Giveaway 2day only (7/4/15): Celebrate my topping 5K Tweeps and get #Free #scifi #Ebook!

To celebrate that I just topped 5K Tweeps (no ‘bots! no Twitter sharks!) on Twitter, I’m giving away one of my Spanners Series #ebooks!

Contact me: sallyember@yahoo DOT com for a coupon on ‪#‎Smashwords‬ to get Vol II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, #free today, 7/4/15 only (usually $3.99)

final-cover-print

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever of The Spanners Series. Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II. How would YOU do with the changes?

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969  
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

Vol I, This Changes Everything, is ‪#‎permafree‬

this-changes-everything-cover

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. Are YOU ready for the changes?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8   
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

‪#‎scifi‬ The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

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http://www.sallyember.com FMI, reviews, more links

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Preliminary Glossary for The Spanners Series

This is a repost from 8/27/13, since so many new readers are finding The Spanners Series, especially This Changes Everything, Volume I, after its PERMAFREE status began 4/1/14 and have asked for a Glossary.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks
FREE everywhere ebooks are sold. All links, reviews, author interviews, readings and more: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners Look right; scroll down.

In the back of each Volume, I do update and add to the Glossary, but here you go:

As explained by Esperanza Enlaces, sometime narrator, Journalist and Media Liaison for Chief Communicator, Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D. [See “The Dark Side” for other terms and explanations not found here]

ALT = According to Linear Time. Use to explain temporal sequences as opposed to simultaneous nowness, and the use of past or future tense in verbs.

APC = After Public Contact. APC becomes “AppCee,” whose logofication becomes a stylized English “A” superimposed over a lower-case “c.” Vocalize as “AppCee.”

BPC = Before Public Contact (see APC, above). Vocalize as “BeepCee,” spell as “BeePCee.” Logofication is a stylized English “B” over a lower-case “c.”

CC or CeeCee = Chief Communicator. Main Earth Liaison selected by the MWC (Many Worlds Collective) to relay information and be the unofficial leader APC during the Transition and then official Leader for the Member once the MWC membership is established, for a limited term. Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D., is Earth’s first CC.

ESP Training = Excellent Skills Program education, with 12 levels of paranormal, psi, and extraordinary skills and abilities/talents, details depicted in Volume IV. All forms of what many human Earthers from Western cultures consider extrasensory, siddhis or yogic, in Eastern cultures, or psychic skills by many others, are included. ESP Training is mandatory for all CCs (Chief Communicators) and Officers or Psi-Warriors (see “The Dark Side” for list), and offered to many others APC (After Public Contact).

fish = IntraPlanetary Communication System. Also known as the Interspecies Communication System begins as a semi-acronym, “IntraPlanCS,” which morphs into “i-planCS,” which becomes “i-planX,” and then logofies into a slanted, stylized “i-“ beside an “X,” which Zephyr Branon names the “ifish,” and then simply the fish. (Thanks to Douglas Adams’ five-volume “trilogy,” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which he introduces multi-language, internal translators called “Babel fish.”)

iD and Access = Individual Access technology. Gives Earthers Access to all information, links, media via one’s own internal Access point or iD to the MWC Resource Library. Symbol is just the slanted “i” leaning onto a very fat “D,” pronounced “eye-Dee,” with the emphasis on the first syllable instead of the second, not to be confused with “Eye-Dee,” for “ID,” emphasis on the second syllable, which still means personal identification for many MWC-ers.

IGC = InterGalactic Council. Governing body of the MWC (Many Worlds Collective), whose reports, Implementations, adjudications and decisions appear in most of these Volumes.

MWC = Many Worlds Collective. Interplanetary association of all sentient beings in the multiverse. Membership is voluntary, to an extent, and usually by issued invitation preceded by many informal and perhaps secret visits/contact over a specified period of time, resulting in the selection and training of a Chief Communicator for that Member (Earth’s first CC is Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D.).

mwcw = Many Worlds Collective Webview. Also called the ‘verse web, or just the verse. Similar to the Earth’s Internet from the 20th – 21st Centuries, but interplanetary. iDs Access (see above) information from the mcwc, mostly.

Re-set = Changing a timeline’s circumstances, outcomes, or trajectory by focusing on the events’ “previous” “fork” and then changing a pivotal circumstance, choice, decision that precedes or coincides with that fork. A Re-set allow all “future” (ALT, or According to Linear Time) events to unfold slightly and perhaps quite differently, from that fork “onward.” Beings who have the ability (very advanced in the ESP [Excellent Skills Program] training, levels 11 or 12) may focus on a multiverse “fork” and allow for alternate timeline(s) to emerge for experiential, educational or actual living purposes, then choose or collaboratively select which timeline to make primary.

Return and Reinvolvement = A sentient being’s consciousness is separate from its physical form and therefore may be released (“die”) at any time. If the consciousness is going to take physical form again, there are several possible options. The heart/mind may be constrained to Reinvolvement (must become newly incarnated or “born” into a physical form, often a similar species form, due to lessons unlearned or karma unfinished; usually do not retain memories and may lose skills and abilities depending on karma). The heart/mind is eligible to choose to Return (become incarnated with full retention of previous memories, skills, abilities, in order to be helpful to current beings; may change forms from previous depending on need). The heart/mind remains free of physical form for the rest of its awareness, blending with oneness for those who do not incarnate.

<strong>Snap = used to describe the sound and the action of bringing an object to oneself using telekinesisl also, a general term for the sound and effect of using other ESP (Excellent Skills Program) skills.

Spanners = Earthers who are alive as the century turns from twentieth to twenty-first, especially those who live almost equal numbers of our lives’ years in both centuries. Also, all those who are alive both before and after the Transition (see below). For a longer description of all that Spanners signify, see Volume I.

Timult and Timultaneity = Noun/verb, adjective. The act of intentionally viewing, being aware of, knowing of events, people or possibilities occurring in more than one timeline; also, that these multiple timelines exist and have varying circumstances. Terms invented/coined by Zephyr Branon. Also, timulting and other verb forms exist.

final cover print

Timulters = Beings who can perceive more than one timeline’s occurrences among the multiverse. Dr. Clara Branon is the first known intentional timulter who has no ESP (Excellent Skills Program) training for her first timults, beginning when she is a child.

Transition = first 5 – 10 Earth years APC (After Public Contact) with the MWC (Many Worlds Collective) for Earthers.

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

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.