Friday, December 21, 2012

My Contribution to the End of the World


In honor of the alleged Mayan Calendar end-date, 21 December 2012, this is my contribution to the End of the World, whenever it may come.

LOVE: an analysis and commentary of 1 Corinthians 13
 by Eva Caye 

Excerpt from New International Version (NIV)  [found at http://www.biblegateway.com]

THE LACK OF LOVE:
 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
To ‘speak in tongues’ was once considered a gift of the Holy Spirit, called glossolalia.  From dictionary.com:
noun -- incomprehensible speech in an imaginary language, sometimes occurring in a trance state, an episode of religious ecstasy, or schizophrenia.
A person found speaking in tongues was often treated as if they were being touched by the Holy Spirit, for sometimes they spoke languages that actually existed, which perhaps some in the room could interpret.  I have, allegedly, personally experienced two instances of ‘speaking in tongues’.  In the first, three people who were members of the same church tried to convince me that it was an important manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  When one looked at the others and said, “I think she needs an example, ready? 1, 2, 3....” and they proceeded to babble at each other, I cried at their pitiful attempts to force such a manifestation, though they thought I was crying because I ‘felt’ the Holy Spirit in them.  In the second, a ‘spiritually adept’ person stated that deliberately speaking in tongues would magically attune a person to some mystical spiritual state in which prophecies could be made.  After he deliberately blathered nonsense for a good five minutes, he proceeded to predict circumstances I will never see, such as me dying in childbirth (unknowing about my previous hysterectomy). 

Nowadays, we call it gibberish, diagnose it as ‘word salad’, and treat it according to our personal background beliefs.  My personal beliefs are, if the Holy Spirit truly inspires someone to give them a verbal gift of tongues, it would only be a valuable gift if it were comprehensible to at least one person present.  I am not discounting the possibility by any means that this could occur, and I suppose speaking in tongues provides some sort of spiritual fulfillment for the speakers.  Regardless, this first verse is absolutely correct:  if it is not done in, with, or for love, it is meaningless, the crashing of percussion instruments with no rhythm, simply noise, no manifestation of spirit.

To me, the REAL essence of verse one is that almost ALL human speech is just as worthless.  How many worthwhile things do you hear of a day?  Here are some phrases I would find worthwhile hearing:
“...And I want my entire fortune left to [specific charity].”
“911, there’s a [tragic circumstance] at [specific location]!”
“I do.” [marriage vows]
Why do I consider those phrases important?  Because they provoke actions to demonstrate actual love upon one’s fellow humans, or animals, or the Earth. 

 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Prophecy and miracles – I believe in both.  I have researched prophecies since 1979 or so, and I have often asked people if they have ever experienced miracles, listened carefully to their stories, and tried to assimilate them into a framework of knowledge.  The two purposes of prophecy are a) to forewarn us about imminent tragedies, and b) to get us to change our ways so those tragedies do not happen.  The purpose of miracles is to demonstrate that they result from scientific principles we do not yet understand, and the overwhelming number of those principles are based on spiritual activities which juxtapose with matter in ways science has yet to determine.

‘...fathom all mysteries and all knowledge’ is a powerful reminder to me of the use of intelligence.  I know an incredible number of intelligent people, many of whom are moral and/or spiritual.  I also know, and know of, vast numbers of intelligent people who have few if any morals.  Some sociopaths are so intelligent they have perfected lives of exquisite, socially-acceptable public fronts, all the while abusing friends, relatives, indeed anyone they can, just to support their own image of grandeur.  I definitely wonder about the moral capacity of corporate executives who do not grant their lowest workers a living wage, for example.

If you are spiritually advanced or intelligent enough to predict the future, how do you use those powers?  If you use them to take advantage of your fellow humans, if you do not offer your services with love, I fear for the state of your soul.  Yes, you can charge money; I want my mechanic to tell me of imminent brake failure!  Yet if you deliberately inspire fear in people with your abilities just to skim them of their cash because you want a new car, I more than fear for the state of your soul.  I fear for the state of our society, for this seems to be the prevalent attitude right now, causing untold suffering throughout all social strata and socioeconomic levels. 

‘Faith that can move mountains’ is what gives me hope.  It indicates a spiritual power, a state of readiness, a knowledge that one can handle the vagaries of the future or even the end of the world.  Yet, without love, what miracles even matter?  Would you perform a miracle before vast numbers of witnesses just so they would love you?  The love YOU give is the miracle; the faith YOU inspire is the miracle.  All ‘miracles’ not performed WITH love, for the support and well-being of fellow life-forms, are worthless and desperate measures for attention, adulation, self-aggrandizement.  If you are spiritually strong enough to do miracles yet perform them for your own selfish interests, you are trying to accumulate spiritual power given to you by others, which will not last if you do not give them love and faith that they can do the same.  You end up living in a spiritual vacuum and your spiritual energy will be spent, eventually drying up. 

The purpose of performing miracles is to share spiritual power, and that is done with, by, and for love.  Those witnesses and recipients then learn that they, too, can develop spiritual powers, ‘faith that can move mountains’, and share those abilities with love.  The true power of love is growth; if the emotion you think is love causes people to wither, turn inward, reject others, and lose willpower, you are not experiencing true love.  If you project true love, your loved ones brighten, always look forward to new endeavors with and for you, delightfully offer to share your burdens, and pursue their interests and goals with enthusiasm.  What kind of miracle would it be if everyone were to learn to love like that?

 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
How many people would give to charities if the government did not offer tax relief?  That is the measure of a man, to give when it does not matter to anyone but the recipient.  To give whether it inconveniences you, and knowing you will get nothing back out of it.  Although I immensely respect Robert A. Heinlein’s concept of Pay It Forward, and have even used it on occasion to assuage other people that I really do mean to help them out with no strings attached, I still consider it a ‘string’, a condition upon giving that I prefer not to employ.  What matters is giving from the heart, giving in the spirit of love, giving with the knowledge that the person is being blessed with a bit of your love, in the hopes they thrive and grow and learn the spiritual value of possessions. 

Boasting – I’m guilty.  I love knowing I can accomplish X, Y, and Z, that I ‘did it all myself’, that I spent innumerable hours perfecting my craft, or that I made it through some hardship and survived.  How many people look upon me as if I am nuts, though?  How many people listen to my ‘accomplishments’ with jealousy?  How many people feel shame if they have not achieved what I have achieved?

What matters with both of these is to do it with love.  If I give of my possessions or money to a cause which matters the world to me, I can release that blessing with no regret, never wanting it back, with full assurance that I have made someone’s life easier or helped build a better future for us all.  If I market my newest book, it is because I have filled its pages with love, with life lessons, with ideas and energy that I hope to inspire in all my readers.  If I mention my achievements to my family and friends, it is always with the hope I can inspire them to think of their own potential, help them avoid pitfalls I have seen, and always to offer assistance to them in any expertise I have.

This is love:  I went drastically out of my way to set up my first book with a print-on-demand publisher because my sister wanted a copy she could hold in her hands, instead of a simple ebook.  My sister in turn gave me several pieces of pottery she made with her own hands during a class she took.  I personally discovered the information on the class and sent it to her so she could learn how to do this art-form she had always wanted to try.  She has always encouraged me to be an author.  We inspire each other to greatness, simply out of love.

THE QUALITIES OF LOVE:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Patience is something we should all work on.  When I feel impatient, I tend to find there is a reason for it, a block of some kind, which shows me something I can do to perfect or correct a situation so the outcome is enormously better than it would have been.  To be patient with other people can be a trial, for they may have not assimilated a new situation which impinges upon their ability to work/react/relate at your level.  When I feel a struggle to keep patient in a situation, I concentrate on finding the love.  Do I really love what I am doing or the purpose for which I am doing it?  Do the people who are keeping me from progress need a loving hand to guide them?

Kindness is in critical short supply these days.  It inspires me to hear religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama proclaim kindness is their religion.  Yet, what is kindness? The dictionary refers you to ‘benevolence’, thus defined as a desire to do good to others.  In other words, love inspires us.  As such, love is a life-force, an impetus of our behavior, of our capacity to grow.

As such, I see love as the working currency of the universe, the ‘aether’, the substrate of spiritual power.  Who knows?  Love could be gravity, or magnetism, or love could be the strong atomic force which keeps subatomic particles associated with each other.   “...it does not boast, it is not proud” means to me that love has no personality, so who is to say that it is not what holds the fabric of spacetime together? 

Love is frequency, love is action, love is the flow of cosmic forces.  Love is being in ‘the Zone’, when all your actions are righteous, and perfect, with no doubts or need for thought at all.  To be patient is to recognize that the time for action has not yet come; to be kind is to recognize that some more ‘life-force’ needs to be applied to a situation.  And those people who can tap into that astonishing force, whether it be for one instance or one ability, can and do produce miracles.

 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Slanderous, self-seeking, impetuous, judgmental behavior does not represent true love.  These are human attributes we derive specifically from our animal nature.    Once again, with this verse we see that love has no personality.  It is a powerful force which people and those animals within our influence (who can develop this anthropomorphic resonance with us) can tap, producing acts of heroism and beauty, acts of sustenance and evolution, acts of attraction and accretion, acts of progress and transformation. 

In fact, most human behavior you can observe does not entail love, even if it looks like an act of kindness.  We are even deliberately trained out of it, such as in medicine, teaching, and service positions, lest it affect our judgment, productivity or efficiency.  Nowadays ‘detachment’ is all the rage, although loving your career is encouraged.  It appears to be an odd inconsistency, yet in many instances I agree to the need for some detachment, simply because most people do not understand or define love as an impersonal, benevolent force.  If detachment were defined as 'impersonal love', I would be all for it.  But for most people, love comes with conditions, and if they don’t pay you enough, you can feel free to move on to a new career.  To find the rare activity, performed with true, non-judgmental, unconditional love is so outrageous to modern sensibilities that we take pictures of it and put it on the news.


We all know that is how things should really be.  We all know we should incorporate more true, unconditional love in our lives.  We know what is really important.  It is my hope that this little essay will remind us all to ‘tune in’ to that channel every day, indeed at all times.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
I have long wondered why humans would develop the capacity for speech only to tell lies with such frequency.  If we cannot put our trust in words, why speak at all?  This is why gestures and actions are truer than words.  Words are mere symbols, a convenience to the expression of complex thought processes.  To cultivate outright lies makes a person no better than a ‘dumb’ animal, a brute with no consideration for his fellow man.

Yet consider propaganda, advertising, editorials, literature, or even this very essay.  With seven billion people on Planet Earth, there are seven billion perspectives, and it’s not always easy determining which perspectives are based on truths.  A company founded by a person who truly believes in, say, the health benefits of his product might hire an advertising firm whose people truly believe the only important thing about ads is that they sell the product to anyone who will buy it.  If unwitting people are hurt by that product and the company goes under from all the lawsuits, what service is rendered? 

Take literature.  I’ve written several books and plan to get them all published.  I’ve heard literature referred to as ‘telling lies for fun and profit’, yet I do not design my books with those intentions in mind.  I write books with engaging characters, environments, and conflicts so I can interest readers enough to help them notice the truths I have found in life.  If they relate to those truths, we are all better off; perhaps I help them avoid situations that could be dangerous, or provide them with words they may not have considered using to avoid such situations.  What matters is that my books are a labor of love, which I deliberately write to enrich the readers’ personal lives as if they were the characters in my book, learning all those lessons by proxy.  What matters is that I help them think of ways to enhance their lives, find more interests, and grow in wisdom.


THE PERMANENCE OF LOVE:                  

 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
There are two reasons why I consider love a universal force – evolution, and physics.

What is the evolutionary principle that encourages mother animals to care for their young?  Some species have it to a great extent, some not at all.  Some can even lose that capacity, such as a notable propensity for mother pandas rejecting their tiny cubs.  Yet why would parental investment vary across so many species?  An astonishing number of bird species, for example, show the male caring for offspring, with some species of amphibians, bugs, and fish thrown into the mix. 

Nevertheless, higher life-forms have a propensity for nurturing young.  There must be a reason why their nature dictates such a thing as preservation, or otherwise species would have never evolved beyond procreating in such numbers that some were bound to survive.  This is what I feel is the ‘attractive’ power of the universe, and I call it ‘love’.  Whether it hard-wired an evolutionary necessity into the DNA of any given species, I cannot say.  The likelihood seems far greater that the vital frequency of the animal resonates to its own DNA such that copies of itself have greater resonance than copies from similar beasts, thus the mother/father care for the offspring as much as they care for themselves.

To me, this aspect of ‘love’, this resonance factor, is the one most people understand deeply.  We prefer to be with people like ourselves.  Yet in the orchestra of frequencies that can be interpreted as ‘love’, this one is like the outermost core, the static of a lightning bolt instead of the pure lightning itself.

Which leads to conservation of energy, allowing transmutation between states of matter but not disintegration of matter itself.  It always perseveres, like love always perseveres.  It always ‘hopes’, if you can imagine hope to be denial of a state of rest.  Love brings to mind zest, vigor, striving for ‘greater’, ambition, and initiative.  This is why I feel we have not adequately explained entropy.  We can point at a myriad of entropic examples, yet why has the universe not come to a standstill?  This is why I think love is a substrate of the universe, in particular, of life itself.  Love is the life-force, creating order out of chaos, growing, experiencing, and arranging for its own perpetuation by survival of species.

Now, consider all the powers of love mentioned before.  Preservation of the species (donating to charity, calling 911, wedding vows), miracles (accessing an unknown force that can give superhuman strength or will to survive an otherwise deadly injury or disease), accomplishment, sharing spiritual knowledge, encouraging others to partake of the power of love.  It is when we can feel this juxtaposition of spirit, of love, as if with our physical bodies that we truly feel most ‘alive’.  And what do we do when we feel most alive?  We procreate, we strive for meaning, we help others.  We share the love.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
If love never fails, and love is the binding force of the universe, then the universe will not end.  The-world-as-we-know-it surely will, at some point.  I almost feel as if the author acknowledges that humans, as beings using language to codify knowledge, will realize at some point that all these intellectual exercises we perform are what hold us back with respect to love, to spirit.  As if the real meaning in life is not to be found in imaginary dollars, nor in accolades or accumulation of goods, but in action, in feeling spirit and love power your acts of structure and meaning and organization, to build a greater reality than existed before.  At that point, we will need no words, no predictive faculties.  We will be like gods, fueling our expansion as a species with miraculous powers now beyond imagination.

 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
The fact that this has been separated into two verses indicates its power to me.  We are incomplete, with faculties beyond the imagination of lower life-forms.  What is this ‘completeness’ spoken of?  What could make knowledge and expectation (prophecy) disappear?  What will make us whole?

Love.  To be one with the universal Impetus, whatever force it is that causes the stars to stay their courses, that causes gravity, magnetism, heat.  The Divine, the Animus, the root of all order and the essence of all understanding.

The permanence of love has heretofore been personified as a being instead of as a force.  It was more natural for us to identify with a ‘god’ than with, say, an unseen force of change such as the wind. 

HIGHER REALITIES ARE BASED ON LOVE:

 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
This verse points directly to the evolution of man as a spiritual being.  Here, in these bodies, we are like children, playing in the realm of matter.  These bodies will die, but our spirits survive, with death our rebirth into new spiritual bodies.  When the bodies die, our spirits will have no need for matter, for we will have ‘graduated’ as students of humanity, understanding pain, pleasure, growth, and disintegration.

 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
This physical world is all reflection, quite literally.  A spectrum of light falls upon a physical object, most of those frequencies are absorbed, and the ones that do not are reflected, giving the object a ‘color’.  And such a tiny fragment of energy that it, though our limited perspective grants enormous meaning to it!



These frequencies are only the ones in the realm of matter.  Can anyone really say that spiritual substance, spiritual frequencies, and spiritual attributes do not exist if they can only be perceived by spiritual beings?  Who can surmise the true scope of the universe?  Those who ride the waves of love.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

                 Namaste.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Squee with me!

Those of you who have read my blog understand how Miz OCD, the editor-in-my-brain, takes over on occasion.  She's given me a heckuva ride this week!  The issue:  since I have 7 (8) books in the To Be Sinclair series, she insists that every book be formatted exactly the same.  So all I've done this week is reformat mss for consistency!  If you have already purchased a Kindle version, please be sure to re-download it for the new format.

Updated versions of my first two books, as well as my newly published third book, FEALTY, are up!  Please buy them and leave a review -- an author can never get enough reviews!
In order, they are:

DIGNITY:  http://www.amazon.com/DIGNITY-To-Be-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B0093NW9BI
MAJESTY:  http://www.amazon.com/MAJESTY-To-Be-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B009QNKSD6
FEALTY:  http://www.amazon.com/FEALTY-To-Be-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B00AI01W9U

In addition, I've uploaded them to Smashwords so you can download them to Nook, Sony, iPad, and just about every other device, as well as Kindle!

DIGNITY:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263198
MAJESTY:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/245347
FEALTY:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263201

And, last but NOT LEAST!  I have uploaded the first two books to CreateSpace, waiting on proof copies in the mail.  They should be available for purchase as 6 x 9 softbound print books (about the size of a regular hardbound) within a week, or at least by Christmas!  Here are the title numbers, and you can be sure I'll squee all over FB and Twitter when they are ready to order:


DIGNITY:  4033815

MAJESTY:  4051060

I would put up the number for FEALTY, but I need to get a couple of reviews on Amazon so I can put them on the book cover I've designed. So please, purchase FEALTY and leave me a review!  And please visit my website at ,http://www.evacaye.com for info on all the upcoming books!  Thank you so much!


Whew, I'm tired! Still, I've basically put up three books in three formats within four months. If I keep going like this, I'll have all 8 books done within a year, now that I know all the fiddly things you have to do to reformat for different versions! Come on, peeps, give me a Merry Christmas and buy some books!



Monday, November 19, 2012

I always feel like Somebody's watching meeeeee!

Woohoo, Conspiracy Theorists! We have been officially "updated" with a brand-new cable modem by our satellite provider! It controls all computer and phone data, so now I am sure I have Big Brother officially scrutinizing my every word and online deed! "Why Eva, how do you know it's an official government spy-box?" you may ask? Hubby questioned the installer -- for 'some reason', the previous cable leading to the phone was still 'analog' and changing the entire modem means the phone cable is now 'digital', hahahahahaha! Just how lame is that?

OH, and to titillate you some more -- the company called hubby last week about this (note: no notice whatsoever by email, and this account covers all our satellite/internet/phone stuff) and said, "We're updating our system, we'll be having a guy in your area, we need to get into your house to switch everything out." I was completely zonked out when the guy came by, but hubby said he remembered the fellow was driving a work-van that said some generic communications company, instead of our actual broadband company! *queues Twilight Zone music*

So please, watch my activity carefully! I am known for having no real political affiliation, so I might accidentally share a post by a so-called 'watched group' WITHOUT KNOWING WHO THEY ARE! I am known for being a flirt, so I might accidentally SPILL SEX SECRETS! I have long felt there was something 'to' psychic powers and sometimes blurt out my own perceptions of people, so I might accidentally DIVULGE INFORMATION CRITICAL TO SOME PARANOID WATCHDOG'S MENTAL STABILITY!!! You are officially forewarned that I might disappear into the night when They start coming for people! BWAAAAHAHAHAHA! I'm sooo dangerous, snuggled on the couch every day eating my marginally-effective antidepressants, supporting the legalization of hemp and promoting gun rights, and writing science fiction romances -- you'll be glad to say You Knew Me When!

*snickering fit to blow an aneurysm* Ta Ta, Folks!






Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hold That Thought: Travails of an Indie Author


“You’re missing the accent aigu on ‘fiancĂ©’.”  The editor-in-my-brain I call Miz OCD adds, “You also have too many indistinguishable tiny moons and planets amongst the stars, and the biggest stars do not twinkle.”

“Look, it’s a different planet, a different atmosphere.  Who knows if that would cause stars to twinkle or not?  Besides, anyone with a fair grounding in astronomy knows one lone, huge moon is a complete anomaly.  Lots of tiny moons appearing the same size as planets are entirely within the realm of possibility.”   I begin looking for the method to type an accent aigu in my free-for-30-days graphic design program.

“You should probably do the RBG-to-CMYK conversion first,” Lady O prods.  “If you have to adjust the brightness or intensity for the blues, it might make the text less legible.”

“I plan to use an outer glow.”  If the Dame of Compulsion doesn’t get off my back soon, I might ditch the entire project, despite my initial disappointing experience with a free-lance cover artist.  “I know you want me to get things perfect, and I am trying my best, but I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.  Would you please hold that thought, at least until I have the time to deal with it?”

As The Awesome Miz O simmers in the background, I turn back to my book cover and sigh.  At what point did she spring into being, anyway?  I appreciate her now more than ever, naturally, but how did she evolve into such a dominant part of my personality?

Was it my father’s upbringing?  “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.”  At 74, he still digs fence post holes by hand and complains about the shoddy job Mom’s hired landscapers did at their new house.  When I suggested he contact the company and complain, he shook his head.  “They’d just charge me more and screw it up even worse, and I’m not about to sue them.  My dad always said, never hire a lawyer because then you don’t have one problem, you have two problems.  I’ll just do it myself.”

Was it getting my degree in education?  “What kind of example are you setting for your students if you can’t even write a sentence correctly yourself?” one professor thundered at a fellow sophomore.  Although I academically agreed with the prof, surely he should understand how nervous we were to be presenting our first lessons in class, while also trying to write on the chalkboard with frequent glances out into the room to practice the eyes-in-the-back-of-our-head illusion.

It finally occurred to me.  After purchasing a few nice ebooks by indie authors, I found one for $.99 that sounded interesting.  Roused by the attractive cover and seductive blurb, my anticipation was destroyed within three paragraphs.  I tried to overlook the sentence fragments because they could have been indicative of the protagonist’s style of thinking.  I tried to overlook the misused words because I use the dictionary quite often to make sure I remember what ‘eminent’ means versus ‘imminent’. 

But I could not overlook the typographical errors.  I can understand misusing a semicolon, and the author may have had a reason to capitalize Judge when not at the beginning of a sentence or a title.  However, outright misspellings and numerous instances of missing or inappropriate punctuation were even more jarring than misusing the present perfect.  I shut the book in disgust, determined not to subject any reader of mine to such an unpleasant experience.

I took one last, long look at all the rejections I had collected.  All but the two obvious form letters admitted, in one way or another, “The publishing industry is very subjective, so don’t give up.”  Since I had no other clue, I considered as many facts as possible.  What do readers want?  What do readers expect?  I wrote the books I wanted to read, so I knew I had to present them with the same quality readers expected of a traditional publisher.

If you look at the most recent top-selling books, it appears publishing companies do not want to take a chance on new authors, subgenres, and true attempts at thought-provoking literature, preferring instant-gratification ‘mind candy’ in order to sell as many books as fast as possible.  They seem to prefer to sign authors who can pound out formulaic recitations of flashy, action-heavy, trending genres which titillate readers over one or two blatant themes.  Gore, sex, dominance, vengeance, and the ugly, sneering cleverness that somehow passes for humor nowadays obviously trump exploring the vast potential of more humanistic, soul-expanding topics in their minds.  Just because grocery stores sell tons of cookies and only offer a small selection of cakes doesn’t mean that is what we need as readers.

My ideas of technological innovations, the ways humans will have to adjust to living on other planets, and how they might find true, competent, loving companions along those future journeys must seem like a hard sell to publishing companies.  In my opinion, they underestimate the intelligence and taste of readers, especially those looking for triumphs of spirit.   Yet I wanted my stories to be known, for I would not have written them if I did not have things to say, powerful insights from close to five decades of living, loving, and learning. 

If I could not sign with a publisher, complete with access to editors, cover artists, marketing budgets, and product placement in stores, I could always indie publish.  People were publishing all kinds of books without those resources, so after talking to many friends, I decided to take the plunge.  The only money I absolutely had to plunk down was for an editor, so I began scrimping.

Two friends helped me produce the first book covers before I learned to use the programs myself.  I bookmarked numerous sites on grammar, since my editor gave me discounts depending upon how little she had to correct.  Untold hours of learning social media do’s and don’ts evolved into a daily routine and checklist.  Request one review, place one book ad, write one blog post, and add three people to Twitter seemed reasonable to achieve of a day.  That didn’t last long, for so many websites have submission guidelines as strict as any publisher.  I could hardly find the time to write or edit, even when I was lucky enough to finish my list of a day. 

I began ignoring my daily list and writing a priority list.  Amazon, Smashwords, CreateSpace; it sounds simple to the average person.  Yet, what does that mean when you do it all yourself?  Updating the book descriptions, pricing, keywords, categories, and uploading the most recent edit leads to downloading the preview, scrutinizing the entire book to catch more elusive errors,  then uploading, downloading, and reading it again until it’s the way I want it. 

Throughout it all, I check for consistency according to the decisions I’ve had to make along the way.  Use the Oxford comma?  Yes.  Two spaces after sentences?  Yes, easier to read.  Spelling out numbers?  Look up the three most ‘official’ guidelines and make up my own set.  Above all, strive for clarity with every sentence, meaning with every word.

Then it goes to Tracy for another ‘official’ round of editing, while I start on the next version for Smashwords, which not only includes everything I just did for Amazon but also reformatting the manuscript, from changing the ISBN and deleting every stray spacing error to resizing the cover.  For CreateSpace, designing a back cover and spine according to their rigorous requirements and writing new back-blurb copy meant I had to wait for days after ordering a proof to scrutinize for errors.  So I started the entire process with book two and then three, with the additional duty of making sure each of those manuscripts for the three different formats exactly matched those of book one, since this is a series.

Juggling all these edits, versions, and formats in different stages means I don’t even have a ‘real life' anymore.  I stay exclusively at home so I can afford an editor.  My idea of fun is finding time to write books nine and ten, prequels to the first eight books of my series.   The best fun, of course, is doing tons of online research to support my scenes, everything from the physical therapy required for burn patients to the components needed to manufacture steel rebar, for I am a life-long learner and want my readers to appreciate all the little details that flesh out real lives.

At this point, I don’t know if I would sign with a publisher because I love knowing I have complete control over my product.  If I want twinkling stars, which were taken directly from an actual photo of the Milky Way, I’ll take the time to add some twinkles, at least to keep Miz OCD happy.  I especially love knowing no one is going to tell me to change a scene, for I often tell people the visions come so strongly, I consider myself a biographer to my characters.  I am their scribe, not their goddess.  The only painful decisions are the ones to do with money; I cannot charge $.99 per book and expect to pay my editor for three rounds of editing books 4-10, for example. 

I most emphatically want to know about typographical errors, the bruises and sprains of an author’s daily life, and I always correct them right away so you can download the new version of the book.  I definitely want to know if I have made a major factual error, supported by research, though science fiction does allow some ‘flights of fancy’; I read an article just the other day about new theories on surpassing the speed of light.  If, however, you object to the character-based, appropriate use of the ‘F-bomb’ or a lapse of judgment showing a major flaw in a protagonist, you may rest assured that my characters are not ‘perfect’, that they, too, have lessons to learn.  So please, hold that thought.

Otherwise, I am publishing the best quality of which I am capable, and I can proudly say, “That’s my book.”  Writing a series of books representing the totality of my skills, knowledge, and thirst for engaging people with important ideas and issues is my goal, the thought I hold most dear.  Sure, I bend a few rules, even break one or two, but I don’t expect to please everyone in every way, for therein lies madness and I already have an editor-in-the-brain who picks on me. 

My hope is that you, the readers of indie works, appreciate the extremities of effort and multitude of decisions indie authors must make to entertain you while earning so little at it, less than one percent of minimum wage for most of us.  We do it not just for the love of writing, but for the love of our fellow readers.  Please hold that thought and do us honor by writing reviews and telling your friends about our books. 

And please, find our websites and email, and talk to us!  Tell us what you do like about our work, for many of us are like the lone saxophonist on a street corner at night, complete with hat at our feet, without publishing company advances or an orchestra of supporting musicians at our backs.  So next time you’re looking for a book, let the soul of an indie author play you her song of delight and wonder!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The ultimate GREEN Christmas! Heirloom Santa!

An email to my family:

Sis and I were talking about Christmas gifts, having a $20 limit, trying to buy nice stuff instead of junk and all, when we came up with an idea:  RE-GIFTING!

That's right, the ultimate GREEN Christmas gift!  We all have nice things around the house that we aren't using or don't value the way we used to.  For example, out in our shed, hubby and I have two sleeping bags, a tent, nice oil lanterns and even the oil to go in them.  We haven't been camping in ages, yet we know R---- and L----go, and that the twins would probably like something like that, too.   As a matter of fact, in the book I'm writing right now, I talk about how much more efficient repurposing is than recycling! 

So, why don't we all do that for Christmas, instead of Happy Santa or Dirty Santa?  Bring one nice almost-new or beautiful gift you barely use (a stock pot or wok?   Cast iron cookware?  An unused tire pump?  Duct tape and rope?  Actual piece of art?) that's in really nice shape, one gift to represent each member of your family and maybe one extra so we all have plenty to choose from, and we can draw numbers like usual and pick the gifts we prefer.  That way, NO ONE spends money, we ALL get something we like that is nice and in great shape, we DON'T have to wrap anything, our previously-loved belongings are going to our loved ones, and so forth.  Don't you think that will be much better than getting cheap overseas stuff?  Especially if your formerly-precious belonging has a story attached to it, and we can all sit around and tell stories!

It's rather like Heirloom Santa, wouldn't you say?  Family treasures, re-treasured?

WIN TWO free books!

If you would like to win the first two books of my To Be Sinclair series, just visit http://www.evacaye.com/win-two-books/ to read the scenario and answer one yes/no question!

I have been working on a prequel to my series and hope this will be an easy way to get an idea of prevalent attitudes in society.  What can I say?  I like to understand people and their motivations!

If you win the books and would like to gift them to someone else, I would be more than happy to do so.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obsessive compulsion


I have to admit, I do not understand why starting a new novel drives me to drop everything else in my life I possibly can.  I have always considered "obsessive-compulsive" to be an interesting combination of moods.  
Note, please, that I did not call them emotions.  The obsession is some kind of mental faculty, a curiosity so strong that you actively think of ways to rearrange your life as efficiently as possible so you can focus on the goal, understanding.  The compulsion is some kind of spiritual faculty, a force from deep within your soul that pushes you to move beyond exhaustion and reason to accomplish the deed.  Neither are emotions.
No, the emotions come into play while immersed in the task.  I write a particularly clever phrase, and I am thrilled with it, imagining how impressed people will be once they read it.  I write a heart-wrenching scene, and I cry along with the characters.  I write about revenge, and pour all my petty vindictive thoughts into selecting just the right, cutting word for the touch.  
Is it no wonder so many writers have mental health problems? We are so heavily invested in understanding imaginary lives that it is difficult to learn to pour out the words, close the (computer) door, and walk away into our 'real' lives.  I still haven't learned to do it.  I will find myself seeing the visions, the interactions between the characters, experiencing their emotions as I try to understand their motivations, and completely forget what I was trying to do in real life.  I don't take twenty-minute showers because I'm trying to relax; I simply forget how many times I've shampooed.   I can't even trust myself to boil tea bags anymore, having cleaned burnt tea bags off the bottom of a completely-evaporated saucepan before.
So, why do I do it?  At this point, I almost feel as if I am 'tapping' into parallel dimensions, 'connecting' with real people having real problems, and 'offering' them my support by trying to help them figure out how to get out of their situations, like a best friend who cares so much she will give all her energy to help them out.  Scribing their lives, acknowledging that they have meaning and that their lessons are valuable to others, is the greatest gift I can give them.  "Yes, you are important.  Yes, your struggles will not go unnoticed.  Yes, your life matters."
I write compulsively because, as if I were their guardian angel, I must help them think things through.  I must guide them to a greater understanding of their world.  I must be their advocate.  I must love them, praise them, and value their spiritual growth. 
If I could ask an omnipotent being any question, it would be, "Is imagination the only way to access those parallel worlds?"  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Beauty, Feminism, and the Power of Words

I am not certain the blogger for whom I wrote this response will approve my comment, but I feel I made some important points about beauty and feminism.

The essence of his post was that one of his favorite female authors, an ex-model turned writer and feminist, recently did an adult photo shoot and began representing a fashion line.  His conclusion was that, since the fashion industry degrades women and "actively fights against equality for women", she should EITHER be a model OR quit representing herself as a feminist.  This was my reply:


I feel for you, thinking you understand her well through her literature and then, whether “all of a sudden” or “eventually”, she appears to represent aspects of personality paradoxical to her stated beliefs. 
May I offer you some perspectives that she (and I do not know who she is) might have that you’ve never had to consider? I’m 50 and detest make-up. Yet I recently went to a promotional event after having purchased and applied more make-up than I had in the past ten years, also wearing a dress that cost more than I had spent on all my other clothing the previous year. Why? 
A: I wanted to look my best; don’t we all? Do you DELIBERATELY go out the door of a day looking slovenly, knowing it will leave an impression on people who will judge you as if it represents character traits? 
B: People get upset when an individual appears to change from what they perceived her to be before. If she was a model before, they expect her to maintain those standards. Look at you — YOU are upset because she appears to have “changed her standards”, not representing feminist power anymore or whatnot. 
C: Adult photo shoot. Fashion representative. Would you be so kind as to estimate the amount of money she raked in with those, compared to the amount of money she has earned writing? I daresay it will be several hundreds to several thousands of a percent more — YOU’RE a writer, YOU know. 
In addition, I would not even necessarily say she “sold herself out” for greed — I’ve had to spend six months off work to care for an elderly relative because no one in the family could afford other home health care. Thank God for the Family Medical Leave Act. Her need for money could have absolutely no bearing on her vaunted feminist principles. How many people commit acts of desperation for that very reason? I knew a grocery store owner in my youth who would turn his face when he saw local poor people shoplifting from his store. 
D: Why do you equate “feminism” with being anti-beauty? If anything, I say she is showing her power as a woman by taking advantage of her opportunities. If she has a beautiful body and others pay her to look at it, I say let her rake in the cash! That is HER power! Do you really want her to DENY herself such an opportunity? The true crime would be if she had a husband or significant other who physically abused her so she would NOT have that power. 
Sorry, I swear to you that I do not mean this as a rant! I totally resonate to your entire post, really I do! I am simply hoping to explain, as I try to do in my writing, that if a woman glories in her power, whether it be of her mind or of her body, is that not feminism at its finest?

I do not understand why anyone thinks "feminists" should act a certain way in the first place.  One of his points was that men are more confident and 'already winning' because they don't have to worry about their appearances like women do.  That attitude might take an entire other post to address, right there!  How many men WOULD wear make-up, if it wasn't considered 'unmanly', if it dramatically improved their looks?  Shall I mention Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Boy George, and scores of other entertainers who did so anyway?  Not to mention the fact that the man who wrote this post seems to have some kind of 'men vs women' gladitorial attitude, despite loving feminist women.  Truly, I do not understand!

Away from men and back to feminists.  I agree that the cultural perception of feminists does not entail beauty.  We tend to think feminists are angry, bitter, in-your-face lesbian activists who act like they should be superior to men.  I don't think it's a true cultural perception, just like Islamic extremists seem to 'define' the face of terrorism nowadays when Islam is essentially a peaceful religion.  The truth is that most feminists (both female and male) are peaceful, thoughtful heterosexuals who simply treat everyone around them as PEOPLE, not as 'male' or 'female'.

I do agree with part of his point, that the beauty and fashion industry TEND to make girls/women feel like they aren't 'good enough', that they cannot rely on their inner beauty.  I can even agree that some fashion-type magazines phrase things in such a way as to belittle or shame women into trying their products.  Regardless of whether those words are advertisements, articles, interviews, and regardless of whether those projections are blatant or subliminal, the true issue to me is, WHY are they successful?

"Beauty is only skin-deep" has never been a truism to me.  Yet, who actively hates beauty?  Do you go out of your way, actively intend, to purchase the ugliest outfit in a shop, the ugliest car, the ugliest furnishings for your house?  Probably not.  So, why object to someone who wants to look his or her best?  Consider the French concept of "jolie-laide", a woman (usually) with a so-called ugly attribute, such as a scar or alarmingly large nose, who nevertheless bears herself with pride and knowledge that her other attributes make her a true beauty.  Do you think Princess Diana was comfortable with her nose?  If she was not, you could not tell -- after her "Shy Di" phase, she was, and will always remain, radiantly beautiful.  Yet she would have surely never contemplated going to any event looking less than her best.

That is the true value of the cosmetics and fashions industry.  I have physical flaws that I prefer to hide with well-made clothes and make-up.  Would you really come up to me and listen to me promote my next novel if I went out of my way to promote those flaws, knowing they would disgust most people?  This goes well beyond "Sex Sells"; I say, "Strut Your Stuff".   That's right, feminists!  Do whatever makes you feel good!  If men give you power (money, attention, what have you) because of your beauty, take that power and SOAR! 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

MAJESTY is out!

MAJESTY, the second book of the To Be Sinclair series, is out!  It is perhaps 90% science fiction, but it still has a few sex scenes.  Empress Felice Sinclair is the most awesome female character I could devise, though she still has all-too-human moments.

This time, I forwent KDP Select and also uploaded to Smashwords so the Nook / iPad / Sony people could buy it:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/245347

And, of course, it's available on Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/MAJESTY-To-Be-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B009QNKSD6

 
The greatest scientific discovery of all time leads to the deadliest weapon ever devised!

What if a person developed a science absolutely fundamental to galactic expansion, yet so dangerous she could not possibly release it to the public?  Struggling between her Imperial duties and her laboratory research, Empress Felice Sinclair must now prepare to face down public opinion and deal with devious, manipulative dukes and their duchesses.  But the trials of holding Imperial authority have just begun, as treasons rock the Empire and her husband Emperor Victor Sinclair needs Felice to oversee investigations in her role as Empress!

When will she be able to pursue her true goal, her phenomenal scientific discovery that could lead to redesigning the substrate of human colonization efforts galaxy-wide?  She must do so in complete secrecy, for such a power has its darker side, too.  Facing an imminent invasion, Felice has to think fast:  how can she covertly deploy the deadliest weapon ever devised?  And how does she deal with the emotional reactions and political realities now confronting her due to her stunning new technology?  Only Victor can help her now!

This science fiction novel is the second of the seven-part To Be Sinclair series. The saga begins with DIGNITY and its companion volume MAJESTY, which describe the romance and first years of marriage of the Emperor and Empress of the Sinclair Demesnes. A few scenes describe sexually explicit behavior.

"Is She Geeking Out AGAIN?"

I can’t help myself.  As an author, words are important to me.  My goal is to write with clarity, but sometimes I have to consult Thesaurus.com, tasting the flavor of all possible words to pick the precise one I need.  That’s when ‘It Happens’; when I’m stuck in word-selection-mode, I get a little geeky.


The OCD-editor-in-my-brain cackles madly.  “Showtime!”  She hovers behind me as I pull up the online thesaurus.  “Mission parameters?” 

“Well, the last few days I’ve experienced a barrage of mind-boggling extremes.  I’ve been in a rare emotional state, laughing and crying at the same time.  I know I’m not crazy but I legitimately feel both joy and sadness, a poignancy that is nevertheless funny as hell for some reason.  I want a word that represents the intensity of both ends of the emotional scale.”

“Paradox is out; that’s a logical descriptor, inadequate to represent an emotional state.  Cognitive dissonance is psychologically similar, but it’s a medical phrase and being overused by mainstream media.  Dacrygelosis is alternating between laughing and crying, not simultaneous, and it is too scientifically obscure for the modern reader.”  Miz OCD suggests I click through numerous entries, insisting I check the official dictionary definitions. After analyzing them all, she simmers quietly.  “None of these words convey the emotional intensity you require.”

“I know.  I’m going to have to create a word.”

Lady O emits a scream that pierces my solemn contemplation.  “There are 615,000 entries in the Oxford English Dictionary!  It’s bad enough to have to actively search online for the definitions of modern slang, given pop culture, new science, and business acronyms!  Remember when Tracy questioned why, how, and whether you needed to create the word ‘croggled’?”  She laughs maniacally.

I bounce up and down.  “That’s it, right there!  That emotional state you are in right now is the one I want to portray!  You are laughing at me yet crying in despair, stuck between being eager to help me yet frustrated in not finding the right word.”  I know if I give her a task, the Dame of Compulsion will quit freaking and start working.  “Don’t you want to make a mark in the world of literature?  What can we call that emotional state?”

I love how Miz O engages her faculties with immediate, fierce concentration.  “Combinations of spliced ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ words sound ridiculous.  ‘Craughing’ is ugly, ‘lying’ is taken, ‘smouting’ sounds stupid, ‘piling’ sounds disgusting.  Describe the most recent situation in which you found yourself laughing and crying at the same time.  Perhaps the ambiance of the moment will provide some inspiration.”

“Basically, people pay $3 for an overhyped cup of coffee at Javaschmucks that will chemically stimulate them for half an hour, but don’t care to spend the same amount for an e-book that will give them hours of pleasure.  Some people even pay $5 to $40 to register at a website for pirated copies of books that indie authors spend thousands of dollars to get edited, giving the money to criminal site owners who do ten minutes of work and rake in the money.  Compare that to the writer who has spent thirty years perfecting her craft, dredging up every glorious or horrifying scene in her own life to capture the essence of meaningful life-lessons for readers. 

“I laugh because I used to be like that, only willing to buy a book if it was on sale.  I now feel just as sad about pawn shops and auctions, where everyone is determined to get the ‘deal’ despite the desperation of the original owner.  I cry because I hate the economic disparity of earning so little for all my hard, thoughtful work.”

“You laugh at being ignored and financially shafted?”  The Lady ponders deeply.

“I feel great joy when I receive another five-star review or a personal email to thank me, knowing my book has enriched my readers with the scope of my imagination and vision of the future.  So I laugh at all the penny-pinchers out there who do not recognize the true value of hours, days, or a lifetime of inspiration.  Sure, I pinch pennies, too, but only to pay Tracy for her professional opinion on how to improve my work.  So I cry when I calculate how many e-books I must sell at $2.99 to get my other six books edited.”

Miz O smiles.  “I have two words.  ‘Lacrimania’ is the created word, but I believe a regular word will suffice.”

“Oh?  What is it?”

“Awakening.”




I wrote this guest post for Indies Unlimited.  It can be seen at http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/10/14/is-she-geeking-out-again/#more-27923

Monday, October 8, 2012

Facebook interview

Here is the link to my Facebook interview with Shah Fazli of the Interpreter Literary Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/shahsight/permalink/289466221154974/?ref=notif&notif_t=like

And here is a new graphic of me with my book covers.  A reminder: there are seven books in the regular series, but the 8th book is a collection of novellas called Evan's Ladies.  Chronologically it belongs between books six and seven.  I'm still not happy with the last book cover yet, so that should eventually change, both color and silhouette:


Sunday, October 7, 2012

True Love!

I stumble out of the restroom, dressed only in a towel.  Holding my arms out and shuffling like a zombie, I use my best Vincent Price voice to intone, "It... might... be... ALIVE!"

Hubby flips through a dozen channels a second, eyes glued to the screen.  "Might be.  Define 'alive'."

"Gee, thanks," I grumble.  "True love at its finest."

"Hey, I not only agreed with you, I took your meaning an iteration higher, from speculation to an attempt to verify its validity," he points out.  "There's bacon on the stove, too."

My heart swells with the purest joy.  "Seventeen years later, you're still the best husband a gal could want, by God!"

;D

Monday, October 1, 2012

New pics, new posts, and a new book!


I'm so happy things are starting to pick up for me!  First, my interview at Author Quiz went live on September 29th.  It is at http://authorquiz.blogspot.com/2012/09/eva-caye-author-of-to-be-sinclair-series.html and I thank you, Charles, for such intriguing questions!

Second, several friends have told me that the photo from World Con was too blurry.  I agreed, so we did something about it!   Here are two new photos of me they took that I can send along with new posts and interviews:



Then, I opened up my email to find I have two new items coming out.  The magnificent Louise Wise at Wise Words - Book Blogger will be posting my guest post on October 4th.  Called "World-Building: Visualizing the Future", it was written specifically for her October focus on science fiction.  Her website is:  http://www.louisewise.com/

Then I was notified that one of my regular blog posts would have a spot on October 2nd at Digital Book Today!  Thank you, Anthony Wessel!  Please see http://digitalbooktoday.com/  for my blog entry titled "Geeking Out on the Thesaurus", which has had more hits than any of my other blogs!  I guess people like to hear about geeks getting OCD-freaky more than they like to hear about why I think science fiction romance is a superlative genre!

In addition, on Monday October 8, I will be on Shah Fazli's Spotlight Show on Facebook.  Shah interviews an author LIVE while using only one Facebook post.  Anyone can attend the 'live' interview and post questions during the interview!  It will be at 2 p.m. EST, and I believe all you have to do is 'like' the Interpreter Literary Group page in order to chat with the author during the interview.  That page can be found at: www.facebook.com/groups/shahsight/

I'm having a blast, but I sure hope all this promotion starts to translate into real book sales!  MAJESTY will be out next week, so perhaps that will get me more exposure.  MAJESTY is perhaps 90% science fiction to 10% romance, and it is THE pivotal book in the series.  That should help my Amazon rankings!

I would love to hear from more readers, so please feel free to leave comments or email me at evacaye <at> gmail.com -- and thank you so very much!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Author Quiz: Eva Caye, author of the To Be Sinclair series

Author Quiz: Eva Caye, author of the To Be Sinclair series: Eva Caye is the author of Dignity, a science fiction romance and book one in the To Be Sinclair series.  Dignity is available for Kindle ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Science Fiction Romance, The Ultimate Fusion


If science fiction is supposed to be uber-macho, and romance ultra-feminine, then would you not say they make a perfect couple? 

“Male and female created He them.”  The Bible gave us this duality.  Yet must the world forever run with gender as definitive, me vs. you, extremes of the genetic spectrum, as if there will never be viewpoints upon which we can agree?  Or are we, indeed, two separate species?  

I believe this is why so many publishers and readers fail to see the power available in the fusion of the science fiction and romance genres.  We are not two species; we are one species with two flavors.  Literature should reflect that, and how better than to put some chocolate syrup on your vanilla ice cream?  God says, “Let there be light!”, whereas I say, “Let there be FUSION!”

In his book The Power of Silence, Carlos Castaneda quotes his mentor, the nagual Don Juan Matus, as saying, “Words are tremendously powerful and important and are the magical property of whoever has them.”  In Don Juan’s realm of mysterious ‘men of knowledge’, there are two ends to the spectrum of human perception, and they have nothing to do with gender.  One represents our modern era, when men began using language, and the other end is the quasi-mystical era of antiquity, when humans lived and acted upon ‘silent knowledge’. 

“Silent knowledge is something that all of us have…. Something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything.  But it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what it knows….   This silent knowledge, which you cannot describe, is, of course, intent – the spirit, the abstract….  Man gave up silent knowledge for the world of reason.”  P. 76

Yet with few exceptions (autism springs to mind), each and every person perceives both ends of the spectrum.  At times we talk incessantly, and sometimes we are made speechless by an emotion or insight we cannot describe right away.

The world of reason means language as communication.  Science represents the world of reason.  Whereas the abstract world, the world of symbolism and feelings and ‘silent knowledge’, is perfectly represented by romance.  Yet science fiction is not a grim realm of exclusively intellectual pursuits by spiritless, logical men and women; in any fiction, humans are somehow present, and actions performed by human beings are based on emotions.  Perhaps the overall emotion is an obsession, or perhaps it is a love of war or a hatred of conflict.  Science fiction writers attend to the emotional lacks and needs of their characters as much as romance writers do!

Why do we read and write books, anyway?  We use reams of words to convey the vast plethora of emotional states in which our characters are immersed.  Between reason and silent knowledge, literature is automatically a fusion.  Let’s take it a step further….

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the base of the pyramid is exclusively physiological.  Readers are not living in a persistent vegetative state, so automatically their needs are at a higher level of the pyramid.  The second step is about safety, and the majority of readers live in what might be considered ‘safe’ surroundings.  Things such as the family and employment are considered basic needs.  After all, homeless, starving people don't tend to read books.  As a result, any character an author describes that is not in a coma has emotions they will express. 

I would say a huge amount of science fiction deals with this step.  The invasion tears apart the family, the hero or heroine feels strongly about being employed as a physician, soldier, or physicist, humanity is being killed off by a plague, or the planet is being destroyed for scarce resources.  What is happening to their emotions?  What does it do to their love lives?

The third step of the pyramid is love and belonging, coming before the final two steps of esteem and self-actualization.  So how can science fiction characters express confidence in their achievements, use extensive problem-solving abilities, and expect the respect of others if they have no sense of loving or belonging to a community?

On the pyramid, as well as in real life, sexual intimacy is firmly established in the center.  The ‘tradition’ in literature seems to be that men want sex for relief of stress, and women want sex for a sense of belonging.  I am overwhelmingly grateful that these mores are changing, in both real life and the literature that reflects it!  Admit it, gentlemen, you want to be adored by the ladies!  Ladies, you must admit that sexual intimacy boosts your self-esteem and inspires you to make the most out of yourself – you took how long to get ready for the day? 

As a result, science fiction romance is the perfect fusion of so-called opposites.  I am reminded of a presentation by Dr. Bill Breuer at a convention.  Space Science Consultant and instructor at Bellarmine University and Adjunct Curator-Space Sciences at the Louisville Museum of History and Science, the amazing Dr. Bill gave a number of presentations about the space program, typically bringing artifacts he had collected.  One was a sample of glass used in space shuttles.  

Once upon a time, NASA accepted bids from a number of companies for glass that could withstand the vacuum of space as well as the temperature extremes involved, from the cold of outer space to the heat of re-entry.  All those companies presented extremely expensive bids to research and test such a product, until someone finally realized, “Why don’t we have this strong glass we already use simply coated with heat-resistant glass?”  Looking at the edge of the thick glass sample, the area where the two glasses blended was clearly visible.  Even then I felt it was a powerful symbolic lesson: the fusion of unique qualities could withstand extremes of pressure and heat.

The fusion of science fiction and romance does, too.  Do you love to read about how people resolve their lives when under extreme pressure?  There’s your science fiction.  Do you love to read about how people decide with whom to share their lives, or even just hot sex?  There’s your romance.  The fusion of the two makes for superlative entertainment.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The Science Fiction Romance Brigade, an online community featuring SFR authors, feels so strongly about this issue that we are contributing stories toward a FREE anthology, Tales of the SFR Brigade, to promote the genre.  Our deadline is January 1st, 2013, and we anticipate a release date in late spring. 

You can visit the SFR Brigade at http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/
You must be a Brigade member to submit your work for the anthology!  Please email Sfrpreview@gmail.com only AFTER you read the submission guidelines.
If you are an author wishing to try your hand at science fiction romance, come join our Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/130939813657941/

E-book Sales: Copyright Laws Must Change!


I just read about an article that says Amazon stands to make a fortune offering out-of-print books.  One of the most appealing reasons for indie authors to publish e-books is that they will be offered forever.  No out-of-prints; Amazon’s policy is that, if you buy a book from them, they will always have a copy available for you to download.

So, if copyright laws are for the life of the owner plus fifty years, and Amazon and other e-book retailers must provide copies of them forever, and 49 years after an author’s death, their books suddenly become branded as ‘important literary works’ by history or literature professors for studying our era, and the sales dramatically spike of that author’s books, and those new readers are in their 20’s, with a potential lifespan in their 100’s….  Can you say, “cash cow”?  How about, “windfall of astonishing proportions”?

And WHO gets that money?  The digital provider, who spends mere pennies sending you an e-book, would get it all.  Not the descendents of the author.

What can we do?
  • a.      Change copyright laws for e-book rights to belong to their assignees ‘in perpetuity’, and let the heirs fight it out
  • b.      Register our books’ copyright under a business name/corporation, and let whoever runs the corporation decide where the royalties go


What I would prefer is:
  • c.      Create a corporation just for e-book copyrights – the executor of the estate of the author’s family signs up their e-books, the CEO guarantees a huge chunk of sales (95% minimum) will go to the designee of the family as determined by the executor, and the corporation uses its profits to maintain the database.

Now is the time to make these decisions!  Look at how long copyright laws have been in effect!
Although many people laugh when referred to Wikipedia as a source, the minimum we should do is read their article on copyrights:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

So, who can we indies trust to establish the standards?