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I have a million stories that bubble and collide in my brain. To get these out and on to paper is a compulsive need. An alcoholic craves the drink. A junky craves heroin. I crave the written word. ~Angi King~

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Blinded by the Light

Imagine that you are a man, exhausted from an intense day at work. Your belly is full. You're sleepy. You tuck your little youngster i...

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Imagine that you are a man, exhausted from an intense day at work. Your belly is full. You're sleepy. You tuck your little youngster in his bed and make your way to yours. Your wife props herself up to read a book as you snuggle down into the fresh, crisp, sheets and blissfully drift off into dream land.

It seems only minutes have passed since you fell asleep and now wake with the urge to pee. You groan as you crawl out of bed, neurons not firing in the proper sequence to make the journey to the bathroom safe, using the walls for support as you stumble down the hallway. You take care of business and rely on the wall to traipse back.

You hear your wife giggling. She has been gigling like that at her book for the last two nights. You pay no mind and fall into bed mumbling about the lump on your head because you used your head as a safety brace in the shop. You tenderly touch the bump and reach for the oversized comforter, throw it over your body, and drift back off to sleep.

You have no idea that your wife heard your painful muttering. You also don't know that her head is spinning in a million different directions. You are in the beautiful land of sleep; you have no idea how quickly she went from A-O.k. to OMG he has a brain hemorrhage.

In your dream, you don't know she's picked up your phone and fumbled to turn on the flashlight.
Your eyelid is pried open. A blinding white hot light fries your cornea and melts your retina. You try to move, but a demanding force crushes your chest. You can't breathe.
Your other eye is pried open. Panic rises as you try to fight. You turn away to avoid the blistering light. It moves with you. There is no escape. It sears through your eyes, and you feel your brain start to bubble.

Sweet Jesus on a piece of toast make it stop.

Panic claws at your throat. You don't know what to do--you can't take it anymore. Your life is ending; you're trapped. You take a deep breath and let out.....

The man scream.

Typically, this scream would embarrass you. Its 43 octaves higher than normal with a slight vibrato, channeling the agony of a million tortured souls. You don't care. You are dying. You prepare for the next wave of pain, but it doesn't come.

The weight has lifted from your chest. You exhale trying to calm yourself. Your prepubescent scream echoing in your ears.

Then the sound that has no description comes from the dark space beside you. Gasping, wheezing, part hyena, seal, and pig. You bring one hand up to cradle your horribly damaged left eye. Slowly you open the right, bright streaks move as you try to focus on the sounds next to you. You blink rapidly as your wife's form comes into focus. Your wife whom you love with everything seems to be in the throes of an epileptic seizure.

It's not a seizure; she is hysterically laughing--at you.

"What is your problem?" you ask, removing the hand and testing the other eye.
Snort. Squeal. Cackle. She tells you she was testing your pupil reaction. She snorts and in a squeaky voice says, "you sound like Michael Jackson."

You are the protector of the manor, the provider, the rock, the mighty warrior, the man who gets shit done and she is laughing at your soprano outburst of panic. You shoot her your most disapproving glare, but it doesn't phase her. Her snorts and wheezing continue.

There is only one way to exact revenge.

You know tomorrow she has laundry to do. You know that she is wearing her last clean pair of pajama pants. You know that a well placed facetious remark will send her over the edge. A manacle grin spreads across your face. You pull the covers up to your neck and ready to exact revenge.

In the most loving voice you can muster after such a traumatic experience you mumble, "Damn babe, I thought aliens were coming, and I was going to negotiate my left nut for that extra neuron."
You peek over at your wife to see if it worked. She howls with another round of laughter. Her impression of a seal reverberates off the walls. She suddenly scrambles out of bed tripping over the blankets wrapped around her body.

"Babe, what's wrong?" you ask feigning concern.

"I think I just peed my pants." She stumbles to the bathroom muttering curses.

You chuckle evilly rolling to your side. You drift off to sleep sporting a sweet smile of contentment as your wife deals with her wet pajama pants.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
I am by no means an expert on what is or isn't fake news. I just have an insatiable need for the truth and am in the constant pursuit of it. The process that I go about checking news articles is rather arduous and consumes precious time that I could use towards my other writing projects. I have received many requests to look at a news article and check it for them. I do not have the time and recently the energy to vet every news article that comes across my desk. So this week's article is to put the power back into your hands. Once again, I am no expert, and this is what I do. It may not be a good fit for you, and you may not agree with it. This my opinion and you are welcome to comment; CONSTRUCTIVELY.


The most frustrating phrase I hear is "I saw this on Facebook."  I can not count how many times a day I get emails, messages, or have conversations that end or start with that phrase.

First off, Facebook is a social media site, not the Associated Press.  If you are getting your news from Facebook then you are grossly misinformed. Facebook is full of fake news, Satire, and click bait. What is click bait? Click bait is a link that contains a headline that preys on your curiosity provoking to your read more. The issue is that link you just clicked on just funded the website owner.

Second, the underlying code of Facebook is a sophisticated algorithm that calculates each user likes and dislikes. If you follow me on Facebook that is why I do not hit that like button very much. It clutters up my feed with extraneous crap I don't want to see. If you follow particular groups, fan pages, etc.; it will show you more based on those like buttons.

My advice? Leave Facebook for what it is initially intended, a social platform. Sure, you can get bonafide news from it, but it is few and far between.

But you can't trust network news.

You are right, mainstream media has done a piss poor job at informing the public. I feel that they are in the mode of ratings rather than informing the public. Remember the Dakota pipeline? Mainstream media barely brushed the surface, but it was viral around social media.

Here are some tips on how to recognize and scroll by fake news.

1. Beware of your bias.
We like to hear and read articles that validate our belief system and find it difficult to stomach those that are not. A meme or a viral headline aligns with your view doesn't make it true. Click bait preys on this tactic. The article based on a fact, then twisted so that it will appeal to a focused group.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago an article went viral stating that Steve Harvey picked to join President Trumps Administration.
The truth is Steve Harvey met with Trump before the inauguration to discuss housing and education for inner city kids, NOT about Steve's recruitment for the Trump administration.

2. Look at the headline.
If the headline reads "Your not going to believe the @$#! that...
You can bet your Monday panties that the news story is fake. Headlines that use profanity or shock tactics are most likely click bait. Personally, I don't want to fund these news fakers so let's not, Ok?

2. Look at the domain name.
On Facebook and other social media under the headline in small gray letters will be the domain name. Most of the time you can tell if it is fake just by the name. For instance, addictingnews.com posted the Steve Harvey article that I mentioned above. This site is notorious for fake and sensationalized news.

3. Unsure about a domain name? Type it manually into a browser.
If the domain appears to be legit, I highly suggest you open up a fresh browser window (Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox.) and manually type the website into your address bar. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK; you will be funding these fakers!
Take a look at the articles on the home page. If the home page filled with celebrities, who they are fornicating with, and are full of penis enlargement advertisements, move on.
If it looks reputable, look for an about page. The about page will be clear and concise. Giving you information about who they are affiliated with, names of their contributors, and authors.
Then I highly suggest you google the writers.

4. If you are still unsure, consult the experts.
This part takes some time. I am very selfish with mine and have a few go-to's to help with this process. Factcheck.org, Snopes.com, and politifact.com are my go to sites to quickly vet stories. If you can't find the headline you are after, each website above has a beautiful contact form to submit a story for fact checking.
As I said above in number 3, Go directly to these sites and read the about page. You will see why I chose them.

5. Know the difference between Op-ed, and news.
Op-ed is short for opposite the editorial page or as some have come to believe opinion articles. Mostly published in newspapers, but more recently they popped up online. Op-eds are designed to offer another position, written by those that are an expert on a particular subject, and offer to educate members of the public.
In my opinion, reading op-eds; even those of a different viewpoint give me a better understanding as to the why's of a particular aspect.

6. Remember there is no such thing as unbiased news.
As a writer, it is tough not to insert my personal bias into an article. The human element will be apparent. However, I have found a few sites that do a good job at keeping their personal bias out of the articles.

The Real News Network
The Independent

I invite you to go to each of the site listed above and vet them for yourself. If you have another location that you deem to have reliable information feel free to put it in the comments section.

Have a great week, and if you found this helpful feel free to share it with your friends.