Crush, Harassment, Unrequited Love and Stalking: Which do you know about?

Crush, Harassment, Unrequited Love and Stalking: Which do you know about?

Remember the expression: “mooning over someone?” (circa 1960s)> This described when we have a strong attraction for an oblivious person, one whom we might not even know well. We carry these feelings of yearning inside, in silence, but these feelings are not as invisible as we might believe (or wish), usually.

What about “having a crush”? Do people still “get crushed out” on another person? Usually pre-teens and teens do, but older ones can as well.

crush meme
image from http://www.picturequotes.com

When does unrequited love and its concomitant circumstances, activities and feelings become a crime or a symptom of mental illness?

Can our inner world be measured on some continuum or scale? Is there a set description of behaviors or frequency of actions that forces us to admit we have a problem? When does desire become obsession? When does wishing to be noticed become compulsion?

How many of his/her interests do we take on as our own so that we can be where s/he is “for our own reasons” (sports event, concert, coffee shop, dog show, political rally, nature walk…whatever)? How many times can we “drop by,” drive by, “happen to be” where our love object is/lives and pretend (especially to ourselves) that it is “just a coincidence”?

We think: what if it only takes “one more” for his/her to “come around”? This happens in fiction; can’t it happen for us? How many “secret admirer”-type notes, flowers, emails, texts, other little gifts can we offer or send, leave on someone’s car or doorstep in inbox, before that person feels uncomfortable enough to call the police and get a restraining order?

And, what about the recipient? How many contacts, requests, invitations, gifts does the object of our affect have to endure before s/he can hold up a hand and demand that we petitioners cease and desist? Don’t we each have a right to privacy, inviolate boundaries, being left alone if we so choose?

Have you been on the receiving end of any of this unexpected attention? At what point does it become unwanted to the point of harassment or stalking?

stalker not crush

Are signs of affection and sexual interest able to be labeled officially “unwanted” only after we realize (and then indicate overtly) that we do not reciprocate that person’s feelings and interest?

I ask because two of the main characters in my utopian/sci-fi/romance books in The Spanners Series, Clara Branon and Epifanio Dang, are embroiled in an on-again/off-again, does-he-or-doesn’t-he? (return her affections) multiverse/multiple timelines set of scenarios.

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I wonder if I’m depicting Epifanio’s reactions and position accurately or fairly, or Clara’s persistence as if she’s mentally healthy when, perhaps, she is not. In some of them, Epifanio feels a bit stalked, we find out, but “comes around.” In others, his conversations and encounters with Clara prompt him to discover that he does return her affection (a bit belatedly or surprisingly… to him). In still others, he does not share her feelings.

If you are unlucky enough not to have read even Volume I of my series (This Changes Everything, free ebook on Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, nook, Amazon; paperback $17.99 on CreateSpace and Amazon) what do you think of some of these real-life examples, below?

1) A well-educated, professional woman is in a high-powered, public position. Her male boss engaged in serial, non-stop harassment: he gave her horrifying, unwanted amounts of sexual interest and attention, and all the while he was married. She let him know right off not to touch her, to stop leaving notes, discontinue his arranging/ asking her to work late and be alone with him, etc., but he didn’t end any of it.

It seems pretty obvious that he violated every law and standard of human decency and scared the living SH*T out of her to boot. Plus, remember: he was already married. Plus, she TOLD HIM that she was completely not interested from the start. Plus, he was her boss. This went on for YEARS.

At one point, she asked for and got a transfer. But, a few months later, he re-arranged entire departments’ configurations to get back into her area and become her boss AGAIN!

She finally had to quit her job (on the advice of her medical provider because this guy and this situation were ruining her health). So, she’s suing for loss of income, mental anguish, being terrorized, etc., and because apparently she reported this to higher-ups and they DID NOTHING.

Clear harassment case, right?

sexual-harrassment-in-the-workplace
image from http://www.xceliq.com

But, what if this had been the other way around?

2) What if the attention, gifts, contrivances to be alone and touch the person at work are mostly (but not exclusively) coming from an underling toward her boss? Rather than a male boss harassing a female employee, what if a female employee begs for attention from her boss? AND, they are both single.

Add these facts: the boss keeps inviting this employee to go to the movies, take walks, eat lunch out together, share many snacks and private conversations, for years. He chooses repeatedly to confide in this employee, but they offically do not “date” or even share a kiss or any sexual contact. However, this boss touches his employees (including this one) frequently (on the shoulder, on the hand, on the head, an arm around a waist or shoulders of both males and females).

Only after the employee makes her feelings known in a letter to her boss does he say “no.” She then stops asking or inviting him further and retreats to professional behavior, but he is clearly uncomfortable from that point on.

What options does that boss have when the employee is otherwise exemplary in her position and perhaps indispensable to a small company? How can that boss claim he was “harassed” when so much of their relationship was completely mutual?

Would not this be labeled a “mutual workplace romance,” just one without the overt sexual element, and one in which—unfortunately for them both—all the feelings were not mutual?

divorcing workwife meme

I think some cases are crystal clear, but others are more murky.

3) What do you think about relationships between consenting adult teachers and adult students, particularly when the student approaches the teacher and is the one asking for affection to be returned?

What if, when the student is checking if the feelings are mutual, s/he finds out they are not? Is the relationship able successfully going to be able to revert to more formal role relationships or is it ruined?

4) What about when peers have unequal feelings: neighbors, friends, colleagues, fellow members of whatever group? What if some or one of these pairs is already in a relationship?

Before we know for sure that our feelings of affection and perhaps love are going to be unrequited, it’s all fine, especially if we haven’t revealed anything and the other person can be ignorant or pretend not to know (yet). Or, is it?

Are other people actually that dense? Do they really “not know”?

To be sure, then, we have to ask. Right? How can we find out our status without asking? Aren’t there countless movies, TV shows, books and other examples from our lives in which the person who knows first about loving the other one “should have said something sooner” because the feelings really were mutual, but both were afraid to say so? A lot of time can be “wasted” by not declaring our feelings, true?

Here is my favorite movie scene (with a song, of course) in which the love revelation is welcomed and the feelings ARE mutual:


or https://youtu.be/rm5MDenG5QY
Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore,” from Rock of Ages.

Consider, though, when the feelings are not mutual: once we ask about theirs and reveal our own feelings, but we are not “on the same page,” is everything doomed between us? Do things between us become awkward to the point of having a relationships that is impossible to salvage?

crush hearts

Your stories and comments are welcomed here. I’m curious.

Why I #write utopian, #Buddhist-infused, #multiverse #scifi/rom #novels & why you should #read & share them.

Reposted from 10/30/13 and 2/5/15

Writers are often exhorted to write the books we want to read that seem not to exist, yet. I am following that advice with The Spanners Series, especially Volume I, This Changes Everything, which is now PERMAFREE, and also with subsequent volumes (Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, released 6/9/14; look for Volumes III and IV in 2015).

I am an avid reader and have probably read hundreds of thousands of books in my 56 years of reading independently and quickly, sometimes devouring ten books a week. If I say books like mine—a series like The Spanners—don’t yet exist, I’m probably correct.

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All buy links, reviews, interviews, readings and more: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners Look right; scroll down.

Why am I writing #science-fiction/#romance, #Buddhist-infused, #multiverse/#multiple timelines #utopian #novels besides the reason already given? And, why should you read them? Because we live in a deteriorating, or degenerating Age, according to #Tibetan Buddhists (and probably many others I’m not bothering to research right now).

When I first hear this claim, I disbelieve it. Aren’t most things “improving” for humanity? Modern medicine, technology, transportation, knowledge of all types: in the 20th and 21st centuries, we are experiencing incontrovertible advances, mind-blowing progress, right? Plus, that POV is just such a downer!

Why would the Buddha’s followers propose and then Buddhist teachers and scholars maintain such a doom-and-gloom perspective on life? It’s not enough that Buddha focused his teachings on suffering and impermanence? Most Buddhists must be depressed: that’s what I thought.

I could understand why Tibetans, having been living under horrible oppression, genocide and cultural destruction under Chinese rule for decades, would be so pessimistic. But, we’re in the good ole’ USA: things are great here, right?

Not so much. I won’t go into the facts we all know now (even more than ever, thanks to Snodwen and Manning) about how screwed up the USA has been and still is, nor how terrible the economy is here and everywhere. I won’t provide the list. We all know too well the horrors of our modern life. Modern tragedies, however, are actually not even relevant to this discussion.

The “degenerating” part of our Age has little to do with actual external conditions. Our deterioration involves humans’ not being able to learn #dharma, not being able to find qualified and worthy Buddhist teachers, not being able to practice meditation well or at all. The Buddha’s teachings and Buddhists practitioners are what are degenerating, in what is called “The Third Age” or “The Latter Day of the Law.”

You can look this up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Ages_of_Buddhism

My point is, dystopian futures abound. Most sci-fi writers, even those that include romance in their stories, write of increasingly worsening conditions on and around this planet and across the Universe. They pile on the violence, showing increasing discord, more political and social unrest, deaths and destructions even worse than we have now. We already have too much awfulness for me to want to read about even worse futures.

Enough, already: I believe we need some hope, ideas of how else things could go, whether or not I always believe they will take these turns. Since I can’t find this optimism in the daily news or libraries’ and bookstores’ fiction, I decide to create it. I need this in my personal life, for the USA, for the continent, the water, air and land: I am imagining routes for improvement for the planet and the entire universe.

When I #meditate, especially during a #retreat phase in which I was #contemplating lives of beings in the “God Realm,” it occured to me repeatedly that we live in opulence amid squalor, all over the planet. Beauty smack dab in the middle of ugliness, every day. #Yin and #yang. We do have to “take the good with the bad,” but do we have to emphasize the “bad”?

I do not.

In my novels, even when things are “bad,” there is more good than bad. Buddha teaches often that we have to discern between “good” and “bad” even as we know these are illusory. Many teachings expound on how there is NO “good” or “bad,” no “birth” and no “death,” no “coming” and no “going.”

While you puzzle over that, I’m going to continue my utopian illusions in The Spanners Series. In my current and future multiverses, beings, including humans, will have love, better conditions and dharma: they/we have it all!

Furthermore, I’m going to HOPE—even though we are instructed to meditate partly in order to relinquish all hope and all fear—that YOU read my books and enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

Please let me know! Write your comments here on this and other posts, on excerpts from my novel, and whatever else occurs to you. Let’s converse!

#Unrequited #Love is for Everyone: What’s Your Story?

[ First posted 9/14/13 and revised and re-posted, March, 2016]

#Unrequited #Love is for Everyone: What’s Your Story?

Unrequited  love image

With countless songs, stories, plays, poems about the pain and suffering, the noble martyrdom of the person who is rejected—s/he who lives the unrequited lover’s lonely life—everyone knows that part completely. What about the other person, the object of affection? How do those rebuffing love—the REJECTORS—actually feel?

What is the Point of View (POV) of the REJECTOR?

I decided to spend some time learning that role, getting inside the skin of the one who says: “No, I don’t love you that way,” in order to attempt to fulfill every writer’s goal of understanding all my created characters equally well.

I knew the feelings, thoughts, experiences and dreams of the one who is rejected inside and out (unfortunately). What in my past, real or fictional exposure, brings me to the inner story of the one doing the refusing?

  • REJECTORS don’t give a damn about the one who loves.

    One story, with me as the REJECTOR.
    There was a boy in my 7th-grade class of about 350 students who offered to carry my books as he walked me to class He also eagerly awaited me outside our classrooms when his class was the same or hung around nearby to escort me. He was nice and I appreciated the attention. However (nefarious music plays here), I had my heart set on someone else, someone who had no interest in me.

    Maybe, I wondered, if the one I was crushing on saw how much attention this boy is giving me, he would realize how interesting I am and turn his eyes more toward me? I ruthlessly and selfishly exploited the boy who was crushing on me without any regard for his well-being or feelings, I am ashamed to admit (almost fifty years later). If I could remember his name, I would try to find him online and apologize. Not only did my encouragement of his attention hurt his feelings by unfairly leading him on, it didn’t work. Not at all.

    What I do remember is the situation my ploy created: I was barely giving this nice boy my attention because I was eagerly and pathetically ogling my crush, hoping to win his heart by being appealing to someone else. Horrible. Unsuccessful. Embarrassing to admit, now.

    What does this experience teach me about the ways the object of someone’s unwanted affection might feel? It’s possible, unbelievable as it may seem to those of us doing the obsessing, that the target of our love barely gives us a thought. Having his/her own agenda, the only time the rejecting one might even deign to notice the one who longs for our love is in the few moments that person might somehow prove to be useful to our own goals. We who mean “no” sometimes don’t even bother actually to say “no.”

    We REJECTORS can be ruthlessly uncaring, unseeing, deliberately unaware and even disdainful of the rejected lover’s feelings.

    love-rejection
    from http://www.joequatronejr.com

  • REJECTORS grow to hate and/or fear the ones offering them unwanted love.
  • REJECTORS pity the ones who hopelessly love them.
  • REJECTORS feel responsible, guilty and/or angry when unwanted love is pushing on them.
  • REJECTORS can’t view the unwanted lovers as valuable or appealing and certainly not as equals until/unless the situation is reversed or the power balance shifts in some other way.
  • REJECTORS are relieved and feel set free when the unwanted love or lover changes focus or departs.
  • REJECTORS feel stalked even when the lover is not officially a stalker. Hanging around or watching them, sending messages or calling—even with a legitimate reason—all feel stalker-ish when the REJECTORS already know how the lovers actually feel and what they want.
  • If by some miracle or switcheroo the REJECTORS begin to feel interested in the lovers, there will still be all the stones and weeds, the thick undergrowth of past hurts, confusions, assumptions and emotional potholes. Persistent and intense bushwhacking must be done before a pathway to a healthy relationship could be cleared; it may never be possible.

A great post by Gina Stepp on the subject of the impact of being the rejecting person that can help us all develop empathy for and understand the POV of the REJECTORS is Return to Sender: Unrequited Love is Painful for the Rejector, Too
from March 28, 2012
http://subscribe.vision.org/FamilyMatters/bid/76805/Return-to-Sender-Unrequited-Love-is-Painful-for-the-Rejector-Too

unrequitedlovebypetermsm

Put your own story in these one or more of these headings.
Use the comments section at http://www.sallyember.com/blog, copying/pasting the heading from your chosen area. Pseudonyms welcomed, especially of the other parties involved in your stories.
Thanks!

“Crowdcreators” wanted: Research Topics Included in the The Spanners Series

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Below is a somewhat complete list of the research topics included in my sci-fi/ romance/ utopian series for Youth, New and older Adults, below.

I plan to include some excerpts from already-published Volumes that relate to many of these topics over the next several months as I keep writing (working on Volume IV of X right now).

Will this entice some collaborators for Volumes VIII and IX, I hope? I’m experimenting with “Crowdcreating” these two Volumes!

Volume VIII (YA-oriented: youth writers and those writing for youth) Remaking Ourselves: Change Comes from Within, the Youth Speak [expected release, June, 2019]

The Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, includes Earth in probationary membership (The Transition) since December, 2012, and full membership since January, 2018. Over a thirty-year, increasingly utopian period, Earthers who survive are adapting and adjusting. Although many changes in politics, climate, government and safety are obvious, the most important and significant changes are within each individual Earther, human and non-human.

Volumes VIII and IX share the individual stories of “everyone”―–ordinary people, primates, cetaceans and cephalopods―–as they learn to live in this forever-transformed and transforming multiverse.

Remaking Ourselves: Change Comes from Within, the Youth Speak focuses on stories from young Earthers (ages 11 – 25).


Volume IX (NA/Adults: New and older Adult writers and those writing for NA/Adults) to “Crowdcreate” those two Volumes with me.
Remaking Ourselves: Change Comes from Within, the Adults Speak [expected release, Dec., 2019]

The Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, includes Earth in in probationary membership (The Transition) since December, 2012, and full membership since January, 2018. Over a thirty-year, increasingly utopian period, Earthers who survive are adapting and adjusting. Although many changes in politics, climate, government, and safety are obvious, the most important and significant changes are within each individual Earther.

Volumes VIII and IX share the individual stories of “everyone”―–ordinary people, primates, cetaceans and cephalopods―–as they learn to live in this forever-transformed and transforming multiverse. Those who barely avoid Sequestering are possibly the most interesting of all.

Remaking Ourselves: Change Comes from Within, the Adults Speak focuses on stories from Spanners (ages 26-over 100 years old).


Deadline for responding to me about wanting to write, co-write, or contribute to a Chapter or more in either or both Volumes is January 31, 2017.

Research Topics Included in the The Spanners Series.
What are you particularly interested in or know a lot about already? Comment here: http://www.sallyember.com/blog

Alternate/Parallel Universes and Timelines
Anthropology
Archaeology
Astronomy
Black Holes
Buddhism
Christianity
Cognitive Dissonance
Cosmology
Cultural Anthropology
Dark Energy
Dark Matter
Death/Afterlife
Dreams
Epigenetics
Exoplanets
Gender Identity
History
Human Biology
Judaism
Materials Science
Meditation
Morphic Resonance
Multiverse
Mushrooms
Mysticism
Neurobiology/Neuroscience
Neuroplasticity
Neuroscience
Nonlocality
Ontology
Physical Anthropology,
Political Science
Postcognition
Precognition
Psionics
Psychology
Quantum Physics and Entanglement
Reincarnation
Relationships
Sexual Orientation Identity
Social Change
Sociology
Sono-pictography
Space Travel
Sufism
Telekinesis
Telepathy
Teleportation
“The Butterfly Effect”
Wormholes
Xenobiology

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

logo_1833057_print high rez  transparent

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

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

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

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

3 paperbacks

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

Thanks, Krysten!