Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Yes, it's true. I'm moving this blog in with my new website. As much as I love Blogger, I have to consolidate in order to maintain my sanity. Please visit my new Word Press website and if you don't mind, adjust your links accordingly. Henceforth, I will be blogging at


Thanks for following me!

Pam Ripling, aka Anne Carter

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FW: FW: FW: Don't Believe It!

by Pam Ripling

It’s taken me awhile to get a round tuit, but I’ve been wanting to comment on the recent go-round of forwarded emails describing a planned gang initiation that was to take place a local big box store. Three females, the message read, would be murdered at the site, and recipients of the email would be wise to stay away.

While I, personally, did not receive the warning, by afternoon, my 13 year old daughter had read it on her cell phone, my girlfriend had it on her Blackberry and my adult son mentioned he’d seen it on his own phone. That evening, our local high school district had released a statement, phoned to each subscribing household, that the message was indeed a hoax, one that had been forging a nasty path through several other states since 2005.

The whole incident got my back up. My daughter was upset, my friend was justifiably concerned. Both struggled with what to do. Do we call the Sheriff? Do you think they know? I assured them both that the missive was a malicious attempt to stir up fear and possibly even launch a “denial of service”-like scheme as an attack on Wal-Mart, the store mentioned. I don’t know the legal term, but I do know you cannot attempt to prevent patronage of a business based on a fraudulent claim. Whether you like or dislike Wal-Mart, the point is that this could just as easily have been aimed at Mom & Pop’s Bakery on the corner.

My parents used to tell me, when I was a young, impressionable child, “Don’t believe everything you see on TV.” Because we did, back then. Yeah, people joke about it now, would never admit to it, but we did think that if we saw it on TV, it must be true.

Just after 9/11, I received an email warning me to stay away from our local Mall, because it was targeted to be blown up by terrorists. In the nightmarish atmosphere that pervaded following the attacks, I was ripe to believe anything. I immediately forwarded the email to everyone in my address book. I was quickly and gently reprimanded for falling prey to an internet hoax, and I have since refrained from sending anything to anyone without first checking with Snopes (which I consider to be the best online source for debunking urban myths and hoaxes.)

The case of the gang-initiation-at-Wal-Mart email is no different. I took the opportunity to use the incident as a learning experience for my daughter. Just because someone you like or know from school sends you (what they kids call)“forwards” doesn’t mean that it’s (a) true or, God forbid, (b), you should perpetuate the “forward” and add to the needless hysteria intended by some sick mind.

Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at www.BeaconStreetBooks.com.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Review of Sam Morton's Death Match

Hey everyone!

I haven't blogged on here yet, but as my first blog, I thought that I would invite everyone to check out my new post today on my blog! It's a review of Sam Morton's E-Book, Death Match!

Come check it out!

Alyssa Montgomery

Monday, March 9, 2009

EBook Week: Homage to the Rocket eBook

by Pam Ripling

It's a ploy to get people to recognize that ebooks really are a viable format for reading good--and bad--books. Although I am thrilled that my books are available in paperback, as a reader, I prefer electronic versions for myself.

I'm sort of a pioneer. My first published novel, IN TOO DEEP, was published in ebook format first, and available on CD. I can't count the number of times people asked me if they could listen to it in their car. "Read My Lips: Not-An-Audio-Book!!" I got weary explaining to others that yes, it was a REAL book. Edited, even! Copyrighted! ISBN!

But read a book on a computer? Bah. Humbug. Mind you, this was over ten years ago, when lots of folks didn't even have CD drives in their computers. Then, enter the Rocket eBook by Nuvomedia. A device, 22 oz., about the size of a trade paperback, dedicated solely to reading ebooks. Wow! I bought one. I bought two (and they both still work) and took them everywhere with me. Oh, the first one was pretty complicated: you loaded by putting it into a "cradle", then connecting the cradle to your computer, via--get this--a serial connection. You semi-data-geeks will be jeering at that. A later version came with a super-futuristic-modernistic-high-speed (right) doodad called a USB connector.
The Rocket was just terrific. Built-in dictionary, ability to make notes and annotations, sounds, backlit, kept your place, held tons of books (4000 pages), went a week on a single charge. The first version read HTML, which MS Word conveniently allowed you to save your own work to. But as the DRM (digital rights management) biz began to rear its heads (and yes, it has two), the Rocket suffered over formats it didn't understand. Later versions read Rocket's own format, "*.rb", which likely sounded its death knell. What followed was a host of other devices, each better than the last, and each with its own proprietary format.

I gave it all up in favor of reading on a Pocket PC - the powerful little competitor of the Palm series devices. The PPC comes with Microsoft Reader, which became my new favorite format. I've been content with reading on this small screen, mainly because I read at night and like the brightness and the color and the adjustable type (which, by the way, the Rocket also pioneered.)

So now we have two forerunners in the new age of reading devices. Amazon's Kindle, and the Sony Reader Digital Book. These fantastic gems make ebook reading a delightful experience. I'm out of space for today so will talk about them another time; suffice to say here that the only thing keeping me from buying one of each is the price--these industry giants are bringing $300 - $400 each.

Oh, and the Rocket? Sold for around $110.00 with case. That's inflation for you.

Pam Ripling also writes as Anne Carter. Website: BeaconStreetBooks Add'l Blog: The Word From Beacon Street

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Good News and Viral Optimism

by Pam Ripling

Doom and gloom. It’s everywhere. I can see the physical manifestations in the faces of the people I meet, hear it in the voices of friends over the phone. Negativity is one of those infectious diseases for which there is no antibiotic. It’s self-perpetuating, and in humans it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think things are bad, they will be bad. And with the collective population sighing and moaning over the economy, their lost jobs, their perceived waning benefits, it’s no wonder this black cloud has grown to epic proportions.

Enter the Good News. I’ve always been one who instinctively seeks the bright side of any given situation. So it didn’t surprise me that I stumbled across a website called the Good News Network. This site is loaded with—guess what—good news! Things you never hear in the regular news, but should. I’m convinced that if more people knew about all the really GOOD things going on in the world, there would be less depression, less contagion and probably less suicides!

The GNN’s home page is rich with uplifting items, some amusing and others serious. There are stories here that make you wonder why you haven’t heard about these things elsewhere. For example, we know that all the automobile makers are doing poorly, the biggest are on the brink of disaster. Ever heard of Hyundai? Big company, right? How about a 14% sales jump in January? Or did you know that researchers at Penn State University have developed a way to convert CO2 into fuel by using the power of the sun? And if this next one isn’t good news, I don’t know what is. UCLA has just released the largest clinical study ever involving the administration of genetically altered cells into humans in the fight against HIV. The study revealed that the stem-cell based therapy was safe and effective and may lead to a cure.

The bad news about the Good News is, it isn’t free. The website does ask for a subscription fee, starting at $2.00 per month. Of course, you can get all the free bad news you want almost anywhere. That, and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee from Starbuck’s and an ulcer.

Reading the Good News Network isn’t enough to turn the world around. The real remedy is all about turning around your own attitude. Here is a group of people who make it their business to seek out stories of hope and prosperity, and spread that positive karma around. We can each be good news networks on our own by sharing what we know to be uplifting, optimistic ideas, by finding the good in the day and running with it.

No, one person’s attempt at constructive cheer won’t fix the stock market overnight, or get jobs for your husband, daughter or neighbor. It won’t stop stores from closing, or drop the price of gasoline. But I believe in the power of positive thinking, and in the collective power of viral optimism. The next time you encounter someone ranting about our new administration, what’s wrong with the economy or the price of bread, ask yourself if absorbing all that negativity is going to help anything. Then think about what you can do to find and share some good news. It could just catch on.

Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at http://www.beaconstreetbooks.com/.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Glad to See Your Back"

by Pam Ripling

If you think there's an error in the title, you might be right under most instances. However, in my case, my chiropractor's little pun elicited only a groan from me, especially since my back had been aching all day. So, naturally, the doc was glad to see my back, because it means business for him.

I don't want to give him business, but as it turns out, I seem to have spent several years too long sitting at my computer. The technical jabber is "herniated something-or-other", and it means that my lumbar [read: lower] spine is a train wreck. A wreck that involves the involuntary pinching of that rat's nest of electrical wiring we all have called the nervous system.

If you've ever been told, "don't take your health for granted," now's the time (no matter your age) to start believing it. Back pain is no picnic, and while you are typing, texting, blogging, gaming or being some other kind of data head, your backbone is silently wearing away, shifting its shape, degenerating into a different sort of animal.

Doc game me exercises. My son escorted me onto the Wii Fit. WalMart provided an exercise ball. Hubby went out and bought us a Sleep Number bed! (I am #35).

Bottom line kiddos, take care of yourselves. Don't become too close to your chair and keyboard. Get up! Move around... take a walk, a swim, dance. Stretch! Advil, Vicodin and Celebrex shouldn't be your new best friends. I'm not letting them become mine.

Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at http://www.beaconstreetbooks.com/.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Relay For Life: BELIEVE 2009

BELIEVE. It’s our theme this year, and it means different things to different people. To me, it means that I believe in a time when cancer will be just a horrific memory, a disease that must be explained to future generations. Like the plague. Like polio.

When I “joined” Relay, it was just after my mother’s passing. Because there was so much cancer in her family, she lived in fear of falling victim to it. Her mother, grandmother and several sisters and cousins all succumbed to various forms of cancer, mostly during their fifties and to afflictions of the female organs. Ironically, it was lung cancer that caught up with Mom after 50+ years of smoking. So it is likely that she would have beaten the family odds had she not become addicted to cigarettes. (By the way, I don’t smoke!)

When my brother was diagnosed last spring, I was deeply affected. I didn’t expect that I, personally, would be experiencing a loved one’s battle again so soon. Little did I know that cancer was about to strike us again; this time, my husband, a kidney tumor just before Christmas. THE GOOD NEWS: both my brother and hubby are doing fine and are now cancer-free. There is a lot to be said for early diagnosis.

There probably hasn’t been a worse time in recent years to ask for a donation. We all know what a disaster our economy has become. Sadly, our charitable organizations feel the pinch first, as usual supporters tighten their belts in order to provide necessities. But if you can spare even $25.00, it will make a difference, I promise you.

On April 4, 2009, our team CARING FOR YOU is hosting our third annual wine tasting right here in Valencia. There'll be wines from local suppliers and vintners, music, refreshments, a dynamite silent auction and raffle prizes. $25.00 donation gets you in to a wonderful afternoon with friends and neighbors. Of course we are accepting other forms of donations, i.e., prizes to be raffled, baskets to be auctioned, etc.

You can also donate on-line

Relay is getting bigger and better every year, and you may already be lending your support to another dedicated walker. If so, God bless you and thanks!