Excerpt from This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, The Spanners Series: CHAPTER ONE Interview with Zephyr Branon, 38, child of Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

CHAPTER ONE
Interview with Zephyr Branon, 38, son
of Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Excerpt from

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, The Spanners Series
by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Copyright 2014 Sally Ember, Ed.D.
St. Louis, MO

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Interview Date: May 20, 2018

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ZEPHYR: Espe gives me and all my cousins this questionnaire and tells us she’s going to call us and interview us on these questions. She tells us that Earthers–—that’s what everyone on our planet is now referred to, including communicative and intelligent nonhuman species, like whales, squids, dolphins, orangutans, bonobos, chimps, parrots and gorillas–—want to know what The Transition is like from the points of view of younger people, particularly those close to my mom, the Chief Communicator. Well, I guess I’m the closest young person to Clara Branon, since I’m her only child.

I don’t feel that young, though. I am 32 when the MWC holos first come to her and I’m 38, now. But, I guess by Spanners’ standards, I’m young.

Espe is asking us to speak in the present tense (for those of us who understand that, I suppose), to keep with the timultaneity (HA! That’s MY word!) awareness that is everywhere, now. It’s weird, but I say I try. I know Espe fixes it afterward.

We are each responding to the same ten questions, which Espe tells me are like those “Ten Questions for….” famous people interviews that TIME magazine uses. That’s fine. But, I tell Espe I’m going to say what I want. If a question doesn’t lead me where I want to go, I’m going, anyway.

She agrees that my perspective is unique and I am generous to share it. Generous. Sure. Opinionated, more like it. And, very informed. My mom and I talk. A lot.

Most of my numerous cousins are significantly younger than I am. Lavi Ackerman is one year older and his brother, Agam, is one year younger than I, but the rest stair-step down from there, all the way to the Aunt Violet’s twins, Dara and Shira, over twenty years younger. This makes sense when you know that Violet is eleven years younger than my mom and has four children.

Uncle Thomas, one year older than my mom, also has four children. Cousin Lav is his eldest. Aunt Cassie, about six years younger than my mom, has three. [See Appendix E for Family Tree.] Basically, there are a lot of Ackermans.

Kayla Marsh, my wife, and I are married in 2015. She and I are together but we’re not married when The Transition starts.

So, Ten Questions for the twelve of us each to answer. We’ll see how that goes.

[Editor, Esperanza Enlace‘s, note: anything in printed square brackets or signaled at start and finish by the “bing” signal, for the vision-impaired or those who are listening rather than reading, are the Editor’s comments or explanations and not the Interviewee’s words.]

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Son: the Transition, 5 Years Later

1. How old are you when the Transition begins, winter, 2013, and how old are you now?
ZEPHYR: I am 32 when The Band comes to my mom (I name the group that!), in late December, 2012. I am now 38, since this is mid-May, 2018, and my birthday is May 1. [Zephyr names the MWC delegation “The Band” since they all choose nicknames that belong to famous 1960’s pop or rock & roll band members: Led for Led Zeppelin; Ringo for Ringo Starr of the Beatles; Diana for Diana Ross; Mick for Mick Jagger; Janis for Janis Joplin.]

2. What is your favorite part of the changes since The Transition? Why?
ZEPHYR: I really love it when all the Xchanges begin, first Earth Physics & Astrophysics, in early 2014, then all Physical Sciences throughout that year, then Social Sciences and ESP [Excellent Skills Program] studies in 2015, along with Communication & Technological Innovations, Arts, Writing & Music, Cultural Collaborations.

They have one or two each season until we have them all in a regular rotation. I attend the first one of each Xchange, and now I go to about three a year. They’re like TED talks on acid!

My favorite ones are the Technology and Arts/Music ones, because I work in the first area and play in the second, but I like them all. Inventions/innovations are awesome. I especially like going when they have them on planets or locations that are new to me (all of them, almost!).

Space travel is the BEST! I hope every Earther gets to go off-planet at least once. Going “out” changes us. If anyone wants to know more about any Xchanges, use your iDs and Access them.

One story and then I’ll move on.

********

For the first Technology Xchange, which is on Kepler 22 d in the Earth summer month of July in 2016, I am one of only a handful of Earthers invited and able to attend. We travel there in various ways. I go with my mom, you [Espe], and a few others. When we arrive, many are not feeling so great, especially my mom and I. Something about our livers, a genetic predisposition to problems there for us both, affects us during the off-p traveling experiences.

Knowing that some of us are physically less than optimal seems to instigate a fly-over: We have on our OPTS [Optimal Personal/Positioning Travel/Temporary Suits] for the gravity differential (about 25%), but we’re carrying the head gear since the air is breathable and many of us are reducing our sleeves since the temperature is about 77F/25C.

Led and a few others who are there in physical form (our first time meeting most of them except as holos) come to the enclosure (which has no roof) in which we are staying and hover over us. While they are hovering, a kind of mist or drizzle of some bluish substance begins to emanate, falling towards us from their bodies. When it reaches our heads or arms or wherever it first touches us, it enters our systems via our pores, hair follicles and scalps.

We are immediately calmed, soothed, happy. We are also no longer nauseated, tired, or strained. I mean, like, in one second, human time, from contact to relief.

Amazing. Best drug, EVER. Not a high, but a very soothing relief.

********

I find out later that this is something they call, in English for our sake,”Travelers’ Juice,” even though it’s composed of something akin to nanobots suspended in a liquid medium. Hilarious.

Led tells us we could drink it, bathe in it, wear it or let it touch us: works in all those ways. Is Travelers’ Juice [TJ] something that falls within technology, health, science, chemistry, or what? You decide.

Whichever it is, Earthers start making and using it from that day onward, as we all know, now. For free. Anyone can go to a TJ bar or fountain. Stores that carry TJ offer it cheaply or free, the way people could get matches, napkins or water a while ago. Widely available.

TJ is a soother, kind of like aspirin if you have a headache, but better. No ill effects, no addiction possible. Excellent. Don’t leave Earth without it!

TJ also works for all types of motion or altitude sickness and depth diving since TJ balances nitrogen to oxygen and rectifies all neurotransmitting chemicals, inner ear workings and whatnot for humans. I have no idea what it does to other species, but all of us seem to dig it.

3. What Transition changes have been the hardest or least favorite for you, and why?
ZEPHYR: Well, it’s very weird having the CC [Chief Communicator] for a mom, or having my mom become the CC, however you want to look at it. It’s not all good or all bad. It’s unique.

People bug me a lot asking for information I don’t have or rudely invading my privacy. I can’t really blame that on The Transition, exactly, but I kind of have to, right? I mean, she wouldn’t be CC if there is no Public Contact. Anyway, I’m not the only one with this exact problem or situation, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

It’s also so WRONG, to make her into a doll or, worse, a teddy bear [Zephyr is referring to the “Clara-Bear,” which comes out as a toy and collectors’ item late in 2013]. Would you like to see one of your parents’ likenesses starting at you from a toy’s face, especially a bear’s? Downright spooky. On the other hand, our daughter, Kendall, who is almost eighteen months old, receives a few every month.

Kayla, my wife, laughs when I get all creeped out by having my mom’s face all over Kendall’s toys. For this, the CC’s son needs intensive therapy. Kidding.

Now that she can talk a little, Kendall calls these dolls or toys and my mom CAH-LAH, since she can’t manage “Clara,” yet. Kendall also calls my mom CeeCee ’cause she hears others call her that. My mom prefers “Grandma,” though. We’re working on it.

Unfortunately for my mom, I think “CAH-LAH” may become “Grandma” for my kids. It’s a tradition in my mom’s family that the oldest grandchild nicknames the grandparents, and since I’m my parents’ only child, it’s all on Kendall.

More seriously, about The Transition and my mom as CC: it is upsetting and scary to hear about all the deaths and psychotic episodes people are having during those first few weeks and even months, APC [After Public Contact]. My mom and I talk during this and she explains what’s going on, but, still, I am very unsettled by all that.

We all know people who die, go berserk, can’t handle the T [Transition]. My dad [Abraham Wood Branon] loses a lot of friends, mostly because his friends are a lot older than my mom, as he is [ten years older].

Some of my tech and music friends are cool with it, but a few are quite rigid in their thinking. Their minds can’t cope with the new info–—aliens, other species communications with fish on Earth, off-p travel–—the whole deal. They freak out.

Some join the Fraggers [Fragmenters] so they can find people who agree with them to join them in yelling or writing public letters about it. They’re angry, but mostly harmless. The scarier ones become Trenchers, fighting the T all the way until they get ReInvolved or Qed [Sequestered].

My cousin, Moran, and the other MWC Psi-Warriors plus my mom and The Band have a lot to do with how nonviolently this all goes down. I’m glad that almost no one is killed during the Psi Wars without a chance for ReInvolvement or the choice to be temporarily Qed.

I know my mom does everything she can in advance to help prevent and reduce the numbers of people adversely affected, so no one can say it is her fault or responsibility, although some people DO. Those must be the same people who blame President Obama for Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on the USA southern coastal cities even though he isn’t even President when it occurs, or who blame the hurricanes on homosexuality.

I know my mom still feels badly about not being able to save more people. She’s very sensitive that way. I understand that.

4. Where are you and what are you doing when you find out about the Many Worlds Collective and that your mom is the liaison/Chief Communicator?
ZEPHYR: My reaction is not the same as anyone else’s because my mom starts sending me the “story” as if she’s writing science-fiction novels, in February, 2012. I have a feeling, knowing my mom, that a lot of it is true or about to be true. I don’t say anything like that, at first.

But, when things start happening for her and you, Espe, and for her and Epifanio, just as she writes, I ask her about the rest.

So, around October, 2012, she tells me the MWC are actually coming. I get about a two-months’ head start on most people, about a year to get mentally ready.

I’m all in favor of it. Membership in the MWC, I mean. Earth really needs help. No question.

I know how my mom explains it but I still do not understand why they choose her, of over seven billion humans and all the other, in my mind, more obvious choices among Earthers who could have been chosen. Why not one of the dolphins, for example? No offense, Mom.

But, I’m getting used to it and glad she is CC, in some ways. I get some really cool tips, “toys,” experiences and privileges as the CC’s only child that no one else gets.

5. How do you feel about Clara’s role when it starts? How are you affected immediately?
ZEPHYR: I think I previously answer this. Move on.

Oh, all right.

I feel downright special.

There. Happy, now?

[I nod.]

ZEPHYR: OK, wait. There is one thing. Some people I know start to treat me differently. The way I could compare it might be this: if I had won the lottery, certain people would come out of nowhere and claim to be my friend, but they just want money.

In that vein, some people I haven’t talked to or don’t know well are suddenly going on and on about what “good friends” we are. Some of them go on the media and talk about knowing me and my mom, being at our house when I was growing up, being my girlfriend or best friend, or hers, and stuff like that. When it’s true, I don’t mind. But, some of them are actually lying or wildly exaggerating and that burns me.

My mom convinces me to let them be, so I do. I just don’t get the point: are they that desperate for attention? What tools.

Something else occurs to me, right now, though: I’m glad I’m already with Kayla before all this happens, or I might never know why she’s really into me, right?

In the department of stalkerville: even though our relationship is long-term, committed, monogamous, and known to the public, I still get invitations, sexual and personal, almost every month or so, from some whack-job or another. My mom’s security team collects them; I don’t even read them. Every now and then, my mom or Moran or one of the other OSes tells me to BOLO [Be On the Look Out] for some of these “fans.” When they have show me what these oddballs write to me so I can recognize their “signatures,” I am appalled. That is some crazy shit.

6. How do you feel about Clara’s role, now, 5 years later? How does her role affect you now?
ZEPHYR: I will add to what I say before this question that I am very proud of my mom. I think she’s doing an amazing job. Really. I am a very strong critic, usually, especially of my parents. [Laughs.] She says if I think she’s doing “all right,” she must be doing great.

Sometimes we have disagreements about what to do, when to do it. She calls me her “best informal informant.” She comes to me quite often, especially when things are going down that affect those my age or younger.

Because of her hearing loss, we have hilarious misunderstandings. Once, recently, I tell her the reason she can’t hear me is that her ears are too far from her head. We both laugh about that for quite a while. Another time, because of her mis-hearing me, we go ’round and ’round and don’t get anywhere in our conversation. Exasperated, I say that talking to her is like talking to a bicycle. That sends us into gales of laughter for another few minutes. So it goes.

My aunt Violet, being so much younger than my mom and not at all hard of hearing, says talking to my mom is like using the auto-correct feature in early cell phones: many ridiculous messages transpire.

It’s a lot like that when my mom and I talk, because of the randomly occurring hearing loss effects. She hears some things perfectly clearly and others very garbled, but she doesn’t know how garbled until we talk about it.

I tell her: “Mom. Get a hearing aid.”

She answers something along the lines of: “When they make better ones, I do.”

Another age-related problem: increasingly silly texts are sent when my mom doesn’t wear her reading glasses when she’s typing or reading her texts. In 2015, when she gets her personally-adjustable, digital hearing aids and corneal transplants, we all breathe sighs of relief, across the multiverse.

The hearing aids amplify only what she needs exactly as much as she needs, which is what she is holding out for all along. She knows they’re coming so she won’t put up with the substandard ones before 2015.

We all suffer.

On a good note, she knows when she needs help and asks for it. My mom consults with me, some of my cousins and some of her younger friends for tech help and to discuss how current policy discussions might be perceived or impact non-Spanners (people around my age and younger). Most often, she talks to me and Epifanio for informal feedback or ideas.

The CC has all these advisors, contacts, others–—you know–—for formal consultations.

And, you, Espe. You’re great!

7. Which of the MWC members or other species visitors do you have contact with? How and why, and how is that for you?
ZEPHYR: Again, I’m in a unique position. The Band delegates are kind of like relatives to me, at this point, like uncles and aunts, almost. Not that I see them often, but I hear about them a lot and I am “with” them many times, as holos and off-p. I am one of the first non-OS trainees, adults, to be enrolled in ESP [Excellent/Extraordinary Skills Program] training, so Mick and I are quite close, I think, since he runs it.

When Kayla, Kendall and I move to California, right near The Campus, in the summer of 2015, that is right before The Campus has its big blow-out celebration for my mom’s birthday. So, we’re here for that. Things heat up, so to speak, right after that regarding the Psi Wars and lots of other stuff.

What I mean by that is, my family and I are spending a lot more time being directly involved in MWC activities and with things at The Campus now that we’re so close.

And, Espe, well, you’re like a sister. Right, E? You call me a lot, we hang out, we email and text.

When you have trouble understanding my mom, I am the translator. I think part of it is that we’re the same age, so we get each other. I often have to explain you to my mom as well.

[We both laugh.]

ZEPHYR: Plus, you and Kayla are great friends. Sometimes I think you and Kayla get together so you can vent about the Branons. I don’t blame you!

Of The Band, I think Mick and I are the most “in tune,” since he’s the main tech guy and he also, like me, is very into music. But, I really enjoy the pairPartners [Janis–—Diana], and since Kayla is a dancer, they groove with each other very well, too.

When I want to know more about how my mom’s doing or feeling: I ask Janis–—Diana.

When I have questions about protocol or Re-sets, issues or politics, Led is my man.

For the ESP training “insider” stuff, like cheats and shortcuts, I go to Ringo. Ringo also knows a lot about what’s happening back on the IGC [InterGalactic Council] mainframe, so to speak, so for up-to-the-minute news about Xchanges, innovations and such, I ask Mick or Ringo.

Most Earthers have to use their iDs, but because I’m, well, me, I have special Access to each of them, directly, you know, telepathically. Only Moran, my mom and I have that, I think. Or, maybe, Epifanio does. I don’t ask him about this, actually.

You can’t ‘path The Band, right E?

ESPE: I cannot. They can ‘path me, though. Usually, they don’t.

ZEPHYR: As far as communicating with other Earthers, especially non-humans, that depends on what I’m doing, I guess, and where I and they are at any given time. Some of the Primates make music with me. The best are the cephalopods, especially some of the octopi. They are remarkable!

I get together with musically inclined off-worlders at every Music Xchange. I record some of that, which is so cool. With music, we don’t even need to use the fish [Interspecies Communication System]. Tell listeners/readers to check out my music site, OK? [zephyrbranonmusic.mwcw]

8. What transforms your life more: your fish [Interspecies Communication System], your iD [Individual Access Devices Interface], or travel to other planets/moons? How?
ZEPHYR: Obviously, I love my iD and use it constantly. I love the way my iD has a wireless hook-up to my music players, both at home and when I’m out, so I can get music from ANYWHERE, any time. That is sweet.

I use the fish a lot when I travel or am out in nature. We use it at home to talk with our cat and dog, but not often as an ordinary translator. With telepathy, once I’m at Level 2 solidly, I can understand most species on Earth or off-p, one-on-one, without the fish.

Interplanetary and intergalactic travel are the most amazing addition to our lives that anyone could imagine, and I am still humbled and excited every time I get to go out. I never get tired of that and hope to make many more off-p trips. I want to bring my family on some, too.

We don’t do that, yet, although Kayla goes out and we make one trip together, also. Got to bring the kids, right? It’s what families do on a family vacation, like going to the Grand Canyon or whatever, only infinitely more cool.

As far as transforming my life…that’s harder to see, for me. I’m sure my life is transformed, and not only on the surface, but how to explain that?

I can’t imagine my life without it, all of it. Timulting isn’t my thing.

We change every day, every minute. How, specifically, does The Transition change me…? I’ll have to get back to you on that.

My dad has a hard time with some of it, like many people his age–—he’s ten years older than my mom, so almost 70 when she starts being the CC. They talk a lot, which I think helps, at first, but then she gets so busy she doesn’t check in as often, and he’s kind of a hermit-type.

I think my dad is kind of awed and mystified, but he is that a lot, anyway, about many things and people. He’s a Sufi. A mystic. He whirls. Like they do in Turkey. With the big hat and skirt with metal in the hem. Ever see him do that?

[Yes.]

I zoom in on him a lot these days, and I worry too much, probably. Try to imagine: my dad is one of the oldest Spanners, born in 1944. What he’s lived through, the changes he’s seen! I can’t really grok it, myself.

It’s harder for him after we move here, so I visit him a lot. That’s another thing I appreciate: off-p travel methods work on-p as well, so getting to and from, say, old California to old New Hampshire: just a thought and a movement away. No TJ needed, either!

9. How do your friends, family, wife and children feel about your mom as the CC and how does this affect your own relationships?
ZEPHYR: If you want to know how Kayla feels, you best ask her. Kendall has no clue, since she’s not even two. To Kendall, the famous Chief Communicator is just my mom and her grandmother.

My friends are mostly jealous. Completely.

Some of them say things like: “We’re so NOT surprised that your mom is doing this; she’s always been…unusual.” They’re right, of course. My mom is always the one who is way over in the red zone on the Strange Meter compared to my friends’ moms. Good strange, though, not awful strange.

I feel kind of badly when friends ask me stuff and I’m not allowed to say, but they understand, by now. I am allowed to talk to Kayla about things that I can’t talk to anyone else about (I get permission, and so does my mom, early on), and also, to my dad. My mom also talks directly with my dad, so that’s cool.

I don’t know what my dad tells his brother and sister; my grandparents on that side are dead already before the changes set in (my grandfather is dead almost ten years before; my grandmother is already demented and then dies early into The Transition), so, in a way, that’s good, or this would kill them, for sure. They never liked my mom.

I think this would be a lot harder without those permissions, though. That would suck. I know about that a little since I am not allowed to say anything to Kayla or my dad until December, when I know since October, in 2012. Those two months last FOREVER.

Once I am able to talk with them, though, especially Kayla, everything is much easier. She really helps me adjust to the “fame.” I am not expecting that. I blame my mom; she doesn’t put my fame problems in Volume I, which is the only one I see BPC [Before Public Contact]! [laughter]

I do have questions I can’t ask her. Here is one exchange I can share in which I ask some key questions.

********

During one of my ESP training sessions, I ask Mick: “Why does the MWC only come to one member of the dominant species on each member orb to be the Liaison for Transition and after that? Isn’t that a lot of pressure on that one being, their family and friends?”

Mick replies: “Every time we try working with more than one being as Liaison, we have to do extensive Re-sets. This happens on my planet, my CeeCee tells me [The Chief Communicator on Mick’s planet is a relative of his, like an uncle].”

“Problems are two-fold,” he continues. “One, consistency of information dissemination; two, reliability of witnesses.”

I start to ask a follow-up, but Mick’s on a roll, as he often is: “As soon as you have more than one individual telling any story, you run into contradictions and disparities. These widen out the further you go from each individual until the distortions are unacceptable. It’s like your game of ‘telephone,’ yes?”

I nod. I see the problem clearly as he describes it. I know he can tell I understand, because he nods and says: “So, one Transition, one Liaison. Information flows in a straight line from the MWC to the Liaison, from the Chief Communicator via her media contact to the orbs’ inhabitants. Works best. Protocol, now.”

I believe him.

Mick then gives me a nodding gesture with his headpiece and says,”You are our second choice.”

I feel as if he punches me in the gut with that. No way! I could never…

Then, Mick makes his laughing noise.

Whew! Just kidding!

********

Sick sense of humor. Gotta love that.

I do wonder who else is on their short list, though? No pun intended, Little Mom.

10. What else do you want to tell us about your experiences of Clara as the CC or the Transition?
ZEPHYR: When I am a kid, my mom and dad raise me to be different from mainstream people in about a hundred ways. For example, they really talk with me from a very young age and still do. They and all their friends raise kids the way they raised me, communication-wise. For a while, I don’t know how different I and my peers in this community are.

Then, at about fourteen, I go out “into the world,” away from the private, Waldorf-education-“bubble,” away from our hippie community, into public schools, cities, etc. I am amazed at how different I am from those teens and how far my families in our community are from those families. Values, lifestyles, attitudes, sex and relationships, personal choices, money use, decision-making processes, dealing with emotions, clothing, music, reading materials (that we read for fun at all!), cable TV vs. NPR [National Public Radio]: countless differences that, one at a time, don’t seem significant, but add them all up and we are worlds apart.

Being an adult seems to be more of that same experience: I still see a huge disparity between me and most people, even guys my age “Western” Earth societies. Kayla agrees: I am Clara’s son and it shows.

There is one guy I feel a kinship with, even though we’ve never met: Matt Damon. When I’m a kid, my mom tells me about this feminist researcher on gender roles who writes about her son who wants to wear barrettes in his long hair to keep it out of his face. Since I have long hair (my choice) from age three to sixteen, I am interested. She goes on. This writer explains how much crap the school teachers and others give them, but she and her son were quite happy with his choices. This writer/researcher/mom produces several books about masculinity, raising sons, war toys and other topics in the category of feminist parenting that are dear to my mother’s heart.

Who is that feminist parenting icon? You guessed it: Matt’s mom [Nancy Carlsson-Paige]. I know, if we ever get to talk, we find we have a lot in common.

With who my mom is and her being CeeCee, I feel unique, but this feeling is not unfamiliar, you see? For example, I can cook, do laundry, balance checkbooks, play with kids, plan a schedule, hold a job, manage my life, deal with emotions, communicate clearly (even though I do yell a lot for a while), all by the age of 16. We know people, especially men my age NOW, who can’t do most of those things.

Kayla says I am “the only man she’s ever known who… ” Fill in the blank, with about ten useful or appealing (to her) characteristics or behaviors. Her parents don’t know quite what to do with me or my mom, even now, five years later.

Kayla’s parents are nice, mainstream, good people. That’s the thing. Regular. I don’t mean commonplace or average, just, well, ordinary. Not unusual in any large ways. They are unique, of course; everyone is. But, you know what I mean? They blend.

My mom, even before she is CC, says about herself: “I’m so far from the mainstream, I can’t even hear the river running.”

So, imagine coming from a mainstream upbringing and marrying into this family? Holy shit! I hand it to Kayla: she’s courageous! I tell her, all the time. She laughs at me. In a nice way. With hugs.

Kayla and her parents are offered a trip out with me about two years ago, when Kayla is only a few months pregnant, to go to one of the Xchanges (Cultural collaborations) on Led’s planet, Gliese 581 d. Kayla says “yes” and she does go.

She really tries to talk her parents into coming, but they can’t wrap their minds around it. Won’t come. And, they’re younger than my mom, so it’s not age that’s making them less flexible, less open to change.

Also, Kayla’s parents seem kind of spooked by the whole ESP training and are uncomfortable around me in new ways once I’m in the Program. I think they believe I’m reading their minds or controlling Kayla or something. Sheesh.

The Transition and its opportunities are not for everyone to embrace equally.

Me? Mostly, I love it all. And, I love my mom.

I feel very lucky, all around.

Are we done?

This is fun, E. Thanks.

[hugs]


final cover print

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, of The Spanners Series.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman.

Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

Sci-fi/romance/utopian/multiverse/psi/paranormal for adults, new adults, young adults, now in ebooks and paperbacks, Volumes I, II, III:
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AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8   
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

And on ibooks, Kobo, nook: look right, scroll down for all links for Volumes I, II, III, interviews, book trailers, reviews, more:
http://www.sallyember.com

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

logoAuthorsDen

All art for The Spanners Series by WillowRaven
http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/

Excerpt from This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, CHAPTER THIRTY-THREEClara Explains Human Relationships to The Band: The Romantic Paradox

Excerpt from This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

Clara Explains Human Relationships to The Band:
The Romantic Paradox

by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Copyright 2013, revised 2015 Sally Ember, Ed.D.
St. Louis, MO

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July 14, 2013

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

“You want to know something no one wants to know?” I ask Led, whose bluish-gray, ovoid, bouncing hologram is hovering around and “on” my 5′-round table in my living/dining room in Kirov. “You have extensive knowledge of modern, Western literature and are familiar with movies, television programs and song lyrics as well, right?”

Led is visiting me today, July 14, 2013, to check in, something he or one of the other members of The Band do periodically when we don’t have a training session for more than a day or so. Six months ago we start my Excellent Skills Program and CC trainings, but we’re not exactly on a regular schedule because of all of my public appearances, interviews Espe has to do with me for her ‘blog and formal articles, and what little time I can grab to catch up with friends and family. Also, some sessions require more extensive practice to be done on my own before the next training can occur.

My most recent session focuses on the intentional manipulation of matter. Mainly, I practice causing something (usually the size and shape of a large book) to manifest and disappear at will. Or not. The stubborn refusal of this volume on my table to disappear starts me thinking about stubbornness in general and the recalcitrance of one man, in particular.

Yes, my dear Epifanio.

The book I practice removing from and returning to our timeline is a compendium of romance-genre novellas by a little-known author that my mom and I enjoy. In every one of these stories, the female protagonist spends most of the plot in a state of suffering from unrequited love. Then, very near the end (triggering the end, in fact), the object of her affection realizes/ discovers/ announces that he, too, loves her. They embrace passionately, usually leading to perfect sex (e.g., simultaneous or “ladies -first” climaxes, exceptional technique and rapport, fireworks, etc.) and/or engagement leading to marriage and the promise of perfect sex. Since the novellas (and almost every other story of this type from any Western author or film/TV writer) all follow this format, it sets me to thinking about the way authors stop the stories too early.

This starts a chain of thoughts that leads to the above question I pose to Led. “Led,” I go on, “you, I and the rest of The Band all know that Epifanio and I do not work out together as a couple. No matter how many ways I timult us, or how many Re-sets you or I establish in which our relationship happens to change, the alterations in the timelines do not result in our being able to stay together, if we get together at all. Do you know why that is?”

“Clara,” Led starts to respond, but POP POP POP POP: here are the rest of The Band.

Ringo extrudes one light orange, upper arm-like appendage and wiggles his “fingers” at me. I wiggle mine back in greeting. His pyramid-shaped, top part opens slightly, the shinier side facing me.

Mick angles his turquoise blue flat-top toward me and his lights blink. If I had blinking lights, I’d blink back; but, lacking those, I say “Hi” to Mick.

Janis—Diana move toward me. Their pickle-body holos “bump” my upper body, twice. I angle my shoulder toward them and “bump” back, three times, in our established greeting.

“Are you ready for your next session?” asks Mick. He’s the one tracking my ESP training most closely.

Janis answers before I get a chance to: “No. Clara is going on about Fanio, again. Really, Clara? What, now?” her tone is teasing and affectionate, so I am not offended.

Diana jumps in, again, preceding my response: “Don’t be so hard on her. You know humans love very differently than we do and her heart is corroded. Right, Clara? Corroded?”

Diana often gets our slang incorrect and I hide my smile so as not to offend her..

“Um, well, not ‘corroded,’ exactly,” I start to explain the incorrectness of Diana’s term, but Ringo interrupts.

“Clara and Epifanio have a complicated set of timelines. Perhaps she is ready to examine a number of them today?” Ringo wonders.

Timulting personal stories is not on this week’s schedule nor is that part of Level 5-A,” Mick declares.

Diana intercedes, “Clara doesn’t want to timult the timelines. She needs to grieve, to worry, to anguish, to obsess. Maybe play some music that makes her cry. How about this?” She speaks in a sympathetic tone, then I hear “Love Has No Pride.” Linda Ronstadt’s soaring vocals fill my living room.

The music for desolation, not consolation.

She must “hear” my dismay, because now she plays Lonestar’s “Not A Day Goes By.”

I start to laugh. Right on target, but somehow not helpful.

“That’s not necessary,” I say, through my laughter.

Diana fades out the tear-jerking lyrics on “Baby, Baby, Oh, Baby…”

“I want to explain some cultural paradoxes to you. That’s the reason this conversation begins the way it does.”

Led bounces closer to me and says, “Go on, Clara.”

I know Led likes to be aware of the nuances of Earthers’ thinking, so I continue, despite Mick’s increasing frequency of blinking lights. “It’s like this; at least, it is for me. I fall in love (or so I tell myself) with someone who isn’t at that time in love with me or even considering me as a lover. We know each other in some ways and have contact, but per is not interested in me in that way.”

“Like Epifanio,” Janis offers.

Diana bumps her but Janis continues.

“He keeps saying he doesn’t feel ‘that way’ about you.”

“Yes, Janis. Exactly. So, unable to accept ‘No’ for an answer, I persist. I try to become necessary, irreplaceable, important in that person’s life. I seduce, I persuade, I sometimes ‘succeed.’ I become a trusted friend, a good companion, a significant colleague, a confidante, a part of cos extended family or inner friendship circle. We spend more time together, all so that I can become indispensable and irresistible to co.”

“Does that work?” asks Led.

“It often seems to,” I say. “But that’s exactly the problem I want to discuss. It depends on the way we define ‘work.'”

Ringo is getting interested, now. “What do you mean? How could something work and not work at the same time?”

“Therein lies the paradox!” I exclaim. “Human feelings and psychological conditions aren’t like machinery. They can operate in both the ‘on’ and ‘off’ positions simultaneously in this metaphor, as you soon learn.”

Now, Mick is intrigued, “Like a photon can be both a particle and a wave, but not when observed, because then it must be one or the other?”

“Very like that, yes,” I concur. “But, human love, passion, choice and autonomy are the contradictory occurrences, here. This is the way I understand it all, now. With my previous lovers and Epifanio: they believe that they do not love or want me, sometimes for many years. They are close to me in other ways, however. Then, at some point, they believe they do love me, want to be with me. Since that is what I want, anyway, we spend some time being together. It’s great, it’s wonderful, it’s amazing wish-fulfillment, for me, and, seemingly great for them, too.”

“So, what’s the paradox?” prompts Led.

“Endorphins and romance fade and real life takes over. The ‘honeymoon’ of new passion and excitement end, causing oxytocin to recede to normal levels. Or, it might work in reverse: perhaps oxytocin’s diminishing causes the feelings to change. My ‘lovers’ then begin to recall the traits or behaviors they do not like in me, the original reasons they do not want to be with me.”

I pause, considering all my important relationships and know I’m on the right track, here. “Whatever attracts them to me or ‘changes their minds’ about me is no longer accessible. They decide–―no, they believe–―that they don’t love or want me any longer, all in the space of a few months or years. Plus, they’re angry, resentful and withdrawn toward me.”

“But, you do not change or trick them at all, do you?” asks Janis. She sounds appalled.

Diana adds, “That is so unfair! That must be the reason your heart corrodes to the breaking point!”

“Exactly!” I say. “Instead of taking responsibility for those alterations in their feelings and for their own ever-changing choices, they blame me. They actually tell me they believe we got together because I use ‘magical’ seduction, deception and other methods to convince or even coerce them into falling in love with me and become my lover.”

As I recall specific incidents of this in my life, I am getting a bit intense. I take deep breaths to calm myself, then continue.

“One of them says I ‘put him under a spell.’ Another one tells me that I ‘took him for a ride.’ They claim, one day or several months or years later, when they then believe they no longer want or love me, that our relationship’s demise is all my fault, somehow. They refuse to take any responsibility for the way we get into this situation.”

I pause. Yes, The Band is with me.

“They tell themselves and me that they get involved with me without their complete consent or understanding. From their perspectives, they ‘never wanted to do that,’ so, I must trick them into doing it, to being with me.” I can feel the pain of hearing those things from my former lovers as if it were happening right now.

“This makes no sense, even for human Earthers,” Ringo says, tilting his pyramid away from me. “What is their major maladjustment?”

I laugh. Ever since I first say that in front of Ringo, he chooses to re-use that phrase repeatedly. Always appropriately, though.

“Yes. Please explain, Clara,” Led requests.

“Okay, ” I continue. “First, you all remember what ‘projection’ means and how it manifests, right?”

Mick responds, “Of course. Humans often put another person’s ‘face’ or their own inner characteristics, ‘on’ someone else, like, on you. But they do not realize that they are doing this. They then react to that person, not to you, as if those other person’s traits or their own traits are yours. Usually these projections are negative but they can also have positive identity confusions. Yes?”

“Oh, I get it!” Janis exclaims. “Epifanio projects his mother, his first wife or some older sibling or teacher or some other contentious, powerful person from his past onto you. Or, he projects the insecurities, fears, worries or dishonesty within himself onto you. He then feels inferior, threatened, invaded, betrayed or otherwise unhappy due to his original relationship issues with that person or to his struggles with his own inner demons that seem to be playing out with you.”

Diana picks up the thread: “Then, he attributes his reactions to you and your interactions with him. Talk about unfair! He shouldn’t do that to you!”

“That’s right,” I respond. “That is ‘projection.'” I feel sad remembering all the times this happens in my timelines with others and with Fanio. “He can’t help it, though. No reason to be upset with him.”

I realize as I hear myself say that to Janis–—Diana: I am not angry with Fanio or any of my other lovers anymore. It surprises me, but I’m so glad. Many years of therapy and intensive contemplation during meditation actually help with these issues.

I continue with my explanation. “It works both ways, anyway. I’m sure I do it, also. Most humans project onto one another until we don’t. My projections onto others are usually more positive than they deserve, but they are nonetheless projections: not better than theirs onto me, just different.”

I feel a familiar rush of certainty, mixed with shame. “When I make others ‘better’ than they actually are and relate to them as if that is who they are, I generate an inauthentic relationship just as they do. My ‘positive’ identify confusions are every bit as unhealthy as their negative ones.”

Mick interjects, “Your projections, Clara, are a bit more complicated, though, because you see other versions of some people when you timult. Because you prefer those versions to this one, you unconsciously favor the ‘better’ one. Also, ‘unfair,’ right?” He says this last part to Janis.

Mick nails it. I do that with Epifanio and many others. I timult from when I am a teenager. When I find what I believe to be better versions of them, I relate to those instead of the people who are right in front of me.

“Yes, that is unfair. Completely. To all of us,” I admit. “I am doing that with Epifanio, every day,” I add. “I would rather have another version of him here, with me, than the one who is here. I’m trying to stop. At least I don’t blame Fanio, anymore.”

“I’m still not understanding the paradoxical part,” persists Led.

“Yes, Clara. Go on about that, please,” requests Ringo.

“Well, I start out talking about one kind, but Mick points out another. In my original paradox, it goes like this: the romance authors want us to believe that, once someone is finally ready to love someone else—–after days, weeks, months, or even years of resisting, insisting they do not love that person–—suddenly, they perceive this new-found love and ‘everything’ is going to be great. The writers call that ‘living happily ever after’ in human fairy tales. But, that’s not really how it works out.

“The authors don’t show the later months or years, when it all falls apart. The negative projections wear off or get superseded by the positive ones, at first, but they’re all still having projections. No one includes the part of the story showing when the positive projections fade away and the negative ones return to prominence.”

“Once the projections depart, does the relationship continue with more authenticity, then?” Diana asks, hopefully.

“No one is actually loving or desiring the other person the way they truly are. Once the partners realize that, they can’t be happy together any longer,” I explain. “Unless, once the projections all recede, they can find their ways to respecting, knowing and loving each other as who they are. That is very rare with current, Western humans.”

“It doesn’t happen with you and Fanio, does it?” Janis asks, sadly.

I feel my heart clutch and my stomach tense. “No, Janis. I do not think it does. But, to be fair, that’s as much my responsibility as it is Fanio’s.”

Led says, “If I understand you correctly, Clara, the human romantic paradox is that two humans may both love and not love one another simultaneously without realizing that. And, projections onto others may be both positive and negative at the same time as well.”

“Yes,” Ringo continues, “Human relationships are fraught with unrealistic expectations, feelings based on fantasies, and other neurotic tendencies playing out in interactive experiences. Many species are like this in the Many Worlds Collective.”

“They are?” I ask. “I hear about none of these. Please, go on.”

Led bounces closer to me, then hovers. “Clara, this is very educational. Thank you. We must depart and leave you to your practice.” He bounces over the book, then POP he’s out of sight.

“Okay,” I reply, but he’s already gone. Janis–—Diana, Mick and Ringo POP out immediately afterward, giving their good-bye gestures as they go. I return the gestures, but they’re gone before mine can be seen by them.

Typical.

Back to this Level 5-A, disappearing objects. This stubborn book. Gey avek, please? I exhort in Yiddish to the book. And take my projections with you, while you’re at it!

To my utter surprise, POP and it’s off my table. Wow! I have no idea what I am doing right, but I better do it again!

I get up to find another, larger book. This time, an old Atlas. Fewer distractions that way.


This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Chief Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. 

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

Sci-fi/romance/utopian/multiverse/psi/paranormal for adults, new adults, young adults, now in ebooks and paperbacks, Volumes I, II, III:
PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume I, $17.99 https://www.createspace.com/5837347 

Ebook of Volume I is PERMAFREE:
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8   
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

And on ibooks, Kobo, nook: look right, scroll down for all links for Volumes I, II, III, interviews, book trailers, reviews, more:
http://www.sallyember.com

final cover print

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

logoAuthorsDen

All art for The Spanners Series by WillowRaven
http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/

Guest Post: The 4 Platform Elements That Catch an Editor’s Attention

What does an #author need for his/her “#platform” to get an Editor’s attention? Thanks to Maria Ribas, and Carly Watters for posting.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Headshot for Stonesong websiteEditor-turned-Agent Maria Ribas has a guest post for everyone today! It’s a small world in publishing and the story of how Maria and I know each other is a reflection of that. When Maria was an editor at Adams Media I sold her a cookbook called THE WELLNESS KITCHEN. She left Adams Media a couple years ago now and is currently at agent at Stonesong Literary in NYC. Maria represents non fiction and specializes in lifestyle and cookbooks. She has a great post about platform that I think you’ll all learn something from. You can also check out her site for more great information: www.cooksplusbooks.com or follow her on Twitter @maria_ribas.

I started out in publishing as an editor. And about once a week, I would get rejected. Our acquisitions meetings were on Thursday afternoon, and I’d spend much of that morning preparing a pitch for why…

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How to: use SmartURL

How and why to use “Smart URLs” to track clicks! Thanks, Elle! Also, she shows the site’s providing ALL countries’ Amazon links for one product/book! Excellent tools and advice.

best to you all,

Sally

Vampires, Crime and Angels...Eclectic Me

SmartURL’s can be an incredible tool to use in a million different ways. First off, they can be used on Facebook without causing those dreaded Captcha’s. Secondly, they’re saved on the SmartURL website, so that you don’t have to save them elsewhere. There’s a really quick and easy “Copy” button that you can just sign in to access.

Let’s take a closer look.

Start here at the SmartURL website.

Here’s your homepage.

Now let’s sign in/register and take a closer look. You can do the quick and easy option of signing in with your social media account or register to sign up the long way.

This is how your homepage will look, once you’ve got a few links added.

~

Now, click on “Create SmartURL” and we’ll go to the page for how to create a link:

This is the most important part that you’ll need to keep an…

View original post 659 more words

“If You Love Science-Fiction, This Will Blow Your Mind Away!”–author, Dr. Olga Nuñez Miret, M.D., Ph.D., about The Spanners Series

“If You Love Science-Fiction, This Will Blow Your Mind Away!”—author, Dr. Olga Nuñez Miret, M.D., Ph.D., previous guest on CHANGES conversations between authors (Episode 13) and in my Guest Bloggers’ Hall of Fame!

Features The Spanners Series today on her blog to honor the release of Volume III! Thanks, Olga! Go visit, read, comment, please, and SHARE!

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/newbook-this-isis-not-the-way-i-want-things-to-change-volume-iii-the-spanners-series-by-sally-ember-ed-d-sallyemberedd-is-here-if-you-love-sci-fiction-this-will-blow-your-mind-away/

3 paperbacks

Featured on Krysten Lindsay Hager’s site today: The Spanners Series’ newest releases!

Featured on Krysten Lindsay Hager‘s site today: The Spanners Series’ newest releases!

3 paperbacks

Sally Ember: My First Experiences with #CreateSpace and #Self-Publishing #Print-On-Demand (#POD) #Books
http://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/sally-ember-my-first-experiences-with-createspace-and-self-publishing-print-on-demand-pod-books

Thanks, Krysten!