The Body

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She studied the body. It was face down in the mud, the back of the head soaked with blood, hair matted to the skull and hardened now. The back of the denim shirt displayed hoof-prints of various types and sizes. Each of the shoulders sported a large hoof print bigger than a plate.

“What can you tell me?” She asked of the crime tech who had joined her.

“Looks like my neighbour,” came the reply. 

“About the prints,” the Detective sighed.

“Those there are sheep-prints,” the tech pointed with a gloved hand. “Those look like cow, some big paw prints there in the middle, and I’d say those on the shoulders are at least the size of a work-horse.”

The Detective straightened and eyed the dog, sheep, cow and a large work-horse a few feet away in a fenced-in pasture. Then she looked back down at the body in the mud. “Are you telling me those animals killed your neighbour?”

The tech straightened too before studying the animals, who gazed back placidly. “Well, I can tell you he’ll never mistreat them again.”

The End

Powerless & Cold

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Remember I promised that I was going to be more consistent about giving you behind-the-scenes peeks?

Last week, I had every intention of doing just that. But the Power grid here had other ideas. We were suddenly and without warning plunged into…

Want to know what happened? Look up at the top of the page and sign up for my newsletter. It’s entertaining, enlightening and you’ll learn something from the latest issue.

I promise not to use your email for nefarious purposes, ’cause that’s just slimy.

A Return…With Friends!

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I’ve been away this past week due to two failures.

A hardware failure, and a failure to communicate.

The first was a stuttering failure of the household router. In an effort to fix it, a tech that shall remain nameless failed to communicate correctly and we had to go nearly a week without the internet. It was getting pretty nerve-jangling by the time a knowledgable tech showed up to configure a newer router. You’ve never seen an entire household go from stressed out to happy in so short a time!

Last night, I had a dream. No, nothing of Martin Luther King importance, but for me, it was fairly significant. I don’t normally remember my dreams, but this one concerned my novel-in-progress, ‘Infinite Worlds’. You might remember that IW is set on an Earth-like parallel world, New Olympus. Devi Aradesta and Coriander Wolf have to find a way to get to New Olympus and retrieve a missing team of Earth scientists. Last night, I dreamed of a side-story to ‘Infinite Worlds’, and this morning I started writing.

Friends, I can’t properly express how excited I am about this tale, which as yet has no name. Here’s the plot in a nutshell…

In a parallel universe, there is a world very much like Earth. New Olympus is ruled by a strong-willed woman who has a plan for her world’s future. That future includes the immigration of potentially thousands of Earthers. But there are some in her government who would rather see her dead than share New Olympus with off-worlders.

Despite the best warriors protecting her, and a watchful and dedicated bodyguard at her side, the Chancellor of New Olympus, Bia Andosian is growing increasingly ill. With no heir named to follow in her footsteps, and no second in command, a corrupt Minister plots to take her place as Ruler. And his plan for New Olympus includes death for all Earthers. Even the ones already on New Olympus.

Emery Mai’s day to day job is to keep Chancellor Andosian safe. While she struggles to learn why the Chancellor is growing increasingly ill, she must also discover who is behind a newly created faction of anti-Earthers. She has to find a way to save her friend’s life, as well as the future of her world. Two worlds, and their inhabitants, stand to lose everything if Emery fails.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in reading? Have any suggestions for a title? Let me know in the comments section below!

How To Be A Badass

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I have been a Grey’s Anatomy fan since its third year. A former co-worker (my boss at the time) got me hooked on the show (Thanks, Tammy!) and I’ve been impossibly addicted to the show ever since. There have been nights I’ve had to miss an episode or two, but overall, I’ve been a die-hard fan.

Grey’s led me to Shonda Rhimes.

I am a fan of Shonda. Many shake their heads at her and say she is egotistical. Many say she is too loud-mouthed and opinionated.

I say she’s brave. I’d like to have 1/18th of her talent and bravery, and remake my life like she made hers. I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen, but I want to share just a bit of what makes Shonda great, in my humble opinion.

We all spend our lives kicking the crap out of ourselves for not being this way or that way, not having this thing or that thing, not being like this person or that person. For not living up to some standard we think applies across the board to all of us. We all spend our lives trying to follow the same path, live by the same rules. I think we believe that happiness lies in following the same list of rules. In being more like everyone else. That? Is wrong. There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people. You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.”

From her acceptance speech for the Elle Luminary Award, advice on how to begin to be a badass.

There are women out there struggling alone. Who do not have other women on their set,  may be the only person of color in their company. Who may be older than you are used to or younger or browner or less abled. Women who you have forgotten to include in your conversations and your world. Be a person who pulls other women, new women, different women into your circle. Widen your circle to hold more people. Lose your judgements of who someone is based on what you’ve heard or what you assume.

Make some friends, find some new sisters.

Come together. Work together. Brag together. Be powerful together. And whenever you can, lift one another up. Because lifting someone else is what lifts you.”

And these words make me want to have that kind of confidence. Her kind of confidence.

Badassery, I’m discovering, is a new level of confidence—in both yourself and those around you.

And finally,

Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here. And don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.”

Can I be Shonda when I grow up?


 

Listening For Life

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Back in February 2011, NASA’s Kepler Mission announced it had found 54 planets orbiting stars in so-called “habitable zones” in our galaxy. After the planets were found, NASA alerted the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) of their locations. The institute’s scientists started listening to those planets. SETI chief Jill Tarter has been quoted as saying the Institute is not listening for the kind of sound you hear with your ears. “What we’re doing is using sensors that are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation,” she says.

Electromagnetic radiation is just another name for energy that travels in wave form. Radio signals are also a form of wave energy. So when SETI “listens” to the cosmos, the institute is actually receiving electromagnetic radiation. Jon Jenkins, co-investigator for data analysis for the Kepler Mission, translates that electromagnetic radiation into sound. His actual job is measuring light from specific stars as a way to find nearby planets.

“When I started looking at these light curves,” he says, “I thought, ‘What if we played one of these through a sound card and it said, “Hello, Earthlings?” Unfortunately, Jenkins says, they haven’t heard that yet.

Jenkins made one recording by transforming wave energy — light from a star — into sound. Apparently, what has scientists puzzled is why the intensity of the pulsations change over time. One possibility put forward is that alien civilizations are modulating their own star’s brightness as a way to send signals across galaxies

Astronomers at the Parkes Observatory in Australia observed the brightest fast radio burst known to science on March of this year (2018). The signal was detected first on March 1st, then again on March 9th and 11th, with the March 9th signal breaking the record for strongest known deep space radio signal. All three have a powerful, localized origin. Scientists detected a “rapid fire” burst coming from a separate radio source within the past year. Could this strange pattern of radio bursts be attempts at intergalactic communication?

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Could E.T be trying to say hello?

When Cori and Devi First Met

 

Once upon a time, there were two women who were tasked with retrieving a party of scientists who had travelled through a stable wormhole to another world. Those women, Coriander Wolf and Devi Aradesta, already had quite a history, and although they didn’t yet know it, they would enjoy a remarkable future. I’m still working hard to finish Infinite Worlds, and my editor assures me that every bit of dialogue that is tweaked and every scene that I modify, only makes the novel stronger and more vivid. So while I’m still plugging away on that, I’d like to remind you how Coriander and Devi first met back in ‘If It’s Easy’ (which happens to be for sale at your favourite book retailer).

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Here’s an excerpt;

Coriander stepped away from the community bonfire when a small twinkle of light caught her eye. As she moved toward the lake, she noticed the sky was filled with the brief blue-white flashes. They rose from the grass, blinked over the water and danced with an otherworldly lustre.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” A voice to her left said.

She turned and tried to see who’d spoken, but the fire was behind them and all she saw of the other person was a silhouette.

“I’ve always loved them,” she replied. “Full of immediacy and living in the moment.”

“And hope,” her companion in the dark replied. “The males flash to females to signal their availability. It’s a firefly singles bar!”

They both laughed briefly.

“I remember catching them when I was a little kid and keeping them in a jar so they could light up my room,” Coriander said quietly.

“Did you know they aren’t really flies at all, but beetles?”

“Really?”

“Once they reproduce and the eggs are laid, the adults die,” The dark form stuck her hand out. “I should introduce myself; my name’s Devi…Devi Aradesta.”

“Coriander Wolf, but everyone calls me Cori,” She returned the handshake, and they turned back toward the lake to watch the fireflies again.


I invite you to check out your favourite online ebook retailer and pick up a copy of If It’s Easy while it’s still cheaper than a cup of coffee!

The Authors Guide To Self-Publishing for Canadians – A Review

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I thought this was a very useful, educational and helpful book.

So many ‘how to self-publish’ books out on the market are U.S based, but there are differences for Canadian authors in self-publishing. Barb shows the way to success and even mastery of various technical aspects of self-publishing, setting up a website, loading our manuscripts to different platforms, discusses the terms we need to know and the advantages of pursuing one path over another.
And so much more.

I was trying to keep notes, as I read the book, but even if you only need a specific section, you’ll find your answer here.
This book should be on the shelf/e-reader of EVERY Canadian author, self-published or not. Because even those who have a contract with a publishing house will learn a great deal. If only what questions to ask to fully understand your rights.

GET THIS BOOK!

You can find it at Amazon, Kobo, Audible, Indigo, and a wide variety of other sources. I also recommend a visit to her website

You won’t be disappointed.

Infinite Worlds – An Excerpt

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Today I wanted to share with you an exclusive sneak peek at a bit of ‘Infinite Worlds’.  In this bit, Coriander and Devi are having a conversation with the Chancellor of New Olympus. No sooner had they adjusted to finding an entire population and culture that they didn’t know existed, that planet’s ruler lays this on them…

“Among our Archives are documents that direct us to prepare our world for visitors from Earth,” Reatha said as she filled their cups with wine from her personal stock. “When I was declared Chancellor, I was shown these documents. Our ancestors have left instructions to encourage friendships with those from Earth, but also clear the way for people from your world to settle here on New Olympus if they choose to do so.” She settled on her lounge and regarded her guests seriously. “Dr. Baffin tells me that in your written history on Earth, there is a tradition of sharing a place with others through the written word?”
Coriander nodded. “Many years ago, when travel was more challenging, explorers would travel to different parts of the world and write about their adventures. The literature, what we call books, would describe far-off places and the people that lived there, as well as their culture. This encouraged others to travel and explore.”
“Exactly what our endeavor will require!” The Chancellor smiled.
“Which endeavor would that be, exactly?” Coriander asked with a furrow between her eyes.
“You will write such a book describing New Olympus and our customs for the people of Earth who might wish to know more about us. Then we will not be strangers to them, and when a way between our worlds is found, perhaps some of those Earthers will wish to come here.” Reatha said, matter-of-factly.
“Why do you want people from Earth to come here?” Devi asked.
“Dr. Baffin has told you that our Archive explains how New Olympus came to be populated, and named, correct?”
Devi and Coriander nodded silently.
“Then if our world was first inhabited by Earthers, it is reasonable to encourage such a thing once again. But consider this, when I was a child, I was taught that the beasts of New Olympus do not mate for life, but take many partners in order to increase the diversity of the species. I imagine this may be what the First Ones had in mind when they encouraged us to welcome Earthers to New Olympus.”
“So you want to increase the diversity of your people?” Coriander asked slowly.
“Indeed,” Reatha agreed, nodding. “I believe it would bring about growth, a widening of perspective and broaden our horizons in ways we cannot yet imagine! Think of the things we could all learn from one another, the possibilities are endless.”

 

Exciting stuff! Can you imagine the possibilities of finding another culture on a planet other than our own? How alien do you think they would be, or do you think they would be like us? Let me know in the comments section!

News From Words & Worlds!

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Did you get your copy of my End Of Summer edition of our newsletter?

No?

You can find the sign-up link at the top of the main page, just under my logo.

While this edition is not bursting to the seams, there is news to be had. Go sign up, get caught up and watch for another edition in a couple of weeks!

See you then!