Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Mighty Zon Is Watching You & No Longer Cares What You think!

I am a reader. I have been reading for so long that I can't remember how long I'm been reading for. I used to take out dozens of books from the library when I was a child and yes, I read every one I borrowed. High school and University were no different for me. I love to read. Decades later, I still read. I'm a confessed bibliophile. I own so many books that my home has one room turned into a library. One can always find me with a book on my nightstand, side table or in my hand, if not at elbow's length. I also support my local library.
    


I'm a writer. I've been writing since high school. In the last year, I've become a novelist. Yay! I'm an author. It's a fascinating accomplishment. Unfortunately, amazon has taken the air out of my balloon for they've launched an all-out attack on authors. Have you heard that they have begun culling reviews? They've suddenly decided in some misguided wisdom that authors can't review other authors. Why? You got me. They claim that some authors might write fake reviews to build the other author up, and benefit financially from it, or tear the author down and benefit again financially. Tell me something, readers and fellow authors, has one (1) lone review amongst others really ever swayed you from reading a book? Or made you read a book? It never did for me.

   


I don't know about you but as an author, I still read. I read a great deal for both enjoyment and in research. In fact, ever since I began shopping on amazon since 1998, I've bought a great deal of books from them. I've given them a great deal of business. As an author friend once asked me when I said I had a publisher for my book, why? Why not just self-publish? Where do you buy books? Amazon, right. Might as well publish there, she said. A great many people buy everything from amazon, and yet, amazon now wants us to stop. By telling friends and family members that they can no longer leave a review for a book they read because they know the author is downright ludicrous.

   


As a good reader, I write reviews for all those books I've read. Mostly good reviews. I know how important reviews can be for other readers. Now, as an author, I know even more how very important reviews are for authors as well as readers. I don't know of any writer that doesn't read. So why is Amazon attacking authors, who also happen to be readers and therefore, customers of bookstores including amazon? What stuns me even more is that some authors support this cock-eyed idea amazon has. Why? Are some authors so famous that they no longer need reviews, or they just no longer care what their readers believe?
    


Personally, I'm a reader first, then I'm an author. I'm always a reader first. If I didn't know how to read, I wouldn't be able to write. Show me an author that doesn't read.  Yes, according to one author, as an author I'm a vendor now, but first and foremost, I am a reader. Hey, Amazon, if you're listening, a great many of my friends, family and acquaintances buy from you for many years past and many years in coming. However, how many customers do you think you'll retain if you continue this blindsided nonsense? Authors are readers, first. An author cannot read. As a result, we buy books. We pass them along and we borrow them from friends, family, acquaintances and libraries. When we've read them, we post reviews to share with other readers. Are you really going to penalize authors for reading other authors and posting reviews? Are you really going to penalize those that know authors simply for somehow "knowing" them? That is just plain stupid. I don't get a single penny from any review I ever wrote. I don't get a single penny from any review I ever left for another author.

And what about social media? Isn’t that a way for authors to meet with and make new readers? Reader get to meet and connect with authors? Amazon doesn’t like it. Isn’t that what social media is all about? Hasn’t amazon ever heard of networking? Isn’t that another reason for social media? Amazon has actually removed and blocked some people from writing reviews simply because they’re following someone on twitter or Facebook. What? I don’t believe it, you say. Ah! It’s true. Search for it on the internet and you will see. I actually know some readers not be able to leave a book review because they followed an author on twitter, yet they never once met the author. I know of an author whose reader couldn’t leave a book review because the reader happened to be a relative. What? Relatives are readers and buyers, yet they can’t leave reviews. According to amazon they can’t. I can only say that this new policy and anything related to it is just plain bullshit! How does any of this banning stop fake reviews?
    

Readers, authors, what do you think of all of this? Are you still a fan of amazon knowing that it has become a bit too big for itself? Are we becoming a communist country now? When did Amazon set them self-up as the Supreme Court? Do you agree with their new policies to destroy authors? Fake reviews may be a problem, but not as big as one as say, eBook piracy, but I don't see them making a big deal out of that? Or how about when one leaves a legitimate review but it gets deleted because it was a negative review? I know. This recently happened to me on amazon. I left a negative review for some air filters. It was a verified purchase, but it was a negative review and Amazon chose not to post it. Unless amazon is willing to allow negative reviews get posted for their products, they really need to shut their mouths and stop calling the kettle black. Who are they to decide what a true and accurate review is when they are manipulating the reviews themselves?
   


I will continue to post reviews. If amazon doesn't like them, I shall eventually take my reviews and my business elsewhere. I don’t know what the world is coming to. Amazon started out so great but like any money making business has turned into a greedy dictator. Is the Zon watching you? You better believe it. As for me, I will always support authors and the best way to thank an author, to let them know you enjoyed their book, or hated it is with a review.  

 

To read more about Amazon’s review policy, lawsuit and other related news:

Amazon sues alleged reviews-for-pay sites: http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-sues-alleged-reviews-for-pay-sites/ 

Disappearing Amazon Reviews: The Facts Behind Amazon's Review Purges:   http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2015/11/disappearing-amazon-reviews-facts.html

 

Giving Mom’s Book Five Stars? Amazon May Cull Your Review-New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/technology/amazon-book-reviews-deleted-in-a-purge-aimed-at-manipulation.html?_r=0

 

Amazon files lawsuit against fake review providers:  http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/09/amazon-fake-review-lawsuit/

 

Amazon files first-ever suit over fake product reviews, alleging sites sold fraudulent praise: http://www.geekwire.com/2015/amazon-files-first-ever-suit-over-fake-reviews-alleging-calif-man-sold-fraudulent-praise-for-products/

 


Reddit user threatened with lawsuit over negative Amazon review: http://www.dailydot.com/business/medialink-mediabridge-amazon-reddit-review-lawsuit-slapp/

 

Amazon Changes its Review Policy (but not enough): http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/12/amazon-changes-its-review-policy/

Amazon Deletes Negative Reviews and Gets Away With It...But Can You? http://www.inc.com/hollis-thomases/amazon-deletes-negative-reviews-gets-away-with-it-but-can-you.html

How Does A Negative Amazon Review Result In Threats Of A Lawsuit? http://consumerist.com/2014/05/08/how-does-a-negative-amazon-review-result-in-threats-of-a-lawsuit/

Amazon deletes negative feedback, but only for its own shipping service: http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/09/amazon-fulfillment/

And now for the lighter side of reviews:
16 Hilarious Negative Amazon Reviews For Classic Books: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/amazon-reviews_n_4935607.html
 

  That’s it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.



 
 

    Regards,

    S. J. Francis

    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.

    In my debut novel, Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and on-line retailers and indie booksellers.

                    “Some secrets should remain that way….”

 

      My Black Opal Books Author Page:

            http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis

 

                                                View My Shout Out:  http://bit.ly/1r3oynM 

 

My web page: http://sjfranciswriter.com

 

          Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419

 

                   Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325

 

My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com

 

                             A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com


  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com

 

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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Digital vs. Paper: Which Do You Prefer?

Piles of books.

I prefer paper over digital any day. Digital may have its advantages, but for me it'll never replace paper copies. I know others will balk at my allegiance, but that’s fine. It’s my humble opinion. You have your own. However, I am not the only one that prefers paper over digital as this evidence suggests:

     In fact, I just read this:
"Despite predictions that e-books would overtake print by 2015, sales of digital books actually fell 10percent during the first five months of the year. E-books made up 20 percent of the market in 2014, roughly the same proportion that they did several years ago." New York Times. 

     I'm not surprised by this. Are you? I'll never get used to reading via electronically and I never want to. Yes, I have read e-books out of necessity but never by choice. I have a Kindle App on my computer, and I have tried free Kindle books with it, but I don't like it at all.
     There's something special about holding a book in your hands and reading it. Not to mention that when I'm done reading it, I can always shelve it to read it again later on. I can share it with someone else. I can pass it along to someone else to read. I can donate it. I can't do that with a digital copy. In fact, I don't even ever really own that digital copy. I'm basically renting it.  And I never have to worry about recharging any batteries in order to read a book. I don't need any power at all to read a book.
     Some of you might say, "but on an e-reader I can store hundreds of books with minimal space. You can't do that with hundreds of books. You can't carry hundreds of books on a cruise or a hiking trip".  I could, but who would want to? And neither would I have to worry about my book not being there when I want to read it. What good are those hundreds of books if they're not there when you choose to do so? Amazon, whatever, as they've done in the past can always remove the book you're reading or plan to read from your Kindle et al. I have friends that this situation still happens to. They've downloaded a book onto their phone or e-reader, but when they go to read it or continue reading it, the book is gone. Sorry, but digital books are not for me.

 
     In fact, scientists now realize through testing that people that read digitally retain far less of what they read than when they read an actual hard copy. I'm not surprised by this at all. Are you?
     I believe, as with everything else, digital books have a place but a limited use. I, for one, will never choose a digital copy of a magazine over the hard copy, or the digital book over the hard copy and it is sad, even tragic that so many magazines have cancelled print subscriptions in favor of digital ones. I know because I have had to cancel those magazines. Do they really think that all people own an electronic reader or choose to read like that? Do you? I don't and I will never choose to read like that. Give me a magazine, book or newspaper any day. Digital? You can keep it. Yes, it is the wave of the future, but I'm proud to say that even today I do not own a HDTV. My twenty year old box one works just fine. I don't own iPads, iPods or a smart phone. My five year old cell phone suffices for emergency phone calls. I can't hear out of the darn things anywhere anyway sufficiently to want to carry on conversations. I don't own a tablet and don't endeavor to get one. I don't own a Kindle, Nook whatever and don't aspire to buy one.

     I may be old fashioned, behind in technology, some would even say, but my life is a lot less complicated then it could be with all these tech toys. As it is, it is a lot more complicated than it was with having a laptop in it. That's my take on digital versus paper copies and technology versus what still works. What is your take on it? Do you prefer digital books over paper ones and why or why not? I'd love to hear what you think about it all.
      Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month.  May all your dreams come true. Be Safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Don't share your personal information just because one asks for it. 
    Regards,
    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
   In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Available now from Black Opal Books and on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
                       “Some secrets should remain that way.”  

            My Black Opal Books Author Page:
             http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis   

My Official Web page: http://sjfranciswriter.com
                                      Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 


 My Writing Blog:  http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com     

    A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com 

             A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com  
One for the Animals:    http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com  

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Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about   

                Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Women Can Do Anything, Even in Combat So Why All the Fuss?

Women Can Do Anything and History Shows It So Why Any Debate?

Recently I read an editorial in my local paper that really perturbed me.  In fact, it offended me and I had to respond, which led to the basis for this post. It's no surprise that it was written by a man.  Here's the full transcript of the offending, backward newspaper article:
     "As the U.S. Military falls under increasing pressure to remove gender barriers within its ranks, a new Marine Corps study should give everyone pause.
    According to the study, all-male ground combat squads were faster, stronger and more lethal in most cases than units that included women. The women also suffered higher injury rates.
     The Marine Corps has not said whether it will ask for an exception to a Pentagon order that requires it-as well as all other military branches-to open all occupations to women beginning next year. even if is asked for an exception, there's no guarantee the Pentagon would grant it.
     This obsession with gender quality, though, comes with a price-and it could be high when you're talking about ground troops coming under attack. A fighting unit is only as strong as its weakest link. If women slow down a combat unit or require more protection than men, it doesn't only put the female soldiers at risk. It also endangers their male colleagues.
     Women are not as physically strong as men, and strength is a critical attribute in battle. For centuries, this country recognized those simple facts and kept women out of combat roles. Nothing has changed about the physical differences between the sexes. What has changed is the rise of this flawed notion that men and women are interchangeable."
     Copyright 2015, The Yazoo Herald, Wednesday, September 23, 2015. 

 

I’m writing this post in response to the editorial, “Women not best for ground combat.” First, as a women that served her country successfully in the United States military, I was offended by the comments. Not to mention greatly perturbed at such backward thinking. I have seen firsthand that women can do anything a man can do. Some women can even do a great many things better than a man can do. It doesn’t take rocket science or brute strength to fire any weapon, drive a tank, fly a plane, or stab an enemy to death. Some women are even better at it. Think not?
 
Women in U.S. Army Ranger training 2015.

    As for the “new Marine Corps study”, any half-thinking person knows that studies can be manipulated to side with any argument. I know as a woman veteran that successfully served alongside and lived with men aboard a military vessel that some men, a great many in fact, don’t have the brain power or physical strength required to do a job, and it is a woman that carries up the slack. Fact is, some women are stronger, both physically and mentally than man are. I know. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. I was in situations where I had to calm a panicked man down during war games. War games-not an actual war. In fact, I once had to calm down a twenty five year veteran of the Marine Corps for freaking out during a scuba diving course. He panicked and couldn’t do the course. I did, successfully. Yes, some women are weaker, but so are some men. To say that women will slow down a combat unit, or is their weakest link is an ignorant, sexist and blanket statement. There are men that also fill this role. I’ve seen women, myself included that are better at shooting than their male comrades. Not all women are “fragile, or lesser in strength” than men.
3 marines in Musa Qala, Afghanistan in 2010. (Time .com)

     It’s time to recognize that women can do anything that a man can do, successfully. It is high time to realize that, although physical differences between the sexes hasn’t changed, what has changed is that some people, both men and women have recognized that in combat, women can kill, slaughter and maim just as well as a man can, even more so. Most other civilized countries in the world including Israel and the United Kingdom have no problem putting women into combat. They know that women can effectively do the job. The United States Coast Guard knew that and had no problem opening all jobs in 1976, including boarding, law enforcements and search and rescue to women. I was a rescue swimmer. I am proud to say that I served aboard the first United States warship that had permanently assigned women on board. Other military services were slow to follow, but eventually did. Women now serve and fill every role in the military except for combat. Ask my husband which person he’d like to have back him up in a hostile situation such as ground combat and his response would be, the most qualified, not necessarily “a man.” Two women just completed the U.S. Army Ranger School without accommodation to their sex, and I’m willing to bet hands down that they could kill any enemy without any difficulty, or by slowing things down. Should they now, after all that training on tax dollars dime and hard work be relegated away into an office for their safety? No. Every woman, as every man that joins the military knows that that may see combat. Many relish the thought, women included. For those still living in the stone age, stop thinking as if you’re living a hundred years ago. One day soon, something may happen and you’ll need help, and won’t you be surprised that it is a woman, not a man that saves you? Woman can do anything. I ought to know. No one claims men and women are interchangeable, just the fact that women can do anything a man can do, sometimes better.

     What do you think of women in combat? Do you think women shouldn’t be in combat? Why or why not?
     U.S. Army Specialist Erica Taliaferro on patrol in in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, March 2012. (Time.com)

Meanwhile, here’s a view from the other side of the coin, from a man that supports women in combat.

Regarding Women in Combat and the question of whether they can handle it or not, I would like to set facts straight. I served in the United States Coast Guard and the third and last ship I was assigned to was the first U.S. Combat Vessel with Women permanently assigned. They worked alongside Men in ALL Military job specialties. These Women were all dedicated, hardworking individuals, and policed themselves well, as they had a higher standard than most Men. I have seen many Women who are physically stronger than many Men, and if a Woman can do the job, why should her sex matter? In today’s highly technical combat arena, sheer brawn and physical strength do not matter as much as in days past. Drive, dedication, and will are what win wars. Women have successfully served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite not being in “combat roles”, they have been in combat situations and have proven their mettle. Men have not been the only ones that have died or been maimed during those two battles. We do not have to go too far back in history to see how Women have proven themselves on the battlefields. During World War II, Russia, the most lethal snipers were Women. They racked up incredible numbers of kills against the Germans, who were terrified of them. Women make the best pilots, as they have greater hand-eye coordination necessary to effectively fly a plane.  As a Man who has worked alongside Women in both the Military and in Law Enforcement, it really makes me angry that Women are still considered “second class citizens”. Do not ever denigrate the contribution Women have made to the battlefield. I never have and I never will. We have just begun to see how far Women will go in the military. I am proud of those women that make the ultimate sacrifice of volunteering to join the military, fighting alongside, and dying with and for their male comrades, if need be, and you should, too.

 

Klavdiya Kalugina, one of the youngest Soviet female snipers (age 17 at the start of her military service in 1943. ) Wikipedia.com

For more information:

 

 


 

History in the making: 2 women will graduate from Army Ranger course: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/18/politics/women-graduate-army-ranger-course/index.html

Women In Military Service for America Memorial: http://www.womensmemorial.org/ 

 

Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month.  May all your dreams come true. Be Safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Don't share your personal information just because one asks for it.  

    Regards,
    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
   In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming Oct 24th from Black Opal Books.
     “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
 

       My Black Opal Books Author Page:
             http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis  

View My ShoutOut:  http://bit.ly/1r3oynM  

     My Official Web page: http://sjfranciswriter.com 

                                      Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419  


 My Writing Blogs:  http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com                                   

    A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  

             A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com  

One for the Animals:    http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com  

                                            Pinterest:   http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419  

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about  

                Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j


And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Did someone say...Zombies?

             Banner from CDC site.

I hear so much about zombies lately that I had asked myself more than once, what is it with the fascination with Zombies? Why do so many seem so enamored with them? Zombies. They’re everywhere: Comics. Movies. Books.  The Internet.  Video games. You name it and you’ll find it. Incredible. There are even blogs about it. People on twitter say they love zombies. Why? What for? What gives? Personally, I don’t get it and this caused me to write this post. Do these people know something that others don’t? I’m curious. What do you think? 
 
     The Bible does say that the dead will one day walk again. Perhaps, it will be zombies. It isn’t as if the Bible says, that the dead will actually rise up breathing and be back to their selves again. Who knows what will really happen on that dreadful day. A great number of people seem to think that the end will come with zombies. When I did a search for zombie related material for this post, I was inundated with information.  Put ‘zombies’ into a search engine and see what comes up. I did and found quite a bit to use for this post. In fact, you can find a rather interesting article about zombies at:  http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html       that is entitled, “5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen.” It is both interesting and scary to read. Interesting and scary because the speculation it presents can lend credence that it can happen. After all, if zombies aren’t a real possibility why are U.S. soldiers practicing in ‘secret’ by shooting ‘zombies’? Hmmn…excellent question, huh? Huffington Post actually has a zombie column: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/zombies/     The Center for Disease Control has a zombie preparedness page: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm   

 

     Back to the original point of this post, what is the fascination with zombies? Good question. I have no idea. I have no interest in zombies at all. I don’t watch “Walking Dead”. I admit. I started to. I watched the first three seasons, but then, I lost interest. It was boring. After all, how many story lines can one write about zombies? They all become basically the same. Though, I must confess that I do watch Night of the Living Dead from time to time. “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.” Anyone else remember that famous line? Do you remember what scene it came from? What is your take on Zombies? Do you believe in them? Why? I’d love to hear about it. Do you think Zombies are a good thing or a bad thing?                                  

That's my take on it anyway. Zombies? Perhaps they may come around one day. Maybe not. If we've learned anything about life and this world is that anything is possible. Probable? Your guess is as good as mine. It'd be both interesting and scary to see, won't it?



Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month.  May all your dreams come true. Be Safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Don't share your personal information just because one asks for it.     
    Regards,
    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
 
   In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.


       My Black Opal Books Author Page:


 
View My ShoutOut:  http://bit.ly/1r3oynM 
 

     My Official Web page: http://sjfranciswriter.com
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419
 
 
 My Writing Blogs:  http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
                                                  
                         A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com 
             A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com 
One for the Animals:    http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com 
                                            Pinterest:   http://www.pinterest.com/sjfrancis419 
                Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j
 
                                    
 
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis.
Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Prone to Sunburn? Watch Out for Hell’s Itch! Ouch! Aargh!

Prone to Sunburn? Watch Out for Hell’s Itch! Ouch! Aargh!  

 
Prone to Sunburn? Watch Out for Hell’s Itch! Ouch! Aargh! Prone to sunburn, then you have to read this post. It may save you a hell of a lot of suffering. And believe me when I say I know what I mean.  I’m prone to sunburn. Naturally, I wear suntan lotion. A great deal of it. Sometimes, I do forget. Usually, when I do I don’t get sunburn because I wasn’t out in the sun that long. You know what I mean. If I walk to my mailbox to get the mail, I don’t put on suntan lotion. If I go sit in the backyard for some air to get some Vitamin D, I don’t wear any lotion. Why would I? Other times, I forget and then, I get the dreaded sunburn. Ouch! Ooh! Youza! I’m sure you know what I mean there too. You know the routine. You get sunburned. It hurts for a few days. It peels and then, that’s the end of it.
     Uh-Uh-Uh. Unfortunately, the last sunburn I received a few weeks ago wasn’t the usual sunburn and the effects of it are with me still nearly two months later. I’m talking about a sunburn that doesn’t hurt, barely peels, but results in a lasting, painful, itch that doesn’t seem to want to go away. I know. I’m dealing with it now. I made the mistake of mowing my property without wearing lotion or proper coverage. To avoid problems that first night and thereafter, I applied Gold Bond Skin lotion and everything seemed to go well. Then, one night after dinner, my two forearms which were sunburned began to itch relentlessly. I applied Gold Bond Skin lotion without respite. I applied Cortisone without letup. My skin felt as if angry red ants were trying to burrow their way out of my arms. My spouse suggested a cool shower, which I gladly took. I applied Aveeno Body Wash for Itchy, Dry skin with oatmeal. It felt good in the shower, but once I got out, the itch returned. I applied Coconut Oil to it and the maddening itch subsided. The oil worked wonders for a few days, but never truly got rid of all of the insane itch. I next tried applying cortisone cream again. It worked for a few days then stopped. 
I tried Cetaphil skin lotion, which worked for a couple of days and then, nada. Desperate, I searched online and found a few sites that mentioned this “Hell’s Itch” or as someone else nicknamed it, “Satan’s Red Ants.” It definitely feels like the monikers. Others out there endured this itch and tried numerous medicines and treatments to no avail. I, too tried them all. Some had relief with Aloe lotion. Others with Ocean Potion, which I could not find anywhere. Poor me. Others said they had luck with A&D ointment, which I just happened to have and it worked, (Thank god!) for about a week and then didn’t. I must admit it. I have a strange body in the way that medicines don’t always work on me as they should. I quickly found out that I had to use something different every couple of days to get the itch down to a tolerable level. I tried Benadryl spray but it didn't work at all.
 

 I even tried what others recommended: I took two Benadryl pills at bedtime, which helped me sleep. Unfortunately, for the first couple of nights, I woke up at 3 in the morning with the itch driving me nearly insane and desperate for a solution. Unlike some others, hot showers didn’t work for me. Cold compresses didn’t work either. The itch just worsened. The coconut oil seemed the best solution. Yesterday, I went back to applying the Cetaphil cream. Thing is, this sunburn is the weirdest, not only because of the itch, but because it made my skin so very dry, almost like sand paper. Yuck. I never had such terribly dry skin. Today, thanks to online shopping, I received my Ocean Potion, Aveeno Skin Cream for Sensitive, Itchy Skin to try and see what happens.  So far, I get by with using each one for a day or two and switch back to another. Truthfully, the best treatment that seems to work for me is applying coconut oil as often as I can before any itching starts. Don't let the itching start. As soon as you feel a twinge apply whatever works for you because once the itching begins, it is very difficult to get it down to a tolerable level. One good thing though: The itching means the sunburned skin is healing deep within, but does it have to itch so badly?
    Now, here’s the real rub. Whatever you do, while you have this sunburn, or this itch, don’t go outside in the sun without a cover-up. The itch will return with a vengeance you do not want to encounter. It’s terrible. I know. I made the dumb mistake of going outside for a quick run to fill the humming bird feeder and get the mail and then that night the itch returned. I could almost hear it snickering at me. Now, I will never, ever go outside without adequate coverage, and never again will I be so foolish to ever go outside without suntan lotion, even for the fifteen minutes to absorb some Vitamin D. If there is a hell, I’ve already been there. It’s called Hell’s Itch and I never want to see it again. If you are currently experiencing this, I feel your pain and hope you find what works for you. If you are over it, please let others know here what worked for you.

     Prone to sunburn? Always wear suntan lotion, or proper coverage. Otherwise, you may encounter the itch from hell and trust me it is way worse than the worst sunburn you can imagine. I know. I had the worst sunburn that hurt so badly that I wanted to die. This itch is worse than that. If you’re so unlucky that you do get sunburn and with it the resulting Itch, there are a couple of things you can try. You can search for solutions on the internet, as I did and see what works for you. You can try the things that I’ve mentioned here that may or may not work for you. You can go to your doctor or emergency room and get something stronger to help stop the itch. Or you can suffer with it. I wouldn’t recommend the last option, but, hey, maybe you have the patience of a saint and the hide of a rhino and the heart of a Lion. I don’t. Whatever you choose, be reassured that you are not alone. Others have, are, or will also encounter “Hell’s Itch”. I hope you never do. It is definitely hell. How about you? Have you ever encountered “Hell’s Itch”? If so, what worked for you? What didn’t? How did you deal with it?

Want to learn more about the Hell's Itch as the aftermath of sunburn? Check out this fellow blogger's take on it: http://lowgravityascents.com/2013/06/05/the-worst-sunburn-aftermath-ever/   or you can try searching for "sunburn and itching like crazy" and view all the results....or...
 
Read more: What causes this particular type of sunburn itch? http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/What-causes-this-particular-type-of-sunburn-itch/show/1301105   
 
Curing the Sunburn Itch From HELL   by John Curry: http://goarticles.com/article/Curing-the-Sunburn-Itch-From-HELL/6828954/
 
 
              
Update: Nothing worked for me to get rid of this itch. Nothing. Hence, I made the dreaded trip to my doctor's office. Shockingly, he was very familiar with it. His brother had it once. Also, while in college, a mutual acquaintance had this itch. It was so bad that this student committed suicide from the itch. It seems, according to my doctor, there is only one way to treat this was with oral steroids, which I didn't want to do. Instead, I applied my topical cortisone to the itch. Three months later, the itch is slowly diminishing without the oral steroids. Hopefully, this means I'm in the clear. We'll see. If you ever get this itch, you're not alone. There are a number of things you can try as attested above. However, what may work for one may not work for you. Experiment and see what works for you. I wish you well on the road to healing and finding what works for you.

     That’s it for now. Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month. May all your dreams come true. Be safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Love one another. Don't follow the crowd. Go against the flow. And no matter what, don't ever share your personal information just because one asks for it, even it's your doctor's office that is asking.

    Regards,

    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
 
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Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.