government

Writing 101: To Whom it May Concern

Writing 101: To Whom it May Concern.

Dear Kat,

Guess what!? I received my orders today. It turns out that next summer I will actually be in your area. Isn’t that awesome? I already googled it and the base is about 3 hours away by car. Can’t wait to see you for Christmas so we can celebrate my commitment together.

Hope you’re well,

Your Brother

 

Dear Brother,

Congratulations! What else can I say? I am so proud of you. And I’m so impressed that you have made this commitment to our country. But I’m also pretty terrified to be honest. I don’t know what I would do without you. I’m glad I will get plenty of opportunities to see you before you settle in to your base or get shipped out. It’s been pretty lonely down here. Too bad you won’t be around for our birthdays!

With Love,

Kat

 

Dear Kat,

I know I’ve told you this like a million times but you worry too damn much. Everything will be fine. At least I’m not going overseas right away. And yes,  it would be sweet to celebrate our birthdays together. But orders are orders and my ass is officially owned by the US  Government. (Hell, I can’t even get a tattoo without permission!)

Miss you,

Your Brother

 

Dear Brother,

Guess you’ll have to wait to get the American flag tattooed on your ass then. Promise I can see you before basic?

I miss you.

Kat

 

Yes, Kat. I promise. Orders or not, I will see you soon.

Love you.

 

Okay. Love you too.

 

(The word I chose was “orders” from pg 29 of The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner.)

Make It Count

Make It Count.

Dear John Boehner,

As Speaker of the House, I’m hoping that this message reaches you in good health, a peaceful state of mind, and that you choose to share it with those who reside in the chamber with you.

I’m not going to introduce myself beyond what is the readily available information. Simply, my name is Kat Webber, I am a master of library science student, and I am not registered to vote.

That being said, I would like to explain why I have made this important choice. It used to be because I didn’t care much about voting or government or politics but over the years as I have followed the politics, I realized that it is much more than that. My reason remains that I believe there is no one worth voting for in our government. There is no real change happening. People posture and make pretty speeches and say there will be change but the truth of the matter is is that there is a sickness that has crept in the hallowed halls of our federal city.

When was the last time you sat down and had lunch with someone who voted for you? Talked to one of them for more than five minutes at a time? When was the last time you spent a significant portion of your day in your home state doing nothing but living life? When was the last time you went hungry? When was the last time you lived paycheck to paycheck? When was the last time you had to make a choice between feeding your kids or paying the electric bill? When was the last time you were waiting on a pension payment that never arrived? When was the last time you had a medication you couldn’t afford? When was the last time you were without a job? When was the last time you had to make a payment on a student loan? When was the last time you remembered to represent the state of Ohio and its citizens?

I ask these questions not to place blame or to complain about your wealth. But because these are issues that your voters, your fellow citizens face consistently. You were elected to your office. And as such, you have a responsibility to uphold the agreement you made with your constituents. That you would support the issues that matter to them. Not the ones that line your pockets or do a favor for someone else.

It is my belief that our great country is on the verge of falling into disrepair. We are broken. We are in debt. We are filled with unhappy Americans. And it’s not just about the money. And it’s not just about the laws. It’s about the general lack of leadership.

People are so concerned with their own party, or even a small sect of their party, that they completely overlook the voters screaming at them about the choices they are making. Dividing the country into two parties isn’t working anymore. With the rising of diversity, shouldn’t there be a rise in parties to choose from? Shouldn’t the lesser parties have a chance to be heard? Shouldn’t people be able to vote for the person they want elected not just the party ideals? Take the money and the campaigning out of the picture. Let everyone make a short and sweet speech and let the nation cast their ballots.

There is a book that I’m reading for a class of mine. It’s called The Trusted Leader and I think you should read it. It discusses how to be a leader, a proper one, and the difference between being that and being a manager. I think it could go a long way into helping you and many of your coworkers to understand why you are no longer leaders. It also touches upon inter-agency communication and how to improve that because that’s definitely impacting the way this country is being ineffectually run. So many things can slip through the cracks because there isn’t a system in place to catch them.

The United States is being treated like a poorly run business. And it’s “too big to fail”. It is supposed to be managed by the few people who are making choices for the greater good but lately it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like every time I look to the news, I am bombarded with another way that we have overstepped our boundaries or our reach. We have issues within our own borders and yet we are more concerned with overseas affairs. Isn’t it time we brought the fight back here?

Are you aware, Mr. Boehner, that we have mission groups from other countries that come here to help our poor and unfortunate? That we have people suffering in this country who don’t have a voice to stand up for them? What about the fact that Social Security was intended to be a temporary system? Or that the rising cost of college education (and loans) continues to increase because now jobs are demanding advanced degrees beyond undergraduate studies?

So don’t take it personally that I didn’t vote for you. And not voting may not give me the right to complain about any particular person but these are flaws in the general system that need to be fixed. We need to focus on making people in this country happier, healthier, and safer before we worry about what the rest of the world is doing.

Now I’m asking you to stand up for me. For everyone who agrees with even one thing in this letter. Hand out copies of this on the street if you have to. Slip it under your fellow Representatives doors. And if you like, I can even send you a copy of The Trusted Leader so you can get a jump start on making some improvements. Be a leader. Lead the way to change. Lead the way to a better way of life. Lead the way for your fellow leaders to stop being so selfish and party-minded and do what they were elected to do: make choices that will positively impact those who voted for them.

Sincerely,

Kat Webber

Concerned Citizen of the United States of America

Book Review: The Eye of the Minds

eye of mindsWhen it comes to Dashner, you know that you’re never going to get what you think you’re getting. But it’s always a twist that you don’t see coming. After reading “The Maze Runner” series which was a bit of a punch to the gut mixed with a murder mystery with a dash of futuristic creep factor, I decided I definitely wanted to give James Dashner more of my attention. (Plus he has a really cool last name!)

The Eye of Minds follows Michael and his two friends, Sarah and Bryson, on their journey to stop a cyber terrorist in a virtual reality world. Much like Ready Player One, this book dives in with the premise that basically everyone has a true self in the real world and virtual self that they can use to explore the greater digital universes. In this version, Michael is a hacker/gamer/rich kid who has all the latest tech and is head hunted by a government agency to put a stop to someone named Kaine who is killing people inside the virtual realm so they die for real on the outside.

What seems simple enough on the surface becomes increasingly more complicated as Michael and his friends hunt for clues, talk to tipsters, and scour the realities in new ways. They have to fight enemies of all kinds, find hidden information, and find new ways to hack the world as they know it.

The journey pulled me in and didn’t let go. It’s one of those “just one more chapter” books and before you know it, it’s 1am and you have to be up at 6am. And there were a couple of times where the chills were so severe, I had to read a different book so I could turn out the light and actually fall asleep.

It’s gripping and mesmerizing and takes you places you don’t expect. Fears are realized and explored and not usually in a fun or interesting way. More like I almost wet the bed and was afraid to put my feet on the floor. Okay, so maybe not as extreme as say, Stephen King but it was unexpected which made it more creepy.

But that wasn’t all that it had to offer. The book has a great tapestry of colorful characters, but not so many that you can’t remember their names, and location description that will make you feel like you are almost there. There is plenty of sarcasm and respect between the friends, a mutual appreciation of skills, and definitely a team armed to the (virtual) teeth with arsenals from several magical and non-magical realms.

If you like books that take you onto a path and you can’t figure out where it ends, then this is definitely for you. If you enjoyed The Maze Runner, Divergent, or Ready Player One, then this is definitely for you. If you just want a book that isn’t your typical YA love story/fantasy then pick this one up and get ready to take a ride.

Note: Book One of The Mortality Doctrine Series. Book Two The Rule of Thoughts was just released.

Goodreads rating: 5 stars

My personal rating: 92

  • Writing style – 10
  • Plot – 10
  • Dialogue – 9
  • Personality of Main Character(s) – 10
  • Love story – 7
  • Invokes emotion – 7
  • Synopsis accuracy – 10
  • Consistent level of interest – 10
  • Stays on topic – 10
  • Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 9