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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do not.

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

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

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

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

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)

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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

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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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The Dark Side of 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 Glossaries, but here you go:

As explained by Dr. Clara Branon, Ph.D., main narrator

Toughness = how much energy a material (or person) can absorb without breaking. As carbyne’s toughness becomes well-known in the early part of the 21st century on Earth as both the material used most in space travel and interstellar communication (reacts best in temperatures 25º C or lower), carbyne’s toughness becomes the metaphor best understood as the way to describe my experiences as the Chief Communicator. Carbyne is stronger than steel or graphene, thinner yet stiffer than any other form of carbon, including diamonds, and lighter as well; most importantly, carbyne can be “grown” as well as mined.

Fragmenters (“Fraggers” who “Frag”) = Usually Earthers; opposite of well-meaning Spanners. Fraggers disintegrate, pull apart, ruin cooperation, destroy unity, incite conflicts and disagreements, refuse to compromise. They are Conservatives, fear-mongers, and nonbelievers despite ample evidence. They are fundamentalists, entrenched, hence, the Trenchers are their extremists. Being Fragged involves having an individual Fragger or a group of them interfere with and/or ruin Spanners’ plans for peace, harmony, multiverse travel, ESP trainings, intergalactic travel, etc. Can even be used when no Fragger is involved, much the way current Earther humans talk about Mercury’s retrograde status as the “cause” of problems with travel, communications, and planning.

Trenchers = Usually Earthers; extremists among the Fraggers, ones most difficult to deal with. Known for digging in, refusing to listen to reason or information that contradicts their views, being Reactionaries, resorting to violence, abusing dark psi and using other nefarious means (kidnapping, murdering, sabotaging, causing harm in other ways) to prevent the Transition or success of Earth’s inclusion in the Many Worlds Collective or cooperation with the InterGalactic Council and any other worlds’ representatives. Being Trenched involves being sabotaged, kidnapped, murdered, or otherwise seriously harmed by a Trencher or a Fragger.

Psi-Warriors = PWs; Not always Earthers; those with exceptional Psi skills and abilities, with or without the MWC (Many Worlds Collective) ESP(Excellent Skills Program) training. From Spanners’ perspectives, PWs are on the “right” sides of these conflicts, ones who utilize their powers to fight Trenchers and to persuade (sometimes not ethically or properly) Fraggers to alter their opinions. Psi-Wars/Fights/Battles are between PWs and Psi-Defiers.

Psi-Defiers = PDs; ironically, while claiming not to believe in Psi, PDs utilize it as their chief weapon. PDs are usually Earthers, but can be anyone with exceptional Psi skills and abilities, with or without MWC ESP training program. PDs utilize (some say abuse) their powers to oppose Spanners and especially PWs (and other pro-MWC-ers). Spanners view PDs as being on the “wrong” sides of these conflicts. Can sometimes persuade (usually not ethically or properly) by including invading dreams, sowing doubt and fear, and indoctrinating children, others to their cause and gather more Fraggers and Trenchers. PDs are often already Trenchers, so they claim religious freedom, grace from their deities, and other bases for their powers and positions.

OverSeers = OSes (pronounced Oh Essess); those (not usually Earthers, although more join as Earth’s involvement in the MWC continues) with top-level ESP training within the MWC, like the Secret Service for the IGC (InterGalactic Council), who monitor, regulate, and protect members of the MWC from threats, using Psi as well as more conventional methods to control Fraggers, Trenchers, and Psi-Defiers all around the multiverse. Ultimately, OSes can banish intractable enemies of peace and harmony to specifically designated multiverse timelines to keep them there where they are unable to cause further harm. This becomes the way to imprison/sequester the worst criminals, who can’t be rehabilitated, until they Return or are Reinvolved.
OSes include the investigators (OSIs, pronounced OhEssEyes), enforcers (OSEs, pronounced OhEssEes), and espionage/covert ops teams (OSOps, pronounced OhSops) each with their own “stars” in The Spanners Series (mostly in Volumes III, IV, VI and IX).

Sequestering = <strong>Qing (pronounced cueing); the ultimate punishment, deemed necessary when enemies of the MWC refuse to reform and are violent threats to peace and harmony. Qing involves sending individuals or groups to the MWC’s prison-type multiverse timeline, until they Return. Often referred to as being Qed (pronounced cueued), when someone is relegated to one of these timelines as their punishment. OSes (pronounced OhEssess) often use references to Qing as a threat to get information during investigations.
Reminds many Earthers quite negatively of tactics used by secret police in many totalitarian regimes, such as for South American countries’ disappeared, USSR’s sending political prisoners to the Gulag, or USA’s use of “extraordinary rendition” and imprisonment in Guantanamo, all without any legal process. Therefore, Sequestering is very closely monitored.
Decisions for an individual to be Qed must be determined by many judges, with regular imprisonment, first, while awaiting confirmation that Qing is the only option left to preserve public safety (much like the death penalty process, when that was still in use). Or, if you’re a “Warehouse 13” TV show fan, like having a villain “bronzed,” or, if you’re a “Superman” movies fan, similar to the exiling of the criminals who attempted a coup right before Krypton exploded.
Communication after being Qed is quite limited; no former friends or family members have regular access to those who have been Qed. All communication must be pre-approved and go through certified Q Communicators, who are able to timult and communicate with those in alternate timelines. Once an individual has been Qed, s/he never comes back into this timeline until their Return or Reinvolvement. Like reincarnation, Return involves dying to release one’s consciousness out of one’s current physical form, then coming back intentionally in an Earther’s or other form, for a new life, restarting at birth or that form’s beginning stages, to benefit beings; Reinvolvement is more random and carries with it opportunities for improvement of oneself, mostly).

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Psi-Penalty = Psi-P; the “price” that I, as the Chief Communicator, and others must “pay” when utilizing ES (Extraordinary Skills) to timult as we discover that we must choose between personal satisfaction or temporary happiness and more lasting, global harmony and peace (Psi-P is the main reason I am not with Epifanio in many timelines). Psi-P reveals a trade that must be made, but it is often made with great sorrow, sacrifice, honor and integrity. Sometimes the Psi-P is known only to the one paying the price; sometimes, others know or are told; some Psi-Ps are quite public, especially during Transition, so most Earthers know a Psi-P is sometimes necessary.
I often mourn or complain by saying that I’ve been “Psi-Ped” (pronounced sigh-peed) whenever I most miss Epifanio.

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.

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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.

More about living in a “God Realm”

Yesterday my at-home #Buddhist #meditation #retreat, week one, contemplating living in a “God Realm,” took some interesting turns due to “regular life.” That’s the beauty and the challenge of having a home retreat: life keeps on happening, and not very far away or able to be ignored. Need to deal with my car, keep connecting with some people, job-hunt and apply, have a job interview (when invited), shop for essentials, tend to chores.

As a writer who is finishing Volume II, This Changes My Family and my Life Forever, and marketing (release date, December 20) Volume I, This Changes Everything of The Spanners Series, I am also writing, marketing, learning about ebook publishing, indie pub networking and methods, editing/revising, weighing in on cover art for Volume I (thanks, #Willowraven!) and learning about this whole ebook process for the first time from Mark Coker of #Smashwords (thanks, Mark). My days and some of my nights are quite full, already. Adding in 3 – 6 hours of meditation each day (sometimes more) is quite a feat. I’m not bragging; just explaining. Something’s gotta give.

So, yesterday, the meditation time “gave” to the car repair and friend times. However, I did walk and meditate/contemplate while my car was being assessed (one hour). During that hour, I walked around downtown Hayward to do errands (bank, library) and then sat in an rarely-used chess-players’ seat at a small city park.

No one else was in the park. In fact, it was officially “closed,” but the walkways were open. I and a dog-walker were the only park users when I was there. I could picture the park on busier days, ghost figures filling the space: the traditional-old-men-playing-chess images, some teens hanging out on the benches, a stroller-pusher or two, a dog-walker or two. But, since it held no other appeals, with no playground, no fountain or pond, no climbing structures, no other places to sit, I ran out of ideas. Besides the two chess stations and two park benches, there were a few patches of grass (well-trimmed), some flowering shrubs, one tree: that was the corner park.

Meditating/contemplating living in a God Realm caused me to look around more closely as I walked and then, sat. I discovered several aspects of this downtown that struck me as relevant. First, there are a lot of abandoned or empty, unmarked buildings and vacant lots among some seemingly open ones or those not due to be opened, yet (it was before 11:30, so many places weren’t open, yet). In this particular moment, one day in 2013 in Hayward, California, I could see evidence of better days.

One large, brick building had odd-shaped and oddly placed spaces high on one wall facing the busiest intersection. I puzzled out that these were vacancies left by large, individual letters which must have been adhering to the brickwork to display the owner’s or business’ name. Gone. But, before that era ended, those people must have been very wealthy to have owned such a large, prominent downtown structure. Most owners live in a God Realm, until they don’t.

They would have had servants and workers under them, surplus income to spend on themselves. They would have indulged themselves and their family members in luxuries and vacations, had most every whim fulfilled. Fancy clothes, fast and expensive cars, jewels, lavish parties, food and beverages, entertainment, sex, exotic pets, travel to beautiful locales, music and art would have filled their lives. Let’s give them good health, love and intelligence, too. A perfect human existence, probably in the latter part of the last century or earlier.

Where are those owners now, if any of them are still even in those human forms? Assisted living or nursing homes? Scattered from Hayward, younger family members out of touch or estranged? Dead already? Where are their money, those luxuries, that business? What happened to their residences, cars, clothes and other possessions, friends and colleagues? Gone to others or just completely gone. Empty. Abandoned, like this building.

Even when “everything is perfect,” it can’t last. Even if the outer pleasures continue, the enjoyers do not. These “Gods” age, get infirm, die; or, die suddenly. But, die they must, taking none of that gilded life with them.

I returned to retrieve my car (can’t be fixed until part arrives. I chose Halloween for my next foray into town, since I have a medical appointment that day, anyway). Driving the short distance home, I contemplated the ephemeral nature of all life and the futility of accumulating wealth, possessions, pleasures and such.

We may be living in a God Realm or not, but what we all share is impermanence. Whatever ways we are enjoying or suffering through our existences, our pleasure or pain is just a moment in the great span of time. Whatever we have, whatever we want: Feel it, live it, then go on to the next moment. That is the merry-go-round of samsara.

Prayers for all beings to recognize the illusory, temporary nature of samsaric existence and to buckle down (or ratchet up) to be on the path to individual liberation. Bodhicitta and gratitude for my path filled my heart as I re-entered my home, my retreat space.

Author Interview on Shah Warton’s website TODAY Sept. 23!

Author Interview on Shah Warton’s website

TODAY September 23, 2013, and after, please view, share, comment, on my first Author’s Interview, getting the buzz for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, pre-publication in November, 2013! 

http://shahwharton.com/

Another reviewer comments on 1st 20 pps., This Changes Everything

“…In a lot of ways I’m at a loss to critique this because it’s quite different than what I’m used to encountering. It’s a more immediate version of Stranger in Strange Land by Heinlein. Now, what I say next is strictly speaking off the cuff at 11 PM after a couple of rum and cokes, but as it stands I’d probably rate this either three or four stars, depending on how it develops. Once I got into the ideas behind it all, I found it personally fascinating. I’m not sure how that would translate to a broader readership, but it’s nifty stuff. I like alternate timelines and the like…”