Interview with the Author. “Lily and Me”

Interview With Author Frederick Ben Rodgers by
I was born in Belfast N.I on 15th January 1939 delivered at home by Dr Frederick Smith, for whom I was named. We lived in one of the thousands of 1860 era tiny slum like terrace houses typical of the city. I lost my mother the same year on Boxing Day, we had been at war with Germany for four months.
Please introduce yourself and the story behind your books!

My story spans the first fifteen years of my life. Of being adopted by my eldest sister and her husband, and taken to live in England. Growing up through the war years, and later attending a total of fifteen different schools. To finally returning to my family in Belfast and regain my family name of Rodgers. Finding myself a stranger with my father, brothers and sisters. At the age of fifteen I joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Seaman. To offer more details would to give away the purpose of my book “Lily & Me.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?

It was many years later I felt the inspiration and need to record my story. In 2000 I was attending a legion Remembrance Day dinner, there were several speeches talking about the Second World War and the Korean War. There was no mention of the First World War, when my turn to speak came, I felt the need to address that, my father had served in France from 1916-19. However, I knew so little of my family history I could only make brief mention. This was I believe the moment when a seed began to grow in me to learn more about my own history.
How do you deal with creative block?

I have authored three books, two memoirs and one fiction. I can’t say I have really suffered a period when I couldn’t write. Of course I’ve had many times when I just didn’t feel like writing.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Other than missing words lacking comas etc and probably poor grammar I don’t recall any big errors, but remember I attended fifteen schools.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I really don’t have anything to offer, in both my memoirs I kept the title and covers simple.
How has your creation process improved over time?

I think like most things we do, the more practice the better we become. I look back on my first book and sometimes think I could have explained some parts better etc.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I think we all feel a little hurt when receiving a critical revue. I have been fortunate in this area having to date only received positive revues. Oh, a few people have mentioned my incorrect use of sentences etc. But I don’t dwell on it.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Clearly for me the best was learning about my family and my past. You must understand I was removed from my home and siblings. In my early years I greatly lacked the sense of belonging, of being a part of a loving family. This was probably the worse part, learning of what I had missed. Most surprising was my journey of research and writing my first book. It was a most exciting time and so revealing, it gave me a real sense of myself.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

It has to be both, I needed to feel satisfaction in the story I was telling. It was also important that the reader could visualize the images and situations I was portraying. Balancing the two. Never easy and I wondered so often if anyone would ever want to read my book. I suppose that is quite natural when writing a first book especially when it’s essentially about oneself.
What role do emotions play in creativity?

This was a challenge, I spent many a restless night deciding whether or not to include a particular incident within the pages. In the end I decided on being truthful and write down the events as they happened. However, I did not include one very serious incident, which ever since I have question myself as to why not??
Do you have any creativity tricks?

Not really a trick, perhaps creative. I struggle with my first chapter, I was aware the first chapter was what kept the reader turning the pages. I decided to begin the book using the last chapter as the first. I believe it has worked out well.
What are your plans for future books?

I’m over 80 years old and health is not great, I do enjoy blogging and writing letters to the editor. However, I have no ideas or plans to write anymore books. But we never know when we might change our minds.

I served total of 23 years in the Royal Navy and RCN. I have been to the other side of the world and back have sailed under the arctic ice, surfaced through the ice on a submarine, have play soccer on the ice. I married in 1963, and divorced in 1969, I won the custody of my four year old daughter Caroline. I remarried in 1972 we had a second daughter in 1973 Susannah. My wife Linda and I live in a little cottage in Abram Village, Prince Edward Island. We have been married 47 years, our two girls are grown and moved on. We live with our two dogs, Yoda a 11 year Keeshond, and Rosie a four month old Caren terrier mix. I have self published three books, two memoirs one fiction.
In my interview today I talked only about my first book “Lily & Me” my second book follows on where the first left off “The Royal Navy & Me” Finally four years ago I attempted my first work of fiction “Chapter XI Armageddon”

Posted in author of lily & Me, Belfast Blitz, Belfast Social History, Chapter XXI Armageddon, family, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans | Leave a comment

The Carbon Tax?

There are differing views on whether this carbon tax will actually reduce emissions ? Frankly, I’m still in the undecided group. I do understand the theory, if gas costs more we will use less. However, I still see large numbers of gas guzzling trucks on the roads. Indeed many dealerships would tell you the trucks are a best seller. I wonder why the government think another tax is the best route to take. For an example, with a PEI household electricity bill, we get a lower rate after we have used a certain amount of power. Surely if this was reversed and the first amount was cheaper, people would work to save electricity rather than over use and pay a premium. If instead of rebates from the carbon tax, the federal government offered
people grants for things like the installation of solar panels. Rebates on electric and hybrid vehicles, rebates on heat pumps. Provide better transit services to rural areas. Create tax incentives with manufactures to build low cost energy efficent small homes. Through tax incentives help local businesses compete with big box stores. Encourage school children to bring their lunches in recyclable containers. These are just little things that we all can do and it will make a difference. I’m sure there are hundreds of other ways to combat climate change . I don’t think a carbon tax alone is what we need. Nevertheless, provinces arguing and fighting with the feds is certainly not the answer. God Bless and keep reading.

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Know the Facts.?

The slogan of the NO campaign is “know the facts”! Well here are several facts that the yes side would like you to know. It’s a fact Wade MacLauchlan ignored democracy and the will of islanders when he refused to recognize the 2016 plebiscite. It’s a fact this same premier put families, teaching staff and students through the unnecessary and serious stress of closing five schools. After many weeks of debates, panels, and endless meetings with parents, he changed his mind. No school closures. It is a fact while he promised to do government differently but carried on where Ghiz left off. It is a fact that Richard Brown, a cabinet minister in MacLauchlan’s government, thought it was okay to give a citizen the finger. Paula Biggar thought it was okay to rudely respond to a French speaking citizen by abruptly telling her “ I don’t speak French”. It’s a fact the liberal government have become comfortable thinking they can be rude and arrogant to the voting public. It is a fact they believe by making lots of wild promises, sticking up posters of smiling candidates we islanders will be sucked in again. It’s a fact that isn’t going to happen this time, it’s time for some serious changes to the people we elect. MacLauchlan should spend April hunting for Easter eggs, because hunting for votes will be a mostly fruitless effort, and that’s a fact. God Bless and keep reading.

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Not Wayne Easter Again?

I really find it tiresome that CBC radio and television continually call upon Easter to offer his bias opinions on JWR and the SNC Lavalin affair. First of all he is a yes man and will always back up his boss no matter what the issue. This nonsense about him being so angry that she taped a conversation between herself and Wernick is plain silly.. His claim he has no trust in Raybolt as a colleague is simple inane. I doubt she even gives Easter a second thought. He dodges the actual issue here and instead talks about Trudeau. How he is concerned for families (originally it was jobs) his concern for team work and doing politics differently. Easter merely parrots the Trudeau theme, there was a breakdown of trust, a breakdown of communication. However, in the end it is the two female cabinet ministers who are fired. Fired for standing up for the rule of law, standing up for their principles, of being honest and showing integrity and indeed great courage in the face of the old boys club. But Wayne Easter lacks the ability to see that, much less understand it. So CBC please interview people who can actually offer accurate opinions and speak truthfully . God Bless and keep reading

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Primary autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Quite a mouthful eh! In layman’s terms it means a persons immune system is attacking and destroying red blood cells. In my case I was five pints of blood short when diagnosed. It’s a very rare disease that a great many medical professionals never see in their entire career. As it was not considered to be cancer on PEI, here in was my problem. I thought this would be a good time to bring it up, it’s election time and the liberals are throwing out wild promises again. When I was first diagnosed, the specialist recommended chemotherapy, the hope was this treatment would put the disease into remission. Naturally I was relieved to learn there was a possible cure. However, that was when my problems began. Applying for chemo treatment, the health dept turned me down, it’s not cancer so it’s not covered. My reaction was to call my local liberal MLA, this was a fatal disease if not treated, I was sure he’d help. Sorry, he had no control over health dept decisions. Next I phoned the Minister of Health, surely he could intervene. No, again was told sorry can’t interfere with dept health. Really you are the Minister of health but can’t interfere. So here I’m today, my disease is in remission thanks to the generosity of many wonderful people who contributed to a benefit dance, auction and Go Fund Me. Plus a donation from the Royal British Legion. As I sit here today, during an election campaign, I have to wonder if I’d receive a better response from my MLA or the Minister of Health. I believe I would, I suspect my treatment would be covered promptly. Hey we need your vote, so pop down to the Cancer Treatment Centre and tell them I sent you! Just thought I remind everyone at this particular time when perhaps you are considering your voting choices! It seems MLAs can and or will help only when it’s of importance to them. I leave you with this final thought. A Minister of Health who can’t interfere with dept of health policy???Hmm?

God Bless and keep reading

Posted in family, politics, Prince Edward Island, veterans | 1 Comment

Why I’m Voting Green

In many ways I’m fortunate to have reached the grand old age of 80, some might think I’m just an old fool.. However, I really care about the future, but it is not mine, it belongs to my children and grandchildren. It belongs to all the children of the world and I know they care too. What concerns me is our leaders, they fight and bicker over seemingly childish unimportant issues. The Federal government of Trudeau, he appears more concerned with covering up his misdeeds and being re-elected. No real commitment to the environment or climate change. We have provincial leaders arguing over a carbon tax, rather than having a genuine concern for the planet. Here on PEI we have a liberal government pumping out propaganda to defeat the possibility of proportional representation (MMP). Their only interest is in getting re-elected, to not lose control of power. All the while we see incidents of climate change all over the world. Our leaders are either blind or pretend it’s not happening in their neighbourhood. Money rules, corporations provide the money to those in power to do their will. Here on PEI we are ruled by what the Irving Corporation want and the liberals gladly provide it. I realize electing a Green government we will not suddenly see all our problems disappear but it will be a first step in a new direction. I look at the candidates offering for the Green Party on PEI and I see real hope. I see many young people running, young men and women with young families.
They share a simple vision, a vision to heal the earth, save our precious water, to clean the air and reduce planet warming. It isn’t going to be easy nor will it happen in my lifetime. Yet when I leave this life I will have the knowledge that I have done my best. That folks is why I’m voting Green, that’s why I’m voting yes to MMP. It is surely a reason enough for a majority of islanders to agree and vote for a new young political party. It will not change lives overnight, but maybe we can sleep a little easier knowing our government is working for us. Please talk with the Green candidate when he/she knocks on your door, listen to a chance of a better future. You won’t be promised better jobs ,better wages, more doctors, less taxes etc, but you will be promised a chance of a better future. Vote Green Vote MMP. God Bless and keep reading.

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Not The Liberal Party of Old

Letter by Gary Walker . I have added the letter as a photo and hope you can enlarge and read. This really applies to anyone who believes in voting Liberal because that was how their parents, grandparents, great grandparents always voted. Today’s liberals are not the same people  you might think they are!

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MacLauchlan Arrogance

When MacLauchlan dropped the Writ he couldn’t help but display his anger and arrogance. He must be well aware his time as premier is about to be flushed down the drain of political has beens. One thing obvious to islanders, Wade was never going to make it as a career politician. That was painfully obvious when he accused Peter Bevan Baker of being a career politician. Clearly this is an open wound in MacLauchlans huge ego. To be bested by a country dentist while islanders are supposed to know what a wonderful,premier he is. How could they??  However, In his brief time as premier he never learned from his many mistakes, in fact he just continued to make more. He refused the advice of the real career politicians around him, even to the point that one member crossed the floor to sit as independent. He allied himself with those who never offered advice or questioned him. He approved of Richard Brown who thought giving a citizen the finger was perfectly acceptable. He was delighted when the same Richard Brown told PBB using the word farce, was unparliamentary!. Well, Wade ole boy it’s over and the only farce was you as premier. Vote Green, vote for Peter Bevan Baker.   God Bless and keep reading.

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The Election is On

I don’t know how fast anyone else got their Green Supporter Signs up. I had mine out at 8 am this morning. Proudly glowing in the early morning sunshine. Its way beyond time for change, the liberals have to go and MacLauchlan should lead them off into the sunset, never to reappear! Shortest election period ever, but that is because the liberals have very little to offer and very much to hide.
Go Greens Go.
God Bless and keep reading

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The NO campaign at it again

This time we have a has been Tory, Pat Mella, coming out in support of FPTP. Why wouldn’t she, she is one of the old guard that so benefitted from that system. I found it interesting how she could bend the facts to suit here purpose. In referring to the 2016 plebiscite she claims only 18% voted for MMP when in fact the vote was for Proportional Representation. MMP was one of the options, I actually voted for DMP but the real purpose was to change the voting system. The fact is some 36% voted for PR, the 18% she claims is just an example of spin doctoring. Something the FPTP crowd continue to spin out without providing any actual facts. What their campaign amounts too, is these two old party’s are scared to death they will lose their hold on power. Islanders are more than just aware of the mess we are in. The corruption, the large handouts of tax payers money to party supporters and friends, the patronage, deep water wells, chemical sprays, destruction of the soil, land purchases, state of health dept, doctor shortages etc. This is not about MMP or FPTP it’s about the serious need for change in how the island is governed. My advice to all Island voters is to ignore the outlandish claims from the NO campaign and vote for that needed change. Remain with FPTP and we will remain with Irving’s poisoning the land, more deep water wells, more patronage, in other words more of the same. God Bless and keep, reading.

As an after thought I will add this photo of Richard Brown giving a citizen the finger. Brown is not only and elected MLA he is a cabinet minister. Maybe you should think about this before telling islanders we don’t need to change the voting system.

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