Friday, December 28, 2007

Woman With Large Screen TV and Hardwood Floors Whines About "Pitiful" Free Money From Taxpayers

A New Orleans resident, Sharon Jasper, had the gall to sit in her taxpayer subsidized home with a large screen tv and hardwood floors and whine that it's "pitiful" what the rest of us taxpayers are giving her for free. If anyone knows Ms. Jasper, I hope they tell her how sorry us people who work for a living are that she doesn't enjoy as many luxuries as she might otherwise like courtesy of those of us who choose to work for a living and pay taxes and that we hope she can upgrade to a better free government handout that she finds less pitiful real soon.


oyster said...

Not a big fan of the phone number maneuver, here.

Anonymous said...


scrimp said...

(News flash - The New Orleans Chronicles and "The Last Time I Saw Ignatius J. Reilly begins 1/1/08 at


Imagine this: The great seeing eye camera from Google Earth focuses in on a man, a woman, and a child, each carrying a blue book. It is The Beatitudes, the symbol of the written word; it is their signal to the world that words and books must be preserved and cherished so that humanity, good humanity, will continue to exist. The phenomenon captures the media; instead of a bracelet, they CARRY A BOOK; THE BLUE BOOK CALLED THE BEATITUDES. Soon, thousands, no millions, carry the book in support of the written word. People are sending messages on cell phones, iPods, the Internet. You, you, my friends have made THE difference.

*I am helping rebuild New Orleans, specifically the public libraries. I don’t have money, but I am giving three years of hard work and a published novel AND ALL ROYALTIES directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. You can help me help New Orleans. Simply buy the book for yourself, and anyone you know who loves New Orleans and likes to read! Go to and see 5 star reviews!

Here is an excerpt from the supernatural novel (it is New Orleans, after all!), The Beatitudes, by Lyn LeJeune, now available at all book distributors around the world. I am DONATING ALL ROYALTIES to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the public libraries of New Orleans. If you like what you read here, order the book, enjoy, and help NEW ORLEANS and the world. My blog is come and join The Beatitudes Network – Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans) “BUY A BOOK, BUILD A LIBRARY,” AS QUOTED AT FREAKONOMICS, NEW YORK TIMES, 8/14/07.


We walked in a line out of the marsh and back onto a gravel road and headed into the setting sun. A soft breeze seemed to anticipate our movement down the path and the air smelled clean for a change. The sound of lost souls ceased and all was silent. Pinch walked behind me and I could feel her warm breath, the heat from her spirit. She breathes. I was comforted, somewhat.
“So, what have you learned?’ asked Delcambre. “Time moves on.”
“All the sins are the same,” said Pinch. “All that is not sin is love. All sins are the murder of children.”
“We kill our future,” I said.
“Yes,” said Delcambre. “Remember, there is perverted love and excessive love.”
“But, are those kinds of love, love at all?” I asked.
“Remember we are free. It is what we do with love that makes us or breaks us,” said Delcambre. Again he smiled.
“That’s not news,” I said.
“Again I say,” said Delcambre. “Who listens?”
The graveled path ended in the city where the execution had taken place. The path swung out on each side and in the distance I saw large buildings and a trolley coming towards us. I looked up at a steel post with a narrow green sign with white letters. Canal Street. Pinch touched my arm and pointed toward an oyster-shell covered road to our left. A thudding sound rolled towards us carrying voices that cried out in pain. From around the corner of the building came some hundred or more people running barefooted, their feet mangled masses of flesh, blood and bone. They wore running outfits, shorts and t-shirts. “Oh, my God, “ I gasped. “Their feet; how can they?
“Sloth,” said Delcambre. “They may run forever.”
“I’m glad I’m a ghost,” said Pinch.
“Wait, wait a minute,” I barked out. “Something’s wrong here. I’m not an expert on Dante, but we’re not following the path that he took. I thought we were in purgatory?”
“I shall clarify,” said Delcambre. “Purgatory is diluted by time.”
Darkness came swiftly, then a silver moon, a phantasmagoria of stars.
“Is this what the real sky looks like?” asked Pinch.
“The original,” said Delcambre.
I had never seen such beauty. I raised my hands toward the sky, like a blind person who suddenly is given sight, like a child who has yet to understand the concept of space. I touched a star, a cool, energetic, lovely star. My whole life came back to me, I felt my blood rush through my veins, heard my heart beating, felt the magical protection of my skin on my heavenly body. The song of a bird, soft, inflated the silence of this world; it trilled, beckoned, and I knew we were listening to the first sparrow. Time passed on and on.
“Can we just stay here for a little longer?” I asked Delcambre.
“No, but you have this moment as a gift.”
I looked at Pinch and she moved toward me and did not stop until she had entered me and we became one. We stayed until the dawn muted the stars. Pinch moved out of me, and we followed Delcambre back to where we had started the night before.
“We have one more to meet. It will be sure evidence.”
A man with dark hollow eyes stood at a crossroads under the shadow of three trees. He was cutting away at a strangling vine that had wrapped around the trees. He watched us approach.
“Must kill the seed of the strangling vine,” he shouted. His voice was hoarse. He held up the long knife and it gleamed brightly from the rays of the rising sun. “Need to get all this wood down to the valley to build the oil drums.”
“He holds the knife of Judas,” said Delcambre, as he nodded at me.
“Harlan’s scalpel, pecan trees, the beginning of life,” I said, nodding. “The rape of the world.”
We walked past the man and I caught a strong odor of acorns. I remembered the smell of cognac on Harlan as he took my hand in his. I knew our journey was nearing its end.
All semblance of the previous night vanished as the sun became a glowing orange sphere. The azure waters of the Mississippi reflected the ozone-wasted globe. With the light behind us, my blackened shadow preceded us like the entrance to a dark and visceral cave. In the world of the self-forsaken that lay behind us, I could hear the persistent moaning of penitents.
“We are ending?” asked Pinch.
“But were we really here? Has it all been a dream from the beginning until now? Are you what you are?”
“What difference, dream or not, “ said Delcambre. “Each of us is identified by the sins we commit, or do not. Seven sins, eight beatitudes, nine murders, ten murders more.”
“To infinity,” I said.
“Perhaps,” said Delcambre. “But I will leave you with this: that it is substance as well as the numbers that you seek. Those who long for justice are blessed and therein resides your quest. Follow that path. And love.”
Pinch and I stood next to each other, watched Delcambre return to purgatory, or whatever world he had come from; it will be called many things. I took Pinch’s hand and followed the path that led along the shaking waters and to the Noble One. We entered the other New Orleans again at the Napoleon Avenue terminal.

Discussion questions for The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy by Lyn LeJeune
(More copies may be purchased at ) . Email or go to

To what extent do the chapters, each named after a beatitude, provide clues, move the story forward, and help Pinch and Scrimp find the murderers of the foster children?

In what ways do the beatitudes teach Scrimp (Hannah) about herself and the world in which she must live after she discovers that she is a Gran Met, a voodoo priestess?

Why did the author chose Dante’s Purgatorio (the second book in The Divine Comedy) as the underlying parable for TheBeatitudes? What does the author mean when she has the dead priest, Father Delcambre, say “purgatory is diluted by time?”

How does Scrimp use her visions to solve the murders?

Why is Pinch murdered with a sword from the famous Cabildo Museum in New Orleans?

Why did the author choose foster children as the la Armee Blanc’s (The White Army)
victims? And how do the characters that run the White Army explain the historical context of The Beatitudes, particularly when the real history of the Knights of the White Camellia is considered?

What is the significance of the little African American dwarf, n’est pas juste? How does his name, literally translated, as “I am not justice” explain one theme of the book, namely, that life is made up of many roads of contradiction and each individual must find his/her own correct path?

Why do Scrimp, Pinch and n’est pas juste travel to Scrimp’s old home out in the Cajun countryside? What are they looking for?

What are some underlying themes in The Beatitudes that pertain to you and your faith? Consider these ideas: free will vs. fate; hope vs. cynicism; good vs. evil; the self vs. the greater good.

What is the story about in the end? Why did Scrimp have the following words inscribed on Pinch’s headstone: SHE WAS THE ENEMY OF ALL CRUELTY?
Lyn LeJeune, author of The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy, was born in the small town of Abbeville, Louisiana, and spent most of her early years on her grandparents’ rice farm. Her family then moved to New Orleans when her father started working for the railroad.

The year after Hurricane Betsy, Lyn enrolled in college at the University of New Orleans and had to take a two-hour bus trip on the New Orleans transit line from St. Bernard Parish out to Lake Pontchartrain. She says that she hated trigonometry, and did not think it would help her escape her life near the Mississippi levee or the constant smell spewing from the Domino sugar plant. “That’s why I usually ended up at the downtown public library, then later I would head to Jackson Square for a couple of Jax brews. That public library was my sanctuary; it offered me worlds of adventures; everyday I was absorbed with great anticipation into another dimension, and then another, and then into a thousand and one stories. What could any kid ask for?”

After Katrina, Lyn decided to write THE book, start The Beatitudes Network- Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans ( and donate all royalties from sale of The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the libraries. The Foundation gladly gave her its 501c non-profit tax number and her publisher arranged for the royalties to go directly to rebuilding the public libraries of the City That Care Forgot, The Heavenly City, The Big Easy.

Lyn’s short stories have been published in literary journals such as Big Muddy: A
Journal of The Mississippi River Valley (East Missouri University), The Bishop’s House
Review (Duke), The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Nantahala, Milestone,
Identity Theory, Southern Hum, Stone Table Review, Demolition Magazine, and Our Stories. She has also published articles in journals such as Mystery Readers International. Lyn is recipient of the Paris Writers’ Institute Scholarship for study in Paris, France and a Fellowship for study with the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied writing at Skidmore (where I worked with Mary Gordon and Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson), Duke, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

INTERVIEW with Lyn LeJeune, The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy from Beyond the Books:

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Lyn. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?

I have two other books published under my birth name, L.M. Young. The Train to Port Arthur and Other Stores and Michael’s Journal (which was placed in the Teaching Tolerance Library of The Southern Poverty Law Center by Morris Dees). I took the pen name Lyn LeJeune as an affirmation of my Cajun past. You see, I’m 100% Cajun, descended from Acadians who came to South Louisiana during the eighteenth century from Canada. During the Civil War, the Confederate armies would swoop down into the countryside where the Acadians lived - they kept very much to themselves - and take every young man that looked to be twelve or older. Well, like many people coming to America as refugees, my ancestors anglicized their name – LeJeune is Young. So, there you go, I took back my ancestry. And after all, The Beatitudes is set in New Orleans and Cajun Country!

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Oh, lord. It was titled something like “A Death in the Hospital.” I worked as a risk manager in hospitals for a few years, handling malpractice cases, kind of straddling the fence between doctors, patients, hospital administrators, the law. It was burnout time. I used to pull the knives out of my back at the end of the day. So, when I quit I took revenge, so to speak, and killed off a few people that deserved it, at least on the page. I think I still have it somewhere; but I don’t think I’m going to look for it anytime soon!

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I’ve gone through my share of rejections, you bet. My first book was through a very small press, the book of short stories. I have had the greatest luck with my short stories. I think I’ve had some fifteen or more published in both academic and independent journals. I have one coming out this coming January in Demolition Magazine. Most are noir crime thrillers. I love that genre, both as a writer and reader.

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

At first I was devastated because I simply did not understand the business of books. But the more I researched, the more I understood that writing is like everything else in life; one big crapshoot. I’m working on a book at the moment, a murder mystery of course, about a young woman seeking revenge and she does it by playing Texas Hold’em – one of the premier poker games of all time. So, winning in life is like winning at the tables. You got to hold steady, always, and not let the other players get the upper hand. Rejection doesn’t roll off of me, but a walk in the park with my pal Pete is the ticket.

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

It just happened. I met a guy at a writers’ conference. I was inexperience, excited. Voila.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was living in the Appalachian Mountains at the time and very busy with an organic garden, going to the farmers’ market, outside from sunup to sundown, so I just let it do whatever it did. I sold more than a few of those books, The Train to Port Arthur, but it was quite a few years ago. I was just going with the flow at that time and it was a very good life.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

All I did was go to a few local bookstores, libraries, and sold on Amazon. It was a book of short stories – that’s a hard sell especially if you are not a known author. It was a learning experience – everything we do is a learning experience in this business. I think that the hardest thing for writers to do is to not take themselves too seriously.

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

That’s a very interesting question. Because after about seven years of writing and publishing, I don’t know how many traditional avenues are really still open to writers no matter how good the book is. You get an agent, or you self-publish, or you make your own press, or you publish on the Internet, or convince an independent to take a chance on you. The options may be many; it’s the traditional route that’s almost closed to new writers. If a writer wants to make lots of money, well, that’s the rub. If a writer simply want to be read, get a MySpace page and lots of friends!

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

Lots of short stories, and then I went ahead I did The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy myself so that I could get some money to The New Orleans Public Library Foundation. Yes, I’ve grown. I think my writing is up there with some of the best (okay, writers have big egos), and I’m calm about my work, expecting not the moon and the stars but readers who appreciate my work. I have received emails from so many people I have never met, five starred reviews have been posted on The Beatitudes page that I didn’t even know was there. I suppose I need to check more often!

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

I focused on the short story and was published. That was fun. Here’s the thing: you will read advice from agents/editors that says young writers need to establish a publishing resume. I don’t think that’s actually as true as it was a decade or so ago. Your book is either good or it isn’t. It’s the query letter that is important. An agent is looking for a good story and one that he/she knows publishers are looking for. It’s what the market wants. I loved the short story form, but perhaps I would have learned more about the publishing industry first, did more research, be a little bit more realistic. I thought I would do literary stuff, but soon found out that the noir thriller/mystery genre was my love. Heck, that’s what I’d read for years. Even Henry James is a mystery writer and so is Herman Melville. I wish I could live long enough for the big macha critics to finally admit that some of the best writers of the 20th and 21st century were noir writers. There’s James Lee Burke and James Sallis and Ken Bruen; the list is endless.

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

My network – The Beatitudes Network – Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans and The Blue Book Campaign to Remember New Orleans. I am donating all of the royalties from The Beatitudes to help rebuild the public libraries of New Orleans. I love that city; it gave me a good life, the public library gave me a home. I’ve gone out to art fairs, book fairs, have a blog ( and am on just about every web social network I have time for. It’s exciting; I feel as though I am paying it forward. It sounds corny- but, I feel lifted up. And readers are fantastic. I’m sorry, but bookstores, even the independents, are so absorbed with making money and staying afloat that they don’t have time to discover great independent writers. Small presses are being bought out so where’s the independents to go? Look, a good book is a good book and a good story is a good story to readers; they never ask if the publisher is Harper or Scribner.
I’m averaging thirty books a day, especially at book and art fairs and getting emails about how much the readers loved The Beatitudes. I received an email recently from a mother who cares for her autistic child at home and she wrote that my book made her days entrancing. A writer cannot ask for more than that.

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A librarian. No bout-a-doubt-it.

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

No, I wouldn’t give up being an author. I love to write, even if the words just live in my computer, hibernating for eternity. I am a member of Friends of the Library and help out with sustaining, rebuilding, and building new libraries.

How do you see yourself in ten years?

Back in the Appalachian Mountains, tending to my own garden. Very Voltaire, don’t you think?

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Love words above all else, and read, read, read. Immerse yourself in Don Quixote, especially the Edith Grossman translation, at least once a year, because the writer is forever fighting the windmills of cruel fate and human carelessness.

A good ol' Cajun girl

A Beatitude is someone whose acts are selfless and are intended to benefit the lives of others.

Why I wrote The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy.
Lyn LeJeune
The year after Hurricane Betsy, I enrolled in college at the University of New Orleans and had to take a two-hour bus trip on the New Orleans transit line from St. Bernard Parish out to Lake Pontchartrain. I hated trigonometry, and did not think it would help me escape my life near the Mississippi levee or the constant smell spewing from the Domino sugar plant. So I usually ended up at the downtown public library, then later I would head to Jackson Square for a couple of Jax brews. That public library was my sanctuary. After Katrina, I decided to write THE book, start The Beatitudes Network- Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans ( and donate all royalties from sale of The Beatitudes, Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the libraries. The Foundation gladly gave me the 501c non-profit tax number and my publisher arranged for the royalties to go directly to rebuilding the public libraries of the City That Care Forgot, The Heavenly City, The Big Easy.

Social workers Hannah “Scrimp” DuBois and Earlene “Pinch” Washington have just started their own business, Social Investigations, to solve the murders of ten foster children in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NOPD, the Catholic Church, and local politicians has sidestepped clues that point to those who hold great power, hampering their investigation.

As Scrimp and Pinch discover more evidence, they realize that they are dealing with a force that crosses into the realm of the paranormal. They are thrown into a world much like Dante’s purgatory. Soon they link the murderers to a secret organization called the White Army, or La Armee Blanc, centered in New Orleans, but rooted in medieval Europe and the Children’s Crusades. Each clue leads to a beatitudes, the characteristics of those who are deemed blessed; the pure of heart, the persecuted, the merciful, the sorrowful the peacemakers, the meek, the poor in spirit, and those who hunger and thirst after justice. By the time the eleventh child – the sacrificial child-goes missing, Scrimp and Pinch are determined to prevent his death.

Racing against time and the threat of an approaching hurricane, these two bold, no-nonsense women work together to restore hope and bring closure to a city battered by sin.
5 star reviews of The Beatitudes by Lyn LeJeune
By Maryann M. Mercer - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Beatitudes: Book I (Paperback) New Orleans is a city of secrets; something Hannah "Scrimp" Dubois and her best friend and colleague Earlene "Pinch" Washington have taken for granted. Until the secrets include the murders of ten foster children and the existence of the mysterious White Army, reborn from Le Armee Blanc in medieval Europe. The good guys can no longer be taken for granted, the bad guys seem to multiply with every step the two take to get closer to the truth, and friends are found in unexpected places, and unexpected forms. Lyn LeJeune has written an intriguing paranormal mystery in the best setting possible, New Orleans and the surrounding parishes of southern Louisiana. Voodoo and Christianity survive side by side and both are factors in the solution to the mystery of who killed ten unfortunate children and left them for discovery with religious relics near their bodies. Scrimp and Pinch must travel avenues, both earthly and not, to find the answers before their enemies win the day. The ending is never a given, not until the final confrontation, and Scrimp and Pinch are two characters you root for, no matter how dark it seems. Comment | Permalink | Was this review helpful to you? (Report this) (Report this)

Ghosts of New Orleans, September 29, 2007 By Heartbroken "Opa" (Muskogee, OK USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Beatitudes: Book I (Hardcover) The Beatitudes: Book I In my view the relationship of Pinch and Scrimp could have been more as Spartan women rather than the hint of Sappho. It was their friendship that was a shield against the outside world of sin and corruption. To me their friendship was more like Ruth and Naomi or Damon and Pythias. It was a true bond of pure love and friendship. Pinch's death indicates that she died with her shield, as benefiting a Spartan woman. And even in death, she is ready for more. I would have preferred Scrimp's answers to her interrogators to have been more laconic. Of all of the feminine weapons available to women, the deadliest and sharpest are their tongues. And in reality, New Orleans has become the New Sparta. The women of New Orleans are sending their children out everyday to face death in the streets. Female authors usually leave me cold. Well, with possible exception of Taylor Caldwell, Mary Stewart, Mary Shelly, George Sand, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rachel Carson, Harper Lee, Carson McCullers and perhaps a few dozen more. As a rule female authors get to involved with the minutia of completely useless boring details. As a native New Orleanian, born and reared there until I left for military service in 1959. I really appreciated Ms. LeJeune attention to the details and the minutia of life in New Orleans. I could smell the exhaust fumes of the busses, the strong aroma of the impossible black, steaming cup of coffee and chicory. The walk from the library to Mother's down Poydras St. is an actual walk to a great place to have lunch. The sights, sounds and the smells of the many local neighborhoods within New Orleans are dead on accurate! Now I will have to include Lyn LeJeune in my list of female authors that I consistently read. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans - read this book as tour guide to the city. The Ghosts of New Orleans are still walking the streets. Turn any corner and there they are. If you just want a good scary, tightly written yarn about sin, corruption, and voodoo with redemption - turn off the TV, turn off the cell phone and invite Ms. Lyn LeJeune and her friends Pinch and Scrimp in for a visit. I promise you that if Pinch likes you - she'll come and visit - often.

The Beatitudes by Lyn LeJeune may be purchased all over the world. Please go to for information and to note that The New Orleans Public Library Foundation is identified as co-author and all royalties from your purchase goes directly to The Foundation.

Christopher Johnston said...

I think it's great that the photographer made sure the big screen was in the picture.

Trægulve said...

This is a very excellent article i hope you will post more and thank you for sharing...............