Eric Caron, U.S. Government Agent and Diplomat (Ret.),
Int'l. Security Consultant

Excerpted from (book) 
Switched On: The Heart and Mind of a Special Agent

            "Those who are switched on have a high-functioning internal compass and GPS system. They have emotional equilibrium and dexterity. They recognize nuances in their complex environments and are guided as to when to turn just a few degrees to the left or right, go forward full throttle, back up, or come to a dead stop.

            Being switched on is a daily decision, a moment by moment choice, a constant awareness, and mindset. It is a coat of armor that protects you from all types of threats, in all aspects of life. Unless being switched on becomes a part of your very DNA, life itself will be very hard to pull off. Never mind needing to be switched on in a career in law enforcement or government agency work—just walking through our complex and difficult world is hard to safely and effectively navigate these days. We need to be able to read the people in front of us, behind us, on the phone and online. Being switched on could mean the difference between having your bank accounts hacked or not, and having your identity stolen or not. There could even be a time when being switched on could save your very life..."

 

Terms & Process

Lorenzo Louden, Entrepreneur & Motivator
A Soldier's Redemption: The Life of Gangster, Shorty G



            "I went into the bathroom where there was an itty-bitty frosted window, stood on top of the toilet, and pushed the window up so I could see outside. Up under the streetlight were three people. I saw my mother, Pete, and one of the wives-in-law named Sue. She was a tall, light-skinned lady.

             Pete smacked my mother and she fell down. Sue stepped in and was holding my mother down while Pete beat her with a rubber hose. I was screaming out the window but no one paid me any attention. I yelled, “Leave my mother alone!”

            Sue looked up, and saw the bathroom light on. She yelled, “Get your butt in there and shut the window!”

            I yelled, “You leave my mom alone!”

            Mom hollered up to me, saying, “It’s okay, honey, just shut the window.”

            It was the first time I’d seen anything like this going down.

            Mom kept a pistol in the apartment. She didn’t know I knew she had it. But, I was a curious kid and I’d seen her stuff the pistol up under the mattress. I went into her room and grabbed the gun. This time I was smart enough to check and make sure the gun was loaded. I didn’t want a replay of what had happened with Uncle Rich.

            Like I said, Uncle Red had taught me how break down a gun, clean it, and put it back together. He also showed me how to pull back the hammer and spin the cylinder so I could see if the gun was loaded.

            I went back into the bathroom and got up on the toilet. They were still beating on my mom. I could see she was bleeding across the forehead. I hollered, “You let my mom go or I’m gonna shoot y’all!”

            I aimed the gun in their direction, and shot twice. Pete fell down and started cursing, calling me all kinds of names. Both Pete and Mom got up. Pete grabbed my mother and put her in front of him. I shot again but I didn’t hit anything. My goal wasn’t so much to hit anything or anyone, but to get Pete and Sue to stop beating my mom..."

 

Vivien Cooper, Author, Writer, Ghostwriter, Editor

Excerpted from (book) George Clayton Johnson: Fictioneer

           

           "In many ways, the landscape of our country bears so little resemblance to the America of the 1930’s that, had you tried to describe it then to the young George Clayton Johnson, it might have seemed the fantastical and wild imagining of a mind just a little bit mad. Like a tale distilled from the genius of our storyteller, himself…There’s no doubt about it: life in this digital age seems to have been drawn right from an episode of The Twilight Zone—an episode where media is king.

            The first television sets over which shows like The Twilight Zone were broadcast were initially beheld with awe and a kind of humble reverence. But, we have since grown suspicious. Once seen as welcome guests in our homes, novel, mysterious and solicitous, TV and the much more complex and sophisticated devices which have followed, have permanently insinuated themselves into every corner of our lives.

           Those early TV sets were charming, hand-crafted wood cabinets, pretending false modesty and ignorance. They stuck rabbit ears on their heads to give themselves the appearance of innocence, and us the illusion of control. As if we could adjust them. As if we could turn them off and on.

            Now, our TV’s, iPads, iPods, Smart Phones, and other media delivery devices are everywhere. The media of today is not your father’s television set and it will not be ignored. And despite all our protests to the contrary, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

            Our media devices have so long been like members of the family that it is easy to forget those days when inviting a TV over the threshold and into the living room was like opening the door to Martians. No one knew what to expect. And while these devices have far exceeded our expectations, it is easy to wonder why we ever answered the door in the first place..."

William S. Gulya, Construction Business Owner (Ret.)
and Expert Witness

Excerpted from (book)
The Straight Truth: The Life of an Expert Witness

   

                  I have been in the business of site-work construction since I was a kid. Like a painting that starts with a blank canvas, we start with an unimproved piece of land. Unlike the creation of a painting, my work generally goes unnoticed. No one remembers what the land looked like before we started, so there is little appreciation of the hard work we did to mold and shape it. Nobody ever sees the pipes underground, or fully understands what it takes to shape the earth and make the parking lots.

               Every working person wants to feel that the contribution they make in their particular line of work has an impact, and adds value in the greater scheme of life. The idea of becoming an expert witness began to appeal to me because I saw it as a way to truly make a difference—in a way that people could easily recognize and understand...
               B
eing an expert witness offers the opportunity to be of service to others in a very concrete and meaningful way. 
Expert work always leads to a tangible result. And, it all begins with your report. Your expert witness report is a critical part of the judicial process and is often a major factor in determining whether or not a case ever goes to trial..."

Melissa Hull Gallemore, Speaker & Motivator

Excerpted from Lessons from Neverland

             I ran in the direction opposite the levee, racing alongside the six-foot stalks of corn, looking down each row to see if I could catch a glimpse of my son.

            “Drew! Drew!” I yelled into the nothingness.

            It never even occurred to me that Drew could have gone in the direction of the canal until I saw his little footprints in the dirt. Seeing them, my heart sank and I felt dizzy and disoriented. I knew that something unusual had happened to take him in the direction of Mr. Crocodile.

            Breathless, I reached the levee and looked down at the canal below me. That’s when I saw our dogs and noticed that two of the larger ones were wet. As I ran down toward the water, I could see Drew’s footprints in the dirt. I could also see where a large clump of dirt had given way and crumbled right at the top of the canal.

            I put two and two together and realized that Drew must have come down to the canal and stepped on a soft patch of dirt which probably gave way beneath his feet. I figured that the dogs must have gotten wet trying to help my son.

            I collapsed on the canal bank. I heard screaming coming from my mouth but it was as if it were coming from a great distance. “No, no, no, no! Please, God, NO!”

            A border patrol agent slowly rolled past and asked, “Ma’am, do you need help?”

            “Yes, sir, my son’s footprints led me to this canal! It looks like the dirt gave way and I’m afraid he’s fallen in…”