EXCLUSIVE #Cover-reveal and #pre-launch Guest Blog post by Olga Núñez Miret

EXCLUSIVE #Cover-reveal and #pre-launch Guest Blog post by Olga Núñez Miret

Thanks so much, Sally, for having me as a guest in your blog. I remember with some trepidation when you interviewed me for your series, CHANGES (it was my first time being interviewed via Google Hangout On Air [HOA; see below for more info]), and how enjoyable the experience was. Now, I’m very pleased to take part in your CHANGES Guests’ Guest Blogger series.

Author Olga Núñez Miret

Author Olga Núñez Miret

When we discussed the post, although I wanted to talk about my new series, I wasn’t sure when my next book would be published.

I have been working on a Young Adult/New Adult series on-and-off for the last 3 years. It centers on a girl called Pink (well, Petra, but she doesn’t like her name), and two of her friends, and their adventures in high school. It has paranormal elements to it (angels, demons, bizarre prophecies…).

I wrote the first story in the series, Angelic Business 1, Pink Matters, before I started publishing my books. I left it simmering in the back of my mind. Then, about a year ago, I wrote the second book, Shades of Greg (don’t worry, nothing to do with the other Shades; it’s sort of the name of one of the characters.… Let’s say names aren’t his strong point).

After giving it some thought, I decided I would write the third book when I could. I kept in mind publishing them fairly quickly, one after the other, so people wouldn’t have to wait a long time to get the whole story.

When a writer friend, Teagan Geneviene, suggested I could be her writing buddy for NaNoWriMo last year, I thought it was the perfect chance to write the last novel in the trilogy: Pink, Angel or Demon? was born.

As I always publish my books both in Spanish and English, then came the tasks of translating, correcting, editing. Although translating works very well as a way of revising the original (as I have to read in great detail, I tend to spot inconsistencies, errors, names and locations changes and those kinds of things), it also takes a fair amount of time. I ended up with 6 books needing some tender, loving care and a lot of attention. Well, that’s my excuse for not having published them, yet.

But, things are moving along.

After much discussion and different ideas and suggestions from blogger friends, readers, and everybody I met (including making the decision to take pictures of all the angels I saw, anywhere I went), and after hard work from my friend Lourdes Vidal, whose mastery of Photoshop has always astonished me, we have the covers.

And as you’d given me this great opportunity, I thought I’d share the cover of the first novel with you all. This is a world exclusive!

 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. By Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. By Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

Although this might change, this is the blurb of the story (so far):

PINK MATTERS is the story of Pink, a 17-year-old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been is the center of attention; she has also never made it to the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, “special,” both fighting for her attention, helping and telling her that she is the “key to the future of the universe,” she can’t help but ask: “Why me?”

I have shared the beginning of the book in my own blog, but I’ll let YOU ALL come and visit, if you fancy reading more or about a variety of things (including reviews, guest authors, audiobooks, classics).

Thanks very much, Sally, for this opportunity and for bringing me to meet all your readers. Thanks to all of you for reading and good luck to all your guests.

 

Links:

My website is: http://www.OlgaNM.com

My Amazon author page is: http://www.amazon.com/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

I have a Twitter account: @OlgaNM7 https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7

My blog is: www.OlgaNM.wordpress.com

I also have a Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/OlgaNunezMiret

My Goodreads author page is: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Google+https://plus.google.com/u/0/118443714277719085351

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/olganm7/

Wattpad: http://wattpad.com/OlgaNM

Tumblr: http://OlgaNMwriter.tumblr.com

Booklikes: http://olganm9.booklikes.com/

Riffle: https://read.rifflebooks.com/profiles/151299


Dr. Olga Nuñez Miret, M.D., Ph.D. was my guest on Episode 13 of CHANGES conversations between authors.

Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:    https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/


Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts, read my guidelines and then contact me if you’re interested: http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame/

Latest #Author #Interview with Sally Ember, Ed.D., on Connie Dunn’s page, goes live TODAY!

Thanks for a fun and great #interview, Connie, conducted/recorded on September 4, 2014, despite numerous technical difficulties!

My interview goes live TODAY, September 29, 2014. We talked about #writing, #science-fiction, The Spanners Series and its #aliens, the Series’ #cover art and Aidana Willowraven as the cover artist,

logoAuthorsDen

my #utopian views, writing in the present tense to emphasize the #multiverse/#paranormal/#psi elements, #science/#research, book #reviews, “crowd creating” and other #collaborations, ghost writing, #series writing, writing across #genres and for multiple audiences/age groups, inspiration/creativity, my writing history (from age 9 on), #editing, #indie publishing and much more.

http://publishwithconnie.com/mondaymorning is the link to Connie’s website. Please visit, look at her books and what she offers to authors!

From there, you can go listen to my interview: http://publishwithconnie.com/teleseminar-dashboard/sally-ember/

Guest Post: “The Politics of Speculative/ Science-Fiction”

Research, quotes, opinions, infographics, questions for readers/authors, and more. Read my Guest Post on Heather Jacobs’ site: “The Politics of Speculative/Science-Fiction”

Here are the first two paragraphs, to warm you up and inspire you to go read the rest:

The Politics of Speculative/Science-Fiction

by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

No author can leave politics, religion or culture out of our writing. It’s not possible. We are gendered, classed, raced/heritaged, abled/differently-abled, language-based, value-laden, belief-ridden individuals. We are products of our culture and political systems, even if we resist the indoctrination.

A writer may not realize the impact of his/her experiences arising from culture but these permeate every idea, word, sentence. The author who builds worlds may not see the veiled political structure undergirding their dystopian or utopian societies. Nevertheless, Speculative-Fiction, of which Science-Fiction is a subgenre, arises from politics, religion and culture.

Spec Fic and subgenres

Visit, comment, share, follow! Thanks!

http://www.hmjacobs.com/blog/guest-post-politics-of-speculativescience-fiction

RT and SHARE: Release Date is TODAY! #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES on sale NOW!

Looking for some great summer reading in the sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian/ speculative fiction genres? Adults, Young and New Adults will all be intrigued and entertained, informed and inspired by The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Just released for sale TODAY, 6/9/14, is This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II.

for RELEASE DAY 6/9/14: GIVEAWAY RULES:
1) Visit my website sallyember.com or my boards on Pinterest.com/sallyember, sallyember.Tumblr.com or Google+ or FB Spanners Series’ page and FOLLOW no later than midnight PDT (California, USA) 6/9/14.

2) DM me on what you Followed

3) and what you thought of your visit!

4) I will then DM you a coupon for FREE download of Vol II!

Sci-fi/ Romance /Multiverse/ Paranormal/ Utopian ebooks, The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is on sale EVERYWHERE ebooks are sold starting today, 6/9/14, when all Pre-orders download! Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, nook @ $3.99, while VOL I, This Changes Everything, is permafree!
http://www.sallyember.com/ for all links, OR qualify for the GIVEAWAY!

Or, be a GRWAT supportive fan and PURCHASE/DOWNLOAD, RANK/RATE, REVIEW, SHARE about my ebook on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

How would YOU do with the changes after finding out we are not alone in the multiverse?

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever is the story of the first five years After Public Contact with the Many Worlds Collective (2013-2018), “The Transition” to full membership for Earth. Many of the changes, reactions, struggles and circumstances accompanying these years are related from the points of view of the main character, Dr. Clara Branon’s, adult son and his cousins as well as some of those cousins’ children. One of Clara’s nephews in particular, Moran Ackerman, who becomes Chief of the Psi-Warriors and all OverSeers, tells of his experiences and training in assuming those roles for Earth after having been a Rabbi and middle school teacher.

TCMFandMLF‘s content is edited/curated and also partly narrated by Esperanza Enlaces, Clara’s Chief Media Contact, a contemporary of Clara’s son, so some of Espe’s story and many parts of Clara’s are included as well.

final cover - digital and web

all cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven

Reviews, Excerpts, Interviews, and more, including all buy links: http://www.sallyember.com Follow Sally on Twitter @sallyemberedd or this blog on WordPress or Tumblr http://sallyember.tumblr.com/ for excerpts from and news about upcoming Volumes!

Only $3.99 everywhere ebooks are sold.

Vol I, #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING, is PermaFree!

This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series, includes anecdotes and events from the entire span of the series, with specific details as to how it all begins. Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of  beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse.  When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are. Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty.

The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

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

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

Thanks to everyone in my family, friendship and authors’ support circles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn for helping these Volumes and future ones get into YOUR hands! Special thanks to Aidana Willowraven, Cover Artist Extraordinaire!

Are YOU ready for the changes?

5-Star #Review of #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES

TITLE HERE

June 4, 2014

“Clara Ackerman Branon is back, and Earth’s Transition continues.

final cover - digital and web
cover art by Aidana Willowraven

“I actually read Vol I and Vol II back to back, so for me it was like I’m reading one continuous book. I think though that one would need to read Vol I really to fully understand what is going to happen.

“In this volume, we get introduced more to Clara’s family (they are a large family!) who all get interviewed about how they experienced Clara’s first contact with the aliens and earth’s transition (when the news first broke, what changed for them, any difficulties, what are they planning for the future). One of the main narrators is Clara’s nephew, Moran, a Rabbi before Transition, who will now become the Chief in the fight against those who resist and fight the transition. There is also more info about Clara, snippets about her life from young woman to past transition, we learn about her jobs, relationships with both man and woman and in communes, what does she listen to, read etc. Though I’m still confused about her relationship with her lover / not lover, Epifanio – but hey, more volumes are to come.

“One thing I like very much about The Spanners Series is the message that we can all live together in peace, learn from each other, be there for each other. All differences (religious, racial, gender, and even between species and inhabitants of other planets) are overcome. I mean, how cool would that be to be able to communicate with animals – and not in a jokey, Eddie Murphy Dr Dolitle kind of way, but accept them and their needs / interests as equal to humans. And those people who resist change (yes, there will always be those, even if it is clear that the change is for the better) will not be eliminated, but gently persuaded to recognise at what is best for them.

“Another thing I really like is the cover artwork and I hope the author doesn’t change the cover art throughout the series, that would be a shame. It’s pretty , imaginative. once you read the first few chapters and about the first encounter with ‘The Band’, have a look at the cover again and you will go ‘ahhhh’.

“I very much enjoyed this series and the somewhat unusual structure of the book with interview. It is blurring the lines between fiction and non-fiction. One of the great pluses for me was that abbreviations or foreign language used (one of the main characters is Hispanic) are always explained in brackets straight away. Because of the non-fiction style, it does not halt the flow of the story at all, but is in fact very helpful. On the minus side, as there are several of Clara’s relatives are interviewed, it can sometimes be a bit ‘samey’ at some stage. But the writing is easy to read, so it is not a big deal and I found myself skipping over a few pages.

“A satisfying continuation from Volume I – let’s see what’s coming up in the next volume.”

[NOTE: Please forgive her English mistakes: English is not her first language.]

Visit Peggy Farooqi’s Reviews and blog: http://thepegsterreads.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/review-this-changes-my-family-and-my.html
and on Amazon.com

Her review of Vol I, This Changes Everything, appeared last month (May, 2014)!

TCE is PERMAFREE everywhere; TCMF&MLF is in Pre-Orders through 6/8/9 @$1.99 and releases @$3.99 6/9/14. Links, excerpts, more reviews and info: http://www.sallyember.com/spanners

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.

#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.

#THESPANNERSSERIES #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING

What are the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment?

How does someone with no small measure of psychic ability and numerous accurate “previews” of the future incur so many injuries? I’ll tell you, exactly.

psychic-predictions

After several days of intensive foreboding and weeks of a feeling of impending doom, last Sunday night I walked into a restaurant and tripped over an unseen hazard that partially blocked the entryway. I went flying parallel to the ground, smashing face-first into the wall beneath the ordering/pick-up counter, breaking my nose, injuring my forehead, incurring a concussion and numerous impact injuries, including whiplash.

Many negative results, obviously, which I am still recovering from, but one positive one: the sensations of ominousness that had been hanging around and inside me for weeks were gone.

How does that all work, exactly?

My definition of presentiment includes: prescience, precognition, premonition, which, taken together, translate into vague or specific feelings, knowledge, images, words, or other sensations of the future for oneself and/or others.

Key problem with the kind of presentiment I had been experiencing: VAGUENESS. Meaning, nonspecific: No details, images, words, dates, times, locations, circumstances; not even a list of who’s involved or who’s to be negatively affected.

I developed the following list, the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment, to explain my precise predicament.

UPSIDES
1. Time for advance planning.
For me, this meant I did a lot of cooking/shopping for food, laundry, blog posts, writing/editing and other tasks much more in advance than usual so that when I became mostly incapacitated, “life went on.”

preparation is the key
Image from scottsactingtips.blogspot.com

2. Emotional preparation .
Even as I was literally facing disaster, I wasn’t surprised, emotionally shocked or refusing to acknowledge the extent of my injuries. I immediately understood, as soon as I went flying, that “this was it.” Fortunately, I was remained conscious. Because I had been “warned,” I was not in denial. Therefore, I was able to make several key decisions with a clear head that helped me later.

3. Advance warnings for self and others.
See #numbers 1 & 2, above. Also, I had followed my intuition and cleared my schedule for this week without knowing exactly why. Having almost no obligations during the first crucial week of recuperation left me with less stress, aiding recovery.

4. Possible avoidance of the worst aspects by being especially cautious and observant.
In the weeks immediately prior to this accident, I had had three near-misses on the road, including having a tree branch fall just in front of my car during a bad storm (but I was able to swerve around it since I was going very slowly) and several other small mishaps that could have been a lot worse had I not been exceedingly cautious already.

DOWNSIDES
1. Vague premonitions of doom and general senses of tension and foreboding cause elevated stress levels for indeterminate periods of time.
Human bodies do not do well with chronic stress. Mine has had way too much from actual stress as well as perceived or anticipated stress: not recommended.

2. Focusing on the negative can cause undue paranoia and suspicion.
When I have this strong sense of impending disaster, I get very jumpy, especially when I have no idea the scope, timing, location, cause or target. Everyone is a bad driver, every rumble of a truck sounds like an earthquake (I live in California on a fault line), every airplane overhead sounds as if it might be flying too low (I live under the flight paths of two major and one minor airport), every passerby might be a mugger… you get the idea. Nischt gut.

3. Intensive self-referentialism and self-absorption to the point of unhealthy obsession does no one any good, ever.
Did you know there is a serious mental illness diagnosis consisting of a person having the unshakable belief that everything is a sign, message or communication meant just for him/her, like the character played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind? Also, it is antithetical to Buddhism to spend much time focusing on oneself, which is a temporary embodiment of an illusory existence, at best. Try sitting around believing that disaster is about to strike while trying to meditate: bad plan.

4. Once any negative circumstance arises, one may relax prematurely and then lose special cautiousness just when it’s most needed.
Three small mishaps had already occurred, however (stubbed my toe very badly at the pool; cut my finger when a knife slipped; hit my foot on the edge of the shower/tub enclosure). After the third one, I made the mistake of believing I had encountered all the negativity associated with this premonition. I did not see nor did I expect the floor obstacles in the restaurant. Hence, the face-plant.

presentiments-death
Image from weirdaustralia.com

Perhaps, next time, I won’t believe the doom warnings have been fully heeded until the presentiment actually passes.

What are the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment?

How does someone with no small measure of psychic ability and numerous accurate “previews” of the future incur so many injuries? I’ll tell you, exactly.

psychic-predictions

After several days of intensive foreboding and weeks of a feeling of impending doom, last Sunday night I walked into a restaurant and tripped over an unseen hazard that partially blocked the entryway. I went flying parallel to the ground, smashing face-first into the wall beneath the ordering/pick-up counter, breaking my nose, injuring my forehead, incurring a concussion and numerous impact injuries, including whiplash.

Many negative results, obviously, which I am still recovering from, but one positive one: the sensations of ominousness that had been hanging around and inside me for weeks were gone.

How does that all work, exactly?

My definition of presentiment includes: prescience, precognition, premonition, which, taken together, translate into vague or specific feelings, knowledge, images, words, or other sensations of the future for oneself and/or others.

Key problem with the kind of presentiment I had been experiencing: VAGUENESS. Meaning, nonspecific: No details, images, words, dates, times, locations, circumstances; not even a list of who’s involved or who’s to be negatively affected.

I developed the following list, the Four Major Upsides and Downsides of #Paranormal #Presentiment, to explain my precise predicament.

UPSIDES
1. Time for advance planning.
For me, this meant I did a lot of cooking/shopping for food, laundry, blog posts, writing/editing and other tasks much more in advance than usual so that when I became mostly incapacitated, “life went on.”

preparation is the key
Image from scottsactingtips.blogspot.com

2. Emotional preparation .
Even as I was literally facing disaster, I wasn’t surprised, emotionally shocked or refusing to acknowledge the extent of my injuries. I immediately understood, as soon as I went flying, that “this was it.” Fortunately, I was remained conscious. Because I had been “warned,” I was not in denial. Therefore, I was able to make several key decisions with a clear head that helped me later.

3. Advance warnings for self and others.
See #numbers 1 & 2, above. Also, I had followed my intuition and cleared my schedule for this week without knowing exactly why. Having almost no obligations during the first crucial week of recuperation left me with less stress, aiding recovery.

4. Possible avoidance of the worst aspects by being especially cautious and observant.
In the weeks immediately prior to this accident, I had had three near-misses on the road, including having a tree branch fall just in front of my car during a bad storm (but I was able to swerve around it since I was going very slowly) and several other small mishaps that could have been a lot worse had I not been exceedingly cautious already.

DOWNSIDES
1. Vague premonitions of doom and general senses of tension and foreboding cause elevated stress levels for indeterminate periods of time.
Human bodies do not do well with chronic stress. Mine has had way too much from actual stress as well as perceived or anticipated stress: not recommended.

2. Focusing on the negative can cause undue paranoia and suspicion.
When I have this strong sense of impending disaster, I get very jumpy, especially when I have no idea the scope, timing, location, cause or target. Everyone is a bad driver, every rumble of a truck sounds like an earthquake (I live in California on a fault line), every airplane overhead sounds as if it might be flying too low (I live under the flight paths of two major and one minor airport), every passerby might be a mugger… you get the idea. Nischt gut.

3. Intensive self-referentialism and self-absorption to the point of unhealthy obsession does no one any good, ever.
Did you know there is a serious mental illness diagnosis consisting of a person having the unshakable belief that everything is a sign, message or communication meant just for him/her, like the character played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind? Also, it is antithetical to Buddhism to spend much time focusing on oneself, which is a temporary embodiment of an illusory existence, at best. Try sitting around believing that disaster is about to strike while trying to meditate: bad plan.

4. Once any negative circumstance arises, one may relax prematurely and then lose special cautiousness just when it’s most needed.
Three small mishaps had already occurred, however (stubbed my toe very badly at the pool; cut my finger when a knife slipped; hit my foot on the edge of the shower/tub enclosure). After the third one, I made the mistake of believing I had encountered all the negativity associated with this premonition. I did not see nor did I expect the floor obstacles in the restaurant. Hence, the face-plant.

presentiments-death
Image from weirdaustralia.com

Perhaps, next time, I won’t believe the doom warnings have been fully heeded until the presentiment actually passes.

17th 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.

17th Serialized Excerpt, 4/10/14

CHAPTER TWO

Leah Iris, 29, Niece of Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Interview Date: May 26, 2018

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Niece:

the Transition, 5 Years Later

(continued)

9. How do your friends, family, sig other feel about your aunt as the CC and how does this affect your own relationships?

LEAH: Here’s the story of how I meet Josh. It shows some of the ways things are going during the Transition for my family.
********
Zephyr and Kayla aren’t ever going to get married and then they change their minds. I’m not sure why. They already have Kendall, so it’s not about the parenting-marriagebond. Anyway, we’re all—my giganza family—invited.

At large family events we do several things: eat, play and make music, laugh, talk and play games (all at once, usually). As the cousins all get older, we usually play cards with the older adults, definitely Hearts.

If any of us brings a newbie, like, a new sig other or spouse, they can opt out once, but, after that, they HAVE to play Hearts. It’s required. The Hearts games are a kind of trial-by-fire for joining our clan.

At someone’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, that’s part of the teen’s new status. You can’t play until you’re about 13; it’s that heavy! It’s a kind of initiation-hazing ritual-inclusion thing. When we play Hearts, many cry. Always from laughter, and sometimes from being freaked out at how mean we all get. Or, being on the losing end of a vicious pass or strategy. Usually, no outsiders are invited to play: no random guests or friends, just family and sigs.

I’m at the wedding weekend in old New Hampshire, where they and Zephyr’s dad live, Zef is born and grows up, Aunt Clara lives while Zef is growing up. Summer there is beautiful and I’m glad to be there.

The wedding is on Sunday, but we do things all weekend since people come from far away. I’m noticing this one guy I don’t know who keeps appearing but doesn’t talk to me. Very appealing, to me, somehow.

During meals, I make sure I sit where I can see him. For “down” time—no scheduled thing happening—I look to see what group he’s hanging with and nonchalantly join on the fringes. Or, if I’m already in a group, I notice he drifts over to it. We’re like non-acquainted, exopod dolphins, swimming closer and closer to one another, playing and eating in the same area, but no direct contact.

Lots of smiles, some eye contact (he has amazing, green eyes), electric charges abound. No words. I find myself wanting to rub against him the way a dolphin would do to signal interest in being friends or starting to play, but I restrain myself. I also have the urge to try whistling and squeaking, just because, but I don’t know he could answer me, so I do not do it.

Josh says later he wishes I do these things! I don’t realize at the time that he is a Cetacean specialist and through my unconscious use of some of my Excellent Skills, I’m tuning into this affinity we share.

I don’t ask anyone who he is. I’m enjoying the “dance,” we’re engaged in, which is pleasantly and intriguingly intensifying from Friday to Saturday. Saturday, late afternoon, when we’re getting together for the third or fourth Hearts game of the weekend, when it peaks.

People are setting up the large outdoor table, counting and shuffling cards, talking, laughing, organizing who’s playing and making sure the cards are set up right, removing 2s, doubling the decks, etc., for however many are playing. We’re about to start. All available and eligible in the family are at the table. That’s about a dozen for this particular game.

We’re watching my brother and my mother share the dealing when this guy I am hyper aware of comes over and asks if he can play. Nice chutzpah [audacity, courage, Yiddish].

Zephyr and Kayla look at him, at each other, then at me and say “Yeah! Sure!”

Aunt Clara gives him the eye and asks, “Josh: are you sure you want to do this, now, today?”

She is deliberately daring him. Why? His name is “Josh.” I like that name.

My mom, still dealing, says: “No way; family only!”

A few others murmur their opinions, mostly “no,” a few “next game, maybe.”

Aunt Clara holds up one hand, looks at me, at me, and says: “It’s up to you, Leah.”

Why me? But I nod. It is up to me. I accept that.

CeeCee, my mom, my aunt Violet, Zephyr smile in a way that makes the butterflies in my stomach wake up and start flying around chaotically.

Oh, oh.

The dealing is over but no one moves to take their cards or push the hands out to us. I count silently: fourteen. There is one extra hand. Shit!

Everything stops, then. No one talks or laughs, which is a minor miracle in my family. I swear, even the breezes stop blowing and the birds stop singing for a couple of seconds. I know that’s not likely, but that’s how it seems to me. Time strrrr-etch-es out and slows down, you know?

Josh looks at me and I look at him.

I know.

And, I can tell, he knows.

Given the way ES run in this family, most of us know.

So I, being somewhat an introvert (I know, not obvious, but I am), and a bit wary, blurt out: “But, who are you?”

Josh comes closer to me, gets down on one knee so that he’s eye-level with me, extends one hand to hold mine, and says, “I’m your sig, Leah. I’m Josh.”

All the breath whooshes out of me as if I am a balloon letting go. Then, I can’t breathe right. I’m hot, I’m shivering, I’m dizzy. I stare at him, at his wonderful, interesting face, at his hand holding mine with his beautifully tapered fingers, at his clear, green eyes.

I can feel everyone staring at us, waiting for me to respond. I reclaim my hand. Why does this look and feel like a marriage proposal? We just spoke for the first time!

I reach across the table and grab my cards, trying to make the game start. I look wildly at everyone, but no one is meeting my eyes. I could ignore him, but I am drawn back, against my will, to stare into his eyes. I’m speechless.

I’m so hot and my face is so red I’m sure I am about to catch fire or something. Then, right after I put them into my hands, my cards explode all over the table. Everyone but I and this guy gasps.

I am sure Zephyr has something to do with that trick. I turn to glare at him. He smiles sweetly at me. The picture of fake innocence. I may have to hurt him.

But, I am paralyzed. I stare at the scattered cards and can’t pick any up.

Josh is able to move easily.

Why is that? What’s wrong with me?

He takes both my hands, since I no longer have any cards in either.

Josh says, “Whenever you’re ready, let me in.”

So, Zephyr, being Zephyr, says: “‘Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!'”

We all burst out laughing which takes the pressure off a lot.

I breathe. Once, twice, three times. I look over at Josh. He’s so patient, so kind, so right for me. Why am I resisting?

This has been coming all weekend. Carpe Diem!

“OK. Fine. You’re in.” I say it fake huffily, as if I object, but no one, including me, is the least bit fooled.

I pat the chair that suddenly snaps into place right beside me (Zef’s work, again) and say, “Deal Josh in.”

Caleb snaps the extra hand over to Josh’s place at the table.

Everyone else puts their cards down and applauds. The silence broken, everyone is now talking, laughing, smiling at or groaning about their cards.

Josh plops into the chair, smiles at me, picks up his cards and starts arranging them as if he’s always been here, at our Hearts game.

Maybe he has. CeeCee winks at me. Sheesh. She hears that.

I lean over to squeeze Josh’s shoulder. “Welcome,” I say, more warmly.

He leans into me but keeps arranging his cards.

Oh. It’s like that, is it? Game on!

And, that’s it. Josh is in. In every way. We play Hearts. We start being together. He’s a great dancer, too.
********
LEAH: The rest is, well, private. [laughs].

10. What else do you want to tell us about your experiences of Clara as the CC or the Transition?

LEAH: I can add one important thing: Aunt Clara is the best choice Earthers could have. I know not everyone understands that, so let me explain.

She is off-the-charts in honesty, courage, integrity up the whazzoo. She is dedicated to benefiting all beings—the Buddhist thing, you know? Those all contribute, but most important, Aunt Clara has a humongous heart. She is fiercely protective and loving when she takes anyone or anything on.

Earthers are lucky she took us on. For sure.

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

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

17th 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.

17th Serialized Excerpt, 4/10/14

CHAPTER TWO

Leah Iris, 29, Niece of Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Interview Date: May 26, 2018

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Niece:

the Transition, 5 Years Later

(continued)

9. How do your friends, family, sig other feel about your aunt as the CC and how does this affect your own relationships?

LEAH: Here’s the story of how I meet Josh. It shows some of the ways things are going during the Transition for my family.
********
Zephyr and Kayla aren’t ever going to get married and then they change their minds. I’m not sure why. They already have Kendall, so it’s not about the parenting-marriagebond. Anyway, we’re all—my giganza family—invited.

At large family events we do several things: eat, play and make music, laugh, talk and play games (all at once, usually). As the cousins all get older, we usually play cards with the older adults, definitely Hearts.

If any of us brings a newbie, like, a new sig other or spouse, they can opt out once, but, after that, they HAVE to play Hearts. It’s required. The Hearts games are a kind of trial-by-fire for joining our clan.

At someone’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, that’s part of the teen’s new status. You can’t play until you’re about 13; it’s that heavy! It’s a kind of initiation-hazing ritual-inclusion thing. When we play Hearts, many cry. Always from laughter, and sometimes from being freaked out at how mean we all get. Or, being on the losing end of a vicious pass or strategy. Usually, no outsiders are invited to play: no random guests or friends, just family and sigs.

I’m at the wedding weekend in old New Hampshire, where they and Zephyr’s dad live, Zef is born and grows up, Aunt Clara lives while Zef is growing up. Summer there is beautiful and I’m glad to be there.

The wedding is on Sunday, but we do things all weekend since people come from far away. I’m noticing this one guy I don’t know who keeps appearing but doesn’t talk to me. Very appealing, to me, somehow.

During meals, I make sure I sit where I can see him. For “down” time—no scheduled thing happening—I look to see what group he’s hanging with and nonchalantly join on the fringes. Or, if I’m already in a group, I notice he drifts over to it. We’re like non-acquainted, exopod dolphins, swimming closer and closer to one another, playing and eating in the same area, but no direct contact.

Lots of smiles, some eye contact (he has amazing, green eyes), electric charges abound. No words. I find myself wanting to rub against him the way a dolphin would do to signal interest in being friends or starting to play, but I restrain myself. I also have the urge to try whistling and squeaking, just because, but I don’t know he could answer me, so I do not do it.

Josh says later he wishes I do these things! I don’t realize at the time that he is a Cetacean specialist and through my unconscious use of some of my Excellent Skills, I’m tuning into this affinity we share.

I don’t ask anyone who he is. I’m enjoying the “dance,” we’re engaged in, which is pleasantly and intriguingly intensifying from Friday to Saturday. Saturday, late afternoon, when we’re getting together for the third or fourth Hearts game of the weekend, when it peaks.

People are setting up the large outdoor table, counting and shuffling cards, talking, laughing, organizing who’s playing and making sure the cards are set up right, removing 2s, doubling the decks, etc., for however many are playing. We’re about to start. All available and eligible in the family are at the table. That’s about a dozen for this particular game.

We’re watching my brother and my mother share the dealing when this guy I am hyper aware of comes over and asks if he can play. Nice chutzpah [audacity, courage, Yiddish].

Zephyr and Kayla look at him, at each other, then at me and say “Yeah! Sure!”

Aunt Clara gives him the eye and asks, “Josh: are you sure you want to do this, now, today?”

She is deliberately daring him. Why? His name is “Josh.” I like that name.

My mom, still dealing, says: “No way; family only!”

A few others murmur their opinions, mostly “no,” a few “next game, maybe.”

Aunt Clara holds up one hand, looks at me, at me, and says: “It’s up to you, Leah.”

Why me? But I nod. It is up to me. I accept that.

CeeCee, my mom, my aunt Violet, Zephyr smile in a way that makes the butterflies in my stomach wake up and start flying around chaotically.

Oh, oh.

The dealing is over but no one moves to take their cards or push the hands out to us. I count silently: fourteen. There is one extra hand. Shit!

Everything stops, then. No one talks or laughs, which is a minor miracle in my family. I swear, even the breezes stop blowing and the birds stop singing for a couple of seconds. I know that’s not likely, but that’s how it seems to me. Time strrrr-etch-es out and slows down, you know?

Josh looks at me and I look at him.

I know.

And, I can tell, he knows.

Given the way ES run in this family, most of us know.

So I, being somewhat an introvert (I know, not obvious, but I am), and a bit wary, blurt out: “But, who are you?”

Josh comes closer to me, gets down on one knee so that he’s eye-level with me, extends one hand to hold mine, and says, “I’m your sig, Leah. I’m Josh.”

All the breath whooshes out of me as if I am a balloon letting go. Then, I can’t breathe right. I’m hot, I’m shivering, I’m dizzy. I stare at him, at his wonderful, interesting face, at his hand holding mine with his beautifully tapered fingers, at his clear, green eyes.

I can feel everyone staring at us, waiting for me to respond. I reclaim my hand. Why does this look and feel like a marriage proposal? We just spoke for the first time!

I reach across the table and grab my cards, trying to make the game start. I look wildly at everyone, but no one is meeting my eyes. I could ignore him, but I am drawn back, against my will, to stare into his eyes. I’m speechless.

I’m so hot and my face is so red I’m sure I am about to catch fire or something. Then, right after I put them into my hands, my cards explode all over the table. Everyone but I and this guy gasps.

I am sure Zephyr has something to do with that trick. I turn to glare at him. He smiles sweetly at me. The picture of fake innocence. I may have to hurt him.

But, I am paralyzed. I stare at the scattered cards and can’t pick any up.

Josh is able to move easily.

Why is that? What’s wrong with me?

He takes both my hands, since I no longer have any cards in either.

Josh says, “Whenever you’re ready, let me in.”

So, Zephyr, being Zephyr, says: “‘Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!'”

We all burst out laughing which takes the pressure off a lot.

I breathe. Once, twice, three times. I look over at Josh. He’s so patient, so kind, so right for me. Why am I resisting?

This has been coming all weekend. Carpe Diem!

“OK. Fine. You’re in.” I say it fake huffily, as if I object, but no one, including me, is the least bit fooled.

I pat the chair that suddenly snaps into place right beside me (Zef’s work, again) and say, “Deal Josh in.”

Caleb snaps the extra hand over to Josh’s place at the table.

Everyone else puts their cards down and applauds. The silence broken, everyone is now talking, laughing, smiling at or groaning about their cards.

Josh plops into the chair, smiles at me, picks up his cards and starts arranging them as if he’s always been here, at our Hearts game.

Maybe he has. CeeCee winks at me. Sheesh. She hears that.

I lean over to squeeze Josh’s shoulder. “Welcome,” I say, more warmly.

He leans into me but keeps arranging his cards.

Oh. It’s like that, is it? Game on!

And, that’s it. Josh is in. In every way. We play Hearts. We start being together. He’s a great dancer, too.
********
LEAH: The rest is, well, private. [laughs].

10. What else do you want to tell us about your experiences of Clara as the CC or the Transition?

LEAH: I can add one important thing: Aunt Clara is the best choice Earthers could have. I know not everyone understands that, so let me explain.

She is off-the-charts in honesty, courage, integrity up the whazzoo. She is dedicated to benefiting all beings—the Buddhist thing, you know? Those all contribute, but most important, Aunt Clara has a humongous heart. She is fiercely protective and loving when she takes anyone or anything on.

Earthers are lucky she took us on. For sure.

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

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

15th 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.

15th Serialized Excerpt, 4/7/14

CHAPTER TWO

Leah Iris, 29, Niece of Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Interview Date: May 26, 2018

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Niece:

the Transition, 5 Years Later

1. How old are you when the Transition begins, winter, 2013, and how old are you now?

LEAH: I am 24 when the five MWC holos first come to Earth to work with my Aunt Clara, and I’m 29, now. Since we’re each five years apart in my family, my brother, Caleb, is 24 and younger brother, Aaron is 19 [interviews with them and another nephew of Clara’s, Gabriel, are in CHAPTER THREE]. My boyfriend, Josh Lasky, and I are recently together (about three years, now), so he isn’t with me when the Transition begins.

2. What is your favorite part of the changes since the Transition? Why?

LEAH: Well, as my aunt Clara and everyone else who knows me knows, I’m a geek and proud of it [laughs]. Let my freak flag fly! So, Access, my iD, the fish, my cousin-Jessica-designed OPTS (totally stylin’), all the other new tech, the gadgets, toys, space and time travel components, the whole confirmation of the multiverse moment: LOVE! Also, I’m kind of a music geek: the pieces that combine non-humans with humans are the BEST! Especially, Angelina [Cetacean Leader, Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, South Pacific near former Guam] and her pod’s co-creations with Zephyr: amazing!

Also, I am very impressed with the respectful, pretty much nonviolent ways the MWC manages the Fraggers and Trenchers. That is, if you do not consider involuntary ReInvolvement or forced Qing to be violent, which I do not. The alternatives are much worse.

Having Moran and a bunch of my friends in the OSes and OSOps who are eligible to be Psi-Warriors, Levels 6 and above to fight Trenchers, especially the Psi-Defiers, is quite fine. I’m glad that “fight” takes on a different meaning in these contexts, one that is involves less physical violence and more mental competitions. I am a fan of Qing, for sure. And, dueling psi is kind of astonishing, really. I’m only at Level 2 in my ESP training, but that’s OK; I’m so busy [laughs]!

3. What Transition changes have been the hardest or least favorite for you, and why?

LEAH: Well, it’s no secret that some of my other cousins and relatives have a very hard time with the Transition; Aunt Clara talks about that a lot. I know some of Aunt Clara’s acquaintances and friends try to mitigate the damage and help people along, as does she, but, still…. Many people are unable to cope.

Although I do not agree with most of them nor miss them, exactly, it seems kind of harsh that so many get Qed or forcibly ReInvolved, you know? I mean, these hapless souls are sort of innocent, in a weird way. Born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and then handle it all so badly. Can’t help it, really. Products of their times, cultures, religions.

Thought prisons are the worst and the hardest to break out of. I know a lot about that. I have many years of dealing with my self-esteem and empowerment issues that inform and form me.

Here is the main question: How can Fraggers refuse to believe what’s right in front of them? Seriously? Things are better APC. It’s obvious.

It’s kind of a happy accident that I—that some of us—are inherently better prepared, more open and ready for these revelations and changes than others. Comic-Con fans like me, it turns out, are especially well-suited to the MWC era, right? [laughs]

Once everyone knows about Aunt Clara and that I’m her niece (because of Facebook, for one), the ways my friends are “sorted out” is also kind of difficult. Some turn out not to be such good friends and we part ways. I’m fine with that, now. A few of those losses are surprising and hurt at the time, though. Other friends and new ones really come through, liking me for me and not for my relation to the CC. Josh is one of those, and I’m so grateful!

4. Where are you and what are you doing when you find out about the Many Worlds Collective and that your aunt is the liaison/Chief Communicator?

LEAH: I don’t want to answer that, since some of what I know I am not supposed to know as early as I know it and I don’t want to get anyone into trouble. [laughs] Let’s just say that I hear about all this more than once, from more than one of my relatives, and leave it at that. I don’t tell anyone else until we’re all allowed to, though. No leaks from me. They choose to tell me a bit early so I could try to help some of those that need it.

I do try, but….[long pause] Best I could do.

Probably more than where or when I find out, you want to know how finding out affects me, right? Let’s talk about that.

I’m not as surprised as I expect myself to be, which I know sounds kind of strange, but hear me out. My Aunt Clara is not ordinary. [laughs] We all know that. [laughs] From as early as I can remember, my mom—Cassandra—and others in our family all acknowledge Aunt Clara’s uniqueness and not always favorably. [laughs]

But, Aunt Clara and I have a special bond. She and I connect many times as I’m growing up and after I am on my own. On purpose, not only because there is a family event: we talk, we message, I teach her to make vid calls, I do things for her, she helps me think about stuff—like that. We enjoy each other, even though we’re not so much alike, she and I. And, I trust her.

So, when Aunt Clara tells me something in a serious tone, I listen carefully (because sometimes she’s just being silly or playing on her weirdness, as a joke). When she and my mom tell me the same things and if I hear about it again from Zephyr and another person I trust, I believe it. Have to.

My finding out doesn’t exactly happen that way, but you see where I’m going with this? When she means to be, Aunt Clara is a trustworthy source of information, so my shock turns quickly to curiosity, then certainty. I do not spend much time in disbelief the way some people do.

I think that’s the reason I adjust more quickly. I can believe Aunt Clara and go from there. I’m all: “What does this mean?” and “What do we do now?” not, “Is it true?” See?

Aunt Clara’s very practical, so she’s direct, factual and helpful. She tells me exactly what our joining the MWC means and what to do, so I relax. As long as I have a plan, I’m fine. [laughs]

That’s one thing she and I have in common: we’re very organized. I’m a bit OCD and she’s just O, she says. [laughs] [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessed]

First thing I hear is that I’m not—we’re not—in danger. Check. The rest is easy, after we establish that. [laughs]

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

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

15th 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.

15th Serialized Excerpt, 4/7/14

CHAPTER TWO

Leah Iris, 29, Niece of Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Interview Date: May 26, 2018

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Niece:

the Transition, 5 Years Later

1. How old are you when the Transition begins, winter, 2013, and how old are you now?

LEAH: I am 24 when the five MWC holos first come to Earth to work with my Aunt Clara, and I’m 29, now. Since we’re each five years apart in my family, my brother, Caleb, is 24 and younger brother, Aaron is 19 [interviews with them and another nephew of Clara’s, Gabriel, are in CHAPTER THREE]. My boyfriend, Josh Lasky, and I are recently together (about three years, now), so he isn’t with me when the Transition begins.

2. What is your favorite part of the changes since the Transition? Why?

LEAH: Well, as my aunt Clara and everyone else who knows me knows, I’m a geek and proud of it [laughs]. Let my freak flag fly! So, Access, my iD, the fish, my cousin-Jessica-designed OPTS (totally stylin’), all the other new tech, the gadgets, toys, space and time travel components, the whole confirmation of the multiverse moment: LOVE! Also, I’m kind of a music geek: the pieces that combine non-humans with humans are the BEST! Especially, Angelina [Cetacean Leader, Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, South Pacific near former Guam] and her pod’s co-creations with Zephyr: amazing!

Also, I am very impressed with the respectful, pretty much nonviolent ways the MWC manages the Fraggers and Trenchers. That is, if you do not consider involuntary ReInvolvement or forced Qing to be violent, which I do not. The alternatives are much worse.

Having Moran and a bunch of my friends in the OSes and OSOps who are eligible to be Psi-Warriors, Levels 6 and above to fight Trenchers, especially the Psi-Defiers, is quite fine. I’m glad that “fight” takes on a different meaning in these contexts, one that is involves less physical violence and more mental competitions. I am a fan of Qing, for sure. And, dueling psi is kind of astonishing, really. I’m only at Level 2 in my ESP training, but that’s OK; I’m so busy [laughs]!

3. What Transition changes have been the hardest or least favorite for you, and why?

LEAH: Well, it’s no secret that some of my other cousins and relatives have a very hard time with the Transition; Aunt Clara talks about that a lot. I know some of Aunt Clara’s acquaintances and friends try to mitigate the damage and help people along, as does she, but, still…. Many people are unable to cope.

Although I do not agree with most of them nor miss them, exactly, it seems kind of harsh that so many get Qed or forcibly ReInvolved, you know? I mean, these hapless souls are sort of innocent, in a weird way. Born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and then handle it all so badly. Can’t help it, really. Products of their times, cultures, religions.

Thought prisons are the worst and the hardest to break out of. I know a lot about that. I have many years of dealing with my self-esteem and empowerment issues that inform and form me.

Here is the main question: How can Fraggers refuse to believe what’s right in front of them? Seriously? Things are better APC. It’s obvious.

It’s kind of a happy accident that I—that some of us—are inherently better prepared, more open and ready for these revelations and changes than others. Comic-Con fans like me, it turns out, are especially well-suited to the MWC era, right? [laughs]

Once everyone knows about Aunt Clara and that I’m her niece (because of Facebook, for one), the ways my friends are “sorted out” is also kind of difficult. Some turn out not to be such good friends and we part ways. I’m fine with that, now. A few of those losses are surprising and hurt at the time, though. Other friends and new ones really come through, liking me for me and not for my relation to the CC. Josh is one of those, and I’m so grateful!

4. Where are you and what are you doing when you find out about the Many Worlds Collective and that your aunt is the liaison/Chief Communicator?

LEAH: I don’t want to answer that, since some of what I know I am not supposed to know as early as I know it and I don’t want to get anyone into trouble. [laughs] Let’s just say that I hear about all this more than once, from more than one of my relatives, and leave it at that. I don’t tell anyone else until we’re all allowed to, though. No leaks from me. They choose to tell me a bit early so I could try to help some of those that need it.

I do try, but….[long pause] Best I could do.

Probably more than where or when I find out, you want to know how finding out affects me, right? Let’s talk about that.

I’m not as surprised as I expect myself to be, which I know sounds kind of strange, but hear me out. My Aunt Clara is not ordinary. [laughs] We all know that. [laughs] From as early as I can remember, my mom—Cassandra—and others in our family all acknowledge Aunt Clara’s uniqueness and not always favorably. [laughs]

But, Aunt Clara and I have a special bond. She and I connect many times as I’m growing up and after I am on my own. On purpose, not only because there is a family event: we talk, we message, I teach her to make vid calls, I do things for her, she helps me think about stuff—like that. We enjoy each other, even though we’re not so much alike, she and I. And, I trust her.

So, when Aunt Clara tells me something in a serious tone, I listen carefully (because sometimes she’s just being silly or playing on her weirdness, as a joke). When she and my mom tell me the same things and if I hear about it again from Zephyr and another person I trust, I believe it. Have to.

My finding out doesn’t exactly happen that way, but you see where I’m going with this? When she means to be, Aunt Clara is a trustworthy source of information, so my shock turns quickly to curiosity, then certainty. I do not spend much time in disbelief the way some people do.

I think that’s the reason I adjust more quickly. I can believe Aunt Clara and go from there. I’m all: “What does this mean?” and “What do we do now?” not, “Is it true?” See?

Aunt Clara’s very practical, so she’s direct, factual and helpful. She tells me exactly what our joining the MWC means and what to do, so I relax. As long as I have a plan, I’m fine. [laughs]

That’s one thing she and I have in common: we’re very organized. I’m a bit OCD and she’s just O, she says. [laughs] [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessed]

First thing I hear is that I’m not—we’re not—in danger. Check. The rest is easy, after we establish that. [laughs]

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

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

14th 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.

14th Serialized Excerpt, 4/4/14

CHAPTER INTERLUDE TWO

Chief of the Psi-Warriors, OverSeer and covert special Operations agents, Moran Ackerman:

My Stories of the Transition

(continued)

I am re-reading the description of Level 3. Burns? Frostbite? Deep wounds? What??? I ‘path Aunt Clara: “I can’t do this. I’m not cut out for pain. Get someone else. I can quit, can’t I?”

Aunt Clara knows where I am and says she’s coming to see me, ‘pathing, sternly while she is on her way over, “That’s more than one. You are now in arrears for three days of kvetches, Moran. Want to go for four?”

I look up at the end of her remonstration to see her standing in front of me. How does she get here so fast?

“No, Aunt Clara. I’m serious.” I say, aloud, wincing at the sound of my own whining, but I am somehow compelled. “I can’t do this. I’m a baby. Truly. Liora can tell you. Agam and Lavi can tell you. Hell, Orna can tell you: I’m a wimp. Really. I get teary when I get a paper cut.” I wave one finger around, demonstrating the way it makes me feel, wiping pretend tears away with my other hand.

She is unmoved.

Led appears *POP* and hovers over to me. “What seems to be the problem, here, Moran Ackerman?”

Just Led’s appearing and calling me by my full name makes me stand up straighter, suck in my gut and pull it together. “Nothing, Sir. I mean, Led. I mean, I’m fine. Just having a moment with my aunt.”

Led hovers over to Clara. They exchange some information silently.

I don’t catch it, which I’m sure is intentional on their part.

Aunt Clara turns to me, “Moran, we think it’s best if you and don’t see each other so often for a while. Somehow you allow yourself to feel weaker or show your doubts more around me, which is not helpful to you or to your training. Probably a family thing.”

I take that in, feeling as if she’s punched me in the stomach. Not see her? She’s my only family here, most of the time. I am hit with a wave of homesickness and despair. I sit there, feeling it, then look up at her.

“You’re right. I see that, now. I agree.” I have no idea where this type of inner strength and brutal honesty come from, but the correctness of this plan permeates me completely.

“I hate it, so it must be right.” I grudgingly agree.

I give Aunt Clara a rueful smile: this formula is well known to meditators, personal growth mavens and therapists. She and I face this paradox often. Our strongest resistance and fears are sparked when we face exactly what our next steps have to be. Certain kinds of “no” actually mean “absolutely yes” when we’re talking to ourselves.

Aunt Clara steps toward me and envelops me in a very loving, long hug. “I’m so proud of you, Moran. You are perfectly suited for this. We are sure.”

I appreciate her hug and even more, her confidence in me. “Thanks, CeeCee. I won’t let you down.”

Led says, “No, you won’t, Moran Ackerman. You lead Earthers quite well.”

“Okay, then. Let’s get this party started,” I say.

Smiling, excited and filled with stomach-sucking dread, I turn away from them to walk into the Level 3 classroom.

******
I start to feel very rushed during these next trainings because things are heating up “outside.” More Fraggers are becoming Trenchers,which means the kvetchers [outspoken complainers, Yiddish] are becoming a politically organized resistance movement, no longer content with venting.

Trenchers are organizing to protest Earth’s membership in the MWC, to “throw off the yoke of alien invasion by any means necessary,” according to their websites. I feel quite worried and accelerate my practice sessions. I don’t timult, yet, but I can sense the impending conflicts, nonetheless.

Led tells me that this is all “typical.”

But I am increasingly worried because Mick shows me, via Access, that many orbs have psi Wars during their Ts. I ask them how the Trenchers learn anything like my lessons in psi from ESP training when none of them is included?

One day, Led explains.

Aunt Clara and I are called in via vid call to speak together with The Band in April, 2013. I remember it vividly because this is the first time I hear that I am supposed to not only become one of but to lead the Psi-Warriors. The most I lead up to that point is my class of twenty 7th-graders!

*******
“I am in no way suited for such a difficult role and unimaginable amount of responsibility! Please, find someone better! I’m merely a beginner. Surely you have someone with psi talent and training you can use from off-p?” I am kind of shouting, but who wouldn’t?

“Can’t I assume leadership later, like, in about five years or something? You have all these experienced OSes here. Can’t we use one or more of them? I feel intense internal opposition about becoming something I’m not. Worse, I would be having all these people, all these beings—the entire damned planet—depending on me. This can’t be right.” I’m beginning to feel lightheaded from hyperventilating. I take several deep, slow, calming breaths.

Led intones: “The leader of each Member’s Psi-Warriors, when one is needed, must be of the dominant species from that orb. Furthermore, s/he must be a close relative of the CC. We try many other variations and none is as effective. Name recognition, early acceptance of unusual traits and Excellent Skills, close contact and guidance from the MWC: these are all important to the success of the leader of the Transition OverSeers’ defense squadron.”

Why isn’t this Zephyr’s role? Why isn’t he being trained to lead the PWs and OSes?

Before I can voice these questions, Led interrupts.

“In addition,” Led inserts, “anyone who actually wants this job, who feels comfortable assuming this kind of leadership role, is prohibited from attaining it.”

Realization dawns slowly, but I get it, now. “Oh. It’s just like what’s happening with all the new global government leaders: everyone who volunteers, who runs for election or wants to be in charge, is refused. Anyone competent and good-hearted who could be leaders are the ones who are invited and trained.”

Led bounces in his YES mode.

Aunt Clara chimes in to reassure me: “You are supervised in Access contact and telepathically engaged at all times, same as I am. You will never be ‘alone,’ as you conceive of it, ever again. You don’t even have to send a ‘Bat signal’ to get help!”

I take a moment to let that sink in. Never alone again?

Now, I’m used to it. But, then, it’s a shocking concept.

I look at Aunt Clara, who is looking at me with sympathy and understanding. Oh. I get it. She’s already like that, with the MWC. Always in contact, whether she likes it or not. Her life must seem to be out of her control.

Mine is about to become eerily similar. Tell me again why this isn’t this a job for Zef?

Hearing me, Ringo cuts in. “Your cousin, Zephyr, has other roles to play in the Transition and is already engaged in them. Furthermore, experience shows us that the Psi-Warrior leader cannot be a member of the CC’s immediate family because that causes the CC to be too distracted to perform the CC duties during psi conflicts.”

Battles. Fights. People and ETs with some weird-ass weapons I can’t imagine, yet, killing and hurting each other. A war. I can’t lead a war! I’m a rabbi, a middle-school teacher!

I start to object, but again, I am not fast enough.

Led seems as if he’s trying to reassuring, here: “You receive specialized, accelerated ESP training already. We add, today, your specialized InKC [pronounced InKayCee], your Inner Knowing Center, Access training. InKC gives you some measure of privacy.”

Mick adds,”More importantly, InKC Access also enhances your ability to connect directly with everything you learn, know, and are capable of at every moment as circumstances demand without having to make an Access request.”

Aunt Clara chimes in: “InKC is great. I believe it’s saved what sanity I can claim to have. For most ESP trainees, it’s Level 8-A, but for us, it’s NOW.”

I am not even close to being sufficiently reassured.

We are all quiet for a few moments.

This is too weird, even after everything I already know.

Hearing my internal distress, again, Ringo intercedes by reminding me: “Isn’t there a great tradition of Jewish scholar-fighters?”

I nod. I breathe that in. This is HaShem’s will for me. I nod to acquiesce, with quite a bit of trepidation. Even Noah is afraid, but he builds the Ark.

I finally find my voice. “How does InKC training work?” I realize I am sidestepping my misgivings, but I can’t talk about them all, yet.

“We now show you,” Led says, somewhat gently, for him.

I look to Aunt Clara. She is already getting into meditation posture on her chair.

I mimic her, but on the cushion I use on the rug. Without further prompting, I begin the deep breathing and calming exercises that precede all ESP training sessions.

Within a few minutes, I feel the familiar heat in each of my energy centers, especially in my heart chakra [energy center, Sanskrit]. I continue breathing, eyes half-closed, turning my mind to focus on my breath. In, out, in, out.

I feel the tingle that signals a lesson is beginning. I always feel it first in my hands. Aunt Clara tells me another time she feels it first on the back of her neck.

I hear Mick’s voice, in my mind, directing us: “Allow your attention to flow through all of your energy channels evenly and without constraint. Keep the breathing steady. Release the bonds of the outer shell and join in oneness.”

Time and space expand as the multiverse timelines converge, separate, reconverge, merging into one. I no longer feel my limbs, my skin, my weight. My sense of the room I’m in fades as well. So far, all very familiar and somewhat, well, blissful. I should do this more.

Mick continues, still ‘pathing: “Now, increase the pressure from within your heart energy center so that you are expanding its presence in your chest. Let it fill the entire cavity.”

This is new. How do I do that? Suddenly my chest fills with sparkling, buzzing electricity. Energy is also zinging up and down all of my central and auxiliary channels with more speed and heat. Whoa, there, Sparky! I slow it down a little, but keep it strong by directing my attention to it, pushing the current while harnessing it at the same time.

Mick’s voice resumes in my mind: “Refocus your attention back to the center of your heart energy. Breathe into it. Consider that it is a kind of doorway. Visualize it, seek its opening and enter through that door. You will find yourself in a chamber of your own design, outfitted exactly as you need, each time you enter. Here, you are safe, fully knowledgeable, reconstituted and restored as needed. Find your resting place, your refueling station. All your information Access points are also within this chamber.”

Wow. This is so cool! My chamber is kind of like an Israeli Talmudic library and study room that also has a large couch, a small table with water and food, soft lighting, complete silence. Pictures of Liora and Orna are on the shelves.

I immediately feel happy, safe, at home. I want to come here frequently. I want to stay here.

Again, hearing me, Led responds. “Now that you establish your InKC, make this journey at least once per day exactly as we just have. Familiarity is the key.”

“Does the InKC change each time I visit?” I ask aloud. “You say something about the chamber’s changing each time we come. How does that work?”

Led makes the bubble sound that I recognize as laughter and also speaks aloud: “It’s all in your mind, Moran. Of course it can change, instantly.”

Oh. Right. I return my attention to the chamber and push the energy to make a tablet computer appear on the table. Snap. There it is. Immediately. “Sweet. I can use this!” I say, happily.
******
During the rest of the Level 3 ESP training and all my previous Levels’ practice sessions, I come to my InKC often, more than once a day. I find I heal faster, learn more quickly, feel refreshed sooner and remember lessons more reliably with many visits. I understand better each week the reason for its name.

It takes many months for me to get good enough at ES Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Health/Healing [8-B] since these are fundamental. Meanwhile, using my InKC becomes automatic and essential.

“Outside,” things are getting crazy in Trencher-ville, spawning the Psi-Defiers at the end of the summer, 2013. My training really speeds up after that.

More OSes come every week to be part of our PWs from all over the MWC membership. I get to train with each of them, individually and in groups. They know before arriving that I am going to lead us as soon as I’m ready, so they all pitch in to encourage, test, demo, model: they are amazing.

I’m not at liberty to say much more about the exact training I get, but I’ll share what I can with a story here and there.

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

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

14th 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.

14th Serialized Excerpt, 4/4/14

CHAPTER INTERLUDE TWO

Chief of the Psi-Warriors, OverSeer and covert special Operations agents, Moran Ackerman:

My Stories of the Transition

(continued)

I am re-reading the description of Level 3. Burns? Frostbite? Deep wounds? What??? I ‘path Aunt Clara: “I can’t do this. I’m not cut out for pain. Get someone else. I can quit, can’t I?”

Aunt Clara knows where I am and says she’s coming to see me, ‘pathing, sternly while she is on her way over, “That’s more than one. You are now in arrears for three days of kvetches, Moran. Want to go for four?”

I look up at the end of her remonstration to see her standing in front of me. How does she get here so fast?

“No, Aunt Clara. I’m serious.” I say, aloud, wincing at the sound of my own whining, but I am somehow compelled. “I can’t do this. I’m a baby. Truly. Liora can tell you. Agam and Lavi can tell you. Hell, Orna can tell you: I’m a wimp. Really. I get teary when I get a paper cut.” I wave one finger around, demonstrating the way it makes me feel, wiping pretend tears away with my other hand.

She is unmoved.

Led appears *POP* and hovers over to me. “What seems to be the problem, here, Moran Ackerman?”

Just Led’s appearing and calling me by my full name makes me stand up straighter, suck in my gut and pull it together. “Nothing, Sir. I mean, Led. I mean, I’m fine. Just having a moment with my aunt.”

Led hovers over to Clara. They exchange some information silently.

I don’t catch it, which I’m sure is intentional on their part.

Aunt Clara turns to me, “Moran, we think it’s best if you and don’t see each other so often for a while. Somehow you allow yourself to feel weaker or show your doubts more around me, which is not helpful to you or to your training. Probably a family thing.”

I take that in, feeling as if she’s punched me in the stomach. Not see her? She’s my only family here, most of the time. I am hit with a wave of homesickness and despair. I sit there, feeling it, then look up at her.

“You’re right. I see that, now. I agree.” I have no idea where this type of inner strength and brutal honesty come from, but the correctness of this plan permeates me completely.

“I hate it, so it must be right.” I grudgingly agree.

I give Aunt Clara a rueful smile: this formula is well known to meditators, personal growth mavens and therapists. She and I face this paradox often. Our strongest resistance and fears are sparked when we face exactly what our next steps have to be. Certain kinds of “no” actually mean “absolutely yes” when we’re talking to ourselves.

Aunt Clara steps toward me and envelops me in a very loving, long hug. “I’m so proud of you, Moran. You are perfectly suited for this. We are sure.”

I appreciate her hug and even more, her confidence in me. “Thanks, CeeCee. I won’t let you down.”

Led says, “No, you won’t, Moran Ackerman. You lead Earthers quite well.”

“Okay, then. Let’s get this party started,” I say.

Smiling, excited and filled with stomach-sucking dread, I turn away from them to walk into the Level 3 classroom.

******
I start to feel very rushed during these next trainings because things are heating up “outside.” More Fraggers are becoming Trenchers,which means the kvetchers [outspoken complainers, Yiddish] are becoming a politically organized resistance movement, no longer content with venting.

Trenchers are organizing to protest Earth’s membership in the MWC, to “throw off the yoke of alien invasion by any means necessary,” according to their websites. I feel quite worried and accelerate my practice sessions. I don’t timult, yet, but I can sense the impending conflicts, nonetheless.

Led tells me that this is all “typical.”

But I am increasingly worried because Mick shows me, via Access, that many orbs have psi Wars during their Ts. I ask them how the Trenchers learn anything like my lessons in psi from ESP training when none of them is included?

One day, Led explains.

Aunt Clara and I are called in via vid call to speak together with The Band in April, 2013. I remember it vividly because this is the first time I hear that I am supposed to not only become one of but to lead the Psi-Warriors. The most I lead up to that point is my class of twenty 7th-graders!

*******
“I am in no way suited for such a difficult role and unimaginable amount of responsibility! Please, find someone better! I’m merely a beginner. Surely you have someone with psi talent and training you can use from off-p?” I am kind of shouting, but who wouldn’t?

“Can’t I assume leadership later, like, in about five years or something? You have all these experienced OSes here. Can’t we use one or more of them? I feel intense internal opposition about becoming something I’m not. Worse, I would be having all these people, all these beings—the entire damned planet—depending on me. This can’t be right.” I’m beginning to feel lightheaded from hyperventilating. I take several deep, slow, calming breaths.

Led intones: “The leader of each Member’s Psi-Warriors, when one is needed, must be of the dominant species from that orb. Furthermore, s/he must be a close relative of the CC. We try many other variations and none is as effective. Name recognition, early acceptance of unusual traits and Excellent Skills, close contact and guidance from the MWC: these are all important to the success of the leader of the Transition OverSeers’ defense squadron.”

Why isn’t this Zephyr’s role? Why isn’t he being trained to lead the PWs and OSes?

Before I can voice these questions, Led interrupts.

“In addition,” Led inserts, “anyone who actually wants this job, who feels comfortable assuming this kind of leadership role, is prohibited from attaining it.”

Realization dawns slowly, but I get it, now. “Oh. It’s just like what’s happening with all the new global government leaders: everyone who volunteers, who runs for election or wants to be in charge, is refused. Anyone competent and good-hearted who could be leaders are the ones who are invited and trained.”

Led bounces in his YES mode.

Aunt Clara chimes in to reassure me: “You are supervised in Access contact and telepathically engaged at all times, same as I am. You will never be ‘alone,’ as you conceive of it, ever again. You don’t even have to send a ‘Bat signal’ to get help!”

I take a moment to let that sink in. Never alone again?

Now, I’m used to it. But, then, it’s a shocking concept.

I look at Aunt Clara, who is looking at me with sympathy and understanding. Oh. I get it. She’s already like that, with the MWC. Always in contact, whether she likes it or not. Her life must seem to be out of her control.

Mine is about to become eerily similar. Tell me again why this isn’t this a job for Zef?

Hearing me, Ringo cuts in. “Your cousin, Zephyr, has other roles to play in the Transition and is already engaged in them. Furthermore, experience shows us that the Psi-Warrior leader cannot be a member of the CC’s immediate family because that causes the CC to be too distracted to perform the CC duties during psi conflicts.”

Battles. Fights. People and ETs with some weird-ass weapons I can’t imagine, yet, killing and hurting each other. A war. I can’t lead a war! I’m a rabbi, a middle-school teacher!

I start to object, but again, I am not fast enough.

Led seems as if he’s trying to reassuring, here: “You receive specialized, accelerated ESP training already. We add, today, your specialized InKC [pronounced InKayCee], your Inner Knowing Center, Access training. InKC gives you some measure of privacy.”

Mick adds,”More importantly, InKC Access also enhances your ability to connect directly with everything you learn, know, and are capable of at every moment as circumstances demand without having to make an Access request.”

Aunt Clara chimes in: “InKC is great. I believe it’s saved what sanity I can claim to have. For most ESP trainees, it’s Level 8-A, but for us, it’s NOW.”

I am not even close to being sufficiently reassured.

We are all quiet for a few moments.

This is too weird, even after everything I already know.

Hearing my internal distress, again, Ringo intercedes by reminding me: “Isn’t there a great tradition of Jewish scholar-fighters?”

I nod. I breathe that in. This is HaShem’s will for me. I nod to acquiesce, with quite a bit of trepidation. Even Noah is afraid, but he builds the Ark.

I finally find my voice. “How does InKC training work?” I realize I am sidestepping my misgivings, but I can’t talk about them all, yet.

“We now show you,” Led says, somewhat gently, for him.

I look to Aunt Clara. She is already getting into meditation posture on her chair.

I mimic her, but on the cushion I use on the rug. Without further prompting, I begin the deep breathing and calming exercises that precede all ESP training sessions.

Within a few minutes, I feel the familiar heat in each of my energy centers, especially in my heart chakra [energy center, Sanskrit]. I continue breathing, eyes half-closed, turning my mind to focus on my breath. In, out, in, out.

I feel the tingle that signals a lesson is beginning. I always feel it first in my hands. Aunt Clara tells me another time she feels it first on the back of her neck.

I hear Mick’s voice, in my mind, directing us: “Allow your attention to flow through all of your energy channels evenly and without constraint. Keep the breathing steady. Release the bonds of the outer shell and join in oneness.”

Time and space expand as the multiverse timelines converge, separate, reconverge, merging into one. I no longer feel my limbs, my skin, my weight. My sense of the room I’m in fades as well. So far, all very familiar and somewhat, well, blissful. I should do this more.

Mick continues, still ‘pathing: “Now, increase the pressure from within your heart energy center so that you are expanding its presence in your chest. Let it fill the entire cavity.”

This is new. How do I do that? Suddenly my chest fills with sparkling, buzzing electricity. Energy is also zinging up and down all of my central and auxiliary channels with more speed and heat. Whoa, there, Sparky! I slow it down a little, but keep it strong by directing my attention to it, pushing the current while harnessing it at the same time.

Mick’s voice resumes in my mind: “Refocus your attention back to the center of your heart energy. Breathe into it. Consider that it is a kind of doorway. Visualize it, seek its opening and enter through that door. You will find yourself in a chamber of your own design, outfitted exactly as you need, each time you enter. Here, you are safe, fully knowledgeable, reconstituted and restored as needed. Find your resting place, your refueling station. All your information Access points are also within this chamber.”

Wow. This is so cool! My chamber is kind of like an Israeli Talmudic library and study room that also has a large couch, a small table with water and food, soft lighting, complete silence. Pictures of Liora and Orna are on the shelves.

I immediately feel happy, safe, at home. I want to come here frequently. I want to stay here.

Again, hearing me, Led responds. “Now that you establish your InKC, make this journey at least once per day exactly as we just have. Familiarity is the key.”

“Does the InKC change each time I visit?” I ask aloud. “You say something about the chamber’s changing each time we come. How does that work?”

Led makes the bubble sound that I recognize as laughter and also speaks aloud: “It’s all in your mind, Moran. Of course it can change, instantly.”

Oh. Right. I return my attention to the chamber and push the energy to make a tablet computer appear on the table. Snap. There it is. Immediately. “Sweet. I can use this!” I say, happily.
******
During the rest of the Level 3 ESP training and all my previous Levels’ practice sessions, I come to my InKC often, more than once a day. I find I heal faster, learn more quickly, feel refreshed sooner and remember lessons more reliably with many visits. I understand better each week the reason for its name.

It takes many months for me to get good enough at ES Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Health/Healing [8-B] since these are fundamental. Meanwhile, using my InKC becomes automatic and essential.

“Outside,” things are getting crazy in Trencher-ville, spawning the Psi-Defiers at the end of the summer, 2013. My training really speeds up after that.

More OSes come every week to be part of our PWs from all over the MWC membership. I get to train with each of them, individually and in groups. They know before arriving that I am going to lead us as soon as I’m ready, so they all pitch in to encourage, test, demo, model: they are amazing.

I’m not at liberty to say much more about the exact training I get, but I’ll share what I can with a story here and there.

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

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

Another 4-Star Review for #ThisChangesEverything, Vol. I, #TheSpannersSeries

4-Star Review of
This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

“As I started reading this book I was extremely confused. The initial writing style is uniquely jumbled and somewhat difficult to follow. However, I believe that this is somewhat intentional based on the first concept initiated within the story—everything happens all at once. Time is not linear, but expansive. Once I understood that this was one of the major messages being shared within the book (note, I do not believe that sharing this will be giving a spoiler as it’s pretty clear within the first 25 pages) the strange manner in which the story, itself, as written, makes perfect sense.

“Although I do not predict this story will become a mainstream success, it will definitely appear to a certain subset who have an interest in discussing the possibilities of linear time and alien interaction with what Sally Ember has labeled as ‘Earthers.’

“The concepts that the author discusses certainly align with some of my own beliefs and, perhaps, this is what kept me turning the page to see the direction in which the story would lead. By page 36, I was glad that I did. It was around this time that I started to enjoy the spin the author put on past events, giving them flavor that played well into her vision of the purposes of past alien encounters.

“I will say that what I enjoyed the most about the book was the main character’s interaction with both ‘The Band’ and her fellow humans. The interactions gave ground to the underlying plot, taking it from something akin to a research paper and back to the world of storytelling. I especially liked the fact that not all of her family is receptive to the sudden announcement of the other world visitors and her realization that, perhaps, she’d best prepare some of these people for the publication of her visits to the world at large.

“Because I did have some problems following the timeline off and on throughout the book, I’m unable to give it a solid five-star rating. However, I will say that very rarely do I finish a 248-page novel in the course of two days and that, even more importantly, I’m curious to see where the author takes this series in the next installment. This speaks volumes as to Ms. Ember’s writing skills and ability to keep her readers interested in her content.”

posted by: riyanj | Jan 23, 2014 | LIBRARY THING

http://www.librarything.com/work/14662907/book/106564730

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks
Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

Available wherever ebooks are sold. Buy links, more reviews, interviews and excerpts from Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, starting March 16, on http://www.sallyember.com
Volume II is in pre-orders via Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo and nook for 50% off @$1.99, 4/18/14 – 6/8/14 and releases 6/9/14 @$3.99 on those sites plus Amazon and everywhere.

13th 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.

13th Serialized Excerpt, 4/2/14

CHAPTER INTERLUDE TWO

Chief of the Psi-Warriors, OverSeer and covert special Operations agents, Moran Ackerman:

My Stories of the Transition

MORAN: Where are we? Oh, ESP Levels 1 & 2 and how it all begins.

I banish Orna today; I don’t want her to hear these next parts, yet. My classes with Aunt Clara take a detour after Level 2, to fast-track me into OS training.

They tell me that the psi wars are coming soon and I have to be ready. At that time, I only have the vaguest idea what psi wars could involve, but I do know that, whatever they are, I’m not ready. I still feel like a rabbi, a teacher, not any kind of warrior or chief, that’s for sure.

“There are layers of transformation,” Aunt Clara explains. “We are like artichokes. It takes a while to get to our hearts. There is an entire prickly choke to get through, first.”

“Well,” I respond, “this artichoke needs more garlic-lemon-butter sauce.”

I don’t even know what I mean by that ridiculous answer, but it makes us laugh, which is good. There are too many solemn moments and I need to laugh. Regularly. People who know me know that.

There are things I need to learn right away that a CC doesn’t and vice-versa for an OS because of the drastically different nature of our roles. The way I understand it is: the CCs on every MWC member orb have to learn every part of the ESP training, and often become the main instructor for many parts, but OSes do not learn them all, just the ones we need.

There is no standard sequence since everyone comes in with different talents and strengths, also. After Level 2, we don’t share the same order or gaps within the OS trainings.

Because some parts are specialized and because Earth’s Trenchers are moving faster in protests and their own psi resistance training than on some other members’ planets, Ringo and Mick bring in off-p OSes from Earth-like planets to train with and become OSes with me here, starting in June of 2013.

That is freaky, let me tell you. Well, there’s a lot I can’t tell you, so I’ll go with what I can say.

OSes, obviously, have to learn all the physical protection and deflection components in the ES right away. We also have to learn how to heal ourselves and others which has a foundation about self-control of the bodily kind. That all comes from self-control of the mental kind.

I think that’s where the Trenchers can meet or even exceed us, in physical prowess and in mental self-control. Many of them become Psi-Defiers because they have experience and prior training, unlike me, in the military or civilian police forces.

All of our ESP training is rooted in using our minds, but at first I don’t know that. I think I’m going to be in some kind of boot camp with push-ups and sit-ups, obstacle courses and ropes, crawling around on my belly carrying an Uzi and stuff like that. I picture the Israeli Army’s training camps and set myself to endure that kind of physical challenge. Not so.

First of all, the only weapons OSes have are mentally engaged. We actually do not carry anything with us except plasticuff restraints that are Skills-tamper-proof (from off-p, at first, of course) and a kind of taser-like tool. Both of these serve to dampen or eliminate the opponent’s use of psi skills. The nano-technology to create and manufacture this type of equipment is not available on Earth until way into 2014, but we need it by the end of the summer of 2013 and are glad to have it.

The model of OSes we use means we don’t even have standard uniforms. OSes each get a colored wrist band that doubles as our iD and fish until we get our implants. Then, we keep wearing the bands for the public to be able to identify us, but that’s about it. From a distance, or when we wear long sleeves or OPTS [for when we’re underwater, at high altitudes or off-p], no one knows we’re OSes unless they have strong psi themselves.

At first, I just go along. But when the Fraggers start organizing and the Trenchers emerge as their military branch, complete with those that has psi skills who become the Defiers, I wish we could be more prominent as OSes.

I tell The Band that Earthers need the OSes to be protectors, to be a class apart, to be easily recognizable and spotted from a distance. But, Led tells me that all the MWC member orbs adjust during their Transitions to the unparalleled natures, functions and appearances of the various OSes. I have to believe them. They do have tens of thousands of years of experience. I sheket [be quiet, Hebrew].

Learning to sheket is, apparently, key to this entire training, which is based in meditation and other types of mind-taming and -control, similar to Tibetan Buddhist practices, Aunt Clara finds out.

She crows about the ESP-Buddhism connection at my expense, many times. I tell her she has too much pride. She sticks out her tongue at me. She does.

But, exactly when her gloating is at its worst, Led comes out with this: “Moran, you are eligible and suitable to this intensive training because of your capacity to concentrate due to your rabbinic training, Talmudic studies and daily davening [chanted liturgies and prayers, Hebrew]. These are quite similar to many of Clara’s Tibetan Buddhist practices. Then, your natural affinity to psi, as an Ackerman, clinches your readiness.”

Aunt Clara is gape-mouthed at this revelation! Snap!

In fact, the next crop of ESP training recruits come from many mystical sectors of Earth’s humans. The list of early OS trainees is like a who’s who in mystical Earthers. We have Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns; advanced students in Kabbalah and Talmudic Jewish studies; Hmong Ntxiv Neej (Tee-Neng); mystical Sufis; South and Central American/Mexican Curanderos; Cuban Santeras; Zulu Sangomas; Pacific Islander Kahunas; Sikkim Jhakris; Alaskan and Canadian Angakot; and, other indigenous Shamans from around the globe. These come from Australia (Kadjis), Native American tribes (mostly Lakota Sioux, Hopi and Navajo), Siberian Samans—the originators for the term “Shamans”—and many others I know nothing about before my ESP training.

The energy levels and conversations in the dining hall, walkways and between classes would blow your mind, literally. I am both exhilarated and terrified.

I’m supposed to end up leading this crew?!? How? Why me? I teach middle schoolers, I keep telling The Band. They ignore my kvetching [complaining, Yiddish]. Just as well.

Aunt Clara and I make a pact: we each get one complaint or moment of self-doubt a day. That’s it. We are strict about it, too. We hold each other accountable. By the end of our lessons in Level 2, we can find out, easily, if either of us cheats. So, we don’t.

This limit on internal griping helps keep me from completely freaking out. I treasure my one kvetch some days, believe me, but knowing I only get one means I don’t spend most of the day indulging my fears or doubts.

Sometimes I save my one kvetch for my daily call to Liora, which also helps me enormously. Li is the best. She truly is. More about her later.

According to the structures and levels of ESP training, all human Earthers, even those with advanced powers and skills in their own traditions, are unevenly educated and lack key components, but none of us lacks the same ones. So, our instructors take us into our own chavrutas, one-on-one, even before we enter Level 1 and then for any Level or section we each need tutoring for along the way. We Access to fill in our gaps.

Once the ESP training facilities can accommodate and physically include cetaceans, cephalopods, pinnipeds, elephants and large primates instead of working with them remotely (as Aunt Clara and I do for our first few months, prior to the establishment of The Campus), we discover that most of the individuals in these capable species actually have fewer psi gaps than humans! Radical.

When we get far enough into mind control lessons we move into the body stuff, which I think is going to be harder for me than some people. I’m not much of a sports guy, not like my dad or Agam. Lavi and I are both more mental and musical kinds of people.

I’m kind of nervous about entering Level 3 lessons. That’s an understatement of massive proportions. I’m ready to puke the morning of my first class.

ESP Training Level 3, BODILY CONTROL, includes: Withstanding Responses to Pain, Withstanding Extremes of Temperature, Controlling Changes in Bodily Functions, and Alternate Sleeping/Resting states. Concurrently with this, I get right into ESP Training Level 8-B, HEALTH & HEALING, because I need to do the Self-Monitoring & Self-Healing when my attempts to “Withstand” and exert control involve significant numbers of burns, frostbite, deep wounds and exhaustion, at first. This Level also includes Medical Diagnoses as well as Close & Remote Healing for others, but I learn those a bit later. Here is what happens, the first day.

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

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

13th 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.

13th Serialized Excerpt, 4/2/14

CHAPTER INTERLUDE TWO

Chief of the Psi-Warriors, OverSeer and covert special Operations agents, Moran Ackerman:

My Stories of the Transition

MORAN: Where are we? Oh, ESP Levels 1 & 2 and how it all begins.

I banish Orna today; I don’t want her to hear these next parts, yet. My classes with Aunt Clara take a detour after Level 2, to fast-track me into OS training.

They tell me that the psi wars are coming soon and I have to be ready. At that time, I only have the vaguest idea what psi wars could involve, but I do know that, whatever they are, I’m not ready. I still feel like a rabbi, a teacher, not any kind of warrior or chief, that’s for sure.

“There are layers of transformation,” Aunt Clara explains. “We are like artichokes. It takes a while to get to our hearts. There is an entire prickly choke to get through, first.”

“Well,” I respond, “this artichoke needs more garlic-lemon-butter sauce.”

I don’t even know what I mean by that ridiculous answer, but it makes us laugh, which is good. There are too many solemn moments and I need to laugh. Regularly. People who know me know that.

There are things I need to learn right away that a CC doesn’t and vice-versa for an OS because of the drastically different nature of our roles. The way I understand it is: the CCs on every MWC member orb have to learn every part of the ESP training, and often become the main instructor for many parts, but OSes do not learn them all, just the ones we need.

There is no standard sequence since everyone comes in with different talents and strengths, also. After Level 2, we don’t share the same order or gaps within the OS trainings.

Because some parts are specialized and because Earth’s Trenchers are moving faster in protests and their own psi resistance training than on some other members’ planets, Ringo and Mick bring in off-p OSes from Earth-like planets to train with and become OSes with me here, starting in June of 2013.

That is freaky, let me tell you. Well, there’s a lot I can’t tell you, so I’ll go with what I can say.

OSes, obviously, have to learn all the physical protection and deflection components in the ES right away. We also have to learn how to heal ourselves and others which has a foundation about self-control of the bodily kind. That all comes from self-control of the mental kind.

I think that’s where the Trenchers can meet or even exceed us, in physical prowess and in mental self-control. Many of them become Psi-Defiers because they have experience and prior training, unlike me, in the military or civilian police forces.

All of our ESP training is rooted in using our minds, but at first I don’t know that. I think I’m going to be in some kind of boot camp with push-ups and sit-ups, obstacle courses and ropes, crawling around on my belly carrying an Uzi and stuff like that. I picture the Israeli Army’s training camps and set myself to endure that kind of physical challenge. Not so.

First of all, the only weapons OSes have are mentally engaged. We actually do not carry anything with us except plasticuff restraints that are Skills-tamper-proof (from off-p, at first, of course) and a kind of taser-like tool. Both of these serve to dampen or eliminate the opponent’s use of psi skills. The nano-technology to create and manufacture this type of equipment is not available on Earth until way into 2014, but we need it by the end of the summer of 2013 and are glad to have it.

The model of OSes we use means we don’t even have standard uniforms. OSes each get a colored wrist band that doubles as our iD and fish until we get our implants. Then, we keep wearing the bands for the public to be able to identify us, but that’s about it. From a distance, or when we wear long sleeves or OPTS [for when we’re underwater, at high altitudes or off-p], no one knows we’re OSes unless they have strong psi themselves.

At first, I just go along. But when the Fraggers start organizing and the Trenchers emerge as their military branch, complete with those that has psi skills who become the Defiers, I wish we could be more prominent as OSes.

I tell The Band that Earthers need the OSes to be protectors, to be a class apart, to be easily recognizable and spotted from a distance. But, Led tells me that all the MWC member orbs adjust during their Transitions to the unparalleled natures, functions and appearances of the various OSes. I have to believe them. They do have tens of thousands of years of experience. I sheket [be quiet, Hebrew].

Learning to sheket is, apparently, key to this entire training, which is based in meditation and other types of mind-taming and -control, similar to Tibetan Buddhist practices, Aunt Clara finds out.

She crows about the ESP-Buddhism connection at my expense, many times. I tell her she has too much pride. She sticks out her tongue at me. She does.

But, exactly when her gloating is at its worst, Led comes out with this: “Moran, you are eligible and suitable to this intensive training because of your capacity to concentrate due to your rabbinic training, Talmudic studies and daily davening [chanted liturgies and prayers, Hebrew]. These are quite similar to many of Clara’s Tibetan Buddhist practices. Then, your natural affinity to psi, as an Ackerman, clinches your readiness.”

Aunt Clara is gape-mouthed at this revelation! Snap!

In fact, the next crop of ESP training recruits come from many mystical sectors of Earth’s humans. The list of early OS trainees is like a who’s who in mystical Earthers. We have Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns; advanced students in Kabbalah and Talmudic Jewish studies; Hmong Ntxiv Neej (Tee-Neng); mystical Sufis; South and Central American/Mexican Curanderos; Cuban Santeras; Zulu Sangomas; Pacific Islander Kahunas; Sikkim Jhakris; Alaskan and Canadian Angakot; and, other indigenous Shamans from around the globe. These come from Australia (Kadjis), Native American tribes (mostly Lakota Sioux, Hopi and Navajo), Siberian Samans—the originators for the term “Shamans”—and many others I know nothing about before my ESP training.

The energy levels and conversations in the dining hall, walkways and between classes would blow your mind, literally. I am both exhilarated and terrified.

I’m supposed to end up leading this crew?!? How? Why me? I teach middle schoolers, I keep telling The Band. They ignore my kvetching [complaining, Yiddish]. Just as well.

Aunt Clara and I make a pact: we each get one complaint or moment of self-doubt a day. That’s it. We are strict about it, too. We hold each other accountable. By the end of our lessons in Level 2, we can find out, easily, if either of us cheats. So, we don’t.

This limit on internal griping helps keep me from completely freaking out. I treasure my one kvetch some days, believe me, but knowing I only get one means I don’t spend most of the day indulging my fears or doubts.

Sometimes I save my one kvetch for my daily call to Liora, which also helps me enormously. Li is the best. She truly is. More about her later.

According to the structures and levels of ESP training, all human Earthers, even those with advanced powers and skills in their own traditions, are unevenly educated and lack key components, but none of us lacks the same ones. So, our instructors take us into our own chavrutas, one-on-one, even before we enter Level 1 and then for any Level or section we each need tutoring for along the way. We Access to fill in our gaps.

Once the ESP training facilities can accommodate and physically include cetaceans, cephalopods, pinnipeds, elephants and large primates instead of working with them remotely (as Aunt Clara and I do for our first few months, prior to the establishment of The Campus), we discover that most of the individuals in these capable species actually have fewer psi gaps than humans! Radical.

When we get far enough into mind control lessons we move into the body stuff, which I think is going to be harder for me than some people. I’m not much of a sports guy, not like my dad or Agam. Lavi and I are both more mental and musical kinds of people.

I’m kind of nervous about entering Level 3 lessons. That’s an understatement of massive proportions. I’m ready to puke the morning of my first class.

ESP Training Level 3, BODILY CONTROL, includes: Withstanding Responses to Pain, Withstanding Extremes of Temperature, Controlling Changes in Bodily Functions, and Alternate Sleeping/Resting states. Concurrently with this, I get right into ESP Training Level 8-B, HEALTH & HEALING, because I need to do the Self-Monitoring & Self-Healing when my attempts to “Withstand” and exert control involve significant numbers of burns, frostbite, deep wounds and exhaustion, at first. This Level also includes Medical Diagnoses as well as Close & Remote Healing for others, but I learn those a bit later. Here is what happens, the first day.

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

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

#COVER #REVEAL! #THISCHANGESMYFAMILY&MYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES

#COVER #REVEAL!

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D., is graced by the excellent, creative cover art by Aidana WillowRaven http://WillowRaven.weebly.com for both the cover and the logo!

final cover - digital and web

Excerpts starting 3/16/14 – 4/17/14 and all pre-order and buy links, reviews, interviews and more on http://www.sallyember.com and on Authonomy.com and Wattpad.com

Pre-orders @$1.99 (50% off) 4/18/14 – 6/8/14 via Smashwords, nook, iBooks, and Kobo only

On sale everywhere ebooks are sold: 6/9/14 @$3.99

#TheAuthorsShow #Interview with Sci-Fi Author, #SallyEmber: April 1 ONLY!

Tune in any time today (24 hours) for AuthorsShowLogo299F-250x160 #TheAuthorsShow #Interview with #SallyEmber by Don McCauley.

Use the link, below, to go to the ON AIR list. The list is near the bottom, center, of the site.

Choose “This Changes Everything, Sally Ember” on their list of Author Interviews(don’t go to YouTube since this is just an audio, not video interview).

Click on the title, then click the arrow (PLAY) on the website’s player. It’s about 15 minutes long.

SHARE! Thanks.

http://www.TheAuthorsShow.com

12th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

12th Serialized Excerpt, 3/31/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #1

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

October, 1963

(continued)

I am a little over seven years old. My younger sister, Cassie, is a year-and-a-half. In Bayonne in those days, pediatricians still make “house calls,” meaning, our mother calls when we are sick or she has no way to get to the doctor’s office (in those days, most families in our suburban neighborhoods either have only one car or their mothers don’t even know how to drive). The doctor then comes before or after office hours to our house to check on or treat one of us.

On this day, right before I leave for school, my mom tells me that the doctor is coming to give Cassie a check-up because she’s been coughing a lot. I think my mom tells me this because our house is right across the street from the school and she knows I can see it from the playground.

“When you see the doctor’s car in our driveway,” she tells me, “you will know the reason he’s here and not come running home, scared that something bad has happened.”

I’m walking through the hallways just before the morning bell rings for us to signal the end of before-school morning recess, telling us to go to our classrooms, when I am hit with a physical pain in my butt, on my hip. It feels as if I have been stabbed by something sharp. I look around, but there’s no one and nothing there but me.

I stagger and almost fall into a small staircase next to the stage in the cafeteria/gymnasium. It is so narrow I can put my arms on each wall as I stumble down the few stairs, limping from the pain in my hip.

My vision of the stairs blurs as I “see” my baby sister on my bed and not in her crib. She is crying. The doctor stands over her, our mother next to her, soothing her. The doctor then puts an empty syringe (a “shot”) into a small container which he puts into his black doctor’s bag.

The doctor just gave my sister a shot. Why does my hip hurt? What is happening?

I lurch into the office at the bottom of the stairs, which belongs to the gym teacher, and blurt out: “My sister got a shot and my hip hurts.”

The gym teacher, startled, looks up to see me almost falling over and reaches out one hand to steady me.”What?” she asks me.”Clara, what are you talking about? What’s wrong with your hip?”

I start to cry.”It hurts. It hurts. Tell him to stop.”

“Who, Clara? Who is hurting you?”

Suddenly, the pain stops, my vision clears, and I see where I am.

I shake my head and look at the teacher.”What?” I ask her.”What happened?”

“You tell me!” she demands.

“I saw my sister getting a shot from the doctor. He’s at our house. It hurt, but now it’s fine. I have to go. The bell rang. My hip doesn’t hurt at all anymore.”

“Are you sure you’re all right?” she looks at me intently.

“I feel fine, now. See ya.”

I bounce out of her office and run up the stairs. I walk extra slowly past the principal’s office, sneak around the corner, then race to my classroom as the second bell rings. I throw myself into my seat.

“Made it,” I announce, to no one in particular, panting.

My second-grade teacher, not a nice woman, remarks,”Clara, if you are late to school you have no one to blame but yourself. You live closer than anyone else.”

“Right!” I say, falsely bright.

I lift my desk’s flip-up top to get my pencil, but really so the teacher can’t see my face. I grimace, rolling my eyes at my best friend, Paula, sitting next to me, and stick out my tongue insolently at my teacher, safe behind the wooden barrier from her mean eyes.

Paula grins at me from behind her now-raised desk, rolling her eyes, too.

Class begins and I almost forget about the entire thing.
*******

ESPE: Do you continue to have physically empathic reactions every time you timult?

CLARA: After that experience, I can only recall a few other times when I feel what others are feeling, physically or emotionally, during a timult. I usually get situational concepts or ongoing thoughts more than sensations or feelings of others.

Plus, I figure out on my own how to shield and re-direct fairly soon after this incident. I have to.

Even though I am not a full-blown empath, when a person in a timulted scene is a family member or close to me emotionally, I can still sometimes get empathic bleed-through, feeling their physical or emotional states briefly. My ESP training helps me keep the altered experiences and bleed-through to a minimum in terms of both duration and intensity, now. When I am younger, though, timulting is often problematic.

I also sometimes get empathic contact when I’m intentionally pre-cogging and accidentally, during dreams. In fact, empathic contact and the concomitant sensations are often my first clues that I’m having a pre-cognitive experience. More about pre-cogging in later Octobers in this Volume, all right?

ESPE: Sure. What else do want people to know about your elementary school years?

CLARA: About my being a feminist before I even know that word.
******

The part of my family that lives in Bayonne and near there are on my father’s side: his parents, his mother’s parents, his sister and her new husband, his mother’s brother and family, his mother’s single sister. We see them quite often.
I become an advocate for girls’ equal rights in my family and because of this school and its misogynistic policies. The need for this type of advocacy is all part of the era of my upbringing, unfortunately.

To anchor you younger ones: women my mothers’ age are the first generation of women who grow up with the right to vote in the USA, but women still can’t get credit, loans, property or inherit in their own names in many states until the 1970s. Even these “privileges” are accorded only to white women, remember: African-Americans of both sexes don’t get the “right” to vote until the late 1960s, when I’m in junior high school).

Men “own” their wives and can beat them up, rape them, force them to do whatever they want and the laws upholds these “rights.” Parents also “own” their children; child abuse, incest, neglect and abandonment are commonplace in some communities and there are no laws protecting the children.

There is an incident at our Reform Jewish Temple when I am four years old that is imprinted forever. In the great scheme of injustices and harmful moments, this one is not the greatest or worst by any means, even for me. But, it is pivotal in my feminist awakening.

I do not remember what holiday is being celebrated, just the incident.

We are all there, this aforementioned family of my father’s, along with my parents and my older brother. At one point in the service, my great-grandfather (my grandmother‘s father), my grandfather, my father and my brother are called up onto the pulpit (the small stage in the front of the congregation) to have their photos taken and be honored as “The Four Generations.”

I am furious. In my understanding, the “four generations” members being honored should have been this group: my great-grandparents, my grandmother as their daughter with her sister, my great aunt; my father and his sister; my brother and me. These are the four generations present today in our family, all of us.

Makes more sense, right? I suggest this, but my mother shushes me. She says, as if this explains it all,”Only men are allowed up there.”

I get angrier, especially when my brother senses my jealousy and smirks at me from the pulpit. I stick my tongue out at him. Well? I’m four!

Thus catalyzed, I am sensitized to sexism without having a word for it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I am enraged a few years later when I encounter our elementary school’s sexist policies. For instance, there are no girls allowed on the so-called “Safety Patrol,” which infuriates me. I complain about it starting in 4th grade even though the Patrol boys aren’t selected until 5th- and 6th-grade years. I get nowhere.

I am pleased to report that, by the time Cassie comes along, five years later, girls in her class are allowed to be in this elite group. By then, selection is solely based on academic performance. I know that’s also a specious winnowing tool, but it purports to be “gender-neutral.”

Why do I militate to be “on Patrol”? Because it’s VERY COOL! On the days they’re officially “on duty,” the Patrol Boys get to wear a sash and a badge, which look very grown-up. While “on Patrol,” they get to come to class late every morning and leave early every afternoon in order to help the adult crossing guards at the intersections. This “important” work involves herding most of the students to where we’re already going, anyway. They also walk the kindergartners in and out of school for fire drills and situate them for air raid drills.

It’s not the tasks I envy; it’s the status. And, my prime motivation is the general principle of fairness.

(Yes, we have nuclear bomb air raid drills: we are told to hide under our wooden desks or whatever is nearby. The “Cold War” is in full swing while I’m at this school.)

More to be enraged about are the sexism and impracticality which dominate the school clothes rules. We do not have uniforms, but strict policies: girls are not allowed to wear pants or shorts. We have to wear skirts or dresses to school, every day.

Imagine climbing all over the “monkey-bars” (“jungle gym”), doing gymnastics, playing sports and sprinting around in dresses and skirts? We have no gym uniforms until junior high school, either, so we have physical educational games and activities in our regular clothes. Climbing ropes in skirts? Really? Skirts/ dresses really do not function well for active, sports-inclined girls, which many of us are.

As a work-around, passed down from some older girls, my friends and I wear shorts under our skirts every day or long pants in the winter. It’s so ridiculous and also infuriating. We protect our modesty and privacy (no one can see our underpants when we’re climbing or running around) but the double layers are bulky, slowing us down while making us uncomfortable and too hot in the warmer weather. I hate these rules and argue constantly to change them.

Also, my first “civil disobedience” nonviolent resistance leadership actions occur because of this. In fifth grade, I am 10 years old. That spring, as soon as the warm weather comes and we go outside for recess, I get on the playground and take my skirt off, hanging it on a less-used horizontal bar. I wear just my shirt and shorts, same as every day when I get home and all summer.

Many of my friends see me and do the same. We hoot and holler, running around, climbing freely, having a great time, daring the playground supervisors to send us to the Principal’s Office, but they studiously ignore us. When the bell rings, we put our skirts back on and go back to class, triumphant. Small victories.

***********
CLARA: Even odder, we go from this strict, sexist dress code in 1963 to no dress code at all by 1969. More about that later.

ESPE: You become an advocate for girls, you know you can timult, you write stories and songs, you get up to reading over 100 books in one year, and others see you as either a leader or rabble-rouser, all before you’re out of elementary school?

CLARA: Yes. I don’t even see myself as unusual, yet.

ESPE: That’s the weirdest part!
*********************************

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

12th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

12th Serialized Excerpt, 3/31/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #1

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

October, 1963

(continued)

I am a little over seven years old. My younger sister, Cassie, is a year-and-a-half. In Bayonne in those days, pediatricians still make “house calls,” meaning, our mother calls when we are sick or she has no way to get to the doctor’s office (in those days, most families in our suburban neighborhoods either have only one car or their mothers don’t even know how to drive). The doctor then comes before or after office hours to our house to check on or treat one of us.

On this day, right before I leave for school, my mom tells me that the doctor is coming to give Cassie a check-up because she’s been coughing a lot. I think my mom tells me this because our house is right across the street from the school and she knows I can see it from the playground.

“When you see the doctor’s car in our driveway,” she tells me, “you will know the reason he’s here and not come running home, scared that something bad has happened.”

I’m walking through the hallways just before the morning bell rings for us to signal the end of before-school morning recess, telling us to go to our classrooms, when I am hit with a physical pain in my butt, on my hip. It feels as if I have been stabbed by something sharp. I look around, but there’s no one and nothing there but me.

I stagger and almost fall into a small staircase next to the stage in the cafeteria/gymnasium. It is so narrow I can put my arms on each wall as I stumble down the few stairs, limping from the pain in my hip.

My vision of the stairs blurs as I “see” my baby sister on my bed and not in her crib. She is crying. The doctor stands over her, our mother next to her, soothing her. The doctor then puts an empty syringe (a “shot”) into a small container which he puts into his black doctor’s bag.

The doctor just gave my sister a shot. Why does my hip hurt? What is happening?

I lurch into the office at the bottom of the stairs, which belongs to the gym teacher, and blurt out: “My sister got a shot and my hip hurts.”

The gym teacher, startled, looks up to see me almost falling over and reaches out one hand to steady me.”What?” she asks me.”Clara, what are you talking about? What’s wrong with your hip?”

I start to cry.”It hurts. It hurts. Tell him to stop.”

“Who, Clara? Who is hurting you?”

Suddenly, the pain stops, my vision clears, and I see where I am.

I shake my head and look at the teacher.”What?” I ask her.”What happened?”

“You tell me!” she demands.

“I saw my sister getting a shot from the doctor. He’s at our house. It hurt, but now it’s fine. I have to go. The bell rang. My hip doesn’t hurt at all anymore.”

“Are you sure you’re all right?” she looks at me intently.

“I feel fine, now. See ya.”

I bounce out of her office and run up the stairs. I walk extra slowly past the principal’s office, sneak around the corner, then race to my classroom as the second bell rings. I throw myself into my seat.

“Made it,” I announce, to no one in particular, panting.

My second-grade teacher, not a nice woman, remarks,”Clara, if you are late to school you have no one to blame but yourself. You live closer than anyone else.”

“Right!” I say, falsely bright.

I lift my desk’s flip-up top to get my pencil, but really so the teacher can’t see my face. I grimace, rolling my eyes at my best friend, Paula, sitting next to me, and stick out my tongue insolently at my teacher, safe behind the wooden barrier from her mean eyes.

Paula grins at me from behind her now-raised desk, rolling her eyes, too.

Class begins and I almost forget about the entire thing.
*******

ESPE: Do you continue to have physically empathic reactions every time you timult?

CLARA: After that experience, I can only recall a few other times when I feel what others are feeling, physically or emotionally, during a timult. I usually get situational concepts or ongoing thoughts more than sensations or feelings of others.

Plus, I figure out on my own how to shield and re-direct fairly soon after this incident. I have to.

Even though I am not a full-blown empath, when a person in a timulted scene is a family member or close to me emotionally, I can still sometimes get empathic bleed-through, feeling their physical or emotional states briefly. My ESP training helps me keep the altered experiences and bleed-through to a minimum in terms of both duration and intensity, now. When I am younger, though, timulting is often problematic.

I also sometimes get empathic contact when I’m intentionally pre-cogging and accidentally, during dreams. In fact, empathic contact and the concomitant sensations are often my first clues that I’m having a pre-cognitive experience. More about pre-cogging in later Octobers in this Volume, all right?

ESPE: Sure. What else do want people to know about your elementary school years?

CLARA: About my being a feminist before I even know that word.
******

The part of my family that lives in Bayonne and near there are on my father’s side: his parents, his mother’s parents, his sister and her new husband, his mother’s brother and family, his mother’s single sister. We see them quite often.
I become an advocate for girls’ equal rights in my family and because of this school and its misogynistic policies. The need for this type of advocacy is all part of the era of my upbringing, unfortunately.

To anchor you younger ones: women my mothers’ age are the first generation of women who grow up with the right to vote in the USA, but women still can’t get credit, loans, property or inherit in their own names in many states until the 1970s. Even these “privileges” are accorded only to white women, remember: African-Americans of both sexes don’t get the “right” to vote until the late 1960s, when I’m in junior high school).

Men “own” their wives and can beat them up, rape them, force them to do whatever they want and the laws upholds these “rights.” Parents also “own” their children; child abuse, incest, neglect and abandonment are commonplace in some communities and there are no laws protecting the children.

There is an incident at our Reform Jewish Temple when I am four years old that is imprinted forever. In the great scheme of injustices and harmful moments, this one is not the greatest or worst by any means, even for me. But, it is pivotal in my feminist awakening.

I do not remember what holiday is being celebrated, just the incident.

We are all there, this aforementioned family of my father’s, along with my parents and my older brother. At one point in the service, my great-grandfather (my grandmother‘s father), my grandfather, my father and my brother are called up onto the pulpit (the small stage in the front of the congregation) to have their photos taken and be honored as “The Four Generations.”

I am furious. In my understanding, the “four generations” members being honored should have been this group: my great-grandparents, my grandmother as their daughter with her sister, my great aunt; my father and his sister; my brother and me. These are the four generations present today in our family, all of us.

Makes more sense, right? I suggest this, but my mother shushes me. She says, as if this explains it all,”Only men are allowed up there.”

I get angrier, especially when my brother senses my jealousy and smirks at me from the pulpit. I stick my tongue out at him. Well? I’m four!

Thus catalyzed, I am sensitized to sexism without having a word for it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I am enraged a few years later when I encounter our elementary school’s sexist policies. For instance, there are no girls allowed on the so-called “Safety Patrol,” which infuriates me. I complain about it starting in 4th grade even though the Patrol boys aren’t selected until 5th- and 6th-grade years. I get nowhere.

I am pleased to report that, by the time Cassie comes along, five years later, girls in her class are allowed to be in this elite group. By then, selection is solely based on academic performance. I know that’s also a specious winnowing tool, but it purports to be “gender-neutral.”

Why do I militate to be “on Patrol”? Because it’s VERY COOL! On the days they’re officially “on duty,” the Patrol Boys get to wear a sash and a badge, which look very grown-up. While “on Patrol,” they get to come to class late every morning and leave early every afternoon in order to help the adult crossing guards at the intersections. This “important” work involves herding most of the students to where we’re already going, anyway. They also walk the kindergartners in and out of school for fire drills and situate them for air raid drills.

It’s not the tasks I envy; it’s the status. And, my prime motivation is the general principle of fairness.

(Yes, we have nuclear bomb air raid drills: we are told to hide under our wooden desks or whatever is nearby. The “Cold War” is in full swing while I’m at this school.)

More to be enraged about are the sexism and impracticality which dominate the school clothes rules. We do not have uniforms, but strict policies: girls are not allowed to wear pants or shorts. We have to wear skirts or dresses to school, every day.

Imagine climbing all over the “monkey-bars” (“jungle gym”), doing gymnastics, playing sports and sprinting around in dresses and skirts? We have no gym uniforms until junior high school, either, so we have physical educational games and activities in our regular clothes. Climbing ropes in skirts? Really? Skirts/ dresses really do not function well for active, sports-inclined girls, which many of us are.

As a work-around, passed down from some older girls, my friends and I wear shorts under our skirts every day or long pants in the winter. It’s so ridiculous and also infuriating. We protect our modesty and privacy (no one can see our underpants when we’re climbing or running around) but the double layers are bulky, slowing us down while making us uncomfortable and too hot in the warmer weather. I hate these rules and argue constantly to change them.

Also, my first “civil disobedience” nonviolent resistance leadership actions occur because of this. In fifth grade, I am 10 years old. That spring, as soon as the warm weather comes and we go outside for recess, I get on the playground and take my skirt off, hanging it on a less-used horizontal bar. I wear just my shirt and shorts, same as every day when I get home and all summer.

Many of my friends see me and do the same. We hoot and holler, running around, climbing freely, having a great time, daring the playground supervisors to send us to the Principal’s Office, but they studiously ignore us. When the bell rings, we put our skirts back on and go back to class, triumphant. Small victories.

***********
CLARA: Even odder, we go from this strict, sexist dress code in 1963 to no dress code at all by 1969. More about that later.

ESPE: You become an advocate for girls, you know you can timult, you write stories and songs, you get up to reading over 100 books in one year, and others see you as either a leader or rabble-rouser, all before you’re out of elementary school?

CLARA: Yes. I don’t even see myself as unusual, yet.

ESPE: That’s the weirdest part!
*********************************

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

4 stars! #BookReview #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING by Nick LeVar, Free World Authors

4-STAR Review of
This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
from Nick LeVar, Founder, Free World Authors, HIGHLIGHTS here (full review link, below)

“Being a sci-fi fan, I look forward to, and enjoy, fictional worlds that are not real, but are real, and events that have not happened, but could happen, and maybe they have happened, and we just don’t know it, yet. Confused enough? Good, because This Changes Everything is not for the fan of simplistic work. And I mean that as a compliment to the author.”

This Changes Everything challenged my sense of convention.”

“In the first paragraph, Sally immediately piqued my interest by enticing questions. Who is visiting Clara? Are they dangerous? Are they even human? Why don’t they speak when she asks questions? Getting the reader to wonder what they hell is going on is a good way to keep the pages turning. Score.”

“I got the sense that I was in the world as an Earther, feeling what Clara felt, seeing what she saw, and hearing what she heard. The world itself should become another character, and when I can experience the story rather than read it, the author will draw smiles from me.”

“Somewhere in the past, authors have gotten the bright idea to rehash other authors’ stories that have already found success. While borrowing is, in itself, a form of art, I appreciate creativity. This Changes Everything fits the bill. In it, Sally references major events in human history. But that’s not the creative part… I’ll put it this way, you will finish the book wondering what part aliens may have played in the Challenger explosion or the NSA’s invasion of our rights to privacy!”

“If you’re looking for a book that you can skim, then stick to Twilight. If you appreciate a story that reads like the author took her time and was unafraid to challenge what you think you know about story structure, then give This Changes Everything a go. I think you’ll be impressed!”

4 Stars

http://freeworldauthors.com/this-changes-everything/.html

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks
Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

Available wherever ebooks are sold. Buy links, more reviews, interviews and excerpts from Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, starting March 16, on http://www.sallyember.com
Volume II is in pre-orders via Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo and nook for 50% off @$1.99, 4/18/14 – 6/8/14 and releases 6/9/14 @$3.99 on those sites plus Amazon and everywhere.

11th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

11th Serialized Excerpt, 3/28/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #1

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

October, 1963

    Age and Living Circumstances/Location:

Fourth-grader, age 9, in Bayonne Elementary School, Missouri; living in Bayonne, suburb of large, midwestern USA city in family home with her: father, Isaac; mother, Rose; older brother, Thomas, 10; younger sister, Cassie, 3; and, a dog.
Many local friends from school, some who live further away from the family’s Reform Jewish Temple and Camp Cedar (residential summer camp run by the local Jewish Community Center).

    Writing:

stories, articles, songs, poetry (published in school and camp newsletters).

    Favorite Books:

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Robert Heinlein; A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle; The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli; Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White; The Borrowers, Mary Norton; The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare; Danny Dunn series, Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, Betty MacDonald; Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars, Ellen McGregor; The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, Eleanor Cameron.

    Music on the Radio:

“Love Me Do,” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” The Beatles; “It’s My Party,” Lesley Gore; “Be My Baby,” The Ronettes; “He’s So Fine,” The Chiffons; “If I Had a Hammer,” Trini Lopez; “I Only Want to Be With You,” Dusty Springfield; “Surfer Girl” and “Surfin’ USA,” The Beach Boys; “Up on the Roof,” The Drifters; “Wipeout,” The Surfaris; Elvis Presley; Patty Duke; Roy Orbison.

    Popular Songs Available in Sheet Music:

“Anyone Who Had a Heart” and other songs by Burt Bacharach & Hal David (sung by Dionne Warwick); “Charade,” Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini (sung by Andy Williams); instrumental music reconfigured for beginning and intermediate players of solo piano by many popular composers.

    Activities:

► Attending (under duress) Jewish religious education services and classes most Sunday mornings (“Sunday School”) during the school year.
► Reading constantly (see above).
► Taking weekly piano lessons and practicing regularly; winning prizes in regional classical piano competitions, ages 9 – 11.
► Playing outdoors a lot, climbing trees, playing hide-and-go-seek, going to play at the elementary school’s “jungle-gym” and playgrounds for kickball, softball, tennis, soccer, field hockey, sprinting, and indoors for balance beam/gymnastics.
► Also, bike riding; waterskiing, canoeing, Israeli folk dancing, swimming, sailing at Camp Cedar (Jewish residential camp, Lake of the Ozarks) and local outdoor pool in the summer.

ESPE: Clara asks me to include some stories and poems she is “guilty of writing when younger” (her words, not mine). She asks that I put each one in the closest year for the October of each of these sections.

Here is her first (and only) fairy tale, dated May 11, 1964. It’s written in pencil, on yellowing, manila-colored, lined paper, in cursive writing. At the top, next to her name and the date, she writes “9 years old” and across the top she prints “DON’T THROW AWAY!!!” Guess she keeps what she tells herself to keep!

“Princess Why” by Clara Ackerman, 9 years old

May 11, 1964

Not so very long ago, in a far-off land, lived a princess called Princess Why. She got this name because the very first and only word that she had ever uttered was “Why?”

The good Queen Falina had given birth to twin daughters, but the evil witch, Zweezy, had drugged the Queen and her husband, the kind King Loten, and had stolen one of the baby twin princesses away. When the good Queen and the kind King awoke from their enchanted sleep, neither of them remembered that there really had been two babies. They now only saw one baby princess, and one was all they now had.

Zweezy, although a very cruel witch, was nonetheless not very smart. She had not remembered to drug the other baby or the royal dog, Kays, and they had both seen Zweezy carry out the terrible kidnapping with their very own eyes.

When the baby princess, who still lived with her parents, was very small, she managed to say her first and only word, “Why?” From then on, she was destined to be called Princess Why.

The word she had spoken was meant to ask: “Why didn’t Mother stop Sister from being stolen?” “Why has Sister been taken away from us?” “Why isn’t Sister back with us, yet?”

For fifteen long years, the good Queen Falina and the kind King Loten ruled their kingdom wisely and well. Princess Why grew older and more beautiful, but she never said anything but “Why?” She grew more and more weak and sickly as she tried so desperately to tell her royal parents all that had really happened on that awful day. She tried very hard, but all she could say was “Why?”

She became very ill, and would have certainly died, but the royal nurse, Vetina, consulted the sickness god, Wade, and the Princess remained alive. For many months, she lingered on the verge of certain death, only able to stay alive by the chants Vetina did at the Princess’ bedside.

One day, Princess Why managed to sit up by her window and look weakly out into the royal garden. She watched Kays, the royal dog, romping and playing with the rabbits and the squirrels. While chasing a rabbit, Kays happened to follow it through a hole in the royal garden wall. As he ran around outside the palace grounds and into the village streets, who should he meet but the evil witch, Zweezy, the very same Zweezy who had taken Princess Why’s twin so many years before!

Kays being a good and loyal royal dog and remembering how he had seen Zweezy do the terrible deed with his very own eyes, pounced upon Zweezy. He tore her to pieces before she could even open her evil mouth to cast a spell on him!

Just then, a strange thing occurred. There was a great rumbling sound throughout the kingdom. Suddenly, in her room, Princess Why screamed and there before her stood her long-lost twin! Both were fair and kind as well as beautiful, and now both could speak and both were well.

The good Queen Fatina and the kind King Loten rejoiced to have both their daughters safe again, and proclaimed the day to be a royal holiday in honor of their daughters’ good luck and good health. They had a Royal Banquet, and at the new Christening, the two Princesses were given the beautiful names of Princess Faya and Princess Fosa.

In the years ahead, both Princess Faya and Princess Fosa would marry and have children and would always be kind and good to all. They especially made sure that Kays, the good and faithful royal dog, and all his pups, lived their lives as comfortably as royal dogs could.

The End

CLARA: It holds up rather well, all things considered, I think.

ESPE: If you say so.

CLARA: I have a comma problem then, same as now.

ESPE: Yes, you do.

CLARA: I suppose someone could analyze this to tedium. Let’s not.

ESPE: Fine with me.

CLARA: How about if I tell another story, my first memory of timulting?

ESPE: Good idea. In fact, I think the more you put in here which helps to explain the ways that your early life experiences and qualities contribute to your being selected to be Chief Communicator, the more easily we can justify spending the time on this Volume. There are hundreds of hours involved interviewing you, interviewing all your nieces, nephews, your son, me. And, you pay me a lot.

CLARA: All right. Your point is taken. Here we go.
*********************************

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

11th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

11th Serialized Excerpt, 3/28/14

CHAPTER SNAPSHOT #1

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

October, 1963

    Age and Living Circumstances/Location:

Fourth-grader, age 9, in Bayonne Elementary School, Missouri; living in Bayonne, suburb of large, midwestern USA city in family home with her: father, Isaac; mother, Rose; older brother, Thomas, 10; younger sister, Cassie, 3; and, a dog.
Many local friends from school, some who live further away from the family’s Reform Jewish Temple and Camp Cedar (residential summer camp run by the local Jewish Community Center).

    Writing:

stories, articles, songs, poetry (published in school and camp newsletters).

    Favorite Books:

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Robert Heinlein; A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle; The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli; Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White; The Borrowers, Mary Norton; The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare; Danny Dunn series, Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, Betty MacDonald; Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars, Ellen McGregor; The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, Eleanor Cameron.

    Music on the Radio:

“Love Me Do,” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” The Beatles; “It’s My Party,” Lesley Gore; “Be My Baby,” The Ronettes; “He’s So Fine,” The Chiffons; “If I Had a Hammer,” Trini Lopez; “I Only Want to Be With You,” Dusty Springfield; “Surfer Girl” and “Surfin’ USA,” The Beach Boys; “Up on the Roof,” The Drifters; “Wipeout,” The Surfaris; Elvis Presley; Patty Duke; Roy Orbison.

    Popular Songs Available in Sheet Music:

“Anyone Who Had a Heart” and other songs by Burt Bacharach & Hal David (sung by Dionne Warwick); “Charade,” Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini (sung by Andy Williams); instrumental music reconfigured for beginning and intermediate players of solo piano by many popular composers.

    Activities:

► Attending (under duress) Jewish religious education services and classes most Sunday mornings (“Sunday School”) during the school year.
► Reading constantly (see above).
► Taking weekly piano lessons and practicing regularly; winning prizes in regional classical piano competitions, ages 9 – 11.
► Playing outdoors a lot, climbing trees, playing hide-and-go-seek, going to play at the elementary school’s “jungle-gym” and playgrounds for kickball, softball, tennis, soccer, field hockey, sprinting, and indoors for balance beam/gymnastics.
► Also, bike riding; waterskiing, canoeing, Israeli folk dancing, swimming, sailing at Camp Cedar (Jewish residential camp, Lake of the Ozarks) and local outdoor pool in the summer.

ESPE: Clara asks me to include some stories and poems she is “guilty of writing when younger” (her words, not mine). She asks that I put each one in the closest year for the October of each of these sections.

Here is her first (and only) fairy tale, dated May 11, 1964. It’s written in pencil, on yellowing, manila-colored, lined paper, in cursive writing. At the top, next to her name and the date, she writes “9 years old” and across the top she prints “DON’T THROW AWAY!!!” Guess she keeps what she tells herself to keep!

“Princess Why” by Clara Ackerman, 9 years old

May 11, 1964

Not so very long ago, in a far-off land, lived a princess called Princess Why. She got this name because the very first and only word that she had ever uttered was “Why?”

The good Queen Falina had given birth to twin daughters, but the evil witch, Zweezy, had drugged the Queen and her husband, the kind King Loten, and had stolen one of the baby twin princesses away. When the good Queen and the kind King awoke from their enchanted sleep, neither of them remembered that there really had been two babies. They now only saw one baby princess, and one was all they now had.

Zweezy, although a very cruel witch, was nonetheless not very smart. She had not remembered to drug the other baby or the royal dog, Kays, and they had both seen Zweezy carry out the terrible kidnapping with their very own eyes.

When the baby princess, who still lived with her parents, was very small, she managed to say her first and only word, “Why?” From then on, she was destined to be called Princess Why.

The word she had spoken was meant to ask: “Why didn’t Mother stop Sister from being stolen?” “Why has Sister been taken away from us?” “Why isn’t Sister back with us, yet?”

For fifteen long years, the good Queen Falina and the kind King Loten ruled their kingdom wisely and well. Princess Why grew older and more beautiful, but she never said anything but “Why?” She grew more and more weak and sickly as she tried so desperately to tell her royal parents all that had really happened on that awful day. She tried very hard, but all she could say was “Why?”

She became very ill, and would have certainly died, but the royal nurse, Vetina, consulted the sickness god, Wade, and the Princess remained alive. For many months, she lingered on the verge of certain death, only able to stay alive by the chants Vetina did at the Princess’ bedside.

One day, Princess Why managed to sit up by her window and look weakly out into the royal garden. She watched Kays, the royal dog, romping and playing with the rabbits and the squirrels. While chasing a rabbit, Kays happened to follow it through a hole in the royal garden wall. As he ran around outside the palace grounds and into the village streets, who should he meet but the evil witch, Zweezy, the very same Zweezy who had taken Princess Why’s twin so many years before!

Kays being a good and loyal royal dog and remembering how he had seen Zweezy do the terrible deed with his very own eyes, pounced upon Zweezy. He tore her to pieces before she could even open her evil mouth to cast a spell on him!

Just then, a strange thing occurred. There was a great rumbling sound throughout the kingdom. Suddenly, in her room, Princess Why screamed and there before her stood her long-lost twin! Both were fair and kind as well as beautiful, and now both could speak and both were well.

The good Queen Fatina and the kind King Loten rejoiced to have both their daughters safe again, and proclaimed the day to be a royal holiday in honor of their daughters’ good luck and good health. They had a Royal Banquet, and at the new Christening, the two Princesses were given the beautiful names of Princess Faya and Princess Fosa.

In the years ahead, both Princess Faya and Princess Fosa would marry and have children and would always be kind and good to all. They especially made sure that Kays, the good and faithful royal dog, and all his pups, lived their lives as comfortably as royal dogs could.

The End

CLARA: It holds up rather well, all things considered, I think.

ESPE: If you say so.

CLARA: I have a comma problem then, same as now.

ESPE: Yes, you do.

CLARA: I suppose someone could analyze this to tedium. Let’s not.

ESPE: Fine with me.

CLARA: How about if I tell another story, my first memory of timulting?

ESPE: Good idea. In fact, I think the more you put in here which helps to explain the ways that your early life experiences and qualities contribute to your being selected to be Chief Communicator, the more easily we can justify spending the time on this Volume. There are hundreds of hours involved interviewing you, interviewing all your nieces, nephews, your son, me. And, you pay me a lot.

CLARA: All right. Your point is taken. Here we go.
*********************************

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

9th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

9th Serialized Excerpt, 3/26/14

CHAPTER ONE

Zephyr Branon, 38, only child of

Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

(continued)

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 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 omething 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!
*********************************

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

9th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

9th Serialized Excerpt, 3/26/14

CHAPTER ONE

Zephyr Branon, 38, only child of

Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

(continued)

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 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 omething 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!
*********************************

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

8th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

8th Serialized Excerpt, 3/25/14

CHAPTER ONE

Zephyr Branon, 38, only child of

Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

(continued)

For the first Technology Exchange, 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 oxyten 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, AppCee [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.
*********************************

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

8th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

8th Serialized Excerpt, 3/25/14

CHAPTER ONE

Zephyr Branon, 38, only child of

Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

(continued)

For the first Technology Exchange, 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 oxyten 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, AppCee [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.
*********************************

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

6th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

6th Serialized Excerpt, 3/21/14

I’m practicing remote calling in the basement on a cold April morning when I hear a commotion from upstairs. Liora is taking a shower. I can smell the fruity shampoo she uses as the convection system recirculates heated air throughout the house.

I grab baby Orna and go running up the stairs to see what I screwed up.

[Moran turns to Orna, whose body rises in objection to being called a “baby” to remind her: “You are a little over one year old in this story. Sorry, but that IS a baby!” Orna settles back down to listen.]

My remote call is supposed to send a basket into the bathroom to land quietly on the counter. Instead, I see that it crashes into the shower curtain and almost knocks Liora over. Luckily, it is small and empty, but, still….

When I get upstairs with Orna under one arm, Li is still shrieking, yelling at me in Hebrew and English. The air is steamy and fruity. She is covered in shampoo, holding the basket, water running over her and it, cursing at me. Baby Orna bats at the steam clouds and reaches for her imma [Hebrew, mother].

I put baby Orna down on the bathmat as I burst out laughing, partly out of relief that Li is all right and partly because, well, it’s funny!

This is not my finest moment.

Your imma hurls the basket at me, old-style.

I duck.

This makes Imma curse even more, since it misses me.

        [Orna laughs]

I hastily apologize, go to hug Liora, but retreat at her icy stare. I apologize, stop laughing (almost), and back out of the bathroom, scooping up baby Orna as I leave.

I take you with me to back to the basement.

        [Orna nods approvingly.]

I feel even more strongly after that mishap that you are safer right next to me during my TK practice sessions.

On our way downstairs, you lean out of my arms and grab two empty, brass candlesticks from the sideboard, the ones that hold our Shabbat candles on Friday nights.

I have no idea why a 15-month-old wants anything, but I know how to keep the peace. I do not remove them from your hands. I keep walking, you under my arm like a football, one candlestick in each of your little fists.

We go downstairs where I set you and the candlesticks down.

        Orna squeals: “Yes, Abba! I put the candlesticks down on the rug.”

        “Right, Orna.”

You sit in front of them. You pat the floor next to you, showing me to sit beside you. I sit.

        What do you say?

        Together: “Abba. Do.”

I ask Baby Orna,”What do you want me to do?”

        Orna joins me, shouting: “Abba. DO!”

You wave your hands at the candlesticks, showing me you want me to move them away and up.

For the first time, I wonder if you know more than I give you credit for? You seem to want me to use my newly developing TK to fling these sticks somewhere away from us. Really?

“Okay,” I say to Baby Orna,”I’ll move these. Where do you want them to go?”

Baby Orna looks at me, very keenly, and says,”Abba. Up.” This time, you raise your hands up, over your head.

        [Both MORAN and ORNA demonstrate with their arms.]

I think, Wow. She must be watching me practice TK when I don’t know she is. TK “up” is one of our first lessons.

“All right,” I tell you.

I gather myself, do the special breathing I practice that makes this work.

Once I’m revved, I fling the sticks up. They rise about two feet above the rug. They hover nicely, if I say so myself. Upright and everything.

Baby Orna laughs gleefully, pointing, clapping her hands. Then you command: “Abba! Down.”

I gather myself again, renew the breathing. When ready, I fling the sticks back down to the rug, where they land with a thump and, to my surprise and delight, do not fall over.

I have an idea. Do you know what my idea is?

        Orna stands up and hops from foot to foot, excited to hear this next part. I look at her, teasing, delaying the next part of the story, daring her to urge me on.

        She stares.

        I stare

        We stare.

        She points at me, then up.

        I give my exaggerated shrug, acknowledging her command, pointing to my lap.

        As she sits back down on my lap, I continue the story.

“Orna! Up.” I say.

I look at my baby girl and smile. You are so cute.

I wait. I’m starting to daydream a bit, since nothing is happening.

I lean forward to take the candlesticks when suddenly, all the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand up straight.

I stare at you.

        Orna jumps around in her excitement at hearing this part of the story.

        She grins at me. We ham up the next parts, as we usually do for an audience.

What is baby Orna doing?

She is staring hard at the sticks.

One candlestick, then both candlesticks wiggle.

        Orna wiggles.

The candlesticks shake.

        Orna shakes.

The candlesticks s-l-o-w-l-y lift up…

        Orna slowly levitates her entire body to about six inches from the ground.

        I give her a mock-stern look, point down.

        She shrugs at my command, her feet dangling above my pointing finger.

        She playfully attempts to kick at it, but I move my finger out of her reach.

        Orna slowly descends until her feet are on the floor. Pointing with her chin at me, she urges me on with the story.

        I point to my lap. She climbs back on. I continue.

Abruptly, both candlesticks FLY up to the ceiling, knock into it hard, then fall back down, almost hitting Baby Orna on the head.

I’m quick: I grab them before they land.

        I turn to Orna and remind her: “You fling those things as if you are always doing that! Not much in the way of control, but, WOW! You are fast!”

        Orna applauds her baby self.

I say,”Orna! When do you learn to do that?”

And, I wonder, what’s with my body hair getting all excited?

You laugh and shout: “Kadima, HEY!”

        You love cheering yourself with a “Kadima, Hey!” just as Liora and I do whenever you do something great.

I join you,”Kadima, HEY, Orna! Way to go!”

        Orna claps and says, to me “Kadima, Hey!”

All our shouting brings Liora down, so I explain what’s going on. Li is skeptical.

I say,”Let’s show Imma!” I look at baby Orna and say,”Orna! Up!”

I feel my hairs rise.

I look at Liora, who is staring at you while rubbing her own arms. Her hairs must be getting excited, too.

        I look at Orna, who rubs her own arms now and nods.

Baby Orna gets both candlesticks to wiggle and rise more quickly this time, doing her excellent fling again.

Liora stands there, gaping at the candlesticks while she rubs her arms absentmindedly.

Then, she looks at us both, shaking her head as she towels her long, wet hair.

Once again, I catch the sticks before they hit you or the ground.

I look up, ready to kvell [Yiddish, gush with pride], but when I look at Imma, what do I see?

Imma is not smiling.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously once, knowing the rhythm of this next part.

Imma is not liking this.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously twice.

Imma is getting all broygis [Yiddish, pissed off]! [Moran waves his hands in the air hear his face to indicate craziness and anger, both, emanating from his head.]

        Orna shakes her head vigorously three times, waving her hands around like mine to imitate someone going bonkers. We do it together, laughing delightedly.

Baby Orna wants her imma to be happy. So do I.

Kadima, HEY!” Baby Orna and I both say, although mine is a little apologetic to Liora, begging her to go along.

You laugh and clap, again.

Imma‘s heart melts, of course. She can’t resist us!

        Orna nods.

But, Imma is not all together happy, is she?

        Orna shakes her head.

Liora, gesturing to the candlesticks in my hands, asks me: “Now, what? Don’t you start kvelling, yet. How do we keep her from flinging EVERYTHING?”

“We don’t,” I answer.”We teach her control.”

I say to Baby Orna: “Come on, you little k’nocker [show-off, Yiddish]. Let’s go talk to our Aunt Clara about planning your chavrutelah [one-on-one course of study, diminutive form, Hebrew].”

I hop up, grab Baby Orna and ‘path to Liora an “I will handle this” message.
Liora acknowledges my attempt with a shrug and follows after us up the stairs.

My amazing Kadima [little girl, Yiddish] and I start a vid call Aunt Clara to get Janis—Diana to visit and help us. We know we need it!

        Orna approves.”Good story, Kadima, Hey!”

        We both laugh and clap.

        “Sing it with me, Abba!”

        We sing the Kadima song, shouting “Hey!” at each point and clapping our hands. Here it is, in case you don’t know it:

Kadima, Kadima, Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadimafor Orna!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadima for Orna,
Hey!

        “Sure! You always like that one, Shterndl [little star,Yiddish]. Now, gey avec [go away,Yiddish]. Abba has more work to do, here.”

        Orna, smiles, twirls around, takes a bow.

        “Gey avec!” I give the flip-hand gesture to send Orna out of the room.

        She leaves, humming the Kadima song under her breath.

***********
After the candlesticks incident, we all decide and I make a promise not to practice flying or anything else potentially dangerous (if operated by the mind of our toddler), ever again in front of Orna. I intend to keep that promise.

However, as you might predict, when I get to the Telepathy sections, keeping that promise is almost impossible. I can’t “hide” from another ‘path in the same family so easily. Whatever I learn, she seems to learn some or all of before I learn to shield completely.

CeeCee [short for CC, Chief Communicator; what many call Clara who know her well] and I realize shielding needs to be moved to an earlier spot in my Lessons.

And so it is.

More stories later.
***************************************************************

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

6th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

6th Serialized Excerpt, 3/21/14

I’m practicing remote calling in the basement on a cold April morning when I hear a commotion from upstairs. Liora is taking a shower. I can smell the fruity shampoo she uses as the convection system recirculates heated air throughout the house.

I grab baby Orna and go running up the stairs to see what I screwed up.

[Moran turns to Orna, whose body rises in objection to being called a “baby” to remind her: “You are a little over one year old in this story. Sorry, but that IS a baby!” Orna settles back down to listen.]

My remote call is supposed to send a basket into the bathroom to land quietly on the counter. Instead, I see that it crashes into the shower curtain and almost knocks Liora over. Luckily, it is small and empty, but, still….

When I get upstairs with Orna under one arm, Li is still shrieking, yelling at me in Hebrew and English. The air is steamy and fruity. She is covered in shampoo, holding the basket, water running over her and it, cursing at me. Baby Orna bats at the steam clouds and reaches for her imma [Hebrew, mother].

I put baby Orna down on the bathmat as I burst out laughing, partly out of relief that Li is all right and partly because, well, it’s funny!

This is not my finest moment.

Your imma hurls the basket at me, old-style.

I duck.

This makes Imma curse even more, since it misses me.

        [Orna laughs]

I hastily apologize, go to hug Liora, but retreat at her icy stare. I apologize, stop laughing (almost), and back out of the bathroom, scooping up baby Orna as I leave.

I take you with me to back to the basement.

        [Orna nods approvingly.]

I feel even more strongly after that mishap that you are safer right next to me during my TK practice sessions.

On our way downstairs, you lean out of my arms and grab two empty, brass candlesticks from the sideboard, the ones that hold our Shabbat candles on Friday nights.

I have no idea why a 15-month-old wants anything, but I know how to keep the peace. I do not remove them from your hands. I keep walking, you under my arm like a football, one candlestick in each of your little fists.

We go downstairs where I set you and the candlesticks down.

        Orna squeals: “Yes, Abba! I put the candlesticks down on the rug.”

        “Right, Orna.”

You sit in front of them. You pat the floor next to you, showing me to sit beside you. I sit.

        What do you say?

        Together: “Abba. Do.”

I ask Baby Orna,”What do you want me to do?”

        Orna joins me, shouting: “Abba. DO!”

You wave your hands at the candlesticks, showing me you want me to move them away and up.

For the first time, I wonder if you know more than I give you credit for? You seem to want me to use my newly developing TK to fling these sticks somewhere away from us. Really?

“Okay,” I say to Baby Orna,”I’ll move these. Where do you want them to go?”

Baby Orna looks at me, very keenly, and says,”Abba. Up.” This time, you raise your hands up, over your head.

        [Both MORAN and ORNA demonstrate with their arms.]

I think, Wow. She must be watching me practice TK when I don’t know she is. TK “up” is one of our first lessons.

“All right,” I tell you.

I gather myself, do the special breathing I practice that makes this work.

Once I’m revved, I fling the sticks up. They rise about two feet above the rug. They hover nicely, if I say so myself. Upright and everything.

Baby Orna laughs gleefully, pointing, clapping her hands. Then you command: “Abba! Down.”

I gather myself again, renew the breathing. When ready, I fling the sticks back down to the rug, where they land with a thump and, to my surprise and delight, do not fall over.

I have an idea. Do you know what my idea is?

        Orna stands up and hops from foot to foot, excited to hear this next part. I look at her, teasing, delaying the next part of the story, daring her to urge me on.

        She stares.

        I stare

        We stare.

        She points at me, then up.

        I give my exaggerated shrug, acknowledging her command, pointing to my lap.

        As she sits back down on my lap, I continue the story.

“Orna! Up.” I say.

I look at my baby girl and smile. You are so cute.

I wait. I’m starting to daydream a bit, since nothing is happening.

I lean forward to take the candlesticks when suddenly, all the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand up straight.

I stare at you.

        Orna jumps around in her excitement at hearing this part of the story.

        She grins at me. We ham up the next parts, as we usually do for an audience.

What is baby Orna doing?

She is staring hard at the sticks.

One candlestick, then both candlesticks wiggle.

        Orna wiggles.

The candlesticks shake.

        Orna shakes.

The candlesticks s-l-o-w-l-y lift up…

        Orna slowly levitates her entire body to about six inches from the ground.

        I give her a mock-stern look, point down.

        She shrugs at my command, her feet dangling above my pointing finger.

        She playfully attempts to kick at it, but I move my finger out of her reach.

        Orna slowly descends until her feet are on the floor. Pointing with her chin at me, she urges me on with the story.

        I point to my lap. She climbs back on. I continue.

Abruptly, both candlesticks FLY up to the ceiling, knock into it hard, then fall back down, almost hitting Baby Orna on the head.

I’m quick: I grab them before they land.

        I turn to Orna and remind her: “You fling those things as if you are always doing that! Not much in the way of control, but, WOW! You are fast!”

        Orna applauds her baby self.

I say,”Orna! When do you learn to do that?”

And, I wonder, what’s with my body hair getting all excited?

You laugh and shout: “Kadima, HEY!”

        You love cheering yourself with a “Kadima, Hey!” just as Liora and I do whenever you do something great.

I join you,”Kadima, HEY, Orna! Way to go!”

        Orna claps and says, to me “Kadima, Hey!”

All our shouting brings Liora down, so I explain what’s going on. Li is skeptical.

I say,”Let’s show Imma!” I look at baby Orna and say,”Orna! Up!”

I feel my hairs rise.

I look at Liora, who is staring at you while rubbing her own arms. Her hairs must be getting excited, too.

        I look at Orna, who rubs her own arms now and nods.

Baby Orna gets both candlesticks to wiggle and rise more quickly this time, doing her excellent fling again.

Liora stands there, gaping at the candlesticks while she rubs her arms absentmindedly.

Then, she looks at us both, shaking her head as she towels her long, wet hair.

Once again, I catch the sticks before they hit you or the ground.

I look up, ready to kvell [Yiddish, gush with pride], but when I look at Imma, what do I see?

Imma is not smiling.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously once, knowing the rhythm of this next part.

Imma is not liking this.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously twice.

Imma is getting all broygis [Yiddish, pissed off]! [Moran waves his hands in the air hear his face to indicate craziness and anger, both, emanating from his head.]

        Orna shakes her head vigorously three times, waving her hands around like mine to imitate someone going bonkers. We do it together, laughing delightedly.

Baby Orna wants her imma to be happy. So do I.

Kadima, HEY!” Baby Orna and I both say, although mine is a little apologetic to Liora, begging her to go along.

You laugh and clap, again.

Imma‘s heart melts, of course. She can’t resist us!

        Orna nods.

But, Imma is not all together happy, is she?

        Orna shakes her head.

Liora, gesturing to the candlesticks in my hands, asks me: “Now, what? Don’t you start kvelling, yet. How do we keep her from flinging EVERYTHING?”

“We don’t,” I answer.”We teach her control.”

I say to Baby Orna: “Come on, you little k’nocker [show-off, Yiddish]. Let’s go talk to our Aunt Clara about planning your chavrutelah [one-on-one course of study, diminutive form, Hebrew].”

I hop up, grab Baby Orna and ‘path to Liora an “I will handle this” message.
Liora acknowledges my attempt with a shrug and follows after us up the stairs.

My amazing Kadima [little girl, Yiddish] and I start a vid call Aunt Clara to get Janis—Diana to visit and help us. We know we need it!

        Orna approves.”Good story, Kadima, Hey!”

        We both laugh and clap.

        “Sing it with me, Abba!”

        We sing the Kadima song, shouting “Hey!” at each point and clapping our hands. Here it is, in case you don’t know it:

Kadima, Kadima, Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadimafor Orna!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadima for Orna,
Hey!

        “Sure! You always like that one, Shterndl [little star,Yiddish]. Now, gey avec [go away,Yiddish]. Abba has more work to do, here.”

        Orna, smiles, twirls around, takes a bow.

        “Gey avec!” I give the flip-hand gesture to send Orna out of the room.

        She leaves, humming the Kadima song under her breath.

***********
After the candlesticks incident, we all decide and I make a promise not to practice flying or anything else potentially dangerous (if operated by the mind of our toddler), ever again in front of Orna. I intend to keep that promise.

However, as you might predict, when I get to the Telepathy sections, keeping that promise is almost impossible. I can’t “hide” from another ‘path in the same family so easily. Whatever I learn, she seems to learn some or all of before I learn to shield completely.

CeeCee [short for CC, Chief Communicator; what many call Clara who know her well] and I realize shielding needs to be moved to an earlier spot in my Lessons.

And so it is.

More stories later.
***************************************************************

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

5th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

5th Serialized Excerpt, 3/20/14

After the MWC learns how well Aunt Clara and I do and how fast we learn, they begin to invite other Earthers, many species, into the ESP trainings, which is the reason we move so quickly to establish The Campus near where Aunt Clara already lives.

Over that first Transition spring, summer, and fall, the MWC also sends already-trained Psi-Warriors to Earth, in person and as holos, to the new Campus. We meet “members” from a dozen other planets and moons.

In late summer, 2013, ready barely in time, we deploy the first squadron of Psi-Warriors on Earth. I am co-leading that with an experienced OSOp from off-p because I am not yet ready to be Chief.

I get to tell you a little about my ESP training. [See Appendix F for the complete list of Levels and Skills.]

The first lessons for OSes are from ESP Training Level 1: INVITING MOVEMENT: OBJECTS & SELF. These include Telekinesis and Levitation of the body and other objects, including short-distance “flying.” We start off with the proverbial BANG! Moving stuff around, moving US around. Wow!

Because of the urgency and our commitment or talent or whatever, Aunt Clara’s and my trainings are accelerated. We learn when we’re awake, we learn when we’re asleep, we practice constantly, we talk to each other often and we read a lot. It’s the most intense education ever and I love almost every minute. I am ON FIRE.

CeeCee and I simultaneously train on ESP Training Level 2: PERCEIVING TELEPATHICALLY, which includes Clairsentience, Clairvoyance and Clairaudience; Remote Viewing; and, Psychometry. It is so great to be ‘pathing on purpose and learning to shield, to send and to receive intentionally. Hugely useful. Liora likes this part, she says. Our private life, let me say, is also ON FIRE!

Aunt Clara and I also train in Precognition/ Retrocognition and Presentiment/ Retrosentiment. These show us how to look “ahead” and “backwards” as if (and it really is true, you know) all events are happening in the “now.” Level 2 really helps me understand and use my dreams. More on those later.
*****************
Right now, in this very room, as I talk with my friend, Espe, here, my 6-year-old star, Orna, is on my lap, poking at me, saying things like: “Abba. This is boring. Tell stories.”

I must please her, as her father, her Abba: I am wrapped around any of her fingers, any time. I plan to tell this story, anyway.

“Okay, Orna. Stories.” She hugs me.

“Espe? Orna ‘paths for me to tell the one about the candlesticks. Right. Candlesticks. Telekinesis. All right? I’m going to tell it here like a movie, yes, Orna?”

Orna snuggles in happily for the story.
*****
First, some background. I’m in about Lesson Four or something in TeleK, doing all right. I can snap small objects to myself and fling them away from me, usually without dropping them or sending them crashing into my own face or each other [Orna laughs].

Hey! Some respect, here! I can levitate books, chairs, tables, other things. Just nothing big, yet.
I can call something I can’t see, if I already know approximately where it is, and snap it to me or fling it elsewhere, but it doesn’t always go where I fling it. [Orna laughs even louder].

Voilà! The candlestick story.

[Orna applauds]

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

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

5th 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

5th Serialized Excerpt, 3/20/14

After the MWC learns how well Aunt Clara and I do and how fast we learn, they begin to invite other Earthers, many species, into the ESP trainings, which is the reason we move so quickly to establish The Campus near where Aunt Clara already lives.

Over that first Transition spring, summer, and fall, the MWC also sends already-trained Psi-Warriors to Earth, in person and as holos, to the new Campus. We meet “members” from a dozen other planets and moons.

In late summer, 2013, ready barely in time, we deploy the first squadron of Psi-Warriors on Earth. I am co-leading that with an experienced OSOp from off-p because I am not yet ready to be Chief.

I get to tell you a little about my ESP training. [See Appendix F for the complete list of Levels and Skills.]

The first lessons for OSes are from ESP Training Level 1: INVITING MOVEMENT: OBJECTS & SELF. These include Telekinesis and Levitation of the body and other objects, including short-distance “flying.” We start off with the proverbial BANG! Moving stuff around, moving US around. Wow!

Because of the urgency and our commitment or talent or whatever, Aunt Clara’s and my trainings are accelerated. We learn when we’re awake, we learn when we’re asleep, we practice constantly, we talk to each other often and we read a lot. It’s the most intense education ever and I love almost every minute. I am ON FIRE.

CeeCee and I simultaneously train on ESP Training Level 2: PERCEIVING TELEPATHICALLY, which includes Clairsentience, Clairvoyance and Clairaudience; Remote Viewing; and, Psychometry. It is so great to be ‘pathing on purpose and learning to shield, to send and to receive intentionally. Hugely useful. Liora likes this part, she says. Our private life, let me say, is also ON FIRE!

Aunt Clara and I also train in Precognition/ Retrocognition and Presentiment/ Retrosentiment. These show us how to look “ahead” and “backwards” as if (and it really is true, you know) all events are happening in the “now.” Level 2 really helps me understand and use my dreams. More on those later.
*****************
Right now, in this very room, as I talk with my friend, Espe, here, my 6-year-old star, Orna, is on my lap, poking at me, saying things like: “Abba. This is boring. Tell stories.”

I must please her, as her father, her Abba: I am wrapped around any of her fingers, any time. I plan to tell this story, anyway.

“Okay, Orna. Stories.” She hugs me.

“Espe? Orna ‘paths for me to tell the one about the candlesticks. Right. Candlesticks. Telekinesis. All right? I’m going to tell it here like a movie, yes, Orna?”

Orna snuggles in happily for the story.
*****
First, some background. I’m in about Lesson Four or something in TeleK, doing all right. I can snap small objects to myself and fling them away from me, usually without dropping them or sending them crashing into my own face or each other [Orna laughs].

Hey! Some respect, here! I can levitate books, chairs, tables, other things. Just nothing big, yet.
I can call something I can’t see, if I already know approximately where it is, and snap it to me or fling it elsewhere, but it doesn’t always go where I fling it. [Orna laughs even louder].

Voilà! The candlestick story.

[Orna applauds]

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

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

3rd 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

3rd Serialized Excerpt, 3/18/14

Ranks and Levels of OverSeers (OSes)

(BTW: not all are human)

Enforcers (OSEs) have basic ESP training and function somewhat like peacekeepers or police officers when in non-violent times (have different functions during the psi Wars. Everyone in the OSes starts as an OSE.

Investigators (OSIs) have intermediate Levels of ESP training so they function as detectives, problem-solvers, mediators and assistants to leaders. Many OSOps and members of the Global Unity Leaders Council have OSIs assigned to us, as partners and bodyguards. When communities of any species have crimes or issues needing expert, skilled attention, they request an OSI. Some OSIs are eligible to be and do become OSOps.

OverSeers in special/covert Operations (OSOps) have high Levels of ESP training and function in secret in times of extreme turmoil or conflict of other types, on- or off-planet, within or among species.

In peaceful times, OSOps are the main trainers for potential OSEs and OSIs. OSOps with timult talent are eligible for and may be invited to acquire timult Levels of ESP training. This is where I fit in when I’m not being a Psi-Warrior.

Psi-Warriors (PWs) are those OSOps who also have timult talent and who go through those and other additional Levels of ESP training.

The Excellent/Extraordinary Skills Program (ESP) trainings for OverSeers are not exactly the same as for beings who decide to go into the ESP training for other purposes. Some categories for OSOps are left out entirely, and others are included but not all subcategories, or Skills, are offered during the training. The MWC has this all worked out from eons of experience. We trust them.

When someone (human or not) wants to participate in the entire ESP training, each student may only move through the Levels as that student’s talent, abilities, motivation and intentions permit. Some with “breakout” skills must first learn to identify and control these (tame their tigers) before we allow them to start the initial sequence at Level I, even (especially) when they have higher Levels of breakout skills.

The sequence is set regardless of the reasons for an individual’s participation, but as I explain, some pieces are left out for some training groups.

When an OS trainee fails to complete a Level or section for whatever reason, that student’s training pauses and perhaps ends at that point, which dictates where we place that student after graduation.

When someone wants to continue, if specialized training or tutoring could benefit them, we do offer that. But, usually, it’s kind of self-selecting. Like a colander with holes of different sizes, the ESP training has a sieve-like assessment system that only lets eligibles “through” to go further.

However, because of all our specialized requirements and demands on our time, the ESP training for OverSeers is not the same as for those who go through ESP training for other reasons, all in sequence. Some of the ES are not offered to OSes, or offered only with certain subsections or with some subsections offered just for the parts we need without changing the titles of those sections.

We keep private exactly what training occurs in each Level for any individual OS. We publish the entire list of Skills and Levels, but only I and a few instructors may know what any particular overseer trainee goes through and can do. Except for our Chief Communicator, who must go through it all, everyone has changes and omissions in their sequences of ESP training.
***************************************************************

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

3rd 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.

logoAuthorsDen

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

3rd Serialized Excerpt, 3/18/14

Ranks and Levels of OverSeers (OSes)

(BTW: not all are human)

Enforcers (OSEs) have basic ESP training and function somewhat like peacekeepers or police officers when in non-violent times (have different functions during the psi Wars. Everyone in the OSes starts as an OSE.

Investigators (OSIs) have intermediate Levels of ESP training so they function as detectives, problem-solvers, mediators and assistants to leaders. Many OSOps and members of the Global Unity Leaders Council have OSIs assigned to us, as partners and bodyguards. When communities of any species have crimes or issues needing expert, skilled attention, they request an OSI. Some OSIs are eligible to be and do become OSOps.

OverSeers in special/covert Operations (OSOps) have high Levels of ESP training and function in secret in times of extreme turmoil or conflict of other types, on- or off-planet, within or among species.

In peaceful times, OSOps are the main trainers for potential OSEs and OSIs. OSOps with timult talent are eligible for and may be invited to acquire timult Levels of ESP training. This is where I fit in when I’m not being a Psi-Warrior.

Psi-Warriors (PWs) are those OSOps who also have timult talent and who go through those and other additional Levels of ESP training.

The Excellent/Extraordinary Skills Program (ESP) trainings for OverSeers are not exactly the same as for beings who decide to go into the ESP training for other purposes. Some categories for OSOps are left out entirely, and others are included but not all subcategories, or Skills, are offered during the training. The MWC has this all worked out from eons of experience. We trust them.

When someone (human or not) wants to participate in the entire ESP training, each student may only move through the Levels as that student’s talent, abilities, motivation and intentions permit. Some with “breakout” skills must first learn to identify and control these (tame their tigers) before we allow them to start the initial sequence at Level I, even (especially) when they have higher Levels of breakout skills.

The sequence is set regardless of the reasons for an individual’s participation, but as I explain, some pieces are left out for some training groups.

When an OS trainee fails to complete a Level or section for whatever reason, that student’s training pauses and perhaps ends at that point, which dictates where we place that student after graduation.

When someone wants to continue, if specialized training or tutoring could benefit them, we do offer that. But, usually, it’s kind of self-selecting. Like a colander with holes of different sizes, the ESP training has a sieve-like assessment system that only lets eligibles “through” to go further.

However, because of all our specialized requirements and demands on our time, the ESP training for OverSeers is not the same as for those who go through ESP training for other reasons, all in sequence. Some of the ES are not offered to OSes, or offered only with certain subsections or with some subsections offered just for the parts we need without changing the titles of those sections.

We keep private exactly what training occurs in each Level for any individual OS. We publish the entire list of Skills and Levels, but only I and a few instructors may know what any particular overseer trainee goes through and can do. Except for our Chief Communicator, who must go through it all, everyone has changes and omissions in their sequences of ESP training.
***************************************************************

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

my #SFRB post: Lending Actual People’s Bios to #Fictional #Characters: Pros and Cons

Subtitle: Why everyone who has ever been in a writer’s life should be afraid, VERY afraid!

Writers who invent characters claim they work harder than the rest of us whose characters are drawn from “real” life. How accurate is this claim? Let’s examine the pros and cons of lending actual people’s bios to fictional characters. Then, YOU decide which writers work harder!

Originally posted 3/11/14 in Science-Fiction/Romance Brigade: http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/2014/03/lending-actual-peoples-bios-to.html

PROS:
1. Actual people already have an appearance, so we can describe instead of straining our imaginations to create features, saving time and energy for generating original plot points and conflicts.

  1. Instead of starting from scratch, we can get a head start on character development by using the people we already know. Then, take whatever liberties we want with their biographies, attitudes, styles, intentions, relationships, even ages, inventing or exaggerating in whatever ways suit our stories.

  2. Some people will feel honored, flattered, amused or intrigued when we let them know we are basing a character on them. Try to choose those people to “borrow” heavily from and not those who would object!

  3. When we put our constellations of former and current relatives, lovers, friends, bosses, colleagues, fellow students, politicians, celebrities and other famous sorts into the skylines of our stories, we can create street riots by having them act out our psychological fantasies, desires, dreams and yearnings without our actually engaging with these people.

  4. Cheaper than therapy, safer than revenge, more satisfying than almost any other way we legally can acquire to work through whatever issues we have with these actual people: write them into our stories. Especially popular is making someone we despised or who betrayed us into a villain or victim. My favorite is to give the heroine or hero a great romance with someone I secretly covet. One murder mystery author’s usual victims or villains are the same type of man…. I wonder which guy pissed her off?

CONS:
1. Make sure to make the drafted characters mostly unrecognizable to avoid the range of possible consequences, from hurt feelings to lawsuits.

  1. Getting permissions can be difficult to obtain, so choose carefully and disguise well.

  2. Even when we make the fictional characters “better” than the originals, the originals may not be happy with our versions. Be prepared.

  3. Keeping straight in the writer’s mind who is who requires a pseudonyms list. Try to avoid calling your actual people by their characters’ names in public.

  4. Changing key details, relationships, and/or circumstances can feel like “cheating,” but may be necessary for everything to work well. If you give the murderer one child because your murderer’s counterpart has one but you need your murderer to have two for a plot point, give him two and REMEMBER than you did. Maintain a spreadsheet of important dates, alterations to “actual” characters’ events, and other changes or you run the risk of causing yourself and possibly your readers undue confusion.

Those who start with “real” and then expand into fictional characters must be sharply focused and spend extra time to keep it all clear. Therefore, I declare the winner of the harder working among writers to be US!

Be careful and have fun!

Bio:
Sally Ember, Ed.D., is a published nonfiction author and produced playwright whose sci-fi/ romance/speculative/utopian/paranormal/multiverse fiction for YA, New Adult and Adults, The Spanners Series, has two Volumes available by June 9, 2014, and eight more to come. Sally also has had short stories and articles published and has co-written, edited, and proofread multiple media. Sally was raised Jewish and is a practicing Buddhist meditator. She is also an almost-daily swimmer, a mediocre singer/pianist, avid feminist, dreamer, and devoted mother/ sister/ aunt/ daughter/ cousin/ friend. Sally has worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits for over thirty-five years in New England (every state), New Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she now lives). Sally has a BA in Elementary Education, a Master’s (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.).

SallyEmber headshot

This Changes Everything, Vol. I, The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., 58, is having the first of many home visits from holographic representations of five beings from the Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, over a thirty-year, increasingly Utopian period. Earth is being invited to join, formally, and the December, 2012, visit is the first one allowed to be made public. Making the existence of the MWC public means many Earthers have to adjust our beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and, well, everything we think and are. Clara becomes the liaison— the Chief Communicator—between Earth and the MWC. This Changes Everything relates the events partly from her point of view, partly from records of meetings of varying groups of the MWC governing bodies, and partly from her Media Contact, Esperanza Enlaces, employing humor, poignancy, a love story, family issues, MWC’s mistakes and blunders, history, politics, paranormalcy and hope.

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COVER ART BY WILLOWRAVEN: http://willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197
download excerpts free at Smashwords (or sites below), read more about author or watch author readings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTupok4wCN8

Available for $3.99 on Smashwords (any format), iBooks, nook, Kobo, Amazon/Kindle and many other sites worldwide. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8?tag=viewbookat0e-20

Read reviews and leave one of your own on any of the above sites and also
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18772075-this-changes-everything and http://www.shelfari.com/books/37044452/This-Changes-Everything-(The-Spanners-Series) and http://booklikes.com/book/5125922/this-changes-everything-volume-i-the-spanners-series-sally-ember-ed-d-

#FF (FOLLOW) Sally on Twitter: @sallyemberedd http://www.twitter.com/sallyemberedd

#FF and comment her website, which includes blog: http://www.sallyember.com and http://sallyember.tumblr.com/

LIKE and #FF The Spanners Series by Sally Ember page on Facebook or Google + and leave a comment. Add Sally to Google+ Circles: ssfember@gmail.com https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/115730970500394047116/115730970500394047116/about and https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesBySallyEmber

#FF Sally’s Boards on Pinterest! Repin! http://www.pinterest.com/sallyember

Listen to archived one-hour interview with Sally on Blog Talk Radio’s Indie Books show hosted by Will Wilson from 12/27/13 for free: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/indiebooks/2013/12/27/indie-books-show-15 with other interviews and reviews links available via Sally’s website.

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II, The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D., goes into Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook April 15-18, 2014 and releases everywhere, including Amazon, June 9, 2014.

Seeking reviewers for Volume II starting March 15, 2014, and Volume I, any time. Please contact Sally if you’d like to do a review of either Volume I or Volume II. For a FREE ebook download coupon: be a reviewer, belong to a Book Club or be a teacher/student in a class that wishes to utilize TCE or any other of the future volumes of The Spanners Series for discussion/study. Discussion questions/curricula and author SKYPE or visits available upon request. Contact Sally: sallyember@yahoo.com

Want to Read Awesome #Ebooks at Half-Price or Free? THIS WEEK on #Smashwords!

The Many Worlds Collective chooses Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D., as Earth’s first Liaison! Are you ready for the changes?

Sci-fi, Romance, Paranormal, Aliens, Multiverse, Utopian, Buddhist, Speculative ten-Volume eoooks for Adults, New and Young Adults, <em>The Spanners Series starts with This Changes Everything.

One reviewer says of This Changes Everything: “The experience is mind-altering, and would challenge readers to think beyond the bubble that we live in.”

Another notes: “This is an alien story where the aliens are helping rather than trying to take over the world.”

A third informs: “If you like, sci-fi, fantasy and/or aliens, this is the book for you. I do recommend this book and I hope you try it.”

The Spanners Series is for particular readers: “I have this odd feeling that I’m just not smart enough for this… I don’t have the intelligence level to make good sense of it….If you like very well-structured notes, detailed descriptions of almost everything,… humor (really good humor I might add), and a slight love interest, this book will not fail to impress you. In fact, I guarantee you will love it if these are the types of things you look for in a book,” one reviewer explains.

Facts mix with fiction: can you distinguish? History, politics, biology, sociology, psychology, religion, relationships, technology, physics, interspecies communication, global changes in government and environment are integral to these unique stories.

Find out how Earthers cope with Earth’s becoming a member of the Many Worlds Collective. Read how multiverse timulter, Dr. Clara Branon, chosen to be Earth’s first Chief Communicator, deals with being with/not being with her on/off love, Epifanio Dang.

Meet Esperanza Enlaces, her Chief Media Contact, Clara’s son, Zephyr, and the rest of her family and friends. Find out how they and others respond to and cope with the psi wars and psi skills training programs and the thousands of other changes alien contact catalyzes in Volumes I – X of The Spanners Series, starting in late 2013 – 2018, with one new Volume every six months.

This Changes Everything cover
Cover art by Willowraven.

“Creative, Original Writing!”

“Quality writing, creative and original story!”

What multiverse timeline are YOU in?

KS67Q is the coupon code for 50% off through March 9, 2014 (makes it $2.00!):
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

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FREE to Book Club leaders and Teachers using these ebooks for discussion/study, with coupon directly from author for use on Smashwords, ebook format of reader’s choice, with 10 (or more) Discussion Questions upon request. sallyember@yahoo.com or http://www.sallyember.com

READ AN #EBOOK WEEK AT #SMASHWORDS, 3/2-9/14!

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READ AN #EBOOK WEEK AT #SMASHWORDS, 3/2-9/14! Please consider including MORE #EBOOKS in your library!

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KS67Q is the coupon code for 50% off through March 9, 2014, for my first ebook, a sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian series, Volume I, This Changes Everything, usually $3.99. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

This Changes Everything cover

is from The Spanners Series, which is for adults, NA and YA,

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and prepares you for the more YA/NA Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, coming out in June! Thanks!

Many other deals for free or very discounted ebooks all week. https://www.smashwords.com/ebookweek

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http://www.sallyember.com/spanners