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Truth Stranger Than Fiction – Patricia Cornwell’s Day Of Crisis

I usually don’t group my articles under the ‘Relationship’ category, as I write about the correlations of major events and certain key years in the lives of people, usually with a marked public profile, as this makes my research easier to undertake. So this is not another “How to” attract a mate or similar, but rather a very good example of my new theory of life in 12 year cycles, known simply as ‘Life Cycles’.

I study events particularly in the first year of the cycle (ie. ages 12, 24, 36 etc), which is known as the ‘Year of Revolution’ and is meant to equate to a new age/new direction. I often begin with the central mid-life, age of 36, because it equates to major career breakthroughs and contains some of my strongest evidence. So, with the recently deceased author Tom Clancy, it was the year in which his first and most important book The Hunt For Red October found a publisher and got launched. I wrote another article about him very recently.

However, I began to research the life of leading crime author Patricia Cornwell, because I saw her featured on a TV special. As I did so, I realised that she had already begun her writing career a couple of years beforehand, so I didn’t have an easy match between this and the age of 36. However this is life, it sometimes happens; otherwise I’m sure someone else would have jumped on my same observation long before. I had to investigate the period in her life when she was 36 ie. between June 9th, 1992 and June 9th, 1993. I’m a bit like Dr. Kay Scarpetta (Cornwell’s alter ego); I ferret around for evidence. You see my theory owes nothing to the occult, with their totally unprovable notions and lack of case history support.

Cornwell’s life reads a bit like one of her novels. It’s full of disturbed behaviour and angst and crises. Her very success, seems to be built on the back of her own unfortunate upbringing and adjustment issues. She pretty much said the same thing in the TV interview I saw. Anyway, the year of 36, her major ‘Year of Revolution’ features the most dramatic day in her whole life. The day when her life itself hung in the balance. I’m going to, where possible, use her own words to describe events, because this subjective evidence offers the strongest backing.

I am helped in this task by a book called Twisted Triangle, which tells the extraordinary tale of Cornwell’s lesbian love affair with a married FBI agent, by the name of Margo Bennett. Cornwell herself had been abandoned as a child by her father and placed in foster care, as protection from her mentally disturbed mother. She suffered from anorexia as a teenager and was tortured by mood swings. In college she became infatuated with her English professor, whom she pursued and married on graduation, but her true orientation was to lesbianism. Her marriage had broken up in 1989, just before she was about to get published in 1990.

So just how did Cornwell, who by then had become successful, get to meet and fall in love with Margo Bennett? Truth stranger than fiction is about to unfold. Gene and Margo Bennett were known as the ‘golden couple’ in FBI circles, because of their career success. However when they married in 1984 Margo soon got to know about Gene’s dodgy activities, which she reluctantly went along with. He made fraudulent insurance claims along with claiming work allowances he wasn’t entitled to. Their marriage was not a happy one in a number of ways.

She had been involved with a woman before, but had wisely kept that a secret, because he had a violent temper and she was afraid to leave him. In June, 1991 a colleague of Margo’s brought an up-and-coming novelist to the office to learn more about the criminal mind. A year after the initial encounter Cornwell again visited and the pair chatted for hours. Here we are perched at the start of Cornwell’s 36th year. Cornwell pursued her purposefully, with gifts and dinner dates and sensual overtures. Margo describes their first encounter in a most romantic fashion:- ” It was a very special, magical and unique moment.”

No question about it they were deeply in love. Cornwell had found her true feelings reciprocated. This must have been a ‘real high’. Despite still being married, she accompanied Cornwell to literary events. Soon after this she moved to rented accommodation and was going to tell Gene that she wanted a divorce. Meanwhile Gene wasn’t taking this lying down and he began threatening them both. Cornwell admitted to Margo:- “He scares me. I don’t trust him, he’s dangerous.” Then Cornwell began to back away from the relationship.

So this is the web of intrigue that has been spun. It’s now Jan. 1993 and one afternoon Cornwell is sitting, working alone in a rented beach cottage in Malibu, on the screenplay for her fourth novel “Cruel and Unusual”. She is knocking back Bloody Mary’s and then got into her Mercedes Sports car to head to dinner and more drinks with her agent. Driving home she rammed her car into an empty van and flipped it over three times. She was trapped and bleeding and had to be cut free from the wreckage. She received a drink driving conviction, but more than this, she said this brush with death was necessary as the ‘wake up’ call she had to have.

Let’s use her own words here:- “It was a necessary experience. Things were out of control. I was going to live or die. I was going to be bankrupt or I was going to make it.” Now I’m not sure exactly how she got her finances in such a fix, but I do know she had made more than $1 million the previous year and Demi Moore was talking about starring in a movie as Dr. Kay Scarpetta. It was said that because she had grown up poor, that she was not experienced in handling large amounts of money. Come what may, you don’t talk possible bankruptcy lightly, so it would be safe to say she was highly stressed over this..

I do know, however, what her other big emotional crisis was. Margo had told her that she was definitely breaking the relationship off, because she was scared Gene was going to make it public in their divorce case and she would lose custody of her children. Also this publicity wouldn’t have been good for Cornwell. This was 1993 and before the time when Ellen De Generis lost her TV career in 1997 over “coming out” as a lesbian on the cover of Time Magazine.

Cornwell, it could reasonably be said, was stressed out of her mind at the time of the accident. ‘All her chickens were going to come home to roost together’, so to speak. I collect stories of moments like these in people’s ‘Years of Revolution’. Moments when things are in the balance and can go one way or the other. What pulled her out? Again, in her own words:- “I remember thinking, I wasn’t going to go yet. I had to straighten this out.” Yes, the triumph of rising from the ashes can be a real part of this process and I write in my book about just such a journey in the lives in many, in one form or another. I hope you enjoyed this ‘truth stranger than fiction’ story.

Moving and Relocation Tips

Shifting houses can be a daunting task especially, if you are moving into a new city as well. You are looking at lots of paperwork, the physical shifting of luggage and settling down and also the emotional upheaval that is normal during these times. If you have very young children or ageing parents to look after as well, this can be one of the most trying times of your life as you have to ensure their comfort during the whole process and need to settle into the new place at the earliest.

Here are some moving and relocation tips to ease the process for you:

1. Start by making a complete checklist of errands to do in their logical order. If you plan going through a packing and moving company, they might supply you with a schedule of what you need to do 8 weeks in advance, 4 weeks in advance and then 2 weeks in advance. This can be used as a guide for the days ahead. If you are looking at moving overseas, it might be a good idea to hire a relocation company

2. Ensure all your bills are paid up on time. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute paying late fees!

3. It’s a great idea to get pre-printed address labels of your new address and carry some with you at all times. It’ll make filling up forms and notifying people about your relocation so much easier.

4. Change addresses on your bank accounts, credit cards, magazine subscriptions at least 2 weeks in advance to your relocation so that everything is processed and ready by the time you are moving out.

5. When you’re doing the actual packing, label the cartons with different heads (e.g. Kitchen, master bedroom, children’ room) so that on reaching the new house they can be sent directly to the room they need to be unpacked and arranged in. That way you do not have to keep running around giving directions.

6. Pack any stuff that you might need first, like groceries, linen, first aid kit, some toys to keep kids happily occupied etc. in a separate box and mark it “Open first”. Keep this box in the moving truck right at the end, so that you can unload it first.

7. Collect your medical and dental records, your children’s original school records, and any other important originals much in advance of your relocation, so that you have enough buffer time at hand and don’t have to delay any plans because of the process.

8. If you plan to carry your car with you while moving to another state, check if your auto insurance company can transfer you to that state, or if you need to buy new insurance there. Every state has different insurance rules, for example OH car insurance state regulations might be different from those in PA. Make sure you know these well in advance as you don’t want to be caught driving without insurance as soon as you enter the new place.

9. Ask a friend or neighbor to keep a close watch on your mailbox till a few weeks after you’ve moved out of your old home and to forward any mails that might come in occasionally.

10. Check in advance if your relocation company also ships pets and plants or you might have to make special arrangements for them to be moved.

11. Remember to cancel your local newspaper, rental library, cable and other subscriptions at least a few days before your relocation, so that you do not forget at the last minute. Collect stuff from your dry cleaners, empty out your gym lockers, if you’ve given any stuff for repair, pick it up well in advance so that these can be packed and sent with the rest of the cargo.

12. Make photocopies of all your important documents and pack them in two different bags while keeping originals with you at all times.

13. Make sure you get renters/ home insurance as soon as you settle into your new place because you are most prone to theft when you are still new to a place and in the process of settling down.

14. Last but not the least; carry your original documents, passports, house deeds and valuables like jewelry etc. with you while shifting. You don’t want to misplace any of these while relocating.

Moving can be very stressful especially if you are shifting to a new place that you’ve never been to before. To make the relocation easier on yourself and your family members, plan in advance and keep a checklist of errands ready so that you can quickly settle down into your new life with minimal discomfort. Hope these moving and relocation tips help!

Starting a Scrap Car Business

As the saying goes, “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure” – and never has this been truer than when you are considering setting up a business in the ‘scrap’ industry. In fact the Scrap Metal industry has grown rapidly over the last 10 years with a raft of new International legislation with regards to recycling waste goods to limit their environmental impact on disposal.

For instance, the EU has now imposed strict limits on the amount of waste ending up in landfill sites – and implemented guidelines for the disposal of all scrap vehicles.

> How to make money in the Scrap Car Business:

There are a number of approved scrap metal recycling centres around the UK – who will pay an amount per ton of scrap metal at the point of delivery. The revenue per ton of scrap metal fluctuates – but is often in excess of £100 per ton.

There is a HUGE demand for a Scrap Car collection and disposal service. More than 2 million cars reach the end of their life each year in the UK. EU Guidelines now stipulate that more than 74% of the vehicle MUST be re-used or recycled.

When a person has a vehicle that they wish to dispose of, the vehicle is often no longer road worthy, no longer insured to be driven – or both. Therefore, the owner NEEDS to have the vehicle collected and disposed of for them – and this is where you come in.

In order to incentivise the flow of business, you may wish to make a small cash payment on collection of a scrap vehicle. But often, people are simply happy to have a vehicle collected and disposed of for free.

> The Basic Car Scrapping Process:

Once you collect a vehicle for scrap, you need to run it through a depollution process before it can be taken to the scrap metal disposal centre.

You start by draining all fluids from the vehicle including oil, fuel, brake fluid etc… and you remove the battery.

You then remove the wheels including the spare – and any other large non-metallic fittings.

There may be certain fittings that you can sell on or reuse – so you should pay close attention and know what is of value. This often comes with experience.

Once the vehicle is fully depolluted, you can then take the vehicle to your local scrap metal recycling plant who will pay you per ton weight of metal.

You MUST have the vehicle log book, or the scrap metal recycling plant will not accept the vehicle for recycling. This protects against people trying to dispose of stolen vehicles.

> How to advertise your scrap car business:

There are a variety of ways to market your new scrap car business, and I have overviewed just a few below.

a) Get a website specifically targeting your local area.

b) Advertise on your local Gumtree, or other free websites.

You can place your adverts in the car section, as people often look on Gumtree when they want to sell or dispose of an old vehicle.

c) Look in local free ads for people that are trying to get rid of their car.

Most areas of the UK have free ads papers and magazines – where you can post adverts about your business or service for free.

d) Look on e-bay for people trying to sell vehicles in your area very cheaply.

You could look on eBay for people selling vehicles very cheaply in your area (eg. for less than £50). You can set up alerts to monitor eBay automatically.

e) Advertise in yellow pages.

When you are more established you may wish to invest in a Yellow Pages advert or a paid advert in your local / regional paper.

> Conclusion.

A scrap car business is a great business to setup, particularly for anyone that is already in the car repair trade. You will likely have all the equipment you need to operate what could turn out to be a very lucrative business in your local region. Not only can it bring financial rewards, but it also feels good to know that you are doing your part to help the environment.