Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

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Biographical Information

Connie (Corcoran) Wilson graduated from the University of Iowa and earned a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges and wrote for five newspapers and 7 blogs. Her stories and interviews have appeared online and in print and her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction," “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay), E-Lit award for 3 works, Illinois Women's Press Association Silver Feather awards, Pinnacle award (NABE) and recommendations for the Bram Stoker award. She is the author of 4 nonfiction published books, 4 short story collections, 1 novel and there are 2 novels ready for publication (the trilogy beginning with "The Color of Evil.") She reviewed film and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years and wrote humor columns and conducted interviews for the (Moline, Illinois) Daily Dispatch.

Podcast Shows of June, July, and Mid-August

I am currently booking guests for my Thursday night podcast into August.

While my last post addressed the months of May (one week remaining) and June, here are those tentatively scheduled for June, July and August. This week’s author is Anita Oswald, author of “West Side Girl,” a nice companion to last week’s book “Redlined” by Linda Gartz, also about the West Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago. (Linda’s book was the 2018 Chicago Writers’ Association Nonfiction Book of the Year.)

June 4, 2020: Guest will be Barbara Barnett, Chicago author of “The Apothecary’s Curse” who is promoting the sequel to that book, “Alchemy of Glass.” Barbara is a member of both HWA (Horror Writers’ Association) and SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America).

June 11, 2020:  Spike (“at the mike”) O’Dell, former WGN on-air radio personality.

June 18, 2020: Heather Graham, New York Times best-selling author of the Krewe of Hunters romantic/paranormal series, speaking about her newest book, “Seeing Darkness,” the Krewe of Hunters Book #30.

June 25, 2020: Suzie Quatro, prior to the release of the documentary on her life. Suzi was Joan Jett before there was a Joan Jett.

July 2, 2020:  Anthony Whyte, owner/editor of www.TheMovieBlog.com, the 3rd most heavily consulted movie blog on the Internet.

July 9, 2020:  Lance Taubold and Rich Devin of Las Vegas, Nevada, book publishers and authors at Invoke Books.

July 16, 2020:  Tori Eldridge, author of “The Ninja Daughter” from Polis Books.

July 23, 2020:  Quad City author Sean Leary, author of “The Arimathean” series and other books.

July 30, 2020: Dan Burns, Chicago Writers’ Association treasurer and Chicago film critic and screenwriter.

August 6, 2020:  Iris Waichler, author of “Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents”

August 13, 2020:  Jon Land, novelist (“The Caitlin Strong” series) and screenwriter.

Some of the above are subject to change and tentative, but this gives you somewhat of an idea who is scheduled in the future. I was working on an interview with Cathy Moriarty, but her agent has said the pandemic has caused her to “go to ground” and cancel all such appearances. I’m still waiting to hear back from Gary Cole’s representatives.

Weekly Wilson Programs of May 21 and May 28th

Home podcast office in Texas.

May 21st – My guest on Weekly Wilson, the podcast, at 7 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday was Linda Gratz, talking about her book “Redlined.” It was a fascinating hour.

May 28th – My guest this coming Thursday will be Anita Solick Oswald, author of “West Side Girl” ad a founding member of the Boulder Writing Studio. Anita and I will talk again about the same neighborhood that Linda Gratz grew up in during the fifties and the sixties, West Garfield Park. Linda’s memoir is a more lighthearted look at what she remembers fondly as a great childhood growing up the changing Chicago neighborhood.

June 4 – My guest on Thursday will be Barbara Barnett, author of “The Apothecary’s Curse” and “Alchemy of Glass.”

June 11 – My guest will be former WGN on-air radio personality Spike (“at the Mike”) O’Dell.

June 18 – My guest is scheduled to be New York Times Best-Selling author Heather Graham, author of the Krewe of Hunters romance/paranormal novels.

June 25 – Rock star Suzi Quatro is scheduled to be with me in advance of the documentary about her life. Suzi was Joan Jett before there was a Joan Jett.

 

FREE BOOKS ON AMAZON FOR THREE DAYS

The New Cover Of the book The Color Of EvilJust a reminder that THE COLOR OF EVIL, book number one in the award-winning series of the same name, is FREE for 3 days: May 15, 16 and 17th. In addition, the second book in the three-book series, RED IS FOR RAGE, is also being offered FREE for those 3 days. This series was named Best Indie Thriller Series of the Year 2018 by “Shelf Unbound” magazine, and book #1 sports a brand-new award-winning cover. The series is also available in paperback and audio book formats.

Get THE COLOR OF EVIL Free

 

Also FREE for the dates of May  15, 16 and 17 are two of the three short story collections based on Dante’s “Inferno” and the crimes or sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell in that classic. HELLFIRE & DAMNATION, books 1 and 2, are going to be FREE for the same 3-day period, in order to give you something to distract you from the problems of the world while sheltering in place, which many of you still are.

Get RED IS FOR RAGE Free

 

We also wanted to mention that the release “The Christmas Cats Flee the Bee,” normally a Christmas-themed book with puzzles and coloring book inserts, is one of the two newest releases of Quad Cities’ Learning and those of you who are true blue Progressive voters would find it a welcome addition to your child’s day, now that schools are not in session.

Get HELLFIRE & DAMNATION Vol1 Free

 

Hellfire & Damnation 2 Cover

Click on the appropriate buttons for purchasing of the four FREE books, or to view “The Christmas Cats Flee the Bee,” a whimsical book for children aged 3 to 11 that also contains beautiful illustrations with the message “Elections have consequences. Choose your leaders wisely.”

Get HELLFIRE & DAMNATION Vol. 2 Free

This Ad Says It All

Weekly Wilson Podcasts of May 7th and May 14th

The Weekly Wilson podcast of May 7th featured Dan Decker, filmmaker, author, lecturer, founder of the Chicago Screenwriting School and the Las Vegas Shakespeare Troupe.

Whoever called in from Chicago (Dan’s home town), we apologize for not getting to your question. The period of time on hold tends to be quite long, with up to 6 commercial breaks, and this is not the first time that a caller has simply given up on holding. (The last one was from Maryland).

Dan and I covered a lot of ground, talking about his stints in both Italy and China and our thoughts on the future of the movies. Dan was quite optimistic, compared to me,  about the survival of theaters, as he pointed out the historic developments that were predicted to be the death knell for movie theaters, like radio, television and streaming services.

Dan lived in Las Vegas for many years, spent several months in Italy, and now lives  Raleigh, North Carolina, near his married daughter and her family.

In addition to talking about the future of film in America, we touched upon how one secures dual citizenship from a foreign country, which Dan did as a result of his Italian mother.

Next week, author Michael Serrapica (Conned Conservatives and Led-On Liberals) will join me for a discussion that will, no doubt, touch on politics and on the four free books I am giving away on May 15, 16 and 17th. (The Color of Evil; Red Is for Rage; Hellfire & Damnation I & II).

What’s Trump Been Up To? GOP Against Trump’s New Ad

Jennifer Berliner, Heart Transplant Survivor, on Weekly Wilson on 4/30

Weekly Wilson of 4/30 with heart transplant survivor Jennifer Berliner brought in a record number of phone call questions.

There were 5 callers, [although one left line before we could get past the commercial to take the question].

One was from Colorado. I don’t know anyone in Colorado. One was from area code 301. (What state is that?)

Jennifer was the great guest I knew she’d be and we covered her cancer experiences (at age 15), her heart transplant, and the diabetes she currently fights. We also covered the costs associated with having a heart transplant, which Jennifer told me is her most popular YouTube video.

I jotted down just a few of the figures, with $640,000 for her hospitalization, $70,000 for the heart surgeon, $200,000 for the anaesthesiologist, and $80,000 for the cost of removing the donor’s heart and transferring it for transplant. She also mentioned the $35,000 a year that it costs for anti-rejection drugs and a total figure of $1.2 million. One of our callers wanted to know her out-of-pocket costs and we got figures that were in the $14,000 range for the first year.

The hour went by quickly, and I directed callers to Jennifer’s blog (www.anewheartrocks.com) and told them that it would be relatively easy to find the show when it is archived and goes up on my Weekly Wilson blog. (www.WeeklyWilson.com).

Next week’s guest is Dan Decker, AFI graduate, founder of the Chicago Screenwriting School, and author of the books Anatomy of a Screenplay: Writing the American Screenplay from Character Structure to Convergence and The Prime: The Dark Side of Light. Dan also holds dual Italian/United States citizenship and his brother is also an author.

Heart Transplant/Cancer Survivor Gives Sheltering Tips on 4/30 WEEKLY WILSON Podcast

Jennifer BerlinerMy guest on my Weekly Wilson podcast on the Bold Brave Media Global Network and Tune-In radio on April 29, Thursday, at 7 p.m. (CDT) will be Jennifer Berliner (pictured below and to the left).

At 15 years old, Jennifer was treated for bone cancer (Askin’s Sarcoma) and one of the drugs used afterwards, known as “red devils,” caused heart failure 8 years after her treatment.

Therefore, at 39, Jennifer had a heart transplant.

Four months later, doctors diagnosed breast cancer and she underwent a double mastectomy. To add to this litany of woes, Jennifer’s mother died from ovarian cancer just before her 41st birthday.

Through it all, Jennifer had “kept on keeping on” and has maintained a positive attitude using techniques that she studied in college as a social work major and others she had developed to keep her attitude upbeat in trying times.

This is a live call-in format (866-451-1451) and we welcome callers (be prepared to hold for a bit) with questions. Tune in to learn more about how to “shelter in place” successfully from a woman who knows more about face masks and staying inside for months at a time than any of us knew before the pandemic.

Jennifer Berliner

Coronavirus Updates from the Front

We’ve hit yet another shocking and tragic milestone: More than 1 million Americans are confirmed through testing to have been infected with the coronavirus, and the real number is far higher than that because of all the testing that’s not being done. That’s one-third of all the cases in the world. Here in the richest, most technologically advanced, medical mecca. Right.

Today’s US coronavirus numbers:
Total cases: 1,002,498 (it was 883,826 at this time Friday)
Total deaths: 57,533 (it was 50,373 on Friday)

Testing, testing, testing. It’s the most critical thing that public health officials, epidemiologists, respiratory disease specialists, scientists, and researchers say the country can do now to slow down the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Widespread testing is essential so that those who are infected but not showing any symptoms can be identified and isolated so they don’t spread the virus. As one expert put it, find the hot spots before they become raging wildfires of infection.

How do you know if you are doing enough testing? The World Health Organization says that if fewer than 10 percent of the people tested are infected, then a country is doing an adequate amount of testing.

Epidemiologists say that’s too high; the standard they use for influenza and tuberculosis is that if more than 3 percent of those tested are positive, then you’re not casting your net wide enough and you have to do more widespread testing.

Given that the US positive results rate is close to 20 percent, it’s going to be difficult to get down to 10 percent, let alone 3 percent.

Early on, Trump pooh-poohed the virus, claiming it would just blow away or wash away one day like a miracle. His administration botched the manufacture and delivery of critical supplies to health care workers, sent out a test that didn’t work, and was excruciatingly slow to get test kits to states clamoring for them.

Now experts say he’s fumbling the next critical task: Making sure enough people are tested and then isolated to be able to figure out when states really should start easing restrictions.

(Given the way some people are acting in states that have already started easing restrictions — flocking to beaches without maintaining physical distancing, for example — what we really need to ramp up is IQ testing.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, says testing for the novel coronavirus must be doubled before the US should even consider easing restrictions. There currently are about 1.6 million tests being performed every week; Fauci says that should be at least 3 million per week.

Harvard researchers calculated that the US should be doing 5 million tests a day, distributed unevenly across the states depending the size of each state’s outbreak.

To figure out how many tests each state should be doing, the Harvard Global Health Institute took the WHO’s 10 percent benchmark and applied it to each US state, calculating how many tests each would have to be performing by May 1 in order to reach that below-10-percent-positive goal.

The result wasn’t pretty: More than half will have to significantly ramp up their Covid-19 testing to even consider starting to relax stay-at-home orders after May 1, according to STAT.

What’s disturbing is that some states that have already started easing restrictions on businesses and gatherings aren’t doing anywhere near enough testing: Georgia should be administering 9,600 to 10,000 tests per day; it has been averaging around 4,000. Florida has to do 16,000 a day; it’s doing just over 10,000.

And you can ignore what Trump said yesterday about his new testing plan, claiming that the US is on track to double the amount of testing being done but providing no details and continuing to insist it’s up to the states because, you know, he might actually be held responsible for something.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, agrees with the need for far more testing in the US than is being done now, but recently has been touting antigen testing, which is a simpler test that delivers fast results — as little as 15 minutes. But the tests aren’t easy to make, and it takes a lot of time and money to validate their accuracy. Here’s an explainer from CNN.

Last word from Fauci about the states that are loosening restrictions: “If we are unsuccessful, or prematurely try to open up, and we have additional outbreaks that are out of control, it could be a rebound to get us right back in the same boat that we were in a few weeks ago.”


Jennifer Berliner

4/30/2020 Podcast with Jennifer Berliner

My guest on my Weekly Wilson podcast on the Bold Brave Media Global Network and Tune-In radio on April 29, Thursday, at 7 p.m. (CDT) will be Jennifer Berliner (pictured above).

At 15 years old, Jennifer was treated for bone cancer (Askin’s Sarcoma) and one of the drugs used afterwards, known as “red devils,” caused heart failure 8 years after her treatment.

Therefore, at 39, Jennifer had a heart transplant.
Four months later, doctors diagnosed breast cancer and she underwent a double mastectomy. To add to this litany of woes, Jennifer’s mother died from ovarian cancer just before her 41st birthday.

Through it all, Jennifer had “kept on keeping on” and has maintained a positive attitude using techniques that she studied in college as a social work major and others she had developed to keep her attitude upbeat in trying times.

This is a live call-in format (866-451-1451) and we welcome callers (be prepared to hold for a bit) with questions. Tune in to learn more about how to “shelter in place” successfully from a woman who knows more about face masks and staying inside for months at a time than any of us knew before the pandemic.

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