**** 4 Stars for This Changes Everything from Dee Fox!

**** 4 Stars for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Reviewer: Dee (Devorah) Fox

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Some books are like a train. I hop on and let it take me for a ride, I just go where it goes. Spanners asked me to get in the engine compartment and help the conductor. I felt that I had to sign on to the concepts and by believing, be part of the story. I liked what the author was trying to do by writing in the present tense. It never stopped bringing me up short. However every time I had to reorient myself I found myself thinking about time and how it’s just a construct. I also appreciated the humor in the depiction of how throughout history our society’s thought leaders and innovators were participants in the Many Worlds Collective. Of course they were! The series is ambitious and thought provoking. Not an easy read. I’d even say it takes a little work but well worth it for the experience.

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Thanks, Dee! Dee Fox was a guest on Episode 18 of CHANGES conversations between authors: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq  
#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and #Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest: CHANGES G+ HOA  https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/  

Read this and more reviews and download Volume I for FREE on Amazon:
http://goo.gl/0yN5GE

For other formats, Volume II purchase links, reviews, interviews and more, visit my website; look right and scroll down on http://www.sallyember.com

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All logo and cover art for The Spanners Series by Aidana Willowraven.

“Imaginative #SciFi Work of Art”: Positive #Reviews for both Vol I and Vol II of The Spanners Series!

"Imaginative #SciFi Work of Art ": Positive #Reviews

for both Vol I and Vol II of The Spanners Series!

Ashley Jacoby reviewed This Changes My Family and My Life Forever (The Spanners Series, Volume 2) and remarked about Vol I, This Changes Everything, as well. http://goo.gl/zRlvXz

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"Imaginative Sci Fi Work of Art," January 21, 2015

"Imaginative and inventive. Let me start with saying I love this book and I received this product free from Sally Ember through the BuView review program in exchange for an honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

"Now that being said, it's a wonderful story place through time and space past present future. I love that it shows there can be peace, understanding and acceptance in the worlds. Clara is a very intriguing character and I love reading her story. The second book is laid out by character and reads as such so some whom don't like this type of lay out may get a bit lost within the story. Although I'd have to say it isn't that hard to follow just isn't the classic story layout.

"My only real complaint is that at times I felt like I was reading an instruction manual or dictionary. Which is understandable as it is complex writing and the readers need to understand whats being said, it just could have been laid out better. Aside from this small drawback, this is a great sci-fi series and I highly recommend it. I downloaded the first one even before reading volume 2 so I wouldn't be lost. I'll be sure to keep up as the author continue writing; can't wait to further follow this story."


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PERMAFREE! Volume I, This Changes Everything, Blurb:
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

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$3.99 Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, blurb:
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

More LINKS on http://www.sallyember.com  main website: look right and scroll down. Kobo, iBooks, nook, more reviews, interviews, book trailers, more.
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HEV2UEW  author page
https://www.twitter.com/sallyemberedd Twitter: @sallyemberedd
https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesbySallyEmber Spanners Series' page on FB
https://www.facebook.com/sally.ember
http://www.pinterest.com/sallyember
http://goo.gl/tZKQpv Spanners Series' page on Google+
http://www.google.com/+SallySueEmber Sally Sue Ember on Google+
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqnZuobf0YTCiP6silDDL2w/videos
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7237845.Sally_Ember

Cover art and logo by Aidana Willowraven:
http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/

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.

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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.

SF The Spanners Series, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, excerpt

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday 8 #8Sunday!

The Spanners Series, Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, by Sally Ember, Ed.D., releasing in April, 2015, excerpt,
from:

CHAPTER ONE

Excerpts from the Chief Communicator’s Occasional Log

Clara Must Confess Her Mistakes
March, 2014

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I look up dejectedly to view Led’s bouncing, blue-grey holo and wail inwardly. Outside, the relentlessly sunny day mocks my dismay. I know I have to confess all of my mistakes to get through this Level of the Excellent Skills Program training, but for a moment, I am rebelling. For all the good it will do me: none whatsoever.

I feel about eleven years old within my almost-60-year-old body. I picture myself getting up, hands on hips, stamping my foot, then flouncing out of the office, righteously slamming the door in their holo non-faces, shouting over my shoulder as I escape: “No! I won’t do it!”

Inside my makeshift office, The Band are thronged near and behind Led. There is Ringo’s tall, orange, robotic torso next to Mick’s even taller, stick-figure shape.

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Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts. http://www.wewriwa.com/

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

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

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

This Changes Everything challenged my sense of convention.”

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

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

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

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

4 Stars

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

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Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

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

#Multiverse #Experiment this week: Tomorrow’s Story Written Today

#Multiverse #Experiment this week: Tomorrow’s Story Written Today

Will this week’s story turn out as #ClaraBranon writes it?

Excerpts, below, from Volume II, the sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian ebook in #TheSpannersSeries, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, by Sally Ember, Ed.D., available for pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook, April 15 – June 8, 2014, and for sale via all those and Amazon as well, release date June 9, 2014.

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Logo and cover art for The Spanners Series by Willowraven.

Pre-order Links will be available after April 15 and buy links after June 9 on http://www.sallyember.com

Here is what Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 59, the main character of The Spanners Series, writes while reminiscing about her life in 2014 from the vantage point of 2018:

It is a dark and stormy night. Picture “Snoopy,” Charles’ Schulz’s humanized beagle from the much-loved Peanuts comic strips, typing away on his old black typewriter atop his doghouse, hard at work on his novel. He always writes that line, first, with the ALT [According to Linear Time] “was” in place of “is.”

It is fun to begin this story with that infamous line, especially because it is true, and unusually so. At the end of February, 2014, California and the rest of the drought-plagued West are finally getting some of the rain we so desperately need.

Road conditions are not the best. However, I have an appointment to meet with Epifanio that I am unwilling to give it up, even for bad weather, because it is now several months since our last meeting.

Driving myself somewhere and traveling alone feels like two long-lost privileges regained on that day, even though it’s only been about a year since I acquire chauffeurs and staff. I set off in the noontime light for our late afternoon meeting.

Listening to the weather reports all week, I know the light rain I drive through now is expected, especially near the coast where Epifanio lives at this time, to be a deluge beginning in the early evening. High winds, falling trees, local flooding and poor visibility are to accompany the increasing rainfall starting at about the time I would be planning to return to The Campus.

Knowing the weather and road conditions are likely to prohibit my driving back tonight, I am ridiculously energized about seeing him. I even go so far as to add to/bring my overnight gear: daily blood pressure and thyroid medicines (enough for four days; one never knows!), extra clothes, some food we can share, and my pillow and nightshirt are in my car: a Girl Scout is “always prepared”!

Be Prepared
image from: mottoupdate.blogspot.com

Maybe today? Maybe tonight? Maybe, if I stay the night and still can’t leave safely, we spend the day tomorrow, also?

It’s always about the “maybes” with Fanio.

I seem a tad insane, driving to see him on my own, given my role and public status,in horrible weather. I feel like a teenager on her way to a rendezvous. Of course, to be a tryst, the trystees both have to want to tryst.

“Ay, there’s the rub.”

Does he or doesn’t he?

“What dreams may come?”

Let’s find out!

On my drive there, it isn’t dark nor very stormy, yet, but it is raining and the rain clouds are darkening and gathering. The wind is picking up slightly by the time I arrive, but there are not yet any fallen branches.

Do any of you know how dangerous the trees are in California? I am officially going off on a rant about the defective trees around here.
*************
Rant starts here.

I live in California after many years in New England states and growing up in the Midwest of the USA, with a recent detour in New Mexico. In all of these places, the weather is much worse. Hurricanes, ice storms, lightning and heavy snows can bring down trees, of course. Everyone knows that. But, rain alone? Seriously?

How in the world does rain bring down trees? Huge, old-growth trees, not just saplings, not just the odd one or two. Not always with flooding, not always with wind, either. Not in California. That is the reason I label these trees “defective.”

Every year when it rains here, and sometimes not even when the rain is heavy, there are people, cars (even moving ones!), houses, animals and roads that are wrecked, injured or murdered by randomly and unexpectedly, and worst of all, for no apparent reason, having trees fall and crush them. Downed trees cause loved ones, pets, property and access to roads to be lost daily during the “rainy season” or during any rainstorm, it seems to me.

At first, I am hearing blame rests on the “shallow roots” of the non-native eucalptus trees and rain-caused erosion. These could be the worst culprits. But, redwoods are tumbling at alarming rates, and I do not ever hear plausible explanations as to why they fall.

Trees-Down
image from: http://www.independent.com

Whatever the causes, the truth is: California trees are untrustworthy. They look sturdy but they are not reliably going to stay upright. Believe me.

Be under trees at your own risk. Travel with great caution when rain is falling.
***************
Rant over.

Remember my awful history and karma with cars? I am in over thirty automobile accidents in my life (to date), and for most of them, I am not even the driver. Some occur without my car’s even moving or without my being in the car at all. Yes, my own cars get into accidents without me in them (via parking attendants’ mishaps). A taxi gets into an accident with me in it. Once, when Abraham, Zephyr and I are visiting Thomas, Raisa and their brood, my brother backs out of his garage and runs into our car in his own driveway, even though our car is parked exactly where he tells us to park it.

I get into one of the worst accidents by sitting on the outside of a car, on top of the hood, when it is parked. This is the freak accident in which my leg gets permanently injured [Volume I, This Changes Everything,’s lesson for Clara about Re-sets revolves around that]. Mechanical failure, bad roads, inattentive drivers and inclement weather all contribute to my awful tally. Does it need stating, here, that I am justifiably wary of poor driving conditions and other drivers?

On the drive to Epifanio’s on this rainy afternoon, I am both hypervigilant while moving and timulting at every stop sign and red light. Which multiverse timeline is this? What is this evening holding for us?

If I spend the night (and with every mile, the likelihood of that necessity increases with the rainfall), do I sleep on the couch or with him? If I sleep under his roof for one night, what does it mean?

There are dozens of stop signs and traffic lights between The Campus and where Fanio lives.

Stop sign rain drops
image from: extras.timesheraldonline.com

I know. I’m obsessing.

How can I be almost 60 and the Chief Communicator of the PLANET and still obsessing about an almost nonexistent relationship? Oy.

Because I’m human. Because that’s how my life and mind work. Because internet. Whatever.

Do I mention that Fanio and I currently live over an hour’s drive apart, even in good weather? This trip takes almost two hours.

Since I am compulsively punctual and early is my M.O., I leave with almost four hours to go before our appointment time so that I can meditate and perhaps even take a nap in my car (not under a tree). I plan to enjoy some solitude, watching and listening to the rain, preparing myself before going in to see him.

Fortunately, the rain still isn’t heavy after my meditation and naptime. I arrive at his cabin in the redwoods (!!!). Almost as soon as I get inside, it starts to pour. I mean, deluge time.

Sheets of water are pouring off the roof and the tree branches are whipping around ominously (to my ears, anyway) as Fanio and I greet each other. We go sit in his living room area.

“You make it here all right, I take it?” Fanio asks.

“So far, so good. I don’t know about the return trip, though,” I say, testing the waters.

Fanio looks out the window, shaking his head. Well, I hope you brought whatever you need in case you’re staying here tonight.”

I look at him. Is this really going to be that easy? What do I say? Oh, right. The truth is always good.

“Actually, living in earthquake land, I always have a ‘go bag’ in the car. Medicine, clothes, toiletries, water, food, even a pillow. No P.J.s, though.”

Fanio nods. “Good. Got any popcorn?”

I laugh. Since I know he likes it and is going to ask for it, I do have popcorn.“That’s not exactly earthquake food, is it?”

“No, but I ran out,” he explains.

“I just so happen to have some,” I answer, smiling, “in the car, ready to pop.” Stick to the truth, always. “Someone asks for it recently, so I happen to have some. I can get it when it lets up a little, when I go get the rest of my stuff.”

Fanio leans back in his chair, smiling. “I’m glad you’re here. It’s fun to have a storm partner.”

“Is that what I am, now?” I ask, a bit flirtatiously. More waters-testing.

“Among other things,” Fanio says, amiably. “How are the other things going, anyway? I see your vids a lot. The Psi-Defiers are making more trouble, huh?”

“This year is the hardest so far. It takes them a while to get organized, I suppose, and for Fraggers to become Trenchers, for Trenchers to get trained and become Defiers. Now, they have many Defier squadrons. I don’t know why they just don’t see how great it is for Earth to join the Many Worlds Collective. Moran is super-busy, but doing an excellent job with the Psi-Warriors.”

“No deaths, yet?” Fanio asks.

“Luckily, just some Defiers are Qed–you know, Sequestered–and many are injured, but no fatalities, so far,” I tell him.

“We do need more trainers and teachers at The Campus, though. When are you finishing your Excellent Skills Program training? I wish you could teach right now.” I picture Fanio in several timelines living at The Campus starting some time this year, but I say nothing about that.

“I have a long way to go before anyone wants me to teach,” Fanio protests. “‘I am only an egg.'” We both smile. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is a shared favorite.

“‘I grok you in fullness, ‘Water Brother.’ Share water with me now’?” I ask, formally. I’m glad he’s smiling.

“Seriously,” I say more ordinarily, I’m thirsty. May I get you some water while I get my own?”

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“I haven’t shared water with you, ‘Water Sister,’ in many moons. Certainly. Let’s share water!” Fanio agrees.

I wonder if Fanio remembers that the “Water Brothers” ceremony includes having sex? He must. My stomach is doing somersaults.

Getting two glasses, filling them, returning to him and handing him one, I notice my hand is trembling. I quickly put the glass down. I focus on the new silence outside.

We raise our glasses, clink them, drink some water, then chant together. “‘I grok you in fullness,'” and we drink again. We sit in companionable silence, sipping, looking at each other.

What does he want? Should I ask? Not yet. Not feeling it.

I point outside. “Does it seem kind of quiet to you, now? Should I go to my car?”

Abruptly, the atmosphere gets crackly. Hairs rise on my arms. Lightning flashes outside, then: KA-BOOM. We both go look out the windows.

CRASH. Jumping back, we peer out cautiously toward the sound. Just a few feet from the house, a smallish redwood lays across the roadway, some of its needled branches landing on our cars.

lightning
image from: http://www.ruston.org

“Holy moley!” Fanio yells. “That is too close!”

“At least it’s just the car hoods and not the roofs!” My voice shakes. “In all my timults, there are no trees falling on this house, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I can never timult all the ‘lines.”

I look at Epifanio, who seems oddly at ease. “I’m scared,” I admit.

Fanio turns to me, surprised. “You are timulting about tonight? Why?”

“Well,” I’m stalling, waiting for truthful inspiration. Ah. “I don’t usually travel alone, so it’s a good habit for me to get into. I timult about going solo , especially in iffy weather and now, during the psi Wars.”

I’m already scared. Won’t get much more anxious than this, anyway. May as well tell him.

“Also,” I continue, turning to face him, away from the window, “because of us.”

Fanio takes a step back, peering at me intently. “‘Us’?”

I touch his arm gently, looking up into his brown eyes, deep with questions. “It appears I am spending the night, tonight and perhaps tomorrow as well, depending on how much it rains and how fast they clear the roads. Um. Well.” I search his eyes, not pathing him, but wishing I could.

“Where do you want me to put my pillow?” I point to my bag. That’s as plain as I want to make my query.

The lamps and other lights flicker, dilating his pupils. “We could lose power, too,” he reminds me. “I better get some candles and the flashlight ready.”

As he walks toward the kitchen, Fanio looks over his shoulder and says, not quite nonchalantly, “May as well go out now and grab your stuff and that popcorn. If you have an extra flashlight, grab that, too.”

I go out in the rain, which is now slightly lessened, and return to find Fanio rummaging through drawers to find matches.

With his back to me, he announces: “Popcorn and other food: kitchen. Your stuff: my bedroom.”

My heart definitely skips a few beats, hearing that. I guess we’re sharing a bed. Just like that. Haven’t even kissed, yet. Well, we’re grown-ups.

As I walk with my bag toward the bedroom, Fanio turns to me to lift his hand triumphantly, holding a box of matches like a trophy. “Victory all around!” I put my bag down on the bed, turn back to him and applaud.

He comes toward me, puts the candles and matches on the side table and holds out his arms. I walk into them.

Fanio gathers me in and kisses me, long and deeply.

Yes.

In most timelines, here is what actually occurs, if we even meet that night.

spiderweb fog
**************
I do drive to Fanio’s on a very stormy afternoon, believing more strongly the closer I get to his remote location that I may have to spend the night. There are thunder and lightning, flash flooding, downed trees occurring throughout the day. The night is supposed to be worse, with heavier rain predicted for already saturated areas, so even more flooding.

Our visit starts out similarly. Greetings, catching up, moving through the awkwardness of a reunion after time apart.

Small talk turns to more personal connecting as the winds pick up. We sit and talk, startling when branches whip against the window panes. The storm is making outside noises so loud that I ask Fanio to speak up.

My type of inherited hearing loss worsens slightly each year. It’s especially obvious when there is a lot of background noise and the speaker has a deep voice, as he does, and I can’t make out all of his words clearly. I am eager for digitally specific, personally adjustable hearing aids to be invented. 2016, I believe.

We do lose electric power in his little house. We get the flashlights ready and turn to candles at dusk.

After the tree falls in his driveway , we establish that I am spending the night. I start to ask him about where I should put my things when I stop and check in with my InKC [Inner Knowing Center].

Breathing deeply, watching the rain sheeting down the windows from the eaves, I am aware of Fanio’s rustling around looking for more candles and candle holders behind me. I concentrate on “going” to my InKC and “arrive” there with many questions.

The set-up for our much-anticipated (by me) long-awaited (also by me) unexpected (mostly to him) tryst is all there. I am tense, nervous, excited, intrigued.

What is of most benefit for all beings, here and beyond tonight, for my relationship with Epifanio Dang? I ask. How may I best facilitate whatever is best, here and after tonight?

I am still, aware of the movements of Epifanio as he sets up more candles around the room, while focusing my main attention on the information starting to flow into my consciousness. Almost like virtual ticker-tape or a fax received and moving through my mind, I sense but do not actually see scrolling text when I ask my InKC specific questions like this.

Epifanio Dang is not to become your romantic partner or lover. A change of that nature to your relationship is not part of his or many others’ best outcomes. This evening is best used to have detailed conversations about his art, writing, dancing, all upcoming projects in order to facilitate the best outcomes, support his contributions to Exchanges and assist with his communication among like-talented beings across the MWC.

So, there is no tryst. At least, no romantic or physically intimate encounter.

no_romance_coffee_mug-
image from: http://www.zazzle.com

We talk, long into the night in the candlelight. Sweetly, intensely, getting caught up in his artistic ideas and plans, we click along with great enthusiasm, having shrugged off the restrictions of a schedule with our “slumber party” atmosphere, complete with popcorn. I follow the prescriptions my InKC provides.

As we interact, I notice that Fanio is more comfortable talking than listening. He doesn’t ask much about my day-to-day activities. He rarely asks about my personal experiences, although I imagine he is somewhat interested. He wants to receive but isn’t all that ready to concede the focus of our talk to me, my concerns, my “world.”

I test this theory a few times, bringing up a political or social concern, talking about my upcoming week’s meetings, but he always returns to his newest ideas. He explains about the off-planetary materials’ collaborative art project he’s coordinating and a novel way to choreograph with multiple species underwater or in zero that he and one of the dolphins are conconcting.

When we admit exhaustion and each retire to our respective sleeping areas, I check in with my emotions. I am disappointed only a little. Surprisingly, I am somewhat relieved. The complications of starting a personal relationship at this time, as the Chief Communicator, are actually more than I can handle.

From this and several other encounters, I have to admit that my life and Fanio’s, while connected and significantly overlapping at times, are quite separate and need to remain that way. As I meditate before sleeping, my timults of this night fade and plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week unfold instead.

I wish him well, ‘path him a “Sweet Dreams” which he answers aloud, “You, too.” Separately, we sleep.
***************

Buy links for Volume I, This Changes Everything,

This Changes Everything cover

already are on and Pre-order links for Volume II will be available after April 15, with buy links for both Volumes after June 9 on http://www.sallyember.com

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