Friday, February 7, 2020

Sometimes I forget

My depression has been really bad lately.  I swear I will never intentionally harm myself with the intent to die, so please set that out of your mind.  But sometimes I forget things, and I'm sure it is due to my two nervous breakdowns.

If you've never had a nervous breakdown, if you've never felt yourself fragmenting until you can't understand anything you're seeing, if you've never lost the ability to understand language or even forgotten your name for a few days, then it's difficult to understand the grievousness of the pain and loss.  I was part of a spiritual study group once and I said I felt like my nervous breakdowns had damaged my soul.  Of course, everyone poo-pooed the notion, but I know I lost vast amounts of memories, and I've always felt like the soul is that-which-gathers the memories, so I really do believe it's been damaged.

I often feel like I'm a torn and tattered sheet attached to a clothesline, flapping in the wind getting more torn each day, kind of happy when it's sunny but horribly disoriented when there's a storm.  If I'm in a good mood, I can remember average things pretty well, and I've always had odd bits of knowledge popping to the surface as a lover of trivia.  But when I'm down, even a little bit, my perceptions go askew and so do my memories.  I don't think I mis-remember things; I just don't remember them at all.

Like names; I can't remember them like I used to be able to.  If I meet someone new, I'm always trying to chant their name in my mind while I'm talking to them, hoping I can remember them.  I remember at one point in my life, I estimated how many people I have probably met or had the ability to meet and came up with the number 50,000.  I know that's an overly high estimate because I'm positive I never met all 300 students in my college chemistry class, but I had the potential to meet them.  Still, I try to remember my college friends, and I can't remember but a few names.  And my sister said she was invited to her 8th grade class reunion and wanted me to go; I was appalled at the notion that anyone remembers who they went to grade school with, because that knowledge went out the window well before my first nervous breakdown!

Sometimes, though, I forget the strangest stuff.  I enjoy being alone at home, avoiding the phone spammers and reading or writing books.  And then sometimes I wonder, why am I avoiding people?  Who can I talk to?  Why hasn't anyone called me lately?  And it takes me some time to remember that I'm solitary by choice!

Or everyday appointments and such.  I will have to write down an appointment in a couple of notebooks as well as leaving myself a reminder in my calendar, as well as leaving emails in my 'most important' category at the top of the page, just so I can see them every day.  I have only two routines, and even then I'll check the computer for what day it is, or I'll stand in the kitchen wondering if I've fed the puppy breakfast yet.

So I go about my day trying to avoid situations in which I'll have to remember anything.  I have begun picking up guitar, but it's taken me months of practicing a few times a week to remember just my warm-up exercises.  I've also begun studying Russian on my own, which I'm sure isn't the most efficient way to learn it, but it's taken me months just to get a few basics down pat.  I'm sure any native speaker listening to me sound out written words would probably wonder if I can even remember the sounds of the letters, but keeping track of all the pronunciation rules is trying in and of itself.

I think the thing I most wish I could remember is how much I care about people.  But when I'm in a situation with them (like at holidays or whatever), I will talk about myself and forget to ask how they are doing, and then I'll be driving home wondering how their lives are going.  I really don't mean to be so self-conscious (or selfish if you're being uncharitable), but I really do forget because I'm always internally rambling to myself about what's been wrong with me lately, which is about the only thing I can remember, and even then I don't remember half the time!

But that's the nature of depression.  You forget there's anything beyond the bleakness.  You forget how to laugh.  You forget the larger picture, that anything of note is happening in the world.  Or, you forget how to tie your shoes, or to check on the food you have cooking, or whether you already washed your hair in the shower.

So, please forgive me.  I don't have Alzheimer's or dementia (yet, anyway), but my depression is enough to make me feel like I'm about a hundred years old, having lost my energy and my will to live and my previous interests and my memories.  You don't know how much of a loser you feel until you sit in front of your work-in-progress and wonder why you ever thought the subject matter was important.  I feel so stupid, so often, and grieve the loss of my brain-power.

And, please, pray for me.  I'm up for prayers and benevolent thoughts, anyway I can get them.  I'd like to think that someday I'll soak in so many well-wishes that they'll repair the gaping holes in my memories, but I'll settle for filling up the holes to make new memories.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Deadly Winter in Our Future?

Do you have enough provisions in your home to live without assistance for SIXTY DAYS?

EEUU de la opulencia al suplicio (The U.S. from Opulence to Torment) is a book of prophecies printed in Colombia, self-published by Jairo Hernando Rojas Galvis (which is obvious given the occasional typo, even to someone like me who speaks Spanish as a second language.)  The introduction, foreword, and first few chapters mostly speak about the author’s encounters with shamanism and extraordinary spiritual journeys.  The author encounters a Master (Maestro) during his spiritual journey, who takes him to a crystalline library where diamond shelves hold multitudes of volumes over everything that’s ever happened in the universe. The Master takes a book off a shelf, pages through the volume, and talks about what life on Earth has really been about, how prophecies affect the future, and the rest of the book is about the U.S. in prophecies from 1998 to 2048.

My main interest in this book is in the first insurmountable disaster to happen to the U.S., a devastating and deadly blizzard that engulfs the land so hard, with snow up to the rafters, that all travel activity in wide areas of the U.S. is grounded completely.  The author moves in spirit form from the crystal library to the new scene of the disaster.  It’s actually a rather poetic text, and I have taken few liberties with the translation:

From Chapter Five: “The Portals, Locks, and Dikes Are Breaking”

From one moment to the next, all that great, majestic and brilliant building disappears before me, remaining trapped in a great tunnel where I move, at great velocity, converting myself into a sudden projectile.

I see everything is revolving, around me.  Sharply, that image disappears, finding me located in a house, located in what seems to be a large town.  From the beginning, my attitude is of bewilderment and astonishment.  I make the effort to order my thoughts, trying to familiarize myself with the images that I see all around.  I observe, through the windows, that winter has been impressively rough.  The sky is gray and the air feels heavy.  The snow is falling on the rooftops, the streets and the fields.  Later, it crystalizes, turning slippery.  And, as if I had been aware, all this time, of the grave situation, I know that the people don’t want to leave from their homes.  The heating units don’t stand up to the density of the air.  I find myself inside the house, with four more people that, I suppose, form the family group.  They look anguished, through the blurry windows, at what is happening outside.

Their fearful faces reflect an indescribable fear, before the approach of an imminent tragedy.

Every once in a while, they lift their gazes toward the ceiling, since this creaks from the unsustainable weight of the snow.

And they don’t dare to leave.  In the streets, the situation is much more critical.  It appears to be a ghost town, whipped by a strange blizzard, that howls pitifully, with those howls loaded with deep, poignant omens.

Food gets scarce.  It’s necessary to bear, during sixty long days, the pitiful circumstances that have extended, in an inclement way, to several states in the south of the country.  There’s no transport, because to leave represents a risk, even more, when vehicles can’t move, since many find themselves trapped below the snow.  This phenomenon had been seen, year after year, but never so intensely.  Neither had anyone paid attention (to it), thinking that, with the passage of the years, the situation would improve.

There’s no air traffic.  Airports are found closed, interrupting, thus, the transport of passengers between cities, same as the exchanges of food.

They say that there are lots of bodies of homeless people, scattered through the streets, that sleep the deep dream of death, hidden under the great banks of snow, that reach up to three and four meters of height (10-13 feet).

One cannot see dogs, nor cats, walking around the white streets.  Pipes are stuck.  Water for domestic use is found frozen.  Radio and television signals are seen permanently interrupted.  Panic and anxiety have gone invading, slowly, the terrorized inhabitants.  Facing the threat of a famine and facing the great decrease of food reserves, the supermarkets have been seen sacked.

Many of those who left their houses have not returned. The insurmountable harassing difficulties presented by the weather, have made death surprise them on the road. Not even crawling is it easy to travel.  The air appears to freeze, even in the smallest corner of the lungs.  For the body, it’s difficult to maintain normal temperature, and contact with the snow produces burns.

One cannot see the least hope for a change in the situation.  Pretty well, forecasts are discouraging, considering that they tend to prolong themselves for a length of time still undefined.

Around me, I only see four twitching faces that preferably fall silent, in order to not let escape their countless phrases of regrets.

I stay in the corner of the small living room observing them, finding myself conscious of the fact that I am an entity far away from them, at the precise instant of the living events.

The father, a robust man of fifty years, short on hair and eyebrows, walks from one side to the other, trying to maintain the temperature of his body and, at the same time, hide his restlessness.  He has on his mind a dominant thought that shakes him over and over again.  He wants to leave in search of food.  He heats the palms of his hands with his breath, time and again. Later he tells the others that he wants to leave at all cost.  His son, his daughter, and his wife beg him, by means of poignant tears, that he not do it.  And they remind him that, at each moment, is repeated in the bulletins: “Don’t leave, because the people who have disappeared are uncountable.”

He turns to the pantry, opens it and, sadly, it shows its empty interior.  Rations have been exhausted, despite, in the latter days, they used a can to distribute between the four (one can for four people). And this situation is generalized for the majority of the families.

A bulletin informs that hospitals are living in a critical situation.  People sick with pneumonia, the cold, and starvation have been going up in a disproportional way.  Personnel to attend them are very scarce and, at the same time, the reserves of food and medications are approaching their end.

The greater reality is that the government has been seen impotent to be able to send aid to different states, since the atmospheric conditions don’t allow the flight of airplanes or helicopters.

The block is total.

Here, in this home, the situation is desperate.  The father busily seeks the way to convince the family that he should go out in search of provisions.  His son, a young man of some 19 years, offers to leave with him, so that it can happen.

The mother begs that they can still last a few more days, with the hope that, from one moment to the next, the situation will improve.  He responds that, if the opposite occurs, the four would be in grave danger of dying.

The roof of the house keeps creaking, menacingly.

After a short discussion between them all, father and son decide to go in search of food, knowing, before hand, that all that is no more than a risky adventure, where they are putting the existence of the two in danger.

There is only one site they can leave from and it’s a narrow window that is found located under the stairs that go up to the second floor.  As soon as they open it, a frozen wind begins to enter, brusquely beating against their faces.

The main door is completely stuck by the snow, that covers it more than three quarters of its height.
The two women embrace, getting confused in the middle of a touching sob, as if, inside them, throbbed the bleak omen that they would not see them again.

After going through the window, due to the narrowness, the father gets caught by it, initiating a distressing struggle where everyone helped him, pushing him by his legs until, finally, he‘s face down on top of the inclement snow.  Later, the son passes through with light difficulty, blizzard whipping in his face, with overflowing fury.

They close the window forcefully, stopping, inside, the whistling of the wind.  Some small mounds of snow stay stuck to the frame.

Through the tarnished windowpanes, they watch them getting further away, panting, through the snow, like two ghostly figures that go fading away heavily, after a white, dense mist.

I decide to leave behind them, because I don’t have the inconvenience given to material forms to move around, although I feel the mild influence of the elements of nature.

On the road is found, every great once in a while, a passerby transformed in a vertical snow man, animated with slow movements like that of a polar bear.

Half-hidden, under level mounds, parts of extremities are peeking out, rigid and cold, like an iceberg of ice.

I continue behind them, like an inseparable shadow.

They roam, like a boat adrift, looking for some store.  They only find broken windows and empty shelves.  Many flammable objects have served to light some bonfire, on a corner, and thus to heat up the body of the beggars and those who still had not been able to return to their homes.

Cars are seen under the snow, like laconic monuments, the ones that, for a short while, were an effective mode of transport.

While Peter is walking – I heard that name from the lips of his wife – he remembers the days when he would work as the driver of a forklift.  The business is found inactive and the forklifts stayed stacked 
up, like a mountain of scrap.

In his fifty years, he never saw anything like it.  And he had not been without work.  His two children couldn’t return to studies. Everything is found paralyzed, save for a few scarce activities that, hardly, can stand up, under rigorous sacrifices.

Through their minds, the darkest thought didn’t pour about being part of these bitter circumstances.  They had been used to seeing everything, like passing facts, like the average of the majority had seen them, too.  In the brutal winters, there had always been abundant machinery to clear off the highways.

The runways of the airports were always kept clear. The supermarkets had sufficient supply.  Gas wasn’t lacking and heaters, bad or good, always worked.  Now, things had changed.  Survival hasn’t been easy.  They are very few who haven’t experienced a hidden fear facing the grave situation.

Peter and his son walk embracing each other, to give themselves mutual heat.  In the meantime, they observe that their breathing is made more and more difficult, and in their thoracic cavity, they feel like their lungs are trying to explode.  Their nostrils, upon contacting the air, give the sensation of 
being rummaged around by a burning blight.

The visibility, in certain moments, becomes almost nil.  Without being night time, a tenuous darkness invades the streets like a sinister shadow.  They haven’t managed to find anything.

The act of walking under these painful conditions has subtracted the little energy they still had from them.  His son, due to his youth, walks on, not without feeling a certain discouragement that goes up, like an icy snake, through his legs.

They have wandered during several hours, fruitlessly.  They say that, until they don’t find anything, they won’t return home.

But the hands on the clock keep marking the minutes, and these seem eternal.  Being interminable, they have become hours that shake their fatigued bodies.

The majority of cities of some states in the south, especially the small cities, live in similar situations.  It’s like if the forces of nature had been conjured, in order to cover, with their extensive arms, these regions.  Man has seen himself incapable of fighting, observing that his distressed efforts haven’t been spent to be unsuccessful.

The night’s shadows have extended their wings, like a gigantic antediluvian monster, that sharply shakes the air, with the rise and fall of its vigorous wings.

One way or another, also for Peter and his son, everything has turned dark and quiet as a tomb, after several worthless hours of walking. Conquered by fatigue and cold, lying down against each other, they allow themselves to collapse under the threshold of a door of a sacked store.

They woke up, amid regrets, in a large room of a hospital.  The majority of the hospitalized people cry out, in screams, for their family members.  They don’t let them leave because conditions don’t allow them to and they would be exposed to a certain death.

Meanwhile, the wife of Peter and their daughter, after three days of waiting, try to leave, in a useless search.  All of a sudden, everything is confusion.  The two women die smashed by the roof of the house, that yielded to the weight of its load.  They weren’t the only ones that endured this tragedy.  Uncountable households remained buried under the snow.

Several days have passed.  The snow melts and, with unused force, in the middle of a fierce bellow, overflows impressively, supported by unexpected storms.  The houses appear to be small boats that float, sliding, impetuously, over the surface of the earth.  Human remains are dragged, by the violent vortex, showing on their faces the indecipherable grimace of anguish.  Household appliances are part of the fury of the flow.

Peter is left with only his son and his pain.  He has lost everything he fought for in his life: his family, his household, and the vehicle that, in other times, served him as efficient transport.
At the site where his house had been, they found only sticks where it had stood.  Not a sign of his wife or daughter.

Across various states, only desolation is seen, mud and vestiges of what there was once upon a time.  Unburied bodies and the smell of orphanhood.  Even then, the survivors don’t recover from their anguish, of the ire and the desperation.

The help of the government converts itself into alms that remind them, with nostalgia, of moments of ephemeral happiness.

There was no dam or sluice that would stop the rumbling passage of the water, in its unforgivable eagerness to destroy.

The drowned cries, in gargantuan tears, are happening everywhere, driven by the howling of the wind.

The victims are countless, the same with the economic losses, being considered this episode one of the greatest national tragedies.

 --- End of Translation ---

Now, I'm not one to scaremonger people into doing anything, but these past couple of years of 'polar vortexes' and suchlike have made me really apprehensive about what the worst winter storm of all would be like.  I daresay anyone who manages to survive sixty days without other human contact will be lucky if they haven't prepared beforehand.  Since it's just me and hubby, I'm sure we could manage well enough, especially since we have lots of 'stores' in the form of fat and could survive a minor famine with no problem.

However, if there are an uncountable multitude of homes and bodies washing away in the floods at the end of the blizzard, what comes next?  Who is going to be working the farms, for example, providing the next season's worth of food?  Who is going to be building the roads that have been gouged away by floods and floating houses, or clearing or even staffing the airports?  

In preparation for this future, it won't be enough to stock food items in your house.  You'll have to stock information to pick up jobs that'll need to get done because the population has been decimated.  You might have to work in a hospital, for example, or you might have to clear brush and debris from schools or roads or even train tracks and airplane runways.  You might be lucky enough to have been a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout and can spread your skills to anyone you meet.  You certainly can't assume your 'old job' will be around!

And, according to other parts of this book, we will have to go through this without any help from other countries.  I fear the majority of the world's countries are alienated enough by our current administration, so they would undoubtedly find excuses not to help. 

In the United States, it's considered admirable to 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps'.  Unfortunately, that may be mandatory in this frigid future.  I'll be praying for us all to survive, but if circumstances take a turn for the worst, it's been great knowing you all.  I hope to see you on the other side...!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sarcasm: the Death of Language

What is sarcasm?  For me, sarcasm is saying what you don't mean, but in such a way as to mock what someone else thinks is true.

That's where we get it wrong.  I'm of the opinion that, when you say something, it should be true, and you should mean it.  Otherwise, it's a lie.  And lies are the death of language.

What's the purpose of language, anyway?  To communicate, right?  Well, if you lie, that means you're communicating that which is false, that which is not representing reality.  If you get a reputation as a liar, then no one can trust what you say to be true.

Lies are so pervasive in the world today that it's hard to tell truth from fiction.  Even the most constant and blatant lies of someone who sits in the Oval Office are destroying our collective ability to communicate with each other!  If you can't tell what's true and what's false, how can you decide what to think about any situation?  Whose word can you take for truth?

That's why so many people nowadays say things like, "Follow the money," or, "Actions speak louder than words."  We've been socialized to be verbal creatures; surely your parents oohed and aahed over your first word.  Once we get into school, the overwhelming majority of our education is verbal.  If you have upright citizens as parents, you got in trouble if you were caught lying.

And that's also a major issue: IF you get caught in a lie.  Used to be you would get in trouble, but nowadays so many people shrug it off, even among their friends, that it's just another piece of information you collate with the rest: Shelly lies about her age, or Debra lies about her boyfriends, or Dave lies his drinking, and so forth.

Nowadays, people lie to get what they want, and they don't think twice about it because what matters is what they can get people to DO.  "Hey, I'm homeless, do you have any change?"  "I was on the interstate when I had a flat on the way to work...."  "My uncle Bob died last night, and I need Friday off for the funeral."  Employers are about the only people who check up on such statements, and if you lie, that's it, you're fired.  Unless you're a state worker; supervisors have to follow progressive disciplinary actions and have levels of suspensions before the employee can be dismissed.

Back to sarcasm, the 'funny' way to lie.  Sarcasm is the height of wit, it seems, and I'm seeing and hearing it more and more.  To me, it's just another way to lie, and it's especially bad when it's the written word instead of the spoken word.  If spoken, you can at least use vocal inflections to indicate that it's supposed to be a sarcastic statement.  But, if it's written, unless you have some type of indication or symbol indicating sarcasm (such as, '$he think$ he'$ hot'), the point is that SOME people will misinterpret the intent of your statement, either out of stupidity or innocence if not willful perversion.

And that means communication is lost.  You have directly subverted another person's attempt to understand reality.  We might as well all be deaf and have no language at all; that way, you're forced to acknowledge someone's actions as 'reality'.

I was on Facebook the other day, and probably half of the posts that weren't videos were laden with sarcasm.  I often point out how un-funny it is, how counterproductive or how ineffectual it is, but no one seems to care.  We live in such a constant sea of misinformation and propaganda and scorn that it's a wonder any of us can get through a day without second-guessing someone's intent or meaning.

Imagine trying to learn another language when all the people are lying to you.  Can you say you've learned that language if you try to order a hamburger and get fried chicken?  What do you do when you realize you can't trust anyone at all to tell you the truth?

Stop the sarcasm, please.  Next time you're tempted to spout something sarcastic, think it over and say what you mean, instead.  I can assure you it'll be more powerful because of its truth.  If we can't get everyone to speak the truth, we might as well give up speech for good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Extras in the To Be Sinclair series

Greetings, folks!  I've officially concluded the To Be Sinclair series, but I still have characters popping up, hoping I'll tell their stories!

This is a graphic I've worked up for an omnibus edition of my series.  Since it's 13 books and 11 short-story 'Easter eggs' (over 1.6 million words), I think I'll at least cut it into half if not thirds, and I definitely won't be putting this out for at least a year (since I just published Civility).

Regardless, I keep finding myself writing about other TBS characters and the struggle for them to find mates.  I could add them to existing books; my most recent one, Redeemed, is about Domenic Sinclair and would attach easily to Integrity.  But I rather think I might offer them here, on my blog, for the public to read for free.

I'm not quite sure how to go about it, though -- a four or five-part post, separating the 20,000-word story into manageable bits and giving the readers some suspense?  Should I upload it to some of the more popular reader sites, like Radish?

Feel free to comment or message me over your opinions on this matter.  I want to help the readers who already love my series enjoy further stories, yet I would also like to find new venues and further readers.  Thank you for your input!


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

CIVILITY in tweets!

For several of my books, I've put up tweets of important or poignant points in the story to give you an idea of things to come.   As usual, you can order Civility at (click on) Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, and so forth.

 Here's my preview of Civility in tweets with the hashtags and such edited out:

1/  “The trail eventually ended, but a heavier heat signature showed in one spot as if he had spent a lot of time there before moving away.  Unfortunately, that position was almost directly over your bunk….”

2/ She felt as if a bolt of lightning had struck the top of her head, generating hot loathing throughout her body to the tips of her fingers and toes.  The Bad Guys, the bogeymen of every child on Sinclair Demesne….

3/ Irked, she snarled, “And I can’t stand to think senior officers would mock my dedication to my duties, especially for such a perilous operation, and especially since I’m apparently the last person to be brought in on it!”

4/ “If there’s the most remote chance they can discover she’s playing a role, that’s it; the legation has failed. And they’ll be more than pissed; they’ll be antagonistic about it, which we absolutely cannot afford if we’re expected to leave their territory.” 

5/ “I thought Ruben had broken up with his girlfriend when he said he’d be bringing you, so I asked her, and she….” 
Alea slowed, gulped, and tried to get control of her face.  “I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.”

6/“I’d say it was all those years in a command environment that helped me see who needed to do what. Which you haven’t had. [Y]ou might not be able to turn off your unflappable personality and assume a more fruitful attitude, like dominance or cold logic.”

7/“Still, you’ll be an immensely valuable asset in the Athenian volume, which will be the biggest test everyone in the fleet will likely ever experience.  [P]rovided you try to work with us instead of dragging us all down with your pissy little trials….”

8/ If Rich said Kieran Renois was the best person for the position, it was more than reasonable; it was vital. “Since you’re convinced he’s the most competent person you could have in that position, that’s fine with me. Go ahead and arrange it.”

9/“Lord Renois.” Elizabeth had stopped to face him, casually inspecting her fingernails and rings. “As my lady-in-waiting, she has explicit rights to my person. And you will address her with her Imperial designation and honorific for the duration of this mission.

10/ “If you’re gonna pump me for information, I might as well kill myself now.” He downed his drink.
“[H]aving twenty thousand Sentinels know everything about us is rather daunting. You’d think the secrecy oath would apply as much to each other as it does to outsiders.”

11/ “Rather astute of her, considering that I could have your entire legation killed in an instant.”
To counteract the stab of dread in her heart, Elizabeth laughed merrily [and] took up her drink. “You would risk Athenia being utterly destroyed?”

12/They couldn’t deny that anything she had said was untrue; she had described her sheer heroism in defending them to Grandfather and Grandmother in strikingly honest detail.  There was no way these men could gainsay her or fight with her over these negotiations.

13/Suddenly ashamed to realize she was manipulating him, she put her hands to her face and groaned, rocking forward and back.  Her mortification and her thickening thoughts vanished in an instant when Kieran sat beside her and wrapped his arms around her.

14/This chalata’s beady regard made Elizabeth think of an old, wise professor, a scientist studying her with the weight of long experience, and an ambassador meeting another ambassador, all rolled into one.  Its dark golden eyes barely moved.

15/ “One fellow mentioned it wouldn’t be right to attack during the games, & another fellow argued, ‘But you know they’ll all be here watching her.’ The first fellow said, ‘Maybe after?’ They then noticed me & took off. When I couldn’t see them any longer, I reported.” 

16/These men had so little desire to comply with the reparations treaty, they’d even talked themselves into not caring whether they could be members of the galactic community once more. [S]he realized the paltry offers they had made were mirrored across the board.

17/Alea held up her hand to stop his avalanching apology.  “This is my question: do I need to report this to anyone?”
The man swallowed, wringing his hands. “Ah… to me.” His haunted eyes showed he undoubtedly hoped she wouldn’t ask who his boss was.

18/Kieran looked around at the setup. “The only way someone could get to us is if they sent an attack drone through the gap hidden by the canopy.”
“And even then, our sharpshooters, the skopeftís, would destroy it before it could even get over the stands.”

19/“I don’t think this is much of an experiment when we know exactly what to do to get the results we expect.”
“Frankly, I could see chalates all over who would turn to watch what was happening, every time. They’re like… repeaters, beacons.”

20/ “If she’s incited a riot, there’s no way she’ll get out of here without them guarding her.” Kieran pointed @ the four men escorting Alea out of the stadium. “They’re doing us a favor. Look @ the people leaning over the rails, howling for her blood!”

21/ “Are you sure you want to play this game? Are you sure you can play it better than Theon Ellines, or even anyone else?”
He glanced over the tableau before meeting her eyes. “I’m not sure what you’re asking, exactly.”
“Negotiations.  Are you willing to play with us?”

22/ A deep, deep ache throbbed to the rhythm of her heartbeat from both her legs as well as her other arm. She remembered hearing regeneration therapy was one of the most painful procedures a person could experience.  No wonder she was drugged to the gills.

23/ “If you can’t trust your people to know their limits, if you insist on driving Rich Jeffries over the edge just for political necessity, you’ll lose more than Servicemen over it; you’ll lose their faith in your ability to judge need over greed.”

And, as usual, the obligatory social media links:

Google +          
Author Central           

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Civility: Available for Pre-Order!

Greetings!  I'm happy to announce that Civility, book 13 and the finale of the To Be Sinclair series, is safe in Amazon's hands and available for pre-order  The book will be released August 21st, 2018, and I'll have the Smashwords version up in a few days so iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and others will be able to pre-order it, too.

In celebration, starting Monday, July 2nd, I'll be tweeting an excerpt a day from Civility around noon. Come join me!  I'll be posting them here at some point, perhaps when I've done four or five of them.  Here's the scoop:
Captain Princess Alea Sinclair is tasked by the Emperor to be her aunt Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, i.e. bodyguard, on their trip to the Attican Empire to rewrite their $2 trillion treaty. Behind the scenes, health issues and a cruel commanding officer make their private lives hell while they strive to maintain their public image of competence. And their stated mission isn't the only one; they must also find out what they can about an intelligent alien species the Atticans have found on a nearby planet. 

They act like tame pets, but due to their hypnotic mental influence, Elizabeth falls for Alea's scorned C.O. while Alea and her two new Attican friends strive desperately to understand the wily chalates. How can Alea determine the intent and the extent of the aliens' influence upon Elizabeth, the most brilliant social analyst and diplomat of the Sinclair Demesnes, before they ruin the renegotiation of this critical treaty?

This is the final volume of the To Be Sinclair series. This novel contains sexual situations.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Conquering Evil One Small Step at a Time

Why do people like animals more than they like other people?   It's because animals don't LIE.

"Oh, that's obviously been Photoshopped."
"Did you hear they can mix and mimic your voice and dub it to anything?"
"So, how many times did the president lie this week?"

This is the burden of language: lies.  This is also the burden of history, that things will change into their opposites.  Instead of a noble, upright citizen being elected in as president, we have a man who can not only lie on the fly but also change his mind from a previous position in a flash.

Religion used to be the purveyor of morality.  Even then, the first five commandments basically came down to respecting and revering 'authority'.  Blasphemy was considered the greatest sin you could commit -- the one unforgivable sin!  And now the forces of religion are waning in the world.

But now, looking all around us, the brazen immoralities stand out.  Greed?  "Banksters!" someone shouts.  Sloth?  "Welfare!" someone shouts.  Pride? Wrath? Lust? Envy? Gluttony?  You almost don't even have to open your eyes, just open up a browser and find the local news.

We've already come to accept the normalization of evil.  Politicians openly accept bribes by lobbyists, and when accused of some crime, they deny all responsibility for their actions.

Even everyday people have normalized their selfish, greedy, slothful, or outright evil acts.  "Yeah, well, I want to use plastic bottles!"  We even excuse our everyday actions that have been called into focus as wrong.  I have a vegan friend whom I've forbidden to post any more meat-is-cruelty-to-animals videos because seeing an abused animal slingshots me into a depressive episode... which burns her because I eat meat and, according to her, refuse to see the error of my ways!

Brutality and violence surround us, everywhere, such that it's more acceptable to show people getting shot and stabbed and blown up in movies than it is to see a loving couple take their clothes off together and get happy.  Not only that, but one of my long-term pet peeves with the science fiction industry is their penchant for end-of-the-world tropes and good-versus-evil, with an overwhelming number of evil people led by the Most Evil Man Ever (Or 'meme', haha!).  Thankfully, most of them end with the Good Guy conquering him, at least staving off the evil to a nebulous future.

So, what can we do about it?  How can we bring the normalization of good back into our focus?  How can we make a dent in the evil surrounding us, to label it as evil and promote what is good in its stead?

I believe we have to do it with literature, with books and film and stories, whether written or made into audios.  What we have to do is capture the popular imagination by modeling decent behavior, showing a character changing due to bad decisions and their subsequent consequences.  Or maybe the character grows away from evil (ignorance) as they're being influenced by a truly good person, and recognizes s/he, too, can move away from destructive behavior toward constructive behavior.

That has been my goal with the To Be Sinclair series all along.  My characters are real, everyday people dealing with real, perhaps extraordinary situations, but rarely a situation you can't actually imagine happening.  I've had a lot of people say things like, "You should get them made into movies -- they're so realistic!"

My current work-in-progress, Civility, is the thirteenth and final book of the series, and for the first time, I have intelligent 'aliens'.  Also for the first time, I have an older female protagonist, 57-year-old Princess Elizabeth Sinclair who, for all her brilliance, still manages to make a mess of her private life.  I have a second protagonist who has self esteem issues, swinging between pride and humiliation as much as she does balancing a private life with being a public figure.

These are all realistic battles that everyday people fight.  How do you choose the person to spend your life with?  How do you balance work, school, and leisure?  What happens when your best friends start dating your little sisters?  When do you put your foot down, and how severely should you mete out the punishment?  How do you deal with your first real and utterly devastating loss?

I believe we should emphasize these things in our literature, rather than the Chosen One who none of our readers will ever be, or the Grand Sacrificial Choice that our readers will (hopefully!) never need to make.  They need help and modeling to overcome everyday problems, such as how to turn away unwanted attention from the opposite sex without endangering themselves, or balancing two separate but equally important duties.  One step at a time, we should be giving them the tools to improve their lives, and hopefully reclaim our world from the Dark Forces of Evil, who are simply individuals just like us, who can also change.

Plot bunny:  How can an undeniably evil person change his/her ways, and can s/he redeem him/herself from the past?

*Alternate history:  Hitler surrenders and asks what reparations he can perform.  How do you respond?*

~  Namaste  ~

Eva's social media and book links:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Integrity is LIVE! Book 12 of the To Be Sinclair series

I've been a 'busy mama'!  These three novellas just wanted to be told, so although I published Fidelity last summer, I've published Integrity February 1st -- so, yes, an eight-month book baby!  It measures give-or-take 123,000 words and weighs in with such issues as how a stargate scientist expects to die, how stargate scientists and specialists have sworn with their lives to work for the Emperor, and how even the non-stargate members of the Imperial Family are encouraged to grow beyond their imaginations!

Three Imperial scions unexpectedly brandish their hidden brilliance for their cousin the Emperor, redefining the safety of their stargate scientists, the extent to which the Imperial Family owes obedience to the Emperor, and the influence the Imperials hold over the Royals.

Fearless: Prince Ricky has had few relationships due to his depression, but amazingly, he finds a lady who understands how to deal with it. Unfortunately, does his acceptance of death define his relationship with his mother, the director of the Stargate Institute?

Deliver Us from Evil: Prince Roman and Prince David are taken to task for their inability to commit to a lady. As stargate professionals, though, they must be extra careful in starting relationships. How does Roman help his cousin David come to an acceptance of his duties, and what happens when the Emperor provokes him beyond all reason? 

Evolve with Resolve: Princess Kayla Pierson-Sinclair longs for a lover, as well as a future beyond her currently dull but important position as the Emperor's social director. Just before the wedding of her long-time friend, Lady Elisha Wooldridge, Kayla meets Elisha's brother, Lord Graham, whose autism has been given as the excuse for him to be cut out of the Wooldridge succession. Kayla comes to the realization that Graham's been more misunderstood than anything, and just one highly romantic kiss from him is enough to make her long for him in her bed!

As they try to get together, Graham's family tries to keep them apart, worried that Kayla is just toying with him. And, as she grows to understand their family dynamic, Kayla gets just that much more determined to emancipate him from the Wooldridge family entirely. 

Graham's issues lie deeper than the perceptual problems of autism, however. Will Kayla ever discover the cause of Graham's PTSD? And will their families accept their desire to be together?

Note: This book contains sexual situations.

And, as usual, Integrity can be found at all major retailers:


Note: I've fiddled with the cover, so now the tagline evokes more of a particular sentiment in the actual book, rather than the themes that reflect the title.