out his availability.


Eagle Scout Congratulations
This is a prodigious award and Homer could not be prouder of the young men who achieve this major landmark in their lives, but he has been put on some lists where he is receiving up to 50 requests a week! PLEASE, we require a SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE for return congratulation letters. Send the requests and stamped envelope to:

Homer Hickam
Eagle Scout Request 
4906 Whitesburg Dr. S
PO Box 16053
Huntsville AL 35802



Stay Connected - these are Homer's links, say HI!


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube   Visit our blog   Find us on Google+   Find us on Pinterest
www.homerhickam.com
Copyright © 2013 - All Rights Reserved
All photos and content owned by www.homerhickam.com and cannot be used without permission

This email was sent to h3hickam@hiwaay.net by lterry@hiwaay.net |  

Homer Hickam, Author | 2124 Cecil Ashburn Dr | Suite 100 | #210 | Huntsville | AL | 35802