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

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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