Good News Twice in One Day

Early this morning—before I went out to work on the patio-fence with more than one gate project that I’m building from scratch—I checked my e-mail and discovered that my suspense-thriller, Running with the Enemy, had been awarded an Honorable Mention in General Fiction at the 2103 New York Book Festival.

A good way to start the day.

Fast forward several hours—I finished working on the project about 3:00 pm, took a shower, and then logged-on to check my e-mail only to discover that Running with the Enemy had been named Runner Up (2nd Place) in General Fiction at the 2013 Beach Book Festival.

A good way to end the day.

In twelve days on June 22, the 2013 New York Book Festival will be held at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan—just steps from the Empire State Building.

When Running with the Enemy picked up its first honorable mention at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, I attended the free seminars and the private award ceremony, but I’m not planning on buying a ticket to fly to New York at this late date. With the lowest nightly rate for the Radisson at $385.00 and flights to New York from San Francisco costing $583 – $2,072 (depending on the airline you book a flight with), I’m staying home. The grand prize winner wins $1,500, but an honorable mention and a runner-up do not come with a cash prize.

However, if you live near New York and you are a writer, poet, author and/or an avid reader, you may want to take advantage of the free seminars. The San Francisco event was well worth my time, and I’m planning on going next year. The price of a BART ticket to ride into San Francisco from where we live is about $10 round trip.

NEW YORK BOOK FESTIVAL DAY SCHEDULE
– this event is free –

  • 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The Art of Marketing and Promotion – An examination of what it takes to get your book noticed in a crowded marketplace. 
  • 1:00 p.m.-2:10 p.m. Writing About Your Life – “Write what you know” is one of the most debated axioms of an author’s life. A panel that drew on their experiences and career paths discusses what it takes to put it all down in book form.
  • 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Children’s Books in a Modern Age – Authors/publishers of award-winning books from the San Francisco Book Festival talk about their books and the market.
    Panelists: 
  • 3:40 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Dr. Neal Hall – the poetry winner of the San Francisco/New York/New England/Paris and Los Angeles festivals reads from his work and answers questions.
  • 4:10 p.m.-4:45 p.m. The Future of Books – The rise of eBooks, the shrinking retail scene, the consolidation of big publishing and the explosion of the online world. A discussion on where everything appears to be heading and how you can leverage these developments.
  • 4:45 to 5 p.m. A Conversation with the New York Book Festival grand prize winner

The grand-prize winner of the 2013 New York Book Festival was Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau (Atlantic Monthly Press). The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata was the winner of the general-fiction category and it was first published in Indonesia in 2005 selling more than five-million copies. The English translation of Hirata’s novel was published by Sarah Crichton Books (February 5, 2013)

The grand-prize winner of the 2013 Beach Book Festival was Inside Linda Lovelace’s Deep Throat by Darin Porter published by Blood Moon Productions, March 12, 2013. The winner of the general-fiction category was Rosi’s Time by Edward Eaton, published by Dragonfly Publishing.

The private-award ceremony will be held June 21 at the Grolier Club in Manhattan.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

2013 San Francisco Book Festival Award Winners

Running with the Enemy by Lloyd Lofthouse was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00034]

 

The winner of the general fiction category went to John Irving’s In One Person published by Simon & Schuster, and the grand prize was awarded to The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live Without Regret by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton — Shadow Mountain Publishing.

John Irving won the National Book Award in 1980 for The World According to Garp, and he received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story “Interior Space. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules.

Richard Norton, the grand prize winner of the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival, is the CEO of Global Consulting Circle. He is a sought after speaker and consultant for the corporate growth and personal development industries. Norton has shared the stage with bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Kevin Rollins, former CEO of Dell Computers.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and Running with the Enemy. His short story, A Night at the ‘Well of Purity’ was named a finalist in the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. Anchee Min, Lloyd’s wife, is the author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year—in addition to national bestsellers Becoming Madame Mao and Empress Orchid, which was a finalist for the British Book Awards. Min’s memoir, the sequel to Red AzaleaThe Cooked Seed—will be released May 7, 2013.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
is the award winning author of
My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW

Friendly fire thanks to dead batteries

In 1966, we arrived in Vietnam with PRC-10 field radios that we carried on our backs. The batteries were so old, we often carried several that had never been used for back ups when we went on patrols, ambushes, recons and field operations.

The idea was that if one battery was dead, maybe one of the spares worked.

On one night patrol, all three batteries failed and that almost got us killed. I was a field radio operator so I carried the radio and was responsible to call for supporting fire, an extraction for wounded, artillery support, etc.

This patrol went out in the dark and we came back several hours later right before dawn.  Because our hill had been hit every night for weeks, we were all nervous and on high alert.  The Vietcong would hit and run—fire a rocket, a few sniper rounds, a shoulder fired rocket, or toss a grenade inside the wire and then melt away. One Marine had his head torn off from a rocket that was fired through a bunker’s firing slot. The other Marines in that bunker survived but they watched their buddy get beheaded when the rocket hit him in the face but didn’t explode.

As the radio operator, it was my job to make the last call just before we returned from the night patrol and let them know we were on our way in so they wouldn’t shoot at us.

But when all three of the batteries were dead, there was no way to call in. We had to go in cold.

The sergeant in charge said we couldn’t make a sound, because we had to get close enough to the wire so his voice could be heard.


PRC-10

There was a spring on the other side of the wire that fed a creek and we walked in that creek careful to make not one sound.  Then one Marine tripped and as he hit the ground made a loud clattering noise. A heart beat later, we were all sucking that creak water.

Without hesitation, the bunkers on the other side of the wire inside our base camp opened fire on us with fifty calibers. We lay in that stream as the tracers shot inches above our heads. The sergeant shouted “cease fire”.

“How do we know it’s really you and not a trick,” the reply came. “Why didn’t you use the radio?”

“The batteries are all dead,” I called. “Call the communication bunker and ask for the name of the radio operator who was assigned to this patrol. How would the gooks know that?”

“And what is your name?”

I called it out and a few minutes later we were given the okay to stand up and walk one-by-one inside the wire.

The PRC-10 was first used in 1951 during the Korean War. The AN/PRC 25 replaced it in 1962, but the Marines were usually the last to get new equipment. We had no idea how old those batteries were but we were eating C-rations that were stamped 1945 so I think those batteries were probably from the early 1950s and had been in storage for almost fifteen years. Before I was rotated out of Vietnam in December 1966, the PRC-10 was replaced with the 25 that was several pounds lighter and had much newer batteries.

Discover Vietnam Rations and Nutrition Today

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
is the award winning author of
My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Missing John Wayne

I was not there when John Wayne dropped by the Battalion CP of the 1st Marine Division’s Tank Battalion in 1966 at Chu Lai, Vietnam. Instead, I was in the field. I don’t remember what I was doing in the field. I was on a night patrol, a recon, an ambush or a field operation but I wasn’t there.

I was in the field getting shot at—a walking target with a radio on my back or driving a radio jeep with no armor.  The jeep I drove in Vietnam was more than twenty years old and had a canvas top with open sides (no doors). Today, it would be unthinkable to send our troops into combat in one of those.

I was told Wayne drove in by himself in a 1945 Willys Jeep and walked around talking to Marines, drank a few warm beers with enlisted men then ate with the officers in their mess tent.

Years later, I wondered if Wayne really visited US troops in Vietnam and discovered, thanks to Google, that he did.

 “Once again, John Wayne found himself in the midst of a heated political controversy. It started in June 1966, when Wayne visited Vietnam to cheer American troops on the front and wounded soldiers in hospitals. The mission of the tour was twofold: It was a good-will trip, and at the same time provided him the opportunity to gather first-hand material for a film.

“It is unclear whether the idea to make a film on Vietnam originated before or during the trip. Before he left for the three-week tour, sponsored by the Department of Defense, Wayne said he was “going around the hinterlands to give the boys something to break the monotony.” “I can’t sing or dance,” he said, but “I can sure shake a lot of hands.” Source: Emanuel Levy Cinema 24/7

If anyone instilled a sense of patriotism in me for the US (not its political leaders), it was growing up watching John Wayne movies.

As a child, I knew nothing of politics but too much, thanks to my mother, of God and the Bible.

My father didn’t believe in God, didn’t vote and didn’t belong to any political party. He deeply distrusted politicians and said they were all liars and couldn’t be trusted. Today, I suspect that what he believed came from having survived the Great Depression (1929 to mid 1940s). At fourteen, he dropped out of school to find a job to survive. He would work for forty-six years before he retired on a union pension.

It doesn’t matter if I agree with Wayne’s conservative, hawkish, right-wing politics, because his screen image did more to instill my sense of patriotism than anything else did. In fact, he may have agreed with my father’s political beliefs.

Wayne’s attitude toward politics was at best ambivalent, considering it a necessary evil. “I hate politics and most politicians,” he repeatedly declared, and “I am not a political figure.” At the same time, he conceded that, “When things get rough and people are saying things that aren’t true, I sometimes open my mouth and eventually get in trouble.”

“About the only thing you have to guide you,” he said, “is your conscience.” One should not let “social groups or petty ambitions or political parties or any institution tempt you to sacrifice your moral standards,” but he conceded that, “It takes a long time to develop a philosophy that enables you to do that.” Integrity and self-respect were his most cherished values, “If you lose your self-respect, you’ve lost everything.” Source: Emanuel Levy Cinema 24/7

 

Good for Wayne. I respect him for being true to what he believed and standing up for it. To this day, I wished I’d been there at my base camp in 1966 the day he drove in to visit the troops, so I could shake his hand and listen to what he had to say.  Two years later, his movie, Green Berets, came out the same year as the Tet Offensive—considered by many to be the turning point in the war that led to the defeat of US goals.

What does patriotism mean to you?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

The Blood Price – Part 4/4

Granted, World Wars I and II, and the Korean Conflict were unavoidable, and it could be argued that the War in Afghanistan was justified. However, we did not need to send American troops to Vietnam or Iraq and both of these wars were based on lies.

One reason for these needless wars may be linked to corporate profits while keeping unemployment down.

The Great Depression originated in the U.S. and had its start around September 4, 1929 and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).

The Great Depression devastated countries around the globe. In the United States, industrial production dropped by 46%; foreign trade dropped 70% and unemployment reached 25%—in some countries it was as high as 33%.

The wartime economic boom during World War II caused a dramatic increase in employment, which paralleled the expansion of industrial production. In 1944, unemployment dipped to 1.2 percent of the civilian labor force, a record low in American economic history.

In 1954, after the Korean Conflict unemployment in the United States went up to about 6%. Then the economy turned down in the summer of 1957 and reached a low point in the spring of 1958. Industrial production fell 14%, corporate profits dropped 25% and unemployment reached 7.5%

The US needed another war to stimulate the economy. The US had already unofficially been in Vietnam since 1953 and in 1964 the war became official with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

In 1960, unemployment in the US was 6.1%, but by 1964, unemployment dropped to 4.8% and then 3.4% by 1968. However, a year after the Vietnam War, unemployment was up again to 7.2%—a 212% increase since 1968.

It is now obvious that war is another option to keep Americans employed. Since the end of the Korean Conflict in 1953, the United States has been involved in thirty-two wars/conflicts. Source: List of wars involving the United States

I started to add up all the months and years US troops have been fighting somewhere in the world since 1953 and gave up—just Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan (three of the thirty-two conflicts) add up to more than forty years of combat.

In fact, before World War II, the allocation of resources to military purposes was typically no more than 1 percent of GNP, except during actual warfare, which occurred infrequently. Wartime and peacetime were distinct, and during peacetime—that is, almost all the time—the societal opportunity cost of “guns” was nearly nil.

However, following the Korean Conflict, military purchases reached an unprecedented level for “peacetime” and, despite some fluctuations, remained at or above this elevated level permanently. During 1948-86, military purchases cumulated to $6.316 Trillion, averaging about $162 billion per year, or 7.6 percent of GNP. Source: Cato Institute

In conclusion, after the Korean Conflict, the US capitalist consumer economy added war to its financial formula, and the price has been decades of spilled blood all over the world. The last question is, “Who benefits the most?”

Return to The The Blood Price – Part 3 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

The Blood Price – Part 3/4

The excuse for the wars in Southeast Asia was to protect Western democracy from the possible spread of Communism. To do this, the United States dropped over 7 million tons of bombs in Vietnam. In Laos, the US dropped 270 million cluster bombs and more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed by these bombs since the war.

In Cambodia, the US dropped 2.75 million tons of bombs.

For a comparison, in World War II a total of just over 2 million tons of bombs were dropped.

The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day. The number of military dead numbered in the millions. There is no way to count the number of civilian dead.

It is estimated that in Vietnam 411,000 – 2,000,000 civilians were killed; 20,000 – 200,000 in Laos, and 200,000 – 300,000 in Cambodia.


The United States is a peace loving nation!

What about government and religion in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia?

Vietnam has a Communist government. According to the CIA Factbook, 80.8% of the population belongs to no religion; 9.3% are Buddhists and 6.7% are Catholic (that’s almost seven times the ratio of Christians in Japan and we won that war).

In addition, Laos is still a Communist state. The predominant religion is Theravada Buddhism (67%). Animism is common among the mountain tribes. Buddhism and spirit worship coexist easily. There also are small numbers of Christians and Muslims—only 1.5% of the population is Christian.

Cambodia, however, is a multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy. It is no longer a Communist/Socialist state, and 96.4% of its population is Buddhist while 2.1% is Muslim. Despite the French colonization in the 19th century, Christianity made little impact in the country. There are around 20,000 Catholics in Cambodia which represents 0.15% of the total population and less than 2,000 Protestants.

If we use the result of America’s wars in Southeast Asia as an example of what is to come, what will the Middle East look like fifty years after the war in Afghanistan ends?

Continued on August 4, 2012 in The Blood Price – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

The Blood Price – Part 2/4

For the United States to defeat Japan, the Japanese suffered tremendous loss of life. Before the two atomic bombs were dropped that ended the war in the Pacific, Osaka was hit hard suffering more than 10,000 civilian casualties in March, June, July and August 1945.

Total dead on both sides of World War II is estimated to be more than 73 million. The majority of deaths took place in the Soviet Union and China (about 85%). Japan lost more than two million troops and 500,000 – 1,000,000 civilians.

In comparison, the United States only lost 1,700 civilians.

The result today: The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is limited, a ceremonial figurehead—a symbol of the state and the unity of the people. Power is held mostly by the Prime Minister of Japan and other elected members of the Diet (Japan’s parliament).  The Diet is made up of two legislative houses.

How about religion in Japan? Shinto (practiced by 83% of the population) and Buddhism (92 million Japanese identify themselves as Buddhists) are Japan’s two major religions. The Muslim population is about 115,000 – 125,000 and there are about 5,000 Hindus in the country along with 2,000 Jews.

About one to two million Japanese are Christians (1% of Japan’s population) and many live in Western Japan where Christian missionaries were active during the 16th century.

Then there is Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where the United States failed to achieve its goals—maybe!

Continued on August 3, 2012 in The Blood Price – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”