Excerpt from This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III, The Spanners Series, CHAPTER INTERLUDE THIRTEEN, “Relationships and Off-Planetary Travel: Worm Holes and Quantum Entanglement”

Excerpt from This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III,
The Spanners Series

CHAPTER INTERLUDE THIRTEEN, “Relationships and Off-Planetary Travel: Worm Holes and Quantum Entanglement”

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

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July 14, 2017

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

CHAPTER INTERLUDE THIRTEEN

“Relationships and Off-Planetary Travel: Worm Holes and Quantum Entanglement,”
Speech at “Pandemonium Day” Celebrations given by Dr. Steve Jasny, M.D., Trainer at the Excellent Skills Program, and Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Earth’s Chief Communicator

BRANON: Thank you for inviting us to visit with you all on the ‘verseweb and in person here in old California at our Campus for Pandemonium Day. They say: “Chaos, madness and unexpected surprises abound on Pandemonium Day, when nothing can be predicted and everything can go wrong.”
JASNY: Let’s hope we’re not part of “what goes wrong,” Clara!
BRANON: If we are, we are, Steve! A little chaos is good for everyone! And, nobody can be prepared for everything, can we? Even when we timult…!
JASNY: True enough. Let’s get right into it. How does this all work, many ask, referring to off-planet travel, usually. Let’s explain a bit.
BRANON: By the end of The Transition, all Earthers with an iD and the ability to Access items on the ‘verseweb can choose to understand enough about the science. We all can know what is behind the ways we and others can travel across space-time so quickly. Every school kid across the globe, online or at home, can easily name the main components: quantum entanglement, worm holes, black holes, Dark Matter, Dark Energy.
JASNY: Yes, and we know movement occurs within a few zeptoseconds because the Higgs-bosun subatomic particles exist for approximately one zeptosecond—a thousandth of a billionth of a billionth of one second.
BRANON: Talk about “chaos”: how can we even conceive of such small amounts of time, especially when all time is simultaneous, what we call timultaneity? It’s mind-boggling.
JASNY: We learn by memorizing and then contemplating, same as we learn almost anything conceptual.
BRANON: Right. I’m proud to say I create this, so we have something even small kids can recite: “Every electron in the multiverse knows about every other electron.” We teach our kids to say this even before they all understand what an electron is.
JASNY: Quite clever, that. Get ’em young, right?
BRANON: The changes come so quickly, we have to have a way to assimilate them all.
JASNY: What is science-fiction for Einstein and others in the 20th and early 21st centuries on Earth becomes science fact in the 20teens, via the MWC’s willingness to share tech and knowledge with invited planetary members even before we completely join.
BRANON: Yes. First, they show us that magnetic worm holes allow objects and information to travel faster than the speed of light, which we previously believe is not possible. I keep hearing that song from the musical version of Cinderella, the one the Fairy Godmother sings, “Impossible.”
JASNY: We are now all those “zanies and fools, who don’t believe in sensible rules,” are we not? Once we learn that quantumly entangled particles are connected by little worm holes and that all subatomic particles are quantumly entangled, we understand something profound: anything, anywhere can move about the multiverse using worm holes.
BRANON: Many spiritual and religious people say this well before we ever meet The Band, before The Transition, Steve: “Everything is connected.” Interbeing. Interdependence. We learn to utilize these links.
JASNY: Precisely. We access worm holes to find that they transmit information among themselves at incredible speeds. Once we harness them, so to speak, it turns out that WE are some of that “information” they can transmit, which spawns the development of technology for off-planet travel for any Earthers.
BRANON: It’s so “romantic,” in the space opera sense. Any being who so desires can go far, far away quickly AND return, having aged hardly at all.
JASNY: Depending on who you are and when you’re reading or listening to this or having it wired directly into your learning or entertainment receptors, perhaps this information comes as no surprise to you. Or, perhaps every sentence we speak reverberates in you as something shocking. Or, you are somewhere in between: are you amused, fascinated, bored, faintly interested?
BRANON: Regardless…
JASNY: It’s all true.
BRANON: What isn’t as easily comprehensible for many, especially humans, is the coinciding link to interpersonal or interspecies relationships.
JASNY: We have to keep reflecting on this: EVERYTHING (meaning, EVERYONE) is connected, and not just by going through five or six other “degrees” of connection, either. We are all immediately, inextricably intertwined.
BRANON: Let that sink in for about a year or so. Then, ponder: quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes the strong interaction (one of the four fundamental forces of nature; the others are gravitation, electromagnetism and the weak interaction). QCD is responsible for binding quarks [subatomic particles] together. The strong force is carried by particles called gluons, so inside any particle held together by the strong interaction there will also be gluons. And in addition to the main quarks and gluons are “virtual” pairs of quarks and antiquarks (the antimatter counterpart of quarks) which continuously pop into and out of existence.
JASNY: Just like the holograms of The Band.
BRANON: Exactly. But before we enter into collaboration with the Many Worlds Collective, many of the most brilliant Earth physicists and mathematicians are frustrated. They can’t figure out how to calculate mass estimates of QCD, even when using our most powerful supercomputers running complex simulations, because our tech’s ability to calculate is so limited.
JASNY: We aren’t completely ignorant, by any definition, though. We do claim discovery of the baryons, called Xib’ and Xib* [pronounced zi-b-prime and zi-b-star] and we know that both particles contain one beauty, or b, quark, one strange quark and one down quark. We even know what differentiates these particles from one another and from one other conglomeration of the same three types of quarks. We understand this to be the arrangement of the quarks’ spins. Then, there are the elusive pentaquarks… topic for another day.
BRANON: Still, Earth scientists are stuck because, on our own, we are certain that the standard model is insufficient. It does not account for Dark Matter. We know this is key, and we finally do find out why. But, Dark Matter is also a topic for another day.
JASNY: Due to the MWC’s assistance, we know that when quantum particles are entangled, they cannot be described individually because they form a single quantum object, even if they are located far apart. The MWC helps by providing their measure for the amount of entanglement in a quantum system, called “entropy of entanglement.”
BRANON: When scientists here publicize their findings and add in the MWC’s info, we are all stunned to find out that what we perceive as three-dimensional is actually the image of two-dimensional processes throughout the multiverse, constantly changing and moving. In fact, everything is a hologram, including Earth, the Milky Way, the universe as we know it. This leads to holographology and holographysicists.
JASNY: We also find out that worm holes are everywhere: huge, medium, small, microscopic. EVERYWHERE. “Shocked” isn’t a strong enough word to describe how we feel when we learn that worm holes are usually microscopic channels between and among particles all around us.
BRANON: I know I feel creeped out, As if there are parasites of all kinds living in and on me. Ewwwww!
JASNY: A wormhole is like a tunnel between two parallel sheets of spacetime, connecting the multiverse timelines, locations in space, beings, objects: whatever can be connected. Nothing is eating you, though, Clara.
BRANON: Glad to hear it. As much as I love science, though, I’m more interested, as I’m sure many listening are, to find out how this all affects our interpersonal/interspecies relationships?
JASNY: Imagine this: entangled quark-antiquark pairs seem to be in ordinary 3D space, then rush away from each other, approaching the speed of light. This makes it seem impossible for this pair to pass signals from one to the other. The 3D space where the quarks reside is a hypothetical boundary of a 4D world. In the 3D space, the entangled pair is connected by a kind of conceptual string [yes, the proverbial strings of string theory] that, in 4D space, becomes a wormhole.
BRANON: Picture your pair of quarks, above, as both a string and a wormhole. Imagine that this quark-antiquark pair pops into existence in a strong electric field which then sends the oppositely charged particles accelerating in opposite directions. The entangled particles in the 3D world are connected by a wormhole in the 4D world.
JASNY: Confused, yet? We’re just getting started.
BRANON: What Earthers propose in the 20teens becomes possible via MWC tech: teleporting energy over long distances, because of quantum entanglement.
JASNY: Our scientists who play with the properties of squeezed light or vacuum states that should allow for the teleportation of information throughout an energy state are beside themselves with glee at this charmed (pun intended) side benefit of membership in the MWC.
BRANON: They are chomping at the bit, like racehorses at the Kentucky Derby who strain to be let out of the gate and start racing around: “Beam me up, Scotty” is ON!
JASNY: Well, not precisely like that. This type of teleportation can occur because whenever a change happens to one particle, the same change happens to the other. Hence, the impression of teleportation is actually an exchange of information, as I mention, above, via worm holes.
BRANON: But, as I also indicate: WE beings are sometimes that “information” that gets “exchanged.”
JASNY: Increasing the uncertainty of one value decreases the uncertainty of the value of others—–a sort of squeezing effect, which, when applied to light, leads to more pairs traveling together through a vacuum, which in turn leads to more of them being entangled, which allows for teleporting energy over virtually any distance.
BRANON: How does all this relate to physical movement to other planets? We become able to perceive ourselves’ being in two places at once. It isn’t that movement is involved, always, but that perception becomes more flexible.
JASNY: Scientists learn to create a quantum vortex, first in a lab, then anywhere. Earth experimenters also learn to generate dark solitons, which are relatively long-lived compared to other solitons.
BRANON: The bridge to relationships, to love, to interaction, is attraction.
JASNY: We know this from personal experience, don’t we, Clara? Some attractive interactions could stably exist, but only up to a certain critical atom number. Beyond this critical number, the attraction overwhelms the zero-point energy of the harmonic confining potential, causing the atoms to collapse in a burst reminiscent of a supernova explosion, where an implosion comes first, then an explosion. Too much of a “good thing,” right?
BRANON: In simpler terms: strong attraction can cause explosions and implosions, micro and macro.
JASNY: Yes. They sure can. Then, scientists find that there is a “reversible flip” from attraction to repulsion, that stems from quantum interference which behaves as waves. Love can turn to hate all too quickly, can’t it?
BRANON: That flip, as you call it, from attraction to repulsion, happens all too often in human relationships, as we know. Where is the switch, I want to know! How can we flip it back to attraction?
JASNY: When scientists raise the magnetic field’s strength, the atoms suddenly revert to attraction. But, they immediately implode and shrink, beyond detection. Rapidly, they then explode, expelling about two-thirds of the combined 10,000 or so atoms. About half of the atoms seem to disappear from the experiment altogether, not visible either in the cold remnant or the expanding gas cloud.
BRANON: What? When we try to flip repulsion back to attraction the object of our affection disappears? So unexpected. [Laughter]
JASNY: The energy state of an atom near absolute zero should not be enough to cause an implosion.
BRANON: Meaning, when we try to seduce or re-attract someone who is wavering, that should not send them heading for the hills, if we keep them warm enough. Where are they hiding, anyway? Are they really gone forever?
JASNY: The MWC informs us that the atoms that seem to disappear still exist: they form molecules of two bonded atoms.
BRANON: Oh. Of course. When our desired ones leave us they immediately find someone new to be attracted to and bond with the new one. Sure. How is that a good thing, Steve?
JASNY: The energy gained by making this transition, flipping the atoms from attraction to repulsion and back again, imparts a velocity sufficient for them to leave, i.e., to travel, without Earth scientists’ picking them up via our usual methods of observation.
BRANON: Our relationship problems, our entanglement issues, lead to breakthroughs? That does happen. Don’t we usually garner important personal insights from every break-up, Steve?
JASNY: We certainly hope so, Clara. And, thanks to the MWC, these experiences lead us to move forward in science as well. We learn to teleport “information” between two clouds of gas atoms and to carry out the teleportation––not just one or a few times, but successfully every single time, by means of laser light.
BRANON: The light and gas become entangled, which means they establish a quantum link––they are synchronized.
JASNY: The MWC continues throughout The Transition to enlighten us further. Their tech info confirms many of our suspicions: gravity is a superfluid, consciousness is actually a type of matter, and Dark Matter is everywhere, permeating and comprising everything that seems to exist.
BRANON: But, Dark Matter, as with all those worm holes, is not impinging on our illusory existence in any way, right, Steve?
JASNY: Right, Clara. We are, holographically speaking, whole and unharmed.
BRANON: Time for questions, Steve?
JASNY: Sure. Put them up on the ‘verseweb. We plan to go over them and respond quickly.
BRANON: But not instantaneously! Thank you all for your kind attention. We wish you well in all your entanglements!
JASNY: And, when you go off-planet, enjoy the ride!


Spanners - volume 3 cover final

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact?

If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted 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 III, $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844474

PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume II, $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844431 

PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume I, $17.99 https://www.createspace.com/5837347 

Ebook of Volume III is $3.99:
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AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0177Z1KRM

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Ebook of Volume II is $3.99:
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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

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

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Excerpt from This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III, The Spanners Series, CHAPTER ONE, Excellent Skills Program (ESP) Final Test, Level 11-A: Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator (CC), and Rabbi Moran Ackerman, Chief of OverSeers covert and Special Operations (OSOps)

Excerpt from This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III,
The Spanners Series

CHAPTER ONE
Excellent Skills Program (ESP) Final Test, Level 11-A: Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator (CC), and Rabbi Moran Ackerman, Chief of OverSeers covert and Special Operations (OSOps)

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

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January 14, 2015/ November 2, 2014

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

Fantastic accomplishments seem like something unattainable and everyone doing the extraordinary seems to be unlike you until YOU do something amazing. Then you realize those talented, heroic leaders are not different from you in any important ways.
—Clara Branon, Ph.D., Earth’s Chief Communicator, 2012 – 2042, responding, at her retirement, to: “How do you feel about being the first global leader and liaison for Earth to the Many Worlds Collective?”

Level 11-A: PRECOGNITION / POSTCOGNITION (stage II)

Improving accuracy/ Discernment of others’ accuracy

Earthers’ CC and OSOps Chief

Final Test Report to InterGalactic Council (IGC)
from “Led” and “Mick,” Assigned Trainers, Many Worlds Collective (MWC)

Excerpts from Video Transcript

[Simulation begins. Room appearance shifts to the setting of the exam. They are in a high-ceiling, large room of a rocky cave. It is mostly dark, but some stalactites glimmer above their heads, reflecting light from the cave’s entrance. A large pool of water is in front of Clara and Moran, between them and the entrance. There are stalagmites around and in the center of it, some apparently quite large. The way to the entrance seems blocked by them and the water, whose depth is unseen. The stalactites’ dripping into the pond are the only sounds.]

[Suddenly, the entire cave shudders several times. Rocks fall on Clara and Moran as the roof and walls crack. The pond roils. Some stalagmites crack and tumble down, further blocking the entrance. A few large rocks also fall and roll toward the entrance. A lot less light is visible at the mouth of the cave. Clara and Moran appear, seated on the cave floor, in the center.]

CLARA: Damn it, Moran. A cave? Why a cave? And, during a quake? Are you completely insane?
MORAN: It is fine, Aunt Clara. I timult our simulation and we do great.
CLARA: “Great”? Define “great”!
MORAN: You can trust me, you know.
CLARA: Trust is not my strong suit. As you well know.
MORAN: Noted. But, by Level 11, I believe you are supposed to be more, well, trusting. At least of me.
CLARA: I pick a city setting. Fraggers and Trenchers attack. We do “great” in that sim as well. Why do you override my choice?
MORAN: Because I can. No, seriously: because this one is better. I promise. We ace it. For sure.
CLARA: Look out!
MORAN: Whoa. Another earthquake! [He stands up to protect Clara from falling rocks.]
CLARA: [She stands up to push Moran away from the center, toward the wall.] Closer to the wall is safer! Come on!

[Outside the cave’s mouth are sounds of shouting, many people running, but none can be seen from where they stand.]

CLARA: The Trenchers and Fraggers can find us here and then we are trapped. I can feel some of their psi-activated scouts searching for us now. SHIELD.
MORAN: Shield up. Thanks. I am trying to timult our way out of here. Can’t feel them and timult at the same moment, yet.
CLARA: Sure. Sure. Okay. [breathing hard] Moran? Do you feel them now? About six or more, I think.
MORAN: And counting…. Yes, seven. I sense two more powerfully. Those are the ones to monitor. Setting up surveillance.
CLARA: Quakes coming again. Not as strong, but several.
MORAN: How many more?
CLARA: I think three. Maybe. I can’t tell. You?
MORAN: InKC time. [He closes his eyes.]
CLARA: Right. [She closes her eyes.]
MORAN: Two more, I think. Each weaker, but creating more damage. We do survive this, CC, although I see many larger cracks occurring and this entire part of the cave’s collapsing. We have to go deeper into it and find another way out.
CLARA: Absolutely not! I don’t see the collapse. Going deeper is going nowhere, unless you see another exit. Do you? And, where are the psi-scouts? They can capture us as we exit!
MORAN: Maybe. Not sure. Checking. [closes his eyes]
CLARA: Well, I’m not going deeper if you’re not sure and I can’t timult it myself for whatever reason. I think we can move one of those larger rocks and get out this way. Use our telekinesis.
MORAN: No. That pond could be very deep and cold. How do we get across it? How do we not get bisected by one of those… pointy things on the way?
CLARA: Stalagmites. “Stalagmites try with all their might to reach the stalactites, which hold on to the ceiling with all their might.” Can’t believe I remember that, from fourth grade.
MORAN: Plus, you can’t move squat. Your upper body strength is terrible. You know that.
CLARA: Desperate times…And, TK does not require physical strength. Let’s try.
MORAN: Worth a shot.

[Moran and Clara close their eyes, then open them and point their fingers at the largest rocks, but not the same ones.]

MORAN: Aunt Clara, not that one: this one!
CLARA: Oh. Why? This one is blocking it more.
MORAN: Well, that one is closer to the entrance, but it’s larger. If we move this one, we can squeeze by and get out. I know we can move this one.
CLARA: Do you see that or are you guessing?
MORAN: Well, estimating. Can’t timult anything about that. You try.
CLARA: Nope. No views.
MORAN: Let’s try the smaller one, then.
CLARA: Okay.

[Entire cave shudders again. More falling rocks. They cling to the wall, Moran is covering Clara’s head with one arm and his own with the other. Larger rock rolls over the entrance, almost completely blocking it. Smaller rock near it cracks and falls apart. More shouting and running from outside the cave.]

MORAN: I can’t precog the rest of this for love or money. What is my problem? Can’t feel the psi-scouts, again.
CLARA: When we use our TK for something so large, all the other Excellent Skills are temporarily blocked. That happens to me frequently in difficult assignments. [She starts coughing.] Oh, oh. Gas. Probably CO2.
MORAN: How do you know?
CLARA: No odor. The other poisonous gases in caves would stink and burn our eyes; this one doesn’t. We’re lucky it’s not ammonia, sulfur dioxide or methane.
MORAN: [coughing] Great. Clear eyes, but I can’t breathe. Less oxygen, more CO2. What now?
CLARA: This my phobia, suffocating in some way. Anything that deprives me of air freaks me out. I don’t even like to be in vehicles or buildings without air moving, probably because of my having asthma attacks when I am a lot younger, right? Almost don’t learn to snorkel or SCUBA dive because of my fears. And, my general mistrust of equipment made by humans doesn’t help, either.
MORAN: A snorkel is hardly “equipment,” Aunt Clara. Really. The only failure with snorkels occurs by the user’s incompetence. [laughs]
CLARA: So? I admit to being so scared I choke. I breathe at the wrong time, I sputter, I forget the correct procedures, all due to fear. I know it’s my fault. That’s the mechanism of phobias: we make our own misery. What about you?
MORAN: Okay. Claustrophobia. Don’t put me in a tight space where I can’t move, can’t see, can’t get enough space to think. I freak. Probably due to my two older brothers’ “sandwiching” me in all kinds of places when they’re bigger and stronger. They think it’s funny. Kuni lemls [goofs, idiots; Yiddish].
CLARA: Like a cave whose entrance is getting more blocked with each quake? Like this?
MORAN: Don’t rub it in.
CLARA: We expect The Band to force us to face our fears, so here we are.
MORAN: We are going to succeed in this. I know we can.
CLARA: My latest method for overcoming my fear of not breathing is to practice dying. You know, when we leave our bodies, when we die, our last breath is an out-breath. We exhale and never inhale again in that form. But, our brains are not dead, not inactive at all. I have this extreme fear that, at my death, when I exhale that final breath, I have a total internal freak-out because my brain knows it wants air and can’t get it any longer. I know I am ridiculous, but at the same time, that must be what happens, if we’re awake and know what’s going on, right? So, I practice. I am making progress.
MORAN: How do you practice dying?
CLARA: Like this. Tune in. [She demonstrates three long, slow breaths, inhaling, exhaling, then not inhaling after the third exhalation. Moran watches intently. When she gasps loudly, he startles.]
MORAN: Wow! You are truly panicking in there, CC. Is that “progress”?
CLARA: Yes, Moran. It is. I can go longer and longer without breathing again. When I do take a new breath, it’s not from fear; it’s a choice, now. Can’t help how I feel, but I can be better at controlling what I do and my motivation for doing it. Those are my signs of “progress,” with everything.
MORAN: Another quake is coming. Feel that?
CLARA: Yes.
MORAN: Bracing. [He looks around, his eyes wide open. Stands up, move around. Pushes against the walls, which are stable. Checks for movement. He returns to their wall positions.]
CLARA: Breathing. [Taking long, slow breaths again. Coughs at the end of them.]

[Cave shudders again. More falling rocks. Clara uses TK to keep them from hitting her or Moran. Moran senses that and joins her efforts. They create a telekinetic shield above and around them.]

CLARA: Perfect. Should be doing that all along. We raise our psi shields against the scouts and forget to protect ourselves from rocks right here. We’re dopes. [coughing]
MORAN: Assuredly. Less dopey, now. Good shield, CC.
CLARA: Not bad, Chief!
MORAN: Ready to try that entrance, again?
CLARA: Giving up on going deeper?
MORAN: I can’t tell if that’s best. [coughing] We’re running out of air, here. How could it be better further in? I might be wrong…
CLARA: [coughing] Try to timult again. Timelines are shifting quickly. [coughing] I can feel them but can’t get details.
MORAN: Well, if you can feel them, why can’t you timult for both of us? [coughing]
CLARA: Don’t know. [coughing] You try.
MORAN: Okay. [closes his eyes. Opens them immediately.] YES! There is another way out, or in. Many, actually. I see them, now. [coughing] We can go deeper and get out. C’mon. [He pushes her away from the wall.]
CLARA: Hold on. Are you sure? [coughing] We could try to TK that rock, again. As long as we’re here…
MORAN: [coughing] We can’t stay here. Good air is running out too quickly.

[Hands appear in the space above the rock blocking the cave’s entrance. Shouting from outside the cave. “They’re in here!”]

CLARA: We have to get out of here. NOW. [coughing] Can you teleport the rocks?
MORAN: No. [coughing] Feeling too weak. I can move US, by walking. Let’s go!
CLARA: What if you’re wrong? [coughing] What if you merely see what you want to see? That happens a lot, you know. [coughing] Happens to me all the time. How can you tell? Let’s try to move that rock, first. [coughing]
MORAN: No. I’m right. [coughing] We’re moving. That’s it. [coughing] Now. Another quake any minute; we lose what air is left. [coughing] MOVE!
CLARA: Let me try….[coughing] Oy. I have thirty years on you and mild COPD. I can hardly breathe, now. [coughing a lot longer, panting]
MORAN: Aunt Clara: You have to trust me. [coughing] Go! [coughing]
CLARA: [coughing] All right. I’m going. [coughing, panting]

[Moran takes her hand and leads them toward the darker part of the cave. Both are coughing almost continually, not talking much. Cave shudders again. Falling rocks around them; their TK shield protects them as they move. Clara looks back to see another rock falling, completely blocking the entrance. She moves faster behind Moran, who is almost running, pulling her along. They move quickly, then Moran stops.]

MORAN: Wait. Wait here. [coughing] I have to…. [He closes his eyes, then a ball of light appears in front of him.] There. Okay. Now we can go. [coughing]
CLARA: When do you learn to do that? I don’t remember that class. [coughing, panting]
MORAN: Mick. [coughing] Special lessons. OSOps. Comes in handy.
CLARA: How much further? [coughing]
MORAN: Not much.
CLARA: I’m getting tired. [coughing]
MORAN: Energize, then.
CLARA: What?
MORAN: Energize. Like this: [Moran blows two quick breaths out, then three quick in. Repeats.]
CLARA: [imitates Moran] More from Mick?
MORAN: I guess. I don’t know what you aren’t getting. Sure.
CLARA: That works! Thanks! Less coughing, too.
MORAN: Not much further. There! [Moran points to a ray of light to their left.] That one!
CLARA: The air is better, now. You save us, Moran.
MORAN: Perfect. It’s large enough that we can walk right out!
CLARA: Wait. Checking for scouts.
MORAN: Right.
CLARA: Clear?
MORAN: Clear!
CLARA: I’m sorry for not trusting you. You are good at this, Moran!
MORAN: Getting better, for sure. Thanks. Ready to ‘port back?
CLARA: Teleport us in your best style, please, Chief!

[They exit the cave, then emanate at The Campus. Simulation ends.]

Evaluation Summary
Clara and Moran engage in day-long simulation as Final Exam for ESP
Pre- & Postcognition, Level 11-A, January 14, 2015, Earth Calendar

—Moran disputes Clara’s assessments in several sections. Arguments ensue.

—Without Clara’s concessions to Moran and Moran’s successful assertions of his correctness, they both must re-take the exam.

KEYS:
—Certainty in discernment of others’ accuracy.
—Elimination of attachment to one’s own rightness.
—Appropriate confidence vs. inappropriate/misplaced pride.
—Trust in the other’s abilities.
—Managing phobias to think clearly.

PASS

APPLICATIONS:
—They utilize their strengthening capabilities to trust one another to argue, concede, decide, move on, in many situations, e.g., when capturing Eli Kriegsman and when Liora Ackerman is kidnapped, alternating who concedes, who assesses accurately, with greater ease.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
—Clara to practice relinquishing control and attachment to being “right.”
—Moran to assert his assessments with more confidence, particularly with senior OSOps.
—Clara to build on this to trust Moran more.
—Both to continue to manage phobias.
—Both to continue to check and double-check the other’s assessments often.


Spanners - volume 3 cover final

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact?

If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted 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 III, $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844474

PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume II, $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844431 

PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume I, $17.99 https://www.createspace.com/5837347 

Ebook of Volume III is $1.99 for a few more days (during pre-orders, through 12/7/15) then $3.99:
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588331
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0177Z1KRM

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Ebook of Volume II is $3.99:
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969  
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

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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

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

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

final cover print

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:
PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume II, $19.99 https://www.createspace.com/5844431 

PAPERBACK on CreateSpace: Volume I, $17.99 https://www.createspace.com/5837347 

Ebook of Volume II is $3.99:
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969  
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

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

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

Spanners - volume 3 cover final

logoAuthorsDen

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

SF The Spanners Series, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, excerpt

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday 8 #8Sunday!

The Spanners Series, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, by Sally Ember, Ed.D., releasing in April, 2015, excerpt,
from:

CHAPTER ONE

Excerpts from the Chief Communicator’s Occasional Log

Clara Must Confess Her Mistakes
March, 2014

logoAuthorsDen

I look up dejectedly to view Led’s bouncing, blue-grey holo and wail inwardly. Outside, the relentlessly sunny day mocks my dismay. I know I have to confess all of my mistakes to get through this Level of the Excellent Skills Program training, but for a moment, I am rebelling. For all the good it will do me: none whatsoever.

I feel about eleven years old within my almost-60-year-old body. I picture myself getting up, hands on hips, stamping my foot, then flouncing out of the office, righteously slamming the door in their holo non-faces, shouting over my shoulder as I escape: “No! I won’t do it!”

Inside my makeshift office, The Band are thronged near and behind Led. There is Ringo’s tall, orange, robotic torso next to Mick’s even taller, stick-figure shape.

wewriwa_square_2

Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts. http://www.wewriwa.com/

19th Serialized Excerpt: Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

final cover - digital and web

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

19th Serialized Excerpt, 4/14/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #2

Snapshots of Clara’s Daily Life: Fourteen Octobers, 1963 – 2017

October, 1968

(continued)

“I get sent to the office on several occasions because my skirt or dress is deemed ‘too short.’ This designation is made first by a teacher. Once at the administrators’ office, accused offenders have to kneel on the floor. If our skirt or dress does not touch the ground, we are to be sent home to change (meaning, someone has to come pick us up in a private car, since there is no reliable or close-enough public transportation), unless we opt to wear our hideous ‘gym suits’ the rest of the day.”

“Ironically,” Clara goes on, showing me with her hands how this outfit works, “this jump suit is a sleeveless top with shorts, so it shows more of our legs than any permissible skirt would. Since my mom is home with my youngest sister and often one of them is sick, I can’t get picked up, so gym suit it is.”

“‘Getting suited’ occurs on numerous occasions for many of us ‘popular’ girls. This circumstance, wearing our horrible gym suit around school for the rest of a day, becomes like wearing a badge of honor. We are the ones who dare to wear a skirt that we know in advance is too short (some of us roll the waistbands after leaving home in order to achieve a shorter hemline) and which ‘dooms’ us to wearing our gym suits. Everyone knows this must be intentional. My friends and I make ‘getting suited’ cool.” Clara laughs. “We’re such trend-setters in 1968!”

“You won’t believe the P.E. [Physical Education] classes’ misogynistic and unfair fashion policy: Here it is, summary fashion,” Clara says. “The boys get to wear a comfortable, regular T-shirt and shorts (in white and blue, respectively, our school colors) for P.E. Girls, however, have to wear these ridiculous gym suits. This detested thing is a one-piece, blouson number in an almost-royal blue color. It has an elastic waist and snaps on the too-loose sleeveless bodice with medium-length shorts attached. It has to have been designed to make every girl look terrible in it regardless of body type, which I suppose is a great leveler.”

“As I explain earlier,” Clara reminds me, “if girls forget this monstrosity at home or don’t wash it, don’t have it or don’t wear a clean-enough suit to every class (each girl is issued two and must have one to wear for each P.E. class, every day), we are marked down in our grade and also, made to stay after school (like, a detention).”

“These administrators are so uptight, they treat these infractions the same as forgetting homework or vandalizing the bathrooms. Earn enough detentions and we have to come on a Saturday, too (like the movie, The Breakfast Club), just for “not suiting up.” If we get marked down enough, we could flunk this required class and have to take it again in summer school. I am not kidding!”

Clara is still indignant, these 45 years later. “Lowering academic grades for appearance issues, particularly failing a student for noncompliance to a dress code, becomes illegal, but not yet.”

“Back to the dress code,” Clara goes on. “The only short skirts girls are allowed to wear to school have to be culottes, which are split skirts or skirts with shorts inside (sound familiar?), but only cheerleaders are allowed to wear them. Now you’re starting to understand some of the reasoning behind my wanting to be a cheerleader,” Clara tells me.

“In a typical fall or winter month, once a week all through 9th grade (on “game days,” meaning, a day the 9th-grade boys’ team of the season has a football or basketball game, usually a Friday), I get to wear my cheerleader’s outfit. The rest of the year I am at war with the skirt police and usually ‘get suited.'”

“I wear my gym suit proudly, regularly showing it off in defiance of the school’s absurd policies. There are usually a group of us on any given day. We walk down the halls showing off our legs and laughing at the adults for being such dimwits,” Clara explains. “We show more of our legs wearing these gym suits than we do in any skirt!”

I say mildly, “Quite the rebel, eh?”

Clara misses my light sarcasm, so intent on telling her story of these years. “Some teachers think I’m ‘interesting,’ ‘intelligent’ and ‘fun.’ I know because they tell me or my parents. Others detest me and the feeling is mutual.”

Clara grimaces. “Wearing short skirts and being a ‘smart-aleck’ are what passes for rebellion for a teenage girl in my era, in this town. So, yes. I am a ‘rebel.'”

Guess she does catch my sarcasm. I move to apologize, but she smiles at me and goes on.

“I earn a reputation for ‘being sassy,’ a term only applied to girls who talk back to authority in southern-bordering or actual southern states. In contrast—more sexism, here—a boy who talks back is told to stop ‘giving me lip’ by the adult who is being challenged.”

She looks at me, making sure I understand, then continues. “Disobedient girls are ridiculed and patronized; impertinent boys are given grudging respect by being viewed as threatening. See the difference?”

I nod.

Clara goes on with her reminiscing. “At one point in my dress-code and behavioral scofflaw years, my cheerleader’s status is jeopardized because I refuse to back down in some argument with the chorus teacher about where I am supposed to sit. I dimly remember that she is trying to separate me from my friends because we are ‘disruptive,’ meaning, we are talking and having fun in class. For these ‘bad behaviors,’ she wants to move my seat. I am an alto but she wants to move me to the second sopranos, which is not the part I sing. I refuse to move, declaring that we are now engaged in a ‘sit in’ (which are big in the civil rights and anti-war movements by now) to protest her unfair discrimination against my having friends, or something to that effect.”

“What happens next?” I ask. I am curious how much trouble she gets in.

Clara laughs. “She sends me to the office. I go off, waving derisively at her and happily at my friends. When I get there, the harried assistant Principal threatens to suspend me from being a cheerleader because he has nothing else to hold over me. What’s so ridiculous about this threat is that we’re already in March by now and the only sports ‘season’ left for me to cheer in is track and field, which we really don’t do cheering for, anyway. The Principal can tell his threat is not upsetting me, but he doesn’t know why.”

“When I get home, I tell my father. He decides to come in and threaten them with a lawsuit (he is an attorney by training but not by trade at that point), just for fun (for him, that is). My dad is not very involved in my life or even around much, but he does love a good fight.”

“The day of their meeting, I sit outside the Principal’s office and eavesdrop on the ensuing discussion. It is very funny, to me. My dad talks circles around these guys. They really do not have a leg to stand on, so to speak, since I have done nothing to get myself suspended from being a cheerleader, applying their own rules, my dad points out perfectly: I never smoke, drink alcohol, have public sex, skip classes, vandalize school property or commit any other school ‘crimes.’ There isn’t a policy that calls for a suspension of privileges for being disrespectful or having a ‘bad attitude,’ but they wish there have one, I’m sure.”

“As I see it clearly, now, I am an ‘impudent’ female who regularly gives certain adults much-deserved backtalk and ends up ‘getting suited’ for wearing short skirts (along with dozens of other girls) several times every month. I also have excellent grades and attendance and never forget my gym suit. I am a very good ‘bad’ girl and they don’t have a punishment for someone like me.”

“My dad prevails, but this does not endear me to my chorus teacher or the administrators. I’m glad to get out of that school and on to high school a few months later.”

“What is high school like at the end of the 1960s in the USA Midwest?” I ask.

Clara responds: “In the fall of 1969, losing the fashion battle and the legal war, unintentionally catching up to the rest of the country (at least, the coasts), the Roanne school board President announces that all dress codes are to be discarded across the school district.”

Clara is gleeful, remembering this “victory.”

“Within a few months of entering high school, we girls are wearing cut-offs, halter tops, going barefoot and bra-less to classes. The biggest change for boys is that no one forces them to keep their hair short enough not to touch their collars any longer.”

Clara recalls: “My sophomore year is quite fun and such a shocking contrast to the years of ludicrous restrictions by the fashion police that we are giddy with freedom. People are smoking pot in the courtyard, hanging out the windows playing rock music in the hallways, and generally being rowdy and undisciplined. I love it, but I don’t get into the wildest behaviors, myself.”

“It’s difficult for me to imagine having those restrictions at all,” I say, shaking my head. “By the time I get to kindergarten, we wear whatever we want. 1987, for me.”

Clara shakes her finger at me and exhorts: “Thank a feminist!”

“Thanks!” I tell Clara. I mean it.
************
“Here is the poem that won my spot in the statewide poetry magazine in 1969.” Clara reaches into a paper file folder and hands a yellowish page to me.

The poem is written in cursive writing on manila lined paper in blue ink. It has her teacher’s red-inked comments on it. I point to one part, silently asking Clara to explain.

“Mrs. Hay crosses out the last stanza all together, so I do not include it here, since it is not part of the winning poem’s form,” Clara tells me. Here is the poem.

TO DIE IN VAIN

by Clara Ackerman, 2/21/69, age 14

Sitting on a stool of self-pity

I glance up, casually,

To see if anyone had seen me

Dying.

(I wasn’t really dying, only dreaming of how much

They

would miss me) If I did

Die.

*******

“You could not pay me enough money to be 14 again,” Clara says emphatically.

“Nor me, either.” I agree wholeheartedly.

*********************************

Stay tuned on Sally’s blogs on WordPress (which has all links) and Tumblr, and on The Spanners Series‘ pages on Facebook and Google+, for each of the upcoming Excerpts from Volume II from March 16 – April 18, about one/day.

4/18/14, Volume II becomes available for Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook for half-price: @$1.99, through June 8, 2014.

On 6/9/14, Vol. II goes LIVE everywhere ebooks are sold for $3.99.

#THESPANNERSSERIES #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING

19th Serialized Excerpt: Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

final cover - digital and web

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

19th Serialized Excerpt, 4/14/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #2

Snapshots of Clara’s Daily Life: Fourteen Octobers, 1963 – 2017

October, 1968

(continued)

“I get sent to the office on several occasions because my skirt or dress is deemed ‘too short.’ This designation is made first by a teacher. Once at the administrators’ office, accused offenders have to kneel on the floor. If our skirt or dress does not touch the ground, we are to be sent home to change (meaning, someone has to come pick us up in a private car, since there is no reliable or close-enough public transportation), unless we opt to wear our hideous ‘gym suits’ the rest of the day.”

“Ironically,” Clara goes on, showing me with her hands how this outfit works, “this jump suit is a sleeveless top with shorts, so it shows more of our legs than any permissible skirt would. Since my mom is home with my youngest sister and often one of them is sick, I can’t get picked up, so gym suit it is.”

“‘Getting suited’ occurs on numerous occasions for many of us ‘popular’ girls. This circumstance, wearing our horrible gym suit around school for the rest of a day, becomes like wearing a badge of honor. We are the ones who dare to wear a skirt that we know in advance is too short (some of us roll the waistbands after leaving home in order to achieve a shorter hemline) and which ‘dooms’ us to wearing our gym suits. Everyone knows this must be intentional. My friends and I make ‘getting suited’ cool.” Clara laughs. “We’re such trend-setters in 1968!”

“You won’t believe the P.E. [Physical Education] classes’ misogynistic and unfair fashion policy: Here it is, summary fashion,” Clara says. “The boys get to wear a comfortable, regular T-shirt and shorts (in white and blue, respectively, our school colors) for P.E. Girls, however, have to wear these ridiculous gym suits. This detested thing is a one-piece, blouson number in an almost-royal blue color. It has an elastic waist and snaps on the too-loose sleeveless bodice with medium-length shorts attached. It has to have been designed to make every girl look terrible in it regardless of body type, which I suppose is a great leveler.”

“As I explain earlier,” Clara reminds me, “if girls forget this monstrosity at home or don’t wash it, don’t have it or don’t wear a clean-enough suit to every class (each girl is issued two and must have one to wear for each P.E. class, every day), we are marked down in our grade and also, made to stay after school (like, a detention).”

“These administrators are so uptight, they treat these infractions the same as forgetting homework or vandalizing the bathrooms. Earn enough detentions and we have to come on a Saturday, too (like the movie, The Breakfast Club), just for “not suiting up.” If we get marked down enough, we could flunk this required class and have to take it again in summer school. I am not kidding!”

Clara is still indignant, these 45 years later. “Lowering academic grades for appearance issues, particularly failing a student for noncompliance to a dress code, becomes illegal, but not yet.”

“Back to the dress code,” Clara goes on. “The only short skirts girls are allowed to wear to school have to be culottes, which are split skirts or skirts with shorts inside (sound familiar?), but only cheerleaders are allowed to wear them. Now you’re starting to understand some of the reasoning behind my wanting to be a cheerleader,” Clara tells me.

“In a typical fall or winter month, once a week all through 9th grade (on “game days,” meaning, a day the 9th-grade boys’ team of the season has a football or basketball game, usually a Friday), I get to wear my cheerleader’s outfit. The rest of the year I am at war with the skirt police and usually ‘get suited.'”

“I wear my gym suit proudly, regularly showing it off in defiance of the school’s absurd policies. There are usually a group of us on any given day. We walk down the halls showing off our legs and laughing at the adults for being such dimwits,” Clara explains. “We show more of our legs wearing these gym suits than we do in any skirt!”

I say mildly, “Quite the rebel, eh?”

Clara misses my light sarcasm, so intent on telling her story of these years. “Some teachers think I’m ‘interesting,’ ‘intelligent’ and ‘fun.’ I know because they tell me or my parents. Others detest me and the feeling is mutual.”

Clara grimaces. “Wearing short skirts and being a ‘smart-aleck’ are what passes for rebellion for a teenage girl in my era, in this town. So, yes. I am a ‘rebel.'”

Guess she does catch my sarcasm. I move to apologize, but she smiles at me and goes on.

“I earn a reputation for ‘being sassy,’ a term only applied to girls who talk back to authority in southern-bordering or actual southern states. In contrast—more sexism, here—a boy who talks back is told to stop ‘giving me lip’ by the adult who is being challenged.”

She looks at me, making sure I understand, then continues. “Disobedient girls are ridiculed and patronized; impertinent boys are given grudging respect by being viewed as threatening. See the difference?”

I nod.

Clara goes on with her reminiscing. “At one point in my dress-code and behavioral scofflaw years, my cheerleader’s status is jeopardized because I refuse to back down in some argument with the chorus teacher about where I am supposed to sit. I dimly remember that she is trying to separate me from my friends because we are ‘disruptive,’ meaning, we are talking and having fun in class. For these ‘bad behaviors,’ she wants to move my seat. I am an alto but she wants to move me to the second sopranos, which is not the part I sing. I refuse to move, declaring that we are now engaged in a ‘sit in’ (which are big in the civil rights and anti-war movements by now) to protest her unfair discrimination against my having friends, or something to that effect.”

“What happens next?” I ask. I am curious how much trouble she gets in.

Clara laughs. “She sends me to the office. I go off, waving derisively at her and happily at my friends. When I get there, the harried assistant Principal threatens to suspend me from being a cheerleader because he has nothing else to hold over me. What’s so ridiculous about this threat is that we’re already in March by now and the only sports ‘season’ left for me to cheer in is track and field, which we really don’t do cheering for, anyway. The Principal can tell his threat is not upsetting me, but he doesn’t know why.”

“When I get home, I tell my father. He decides to come in and threaten them with a lawsuit (he is an attorney by training but not by trade at that point), just for fun (for him, that is). My dad is not very involved in my life or even around much, but he does love a good fight.”

“The day of their meeting, I sit outside the Principal’s office and eavesdrop on the ensuing discussion. It is very funny, to me. My dad talks circles around these guys. They really do not have a leg to stand on, so to speak, since I have done nothing to get myself suspended from being a cheerleader, applying their own rules, my dad points out perfectly: I never smoke, drink alcohol, have public sex, skip classes, vandalize school property or commit any other school ‘crimes.’ There isn’t a policy that calls for a suspension of privileges for being disrespectful or having a ‘bad attitude,’ but they wish there have one, I’m sure.”

“As I see it clearly, now, I am an ‘impudent’ female who regularly gives certain adults much-deserved backtalk and ends up ‘getting suited’ for wearing short skirts (along with dozens of other girls) several times every month. I also have excellent grades and attendance and never forget my gym suit. I am a very good ‘bad’ girl and they don’t have a punishment for someone like me.”

“My dad prevails, but this does not endear me to my chorus teacher or the administrators. I’m glad to get out of that school and on to high school a few months later.”

“What is high school like at the end of the 1960s in the USA Midwest?” I ask.

Clara responds: “In the fall of 1969, losing the fashion battle and the legal war, unintentionally catching up to the rest of the country (at least, the coasts), the Roanne school board President announces that all dress codes are to be discarded across the school district.”

Clara is gleeful, remembering this “victory.”

“Within a few months of entering high school, we girls are wearing cut-offs, halter tops, going barefoot and bra-less to classes. The biggest change for boys is that no one forces them to keep their hair short enough not to touch their collars any longer.”

Clara recalls: “My sophomore year is quite fun and such a shocking contrast to the years of ludicrous restrictions by the fashion police that we are giddy with freedom. People are smoking pot in the courtyard, hanging out the windows playing rock music in the hallways, and generally being rowdy and undisciplined. I love it, but I don’t get into the wildest behaviors, myself.”

“It’s difficult for me to imagine having those restrictions at all,” I say, shaking my head. “By the time I get to kindergarten, we wear whatever we want. 1987, for me.”

Clara shakes her finger at me and exhorts: “Thank a feminist!”

“Thanks!” I tell Clara. I mean it.
************
“Here is the poem that won my spot in the statewide poetry magazine in 1969.” Clara reaches into a paper file folder and hands a yellowish page to me.

The poem is written in cursive writing on manila lined paper in blue ink. It has her teacher’s red-inked comments on it. I point to one part, silently asking Clara to explain.

“Mrs. Hay crosses out the last stanza all together, so I do not include it here, since it is not part of the winning poem’s form,” Clara tells me. Here is the poem.

TO DIE IN VAIN

by Clara Ackerman, 2/21/69, age 14

Sitting on a stool of self-pity

I glance up, casually,

To see if anyone had seen me

Dying.

(I wasn’t really dying, only dreaming of how much

They

would miss me) If I did

Die.

*******

“You could not pay me enough money to be 14 again,” Clara says emphatically.

“Nor me, either.” I agree wholeheartedly.

*********************************

Stay tuned on Sally’s blogs on WordPress (which has all links) and Tumblr, and on The Spanners Series‘ pages on Facebook and Google+, for each of the upcoming Excerpts from Volume II from March 16 – April 18, about one/day.

4/18/14, Volume II becomes available for Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook for half-price: @$1.99, through June 8, 2014.

On 6/9/14, Vol. II goes LIVE everywhere ebooks are sold for $3.99.

#THESPANNERSSERIES #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING

18th Serialized Excerpt: Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

final cover - digital and web

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

18th Serialized Excerpt, 4/12/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #2

Snapshots of Clara’s Daily Life: Fourteen Octobers, 1963 – 2017

October, 1968

    Age and Living Circumstances/Location:

9th-grader in Roanne Junior High School, Missouri; living in Bayonne, suburb of large city in family home with her: father, Isaac; mother, Rose; older brother, Thomas; and, two younger sisters, Cassie, 8, and Violet, 3; and, a dog.

One boyfriend, ongoing since beginning of 8th grade, and many local friends from school, Camp Cedar and same Sunday School as earlier.

    Writing:

stories, articles, songs, poetry (poem selected as winner and published in Missouri’s Youth Writes).

    Books:

Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke; More than Human, Theodore Sturgeon; Pilgrimmage: The Book of the People, Zenna Henderson; Sword of Aldones, Marion Zimmer Bradley; The Time Machine, Jules Verne.

    Music on the Radio:

“Hey, Jude,” The Beatles; “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding; “Bend Me, Shape Me,” The American Breed; “Born to be Wild,” Steppenworlf; “Build Ne Up, Buttercup,” The Foundation; “Can’t Take My Eyes off You,” Andy Williams; “Chain of Fools,” Aretha Franklin; “Do You Know the Way to San José,” Dionne Warwick; “Hello, I Love You,” The Doors; “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” Iron Butterfly; “MacArthur Park,” Richard Harris; “Mrs. Robinson,” and the Bookends album, Simon & Garfunkle; Piece of My Heart,” Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin); “Stoned Soul Picnic,” The Fifth Dimension; “Sunshine of Your Love,” Cream (Eric Clapton); “The Weight,” The Band (Bob Dylan); “Young Girl,” Gary Puckett and The Union Gap; Bonnie Raitt; Linda Rondstadt; Bob Dylan; Peter, Paul & Mary; Little Stevie Wonder.

    Popular Songs in Sheet Music:

“I’ve Gotta Be Me,” (sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.); “The Look of Love,” Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66; “Eli’s Coming,” Laura Nyro; “For The Good Times,” Kris Kristofferson (sung by Rita Coolidge); “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” Burt Bacharach & Hal David (sung by Dionne Warwick)’ music from Cabaret (Kander & Ebb), Hair! (Jerome Ragni, James Rado), Man of La Mancha ( Joel Darion, Dale Wasserman); Yellow Submarine (The Beatles).

    Activities:

► Taking Honors classes, including Spanish
► Cheerleader
► Member of chorus and selected for performance ensemble
► Taking weekly piano lessons; wins 2nd place at regional classical piano competition for ages 12 – 14.
► Attending Jewish religious classes every Sunday morning (Sunday School) (under duress); wins engraved Bible in essay competition
► Playing outdoors, tennis, softball, soccer, field hockey
► Indoors, competing on balance beam/gymnastics
► In summers, bike riding; waterskiing, canoeing, Israeli folk dancing, swimming at Camp Cedar (Jewish residential camp, Lake of the Ozarks) and local outdoor pool

ESPE: For junior high school, Clara tells me, her 7th-grade year is pretty awful. She has braces on her teeth, her hair is curly when having straight hair is fashionable, she is slightly overweight, she has no boyfriend, she is in all Honors classes with almost none of her former friends. This school serves students from five other elementary schools, so it is quite large and most of the people and the entire set up are unfamiliar to Clara.

Each student is assigned a 9th-grader as a “Big Sister/Brother” for the first month or so. Clara gets one of the cheerleaders as her Big Sister. One Friday, which are “game days” for football in the fall, Clara immediately timults herself as a cheerleader: she sees herself walking down the hall, laughing and talking with her friends while wearing her uniform, just as she sees her Big Sister, Cindy, doing on that Friday between classes. It is the first time Clara is aware of timulting something about her “future” which turns out to occur.

After losing the extra weight during 7th grade and having a very successful summer at Camp Cedar, Clara is set for a change. At the beginning of 8th grade, Clara gets the braces off, she learns to straighten her hair, makes some new friends. Her social life changes to the point that she becomes “popular” and a leader, again.

Clara says she gets a “great” boyfriend with whom she “goes steady” through all of 8th and half of 9th grade, when they break up amicably because they’re “both tired of each other,” she tells me.

Near the end of 8th grade, Clara practices for months so that she and nineteen other girls are nominated by adults (from “try-outs” of over fifty girls) to be voted on as cheerleaders in the election for class officers and other positions.

Clara, with seven others, is elected to be a cheerleader. As one of the leaders of her class, Clara also ran for “Pep Club” President. Clara cultivates many friends in order to get selected by the committee to be a finalist and elected by the students.

Her popularity ensures that she is elected to both positions. However, the Principal makes her choose between these rather than allowing her to be both.

Viewing being a cheerleader as the pinnacle of female achievement for that era and since she already timults that outcome two years before this, Clara chooses to be a 9th-grade cheerleader. Bonus: one of her friends, her “opponent,” becomes Pep Club President.

However, Clara tells me, “After learning all the cheers and being so excited to be elected, turns out that being a cheerleader is usually quite boring for me because I don’t actually like or care about team sports. Joke is on me.”

“I continue to want the status and there are not many routes to status for girls in 1968 in Missouri public schools. We aren’t allowed to run for President of the Student Council or our Class. Secretary; for ‘higher office,’ is the top slot we can run for, and only Pep Club is considered appropriate for a girl to lead. But, Pep Club is hardly the same thing as those other two, which actually have governing functions. Plus, sitting around in meetings seems much less interesting than going on buses with the team and being the center of attention as a cheerleader. I am a Leo, after all! These experiences help build up the feminist in me, as they do for Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan and many other second-wave feminists, all cheerleaders!”

What happens when Clara gets to high school?

Clara explains: “Although the entire squad of us tries out for the sophomore squad, which is to be at the high school in which we will be combined with the other junior high school for tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades, only one of our school’s squad (not I) along with seven out of the eight cheerleaders of the other junior high school’s squad become the cheerleaders selected by the panel of adults. There is no election since the two 9th-grades’ students don’t know each other, yet.”

“Patently unfair,” Clara says to me, “but, not being selected to continue being a cheerleader is the best thing that ever happens to my personal development. I become more involved in debate, chess, theater, music, books and writing. These are much better choices for me. I become a ‘hippie-intellectual’ instead of a ‘jockette.’ Since I am very good in school, this is a more comfortable role. I can get excellent grades and make a better, more suitable group of friends in my honors classes than I can ‘on the field,’ so that is what I do in high school.”

Here is a poem Clara writes (after studying Julius Caesar in English class) about her feelings and experiences during and after this social transition. Clara goes from occupying the “popular” slot due to being a cheerleader to becoming involved in “cool stuff” due to her other (forced) choices. The “insider” becomes a different kind of “insider,” almost an “outsider,” but this time, mostly by choice.

Clara wants me to remind everyone that she makes no claims to being a great poet. However, it is significant to note that this and another poem she writes in 10th grade are submitted by her English teacher to a state contest. The other poem wins the Missouri’s Youth Writes competition and is published in the state students’ literary magazine in 1970, which is Clara’s first publishing credit.

Clara says: “It’s quite funny to me that I am first published as a poet, since I think my poetry is mostly mediocre to horrible.”

The poem is written on blue, lined spiral notebook paper (the left edge where it is removed from the notebook is ripped in spots) in cursive writing.

RUBICON SURPRISE

by Clara Ackerman, 11/11/69, age 15

Walking on my road

the way is easily seen.

Around the bend, the light

dims

and is gone.

Continue to walk, though

the way grows steep and feels

unfamiliar,

yet exciting.

Forge on through the dark,

stumbling over rocks and into

gullies

and potholes; what

is that swaying sensation?

Ah! The light returns,

only to show the way

already traveled to have been a

bridge,

smoking to ashes as I watch.

The light again dims,

but remains a dusk-glow,

enough to show me the

mockery

free will and decisive action

really are.

What else about your junior high years do you want people to know?

“I experience more misogyny, more restrictions, more unfairness due to gender than in grade school. I have two years of male science teachers and all three years of male math teachers who despise girls, even or especially those of us in Honors classes,” Clara complains.

“Furthermore,” Clara remembers, getting somewhat agitated in the remembering, “our 9th-grade biology teacher is so mean to the only three girls in a class of twenty-four boys that we generate ‘solidarity,’ which is great. We stick together even though we’re not previously close friends. Those girls and I create an informal support group, my first one.”

Also, Clara reminds me, there are more clothing issues; again, only for girls.

*********************************

Stay tuned on Sally’s blogs on WordPress (which has all links) and Tumblr, and on The Spanners Series‘ pages on Facebook and Google+, for each of the upcoming Excerpts from Volume II from March 16 – April 18, about one/day.

4/18/14, Volume II becomes available for Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook for half-price: @$1.99, through June 8, 2014.

On 6/9/14, Vol. II goes LIVE everywhere ebooks are sold for $3.99.

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