Alva Press, Inc.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Going Green! ALVA the Indie Publisher's Appeal!
9:19 am edt
At alvapressinc.com, we are looking for the support
of family and friends to help get Carl Waldman's Streetscape: A Jake Soho Mystery on the Barnes and Noble Best Sellers List.
Your support will help promote ALVA's success as a publishing company,
boost book sales and provide you with a wonderful opportunity to read a charmingly compelling mystery!!!
For just $9.34, wouldn't it be fun to watch it rise on The B&N Chart
knowing you made the difference?
1. Go to http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
2. Search for ALVA Press Inc; then:Click on the
Streetscape cover image. To Download a Sample, Buy Now, or send as a gift, just click on the selection of your choice and
follow the directions for payment and delivery. Of course, you can always select one of Alva's other amazing book publications
like Helmy Kusuma's Mementoes of Mai ($4.24)
Sunday, October 28, 2012
On the Currency of Probabilities
As I inch through Sunday vaguely affected by the coming of Hurricane
Sandy, water and canned goods, battery charger, battery operated radio, and some emergency cash on hand, I am amused to find
that true to my belief I have only the time to blog here once a month, it is just two days short of thirty since my last entry.
Further, except for some personal sense of a need to write, as usual, I have no up front notion as to what exactly it is I'll
2:31 pm edt
My thought is that blogging serves on some level
as akind ink blot assessment of current brain function and particularly so at this moment it interrupts the flow of things
I should be attending: vacuuming before the electricity goes for four days; washing ones hair before the hot water goes. (Mine's
still wet as I now that it is longer in length, I opt for air drying.)
One thing I feel compelled to mention is that I am cheating. This entry is almost identical to one I that
just a few minutes ago I published at alvapressinc.com/robertamroy as it seems my personal life, my life as a publisher, and
my interest in mass event response and survival, have all come together in it. So, worse yet, I think I shall also post it
on alvapressinc.com/robertamroyonnuclearsurvival. Phew! I feel better.
However my original push had been the news that some scientists in Italy have been convicted of something
akin to criminal negligence for failing to predict the severity of an earthquake there:
"The quake, which hit the town of L'Aquila in 2009, came after the geophysicists
told city officials on a risk-assessment commission that they were unable to make a detailed prediction about whether ongoing
tremors might indicate a coming disaster, so I will report on that. It seems the court considers the scientists inability
to predict to be something akin to criminal negligence, which as many observers have pointed out fundamentally misunderstands
how seismology works. One of the convicted scientists, 74-year-old physicist Claudio Evo, called the decision "medieval."
News of the conviction of the scientists troubles me in particular at
this time as for the past week or so I have working on an article for the ALVA the Indie Times about the impossibility of
accurately predicting the future on the basis of what we have learned from the past. The problems with such efforts emerge
first from the impossibility of knowing all the facts and variables involved in any past event. This then is complicate by
human beings' innate inability to clearly observe events. And no, this is not a reference to our predilection for personal
experience and attitudinally based bias. Rather it is due also to neurologically based biases. It is this that I'll talk about
in this week's ALVA's weekly newsletter which I encourage you to sign up for on the home page of alvapressinc.com. (By the
way, my hair is almost dry; my coffee cup is empty; time for a quick run to the kitchen.)
(Only about a quarter of a cup left. I drink it black and never worry about it being
warm enough. It's cold.)
You probably by now have
become acquainted with Chelsea. She is the young woman who helps me with ALVA PR. Well, she tells me she is probably leaving
the area as the love of her life is soon to accept a position out it. Shucks! I will miss her! And then there is the newsletter
and the question of whether or not its publication can be achieved with her in a new life style and miles away--where she
can not as yet say as her love has received more than one job offer.
Ah, but on the up side. Helmy Kusuma has won the first ALVA Green Tomatoes Writers' Runoff with his enchanting
story the Mementoes of Mai. It needs editing, formatting, and cover design but, hey, that's part of the package for any GTWR
winner and ALVA's editor for this project, Joan Schweighardt, likes the manuscript's potential and we both like Kusuma.
According to Kusuma, his place of birth is Palembang, Indonesia, the
16th century capital of the Kingdom of Srivijaya. Although Kusuma does not believe he is of royal lineage, he does report
spending his childhood "dreaming fantasy lands, exotic planets, and super cool spaceships instead of toiling on the lanHelmy
Kusuma -- Mementoes of Maids and herding cattle like the rest of the family." As a young adult, he spent the next "decade
mastering the art of piloting the Enterprise" and has been "travelling to faraway galaxies ever since." Between
missions, Kusuma says that to avoid encounters with angry aliens and to write, much of the time he skulked inside his private
Mementoes of Mai is Kusuma's first novel.With
it he invites the reader to follow him through some of the beautiful and defining moments in his life--over the rivers and
within the coves of Viet Nam and across the sea to Bali and Jakarta.
Well, I warned you I did not know where this blog was going, however go it has. (A fire engine just went by--too
early for the cause to be the storm--unless it is a car accident resulting from evacuation efforts.)
The wind has been steady since last night, taking with it the leaves from the taller
trees, an encouraging harbinger in relation to the the possibility of a reduction in the number of trees likely to come down
when Hurricane Sandy hits late tonight and threatens or effects the uplifting of tree branches with wind gusts--which again
brings us back to the question of predicting and the question of what we know and do not know about the past.
Just think, had I not looked out the window this morning to check the
large maple behind my house--which last night had worried me as so few of its leaves had fallen, I would not know it had been
stripped by the wind in the night and as my bed is on just the other side of the wall from it, I surely would have been more
concerned than now I will be when I do bed down tonight.
other, I found it reassuring to observe that the populace has become so informed in basic disaster survival that my yesterday
a search of Rite Aid, Stop and Shop, KMart, and Walgreen's turned me up no D Batteries for my radio. Further, without so much
as a mention, my son took down the awning from Gallery Ottaviani, which is his and reported he was picking up gas for his
home's generator and would mow their lawn before the rains flooded or kept it so wet for four days that it could not be mowed.
And my sister, Cindy, just called to say that she and her husband would not be flying back to North Carolina tomorrow night
but instead was heading out by car early for all with the son who had come up for the same wedding in the hopes of beating
the storm and joining the rest of her family in Raleigh. And yes, they do have a GPS and Easy Pass for smoother and safer
May Sandy treat you kindly wherever
you are and if you are among its forced refugees may you find refuge in a town as kind and responsive as was Locklee in my
award winning work of inspirational fiction, Jolt: a rural noir.
Roberta in Po-Town
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Fallen in Neglect
12:09 pm edt
I feel remiss that I have for so long not blogged here. It
is just that my publishing company, ALVA Press, Inc., at alvapressinc.com has pretty much taken over my life.
Whereas generally my entries here have consistently been to bring information
related to health and survival--almost all of which remains timely- today I have decided to simply blog some of my recent
impressions as to where we are in protecting the environment and to state some of my strong beliefs as to what we should be
doing but are not.
First of all we Americans have
to focus more on preventing single issue beliefs to jauntice our views of the national agenda, now, at election time, and
thereafter and begin to look first and foremost to the future. We have to ask questions related to not only how will this
play out in our own life time but also in the lifetimes of our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Will they have water
to drink? Will there be safe food sources? Will they have the energy they need to cook, travel, and keep cool or warm? Will
they be at peace with their neighbors and the world? Will the gap between the haves and have nots continue to widen or will
it shrink? And how about their health?
So let me
see. Imagine I am a billionaire--which I am not--or working class--which I am. My choices in viewing the future can be self-centered,
family-centered, family and culturally-centered, or a mix of all three. This last approach I think of as pragmatic humanism.
After all, how practical is it to think only of oneself or ones family and not consider them in relation to the larger picture.
So I believe in taking a practical approach while evidencing care for others as a humanist. And here are some of my thought
On smoking: I don't. And
I think those who do should at least put their butts in a container for later inclusion in the trash that goes to the town
transfer station or, as we used to refer to it, the dump.
Yesterday I heard on NPR that one cigarette in a gallon of water is enough to kill any fish in it. Imagine our rivers and
oceans filled with the harmful chemicals from millions of cigarettes and the by products that leach from them: Benzene (petrol
additive),associated with leukaemia; Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), carcinogen; Ammonia (toilet cleaner), often found in
dry cleaning fluids; Acetone (nail polish remover) a solvent; Tar; Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug), an addictive substance;
Carbon Monoxide (CO) (car exhaust fumes), an odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas; Arsenic (rat poison); Hydrogen Cyanide
(gas chamber poison)
On energy: To wind, geothermal, and solar power as
quickly as we can move. Any movement in that direction will contribute to a healthier environment and over time, a reduction
in the likelihood of war over energy sources in the future. (Perhaps you had not considered that. I know I had not until yesterday
when as I scanned for a radio station I heard reference to this as a possibility.)
Wind, geothermal, and solar power not only offer clean energy sources, they are each pretty endlessly
renewable and exist for use the world over--so no need to fight over having them. Further, their by-products do not pollute
the air as do coal and oil oil, nor leave radioactive waste to cause cancer as does nuclear power.
On economics: Take care of the masses. Where their needs fail be
addressed, we all could become unnecessarily at risk. Witness the Middle East at this time.
On education: Value the minds of everyone. Open, quality education
for all, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Adds to the quality of not only the lives of others but
to that of my own and my family's. Helps with the Big Think, so to speak.
On freedom of speech: The cornerstone of not only democracy but of human dignity
and beauty wherever it is enjoyed. It's power can bring the light of progress, joy, and laughter into life's darkest corners.
On health care: Honor the separation
of church and state and provide quality health care for all regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity. Treat adults as such regardless
of sex, race, or ethnicity. By so doing I will know that not only your family but my family and I are safer wherever we are.
Roberta in Po-Town
Sunday, February 26, 2012
What have we learned since Fukushima?
8:33 pm est
March 11, 2012, marks the first anniversary of
the Fukushima nuclear disaster and resultant meltdown. Given the gravity and extensiveness of its effects one might hypothesize
that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) here in the United States might be out there flexing its muscle and ensuring
the safety of all Americans from similarly tragic events as they never before have. Wrong.
Power Plant Safety, Security,Emergency Evacuation Plans, and
Status of Nuclear
Reactors: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (Earthwise, Spring 2012) some forty-seven reactors
in the USA fail to comply with 1980 as ammended in 2004 fire regulations. As for voluntary plans, according to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC), where plans are in place, most of the plants that have them are unprepared for their implementation.
And then there is the question of whether or not the ten-mile radius evacuation plans would be adequate in both breadth and
feasibility in the event of a reactor meltdown. My take on it: It wouldn't hurt if you were to call your
Senator or Representative requesting the NRC institute needed reforms suggested by the above facts. Contact number for all
Senators and Representative is Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121.
However safety and security are more than nuclear plant safety, security, and emergency response plans.
So let us look at other concerns related clean air, global warming effects, and keeping healthy.
Emissions and Clean Air: It may have taken the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) twenty years to do it, however in December 2011 it finalized a set of national standards designed
to limit the toxic emissions of power plants powered by coal and oil. My take on it: Bodes the promise of
cleaner air and a push toward cost saving by increasing our reliance on renewable energy.
Effects of Global Warming
Electricity Use: During summer months in 2011 when
forty-two states had above normal summer temperatures, instead of the increased demand lowering the cost of electricity, the
providers increased the price of a megawatt-hour from $100 to $350. My take on it: Contrary the belief about
the effect of lesser demand on supply and cost prices, greed ruled the day.
production in Costa Rica dropped 44% since 2000 in part due to an increase of 2 1/2 percent average increase in warm days
in each of the last four decades. And on the flip side, for those crops requiring a certain number of winter "chill days,"
by the middle of this century, states such as Pennsylvania may achieve the required minimum in chill-hours for optimal bud
formation for apples only one out of two winters. That scenario assumes the increase in warming emissions globally will continue
without decrease. My take on it: At the rate we are going, start thinking tea and bananas rather than coffee
Farmers' Markets: Since
1970 the number of farmer's markets has increased a remarkable twenty-one times--from 340 to 7,175 in number. My
take on it: Where regular people can have some control they not only watch finances, they will strive to maintain
a safe and healthy diet.
For more on
the Union of Concerned Scientists go to www.ucsusa.org.
Roberta in Po-Town
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
CBRNE, MEIR, Jolt: a rural noir, and You
10:52 am est
When I decided to write Jolt: a rural noir, my
intent (simply stated) was to change the world. The decision to attempt such a gargantuan feat followed a conversation with
Colonel William Dickerson, instructor-oncologist. It took place at the close of a weeklong class in Bethesda, MD, which he
taught and I attended on the Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation (MEIR).
It is important in this discussion to consider the time. It was, if I recall accurately,
early 2002, just shortly after the events of 9/11. New York, my home state, was still in shock. As for myself, I was determined
to learn all that I could to save my friends and family and to share it with them in the event there was to be a follow-up
I had started my quest
earlier with the MEIR course having been preceded by a prior week-long intensive course on Weapons of Mass Distruction (WMD)
which more appropriately although somewhat euphemistically referred to as 'mass events.' After all, rather than weapons of
intent, such happenings could as easly be the result of neglect, accident, or severe climatic or seismic events--recall Katrina,
Fukushima, or more recently Irene. Not to mention the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant currently in litigation over whether
it can or cannot be closed by the State of Vermont without the consent of the Federal Government. And so, as you may have
noted, when such clarifying and innocent information is taken into consideration, the appropriateness of the use of the term
weapon is negated in the search for a neutral, all-inclusive vocabulary choice.
At this time, however, my ten-year mission has evolved from a solitary enterprise
into what has become a combination of getting to know all kinds of wonderful people--writers, publishers, artists, musicians,
and booklovers from around the world--most of whom I would not have met had I not ventured first into the world of writing
followed by self-publishing then blogging and finally the happy posting and publishing of others works--ALVA Visiting Writers'
Page and the publication of Kristen Henderson's marvelously passionate book of poems in Drum Machine come January.
Still there lurks beneath the surface of my various ventures and dalliances my sincere desire that you will not only read
Jolt: a rural noir, but enjoy and benefit from having read it.
As for my interest in learning about effective response and survival while serving the
greater good, come January 19-20, 2012, I shall again, as a member of the Dutchess County Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps
participate in a sixteen hour course on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Why? Because learning about how to effectively
respond in emergency situations, whether they be natural disasters or WMDs of a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
Nuclear, Explosive) nature or MEIR (Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation) not only gives me the sense I can be of greater
service in the world, it calms me.
that dear reader is the reason why I do hope you will order yourself a copy of Jolt: a rural noir in eBook, paperback,
or hard cover form at http://alvapressinc.com. Jolt was more than five years in the writing and all who have
read it to date say it proved both entertaining and informative. Hopefully it will for you, too.
All best wishes for a Safe, Fruitful, and Happy New Year!
Roberta in Po-Town
Roberta M. Roy incorporated Alva Press www.alvapressinc.com on October 5, 2004. The express purpose of Alva Press, Inc., was to ensure a safe venue for
the publication of her works and those with similar focus. As such, upon the completion of the science
fiction novel Jolt: a rural noir, Alva would immediately publish it. Further Alva Press, Inc., would offer a
venue for Roy to publish her children's books, including Yell'n'Tell. (At this point Yell'n'Tell needs
only design as the watercolor illustrations by Dan Dyen are complete and the text fully edited. But then there is also Wedding
Ready, complete, but in need of an illustrator talented in the art of drawing forest animals. But all that anon.)
Currently, until the soft cover version of Jolt's Library of Congress Number
is in, Jolt waits to go to press. Usually the LCN takes but a few days after which will become available in hard cover
at $24.95 and Trade paper at $14.95 (plus $5.50 mailing).
was some five years in the writing; its research took longer. It's scientific basis for nuclear survival has been
carefully reviewed by oncologists and experts in the effects of ionizing radiation for accuracy of representation. Jolt
is a fast-paced novel that spans two years in the lives of a group of diverse urban, suburban, and rural residents brought
together in an imaginary part of the northern United States. There in Locklee, the small town to which those who are forced
emigrants flee, they become mutually caught up in the necessities associated with post-nuclear survival.
Check www.alvapressinc.com for a more thorough review of Jolt as well as the most recent updates on its publication
and availability. And should you be so inclined and care to help defray the last payment of its first printing, a check
in the mail to Alva Press for your very own pre-publication autographed copy of Jolt: a rural noir would be a
Thinking of self-publishing? Emergency response?
Send your questions, comments or ideas to RobertaMRoy@alvapressinc.com
With your permission, we may choose
to publish on this web site, questions posed of particular interest to the community with your or our
haven't ordered your prepublication copy of Jolt: a rural noir, now is the time to do. Go to www.alvapressinc.com |
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1) If you walk out uninjured from a nuclear event, you probably will survive.
bywords to survival from
a nuclear event are TDS: Time,
3) Use regular soap and water to decontaminate from fallout.Strip and shower or cleanse as best you can. Use bread.
4) Nuclear fallout contaminates open water and plants.If there is fallout (ashes),use bottled water and canned goods.
5) Babies as well as adults can take Potassium Iodide (KI) to protectthe thyroid against ionizing radiation.
6) There is no plume with a nuclear power plant meltdown.
7) A large event may seem ‘over there’ if you can’t define its impact.Ionizing radiation is invisible.
8) A family needs an escape plan.
9) A community can respond as a team to mass events.
10) After a mass event, a communitymay heal changed but well.
Alva Press, Inc., PO Box 2089, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
Telephone (919) 239-3791 Phone/Fax (845) 454-5200