A Knight Before Christmas – Now Available

October 14, 2013

Well, it’s been a long time in the making, but A KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS has finally been released, with a debut appearance at the St. Louis ARCHON this month! Check out the story of a young stable boy named Clarence who sets out to realize his dream, setting goals that he believes are in line with what is expected of him — only to learn a valuable spiritual lesson with each earthly failure.

Here’s the Amazon link for your convenience.

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Before-Christmas-R-J-Carter/dp/1492268445/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381765289&sr=1-1&keywords=knight+before+christmas

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NewsJunkiePost Implicated in Computer Hacking to Breach DiggPatriots Yahoo Group

December 6, 2010

On August 2, 2010, I did a little one-off political piece for another blogsite, The Rattington Post. The article got posted to Digg, and one of the comments came from Digguser Novenator, who writes for the NewsJunkiePost as Ole Ole Olsen. His response, found here, was as follows:

I replied “At your service, sir,” to let him know that, yes, this R.J. author was, indeed, on Digg. In fact, I was using the Digg ID of CaptCarrot, although my name wasn’t a closely guarded secret, seeing as how my profile page linked to this blog, The-Trades.com, and to the Amazon pages of my books. But somehow, on August 2, Novenator did not know who I was.

So what’s the point? I’ll get to that in a moment.

On August 3, 2010, the YTV (YouTube Vigilantes) posted a video on YouTube which painted me as a “cyberterrorist” who “stalks rape victims” and “urges suicidal teens” to “go through with it.” (The YTV hasn’t been too happy with me since the initial publication of my YouTube: Pedophile Playground article.) The video was titled “Who is RJ Carter (aka CaptCarrot on Digg).”

Less than a day later, the NewsJunkiePost published an anonymous article, embedding this same video with a few paragraphs of imprecatory text. I responded by retaining an attorney, who submitted a Cease and Desist letter to Dolores Bernal, the registered owner of the domain and co-founder with Gilbert Mercier. The response from the NewsJunkiePost was a follow-up article about how they respond to threats and intimidation. (On a comical note, I posted a comment to the article asking about the Cease and Desist letter, to which co-founder Gilbert Mercier replied, stating they had not received such a letter… so what, exactly, was this article a response to? But I digress.)

Yeah, yeah, another Internet libel case. They’re a dime a dozen. So what? Patience. I’m getting to that.

The next day, August 5, Ole Ole Olsen publishes his expose’ on a Yahoo Group, the DiggPatriots, of which I was — and still am — a member. His problem was that members of this conservative group of Digg users would not only ask for support for their own submissions, but would also draw attention to articles which the person felt deserved burying.

Olsen claimed the investigation had gone on for months. He listed me as what he considered one of the prime offenders.

Months of investigation. I was a prime offender. And just two days prior, he didn’t know who I was.

Something didn’t add up — because all of my messages to the DiggPatriots group were sent from my Gmail account — which is my name — and includes my automatic signature — also my name. There was no confusion at all that CaptCarrot was R.J. carter.

Olsen later began to minimize his role in the investigation, crediting others — including, by name, the YTV. He’s never made a claim as to exactly how long he was involved in the investigation himself. I would posit he was a part of it for three days. I believe that, shortly after asking his question, he was approached by the YTV with all the information on the DiggPatriots group, which would be given him in exchange for using the NewsJunkiePost to give their video traction.

Whatever the reason, Olsen’s first article was soon followed up, albeit it not at Alternet. The remaining articles went to the NewsJunkiePost. Eventually, it seemed necessary to write an article explaining how he had come by the information, after having reprinted many of the private email messages from the group. According to Olsen, and now Sam Pennington, who claimed credit for writing the original anonymous cyberterrorism article, an unnamed member of the DiggPatriots had become unhappy with the group, and decided to begin forwarding all the messages to the investigative team.

There’s only one problem with that story: In the article, they decided to produce screencaps of the membership list of the group — a list that could only be accessed by someone who was inside the group. Several sequential images followed, each of them trimmed down to show just the membership information.

Each of them… but one.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Apparently whoever was responsible for cropping the images got lazy, and one of the pages slipped past them — and suddenly it became very clear how Olsen and the YTV had acquired all their inside information on the DiggPatriots. They had compromised my Yahoo password and were using that access to download everything from the group. This image, published at the NewsJunkiePost, clearly showed a violation of U.S.C. ยง2701, Unlawful Access to Stored Communications, which states that anyone who… “intentionally accesses without authorization … an electronic communication service …and thereby obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such system shall be punished.”

Within 24 hours, the image was pulled and replaced with a cropped image removing the identifying information.

Of course, I’ve changed my passwords.

I’ve also filed a complaint with IC3, and have given all the information to my local FBI field office. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 is to follow this up vigorously.

Updates to come.

UPDATE

As Ole Ole Olsen has claimed that I have somehow altered the image showing the NewsJunkiePost having access to my Yahoo account, the image at left shows the screen in the context of the NJP article. This is a large image, and you will have to scroll down to the fourth page of DiggPatriots membership, where you will see the image of the uncropped Firefox browser with Tor IP-masking extensions.


Busy, Busy, Busy!

November 9, 2010

Sometimes I feel like that magician in the old “Frosty the Snowman” cartoon — Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy! So busy that I’ve not posted something to the blog in too long now. So let’s rectify that.

First off, I’m working up a new short story submission. This this time the setting is Oz, so I’m fortunate that it’s only a short hop from Wonderland, where I’m far more familiar with the territory. I’ve got a clear idea of the type of story I want to tell, and hope to share good news about this one after the New Year.

I’m also fixing up a major non-fiction effort I’ve been working on for some time, which I’ll be shopping around to prospective publishers. More about that when the time comes.

So yeah, I’ve been busy — I just can’t TELL you much more about it yet. ๐Ÿ™‚


What I Was Up To At Archon 34!

October 4, 2010

Another year, another Archon! And even with the changes — both good and bad — wrought by bringing the formerly Illinois based convention to St. Louis, it was an overall positive experience.

The multimedia presentation on Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell was a lot of fun, even though I did manage to break my cane in a moment right out of a Marx Brothers movie. (thank goodness it didn’t fly through a window!) Attendance was greater than I could have asked for, and the post-presentation Q&A was lively and intelligent. I couldn’t ask for a better start to a convention.

During the off peak hours, I commited myself to stalking Kevin J. Anderson and Selina Rosen. I had a mission to find each of them. But with an intimate convention like Archon, I didn’t have to stalk for very long, nor did I have to fight crowds — all the attending talent was so very accessible, you almost forget after a few minutes that these are some of the superstars of the SF genre! Taking pictures, spending loot in the dealers’ room (acquiring MORE loot, like a Very Fine copy of ADVENTURE COMICS #354), was the preferred way to spend time between panels.

Saturday, I had another early panel, and despite the late Friday night partying, faithful conventioners still managed to pull themselves out of bed just to hear me read. I started with ALICE’S JOURNEY BEYOND THE MOON, and was prepared to just do a bit of that, a bit of THE SIDEWAYS DOOR, and a short story, THE STORY TREE. But an hour later, with a bit of chapter skipping, we were turning the last page on ALICE — just in time to end the panel.

The ALICE magic didn’t end there! The costuming this year included a few Mad Hatter hats (yours truly included — mine being a Disneyworld acquisition, adorned with pins from both The Hunger Games and Vladimir Tod, which somehow earned me the exclamation from those who saw them, “YOU! ARE! AWESOME!” (Although I’m sure their excitement was more about Heather Brewer’s and Suzanne Collins’ novels than about me, but hey, I’ll take it!) And some young lady had simply outdone herself wearing a handmade replica of one of the dresses worn by the Alice character in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It was absolutely breathtaking!

Saturday wrapped up with a 2-hour long Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Party in the children’s programming area, where we decorated cupcakes, played Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat (for copies of Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND), and even a Caucus Race (which you may know as Musical Chairs) for more copies of the same.

I’m already counting the days to Archon 35!


My Agenda…

September 30, 2010

…for Archon! This weekend is Archon 34, and I’m doing all my last-minute preparations as I prepare for panel discussions and activities — not to mention getting all fan-boy giddy about some of teh people who will be in attendance this year, like the Guests of Honor Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, and convention pillar of information and hilarity Selina Rosen!

Here’s what I’ve got lined up officially:

Friday, October 1

11:10 AM – LEWIS ‘N’ WONDERLAND: An informal discussion on the Reverend Charles Dodgon and the real-life Alice. In the St. Moritz room.

1:30 PM – NETWORKING FOR WRITERS: Making the most of your con time. I’ll be joining Joy Ward in the Zurich room for this one.

3:50 PM – AUTOGRAPH SESSION: Wherein I’ll be found in the Versaille Hall, watching people line up for autographs from artist and photographer Brent Chumley, who will be sitting beside me.

Saturday, October 2

11:10 AM – READING. The program says it will be “Alice’s Journey Beyond the Moon” or unpublished shorts. I say, why not both and more? This will be in the Davos room, not the Davros room (for all you making the Doctor Who association)… although there may still be a connection.

1:30 PM – MAD HATTER’S UN-BIRTHDAY TEA PARTY: This one’s going to be fun! Colleen Dotson will be leading the charge on this romp! There’ll be games, prizes, treats, and more fun than you can throw a bandersnatch at! We’ll all crowd into the Zermatt room for this one — hope it’s big enough!


To Save a Life: Are We Our Brothers’ Keepers?

September 13, 2010

Overlapping with National Suicide Prevention Week this year is National TO SAVE A LIFE WEEK (September 6 – 12), which encourages churches, parents and teens to start the new school year looking at the issues of teen suicide, bullying, depression, body image, etc., and to start the conversation to let teens know they are not alone — that help is available. To better understand the issues of teenage depression and suicide, we talked this week to Dr. Steve Gerali, author of What Do I Do When Teenagers are Depressed and Consider Suicide?, as well as a host of other publications focused on understanding the problems of adolescents.

As regards suicide prevention, let’s open with the classic question of Cain: Are we our brothers’ keepers?

That’s a great question. In the light of suicide, yes, we are — especially with teenagers. What happens with teenagers is they tend to get into a depressive state that spirals out of control to the point where they make some very irrational decisions, because they may not have the cognitive wherewithal or the coping skills to handle some of the things that they’re going through. So suicide becomes an option, and then because of the aggressive nature of adolescence, they also have the means to carry out their suicide plans.

So in that aspect, yes, we need to be watching kids.

(The rest of the interview can be read here.


God Bless Tim Burton!

February 17, 2010

In case you haven’t seen the trailers, Tim Burton is directing a sequel to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” called (strangely enough) “Alice in Wonderland.”

Sequels to the original AAIW are nothing new — and I should know, having written one myself. Which is why I have to say: Thank you, Tim Burton, and God bless! Because of your fans, there is a resurgence of interest in Carroll’s Victorian fantasy piece.

Which is good news for me. I’ll be hosting a discussion, “Lewis ‘n’ Wonderland” soon (more on that when it’s officially on the calendar). Perhaps some of you may fall through the rabbit hole and join me there?