TIME TRAVELLING — MARISSA

 

 

Chapter 01 — A Disappearing Act

 

Baby Marissa (photo by Ann Quinn)
Baby Marissa ( photo by Ann Quinn)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mother was 33 years old and had waited for ten long married years to finally conceive.  Together with her husband, The Magician, she was part of an exciting “Disappearing Act” with the local Circus team.  “Local” was a misnomer, as they were most of the time traveling from place to place.  Many other such teams had a similar act, but she and her husband were the only ones who did not make a mystery of it — anybody could check their paraphernalia, to make sure there were no secret traps or other means of tricking the spectators.  She was really disappearing and reappearing on cue and no one could find the secret to this incredible ACT.  That was the reason why they were in such high demand and it left little room for thinking about having a family bigger than two.

Now she was living a wonderful dream come true — when she had thought it was no longer an option, she had discovered she was pregnant.  The Disappearing Act had not suffered much.  Only the armoire in which she entered on the stage in order to perform it, had had to be enlarged to accommodate for her future daughter.

Now she proudly adjusted the head of her bed to be more comfortable when her baby girl would be delivered into her arms.  Feeding time was announced by tiny mewlings from tiny infants.

The nurse pushed the cart with the six pink and blue cocoons and started by placing a blue packet in the arms of the first of the mothers on her list.  Automatically, she picked the next bundle of joy on the cart and placed it in the next woman’s arms, intent on finishing the job in record time.  The poor mites sounded real hungry.

“Nurse,” said the woman holding a blue cocoon back to the nurse, “This is not my baby.  Mine is a girl.”

The nurse checked her list — the mother was right.  She was holding a blue cocoon though she was listed as mother of a girl.  Again, the nurse checked her list, then she checked the cart.  There were only three cocoons left out of six, but she had delivered only two.  One was missing.  She was sure she had had  six when she had started on this round, but it seemed that one had disappeared.  She ran back to the nurses’ station and announced that a baby was missing, then she ran back and placed the rest of the babies with their respective mothers, including the boy she had mistakenly placed with the wrong woman, then ran back again to check if anybody had found the missing bundle of pink joy…

The Police arrived and started by taking the nurse away for questioning.  The mothers in the ward all said they’d seen no one else aside from the nurse with her baby cart.

Security tapes were viewed and nobody could see anything but the nurse coming with the loaded cart, the six babies, and then, after some static interference, only five were left.  Even the interference could not be analysed more — just a moment’s shimmer in the video before the mysterious disappearance.

The parents were distraught, the father vocally furious, the mother crying desperately, facing total devastation.

The outside videos could not be interpreted either — too many people kept coming and going, crossing in front of moving or stationary cars, with nothing to point into a clear direction…

The nurse remained the only suspect, but they had to let her go in the end.

It became the event of the year — the baby of the most celebrated couple performing the Disappearing Act had disappeared, vanished without a sign…

 

Ttime did its duty — a year passed and almost everybody forgot about it except for the parents who, when the next miracle occurred, had the baby at home to insure no repeat could take place.

As for the nurse, she had to leave the hospital under a cloud of suspicion and had to change her specialty from pediatrics to orthopedics in order to survive.

Tips on how to write a story

 

If you wonder how some people can write stories, the answer is very simple — first you must want to do so.  Then, just looking around may give you ideas.

  • Sometimes, a fact of life brings to mind a story, or just a spark of a story.

If you have paper and pencil, or more modern, a latest model of phone cum computer, jot it down before other ideas push it out of your mind.  An active person can have a zillion of ideas a day, so it is easy to lose them.

It is interesting how once it is put down in writing, you will not forget it as easily.  Other sparks come and go, but if you continue to put them down in writing, in the end you may find out you have an outline for a real story.

  • Sometimes, you wake up from such a clear dream – thrilling or romantic or just plain bizarre…

Get it down in writing.  Dreams are notorious for getting lost, completely out of daylight memory. All you can remember is that it was funny, or threatening, or …I don’t know what…  But they are lost.  I tried to record my vivid dreams the moment I awake, but listening at my recordings after I was awake, I discovered that all I had was an unintelligible mumbling.  If you want to keep them, you have to record them in writing.  Then you can embroider on the initial dream…

  • Another time, you watch a program on TV and the spark jumps from the screen to your mind!
  • I am member in a group of writers and sometimes we need a prompt in order to produce a story.

The opening chapter of “Save Magic City” may remind you of “The Iron Giant” animation movie.  But the story is based on facts of life and politics.  And I love magic.  So, the resulting story is based on all these elements.

Now I have embarked on this “Time Travelling” new adventure.  I started with Marissa, a girl of 12 years of age, who is living in the Middle Ages and who discovers she can travel in time or space, as she needs.  She lives in the Middle Ages, but she meets all the characters from “Save Magic City” and they all become friends and traveling comrades…

If you have not yet read “Save Magic City”, you may order the e-book at iUnivers or any of their distributors.  Marissa’s story you’ll be able to read on my website blog.

Peanut Butter — Friend or Foe?

Free photo from Google search
Free photo from Google search

Peanut butter — a treat to die for!  We love it smooth or crunchy, with a fork or with a spoon…  So tasty, luscious, enticing…

I remember the time when the first mother demanded the proscription of peanut butter from the school where her allergic son was going, and the general outcry against the idea!

She won and now most schools operate under zero acceptance of peanut butter on the premises.  I think the posession of epipens is a must as well.  But we, the peanut butter eaters cannot care less… until tragedy strikes.

A friend of a friend of mine has a little girl, Ann, who goes to such a school.  She eats peanut butter sandwiches at home, but does not take them at school.

Ann has a best friend, Carly, in same school, same class with Ann, but her parents do not let Carly out for Halloween Trick or Treating.  So Ann decided to share her bounty with her friend.

Generosity might kill!

All parents try to imbue the children with sharing qualities.  Who among us can judge little Ann’s decision to share her Trick or Treat bounty with her best friend?

And so it came that next day after Halloween, Ann took several Reese’s cookies with her to school.  Her parents did not know, her teacher did not know…  At lunch bresk, tragedy struck!

Little Carly got so sick, paramedics were called, Carly was whisked to the hospital…

Everybody took a long sigh of relief when they found out little Carly was responding to medication and everything was under control.

Imagine how little Ann was feeling during this agitated episode…  She had just wanted to share…

Now she knows why Carly never went Trick or Treating.

Let us make sure all children know about the dangers of allergies and the do’s and don’t’s related to them Continue reading “Peanut Butter — Friend or Foe?”

About Tasers

Lethal weapon
Courtesy of Google search

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Last evening, while watching the news, I heard about the mysterious death of a tasered guy.

Mysterious my foot. Tasers are dangerous electrocuting weapons.

With my thanks to Wikipedia, here is a definition and description of tasers: “A Taser or conducted electrical weapon is an electroshock weapon sold by Taser International. It fires two small dart-like electrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductors, to deliver electric current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing “neuromuscular incapacitation”. Someone struck by a Taser experiences over-stimulation of sensory nerves and motor nerves, resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions.”

Sounds politically correct — you are bad, you get punished!

The problem stsrts when the “electrocuted person” decides that enough is enough and curles up and dies!

Why did he/she die? no beating was involved, no fire arms were fired — however, the victim is as dead as dead can be!

Why?

Did you ever hear that your heart is a muscle? A muscle that beats non-stop for the duration of your life? Your entire life?

If you are young and think yourself invincible (been there, done that), think a moment about your heart.
It too needs rest — not total and abso;ute, like in death, but with a bit of consideretion from us, rest from extreme effort and substance abuse (and you could include here a multitude of things, like tobacco, alcohol, drugs (legal or not)), and let’s not forget JUNK food! All these are adding on the stress we submit our hearts to but we do not think of it as something of importance until we get an electroshock. Lightning may be a source, or stepping on a live wire in the rain, or being tasered!

Let’s go back to the definition part that says: “A Taser delivers electric current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing “neuromuscular incapacitation”. Someone struck by a Taser experiences over-stimulation of sensory nerves and motor nerves, resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions.”

We do not know what is happening inside our bodies, but all our actions have repercussion. Bad food, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, etc. add up and start making small deposits of gunk on the walls of our arteries. I know — I have them and I’m paying for my youthful excesses. So I took a course of “self defense” — how to protect myself against sudden death caused by heart failure.

I know, you are too young to think about such dire things, but, nevertheless, an ounce of prevention….

At this course, a doctor cardiologist came to explain to us what happens inside our arteries. So you think I’m changing subject? Not at all — arteries carry blood with Oxigen to the heart. Heart needs to eat and breath in order to function. Like a person. Cut the Oxigen and the blood supply and the heart dies, and you with your heart as well.

So, all the gunk we put into our bodies is carried by blood to the heart. When too much gunk, it starts being deposited in the arteries walls forming solid plaque. Its role is to protect the arteries, or at least that was their original role. In time, arteries become rigid and blood presure goes up when we make an effort that requires more blood to be pumped in the same amount of time. An involuntary contraction of the heart muscle will pump enormous amounts of blood all at once and the arteries may burst under presure, like an old, cracked hose, and here you have “unknown reason of deatr” in young tasered people!

Aside from bursting an important blood vessel, there is another way to find the way to heaven through tasering.

There is the hardening of arteries, and there is a soft plaque that nobody bothers to mention or measure. It is inside the artery, deposited directly from the blood flow overcharged with substance garbage. Did I say it is unstable?

Do you think the good policeman asks for your bill of health before tasering you? You get it and the same muscular spasm (involuntary, remember?) disturbs the gunk that explodes from its precarious place and travels through your body till it is too big Continue reading “About Tasers”

The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality

the-kingdom

 

 

This novel was provoked by the cruel realities of today’s world

Only this week it was announced that GM will let go between 1 and 2 thousand workers from their model plant in Canada and move their production in the States. GM makes money, Canadian Government makes money, and the workers are left in the rain and wind without cover!

This and failed small farms are the realities prompting this story, for they are not only today’s happenings, they have been going on for years…

Albert is so rich that his rich fellows in school called him “rich bitch”, but he can do nothing to change the world. He is a dreamer and visualizes this kingdom based on human needs and intrinsic goodness. He puts his own wealth into the realization of his dream, but his money, though plenty, is not enough. He needs other investors and thus, nobility is chosen and developed based on the amount invested. He starts by inviting the richest of his old colleagues from high school and three of them accept. A duke and two earls. The duke invites an old friend from college and now they have a marquees as well. Of course, Albert is king, but he has to take care of contracts and last minute arrangements and is between worlds most of the time, leaving the care of the kingdom in his nobles’ care.

They each recruit their retainers based on a very long and complicated questionnaire, the gist of which would be “leave all insecurities behind and never regret it, for once admitted there is no way back.

Albert loves his idea of a Medieval kingdom, and it seems everybody in it does too, but he has a dear friend whom he wants to marry and make his queen, and to convince her to leave the Modern world behind, he builds for her a palace to tempt a saint. Unhappily the beautiful woman and the tempting palace bring the serpent in the garden of Eden and Albert himself is not capable to fight for them. He is the dreamer, not the warrior.

Enters Jack, the loner, the man without wealth and without obligations aside of some debt incurred in the process of building a theater that in the end burns down leaving him without an aim as well. By a quirk of fate, Jack was Albert’s only friend in school, and now Albert comes to Jack’s rescue. They both could ride, but Jack could fence as well and had a streak of contrariness that made him fight for what he considered to be right even against terrifying odds. That is what Albert needs in order to save his kingdom — a Champion.

Jack is seduced to enter the kingdom thinking that he could leave anytime he chooses, is knighted and leaves on a discovery journey, a quest if you would… and just before he leaves is made aware of the perils he might encounter on the Duke’s fief. The Duke? Is he his old school nemesis? Should he leave now?Too late. Jack is in love with the kingdom and with the future queen and can no more leave without feeling he is betraying his old friend Albert.

The saga begins and I will not tell it to you. You must read the book.

I only want to ask the author if he thought of a continuation of next generations. The kingdom is on a lease for 99 years. Will it end just like Hong-Kong did? Will it finally clash with the modern world? Canadian Government is not known for taking the right decisions, so there is plenty of room for new conflicts in the new generations…

For the moment we live inside Utopia, but what if loggers cut the woods surrounding the kingdom? What if they bring technology, medicine and pollution with them? What if oil is discovered in the very neighbouring valleys? What if modern army is brought to subdue the wild men living like “savages” in the middle of nowhere? So, let us hear about a sequel, and soon!

 

For More Information

The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality is available at: Amazon, My Book Orders,, Barnes & Noble, Kobo,and other retailers.

Death Coming up the Hill

Death Coming Up The Hill

is the title of a book by Chris Crowe, a professor of English at Brigham Young University, and it is a totally novel (new) novel (Book).  The story is written in 976 Haiku stanzas, where a Haiku stanza is comprised of three short verses of 5 – 7 – 5 syllables — seventeen in all.

The whole idea started from the hero’s age — 17, and the Vietnam war that lasted long enough to affect a huge number of US young men and their families.  17 became an obsession with the Author, and finding out that the total US soldiers fatalities for 1968 was the highest of all the years of the Vietnam war — 16,592 — and when this number proved divisible by 17 to a total of 976, he decided to write a syllable for each lost life, set up in Haiku stanzas of 17 syllables each.

The white verses do not have to rhyme, and are very easy to read, making the experience strange and stimulating, keeping the attention and interest to the very last verse.

What I’m trying to convey is that the verse format is an illusion needed for keeping track of syllables, to conform with the proposed total, as an homage to all fallen teens and young adults of the era, to their unsung heroism in the name of an ideal that after a very short while made no more sense to them above the need to remain alive…

Ashe, the young hero has to be part of a family war, close up and personal, where he decides to be the saviour and thus he ends up enrolling and leaving for the Vietnam war — with only one wish in his heart — to provide for his abandoned mother and his months only old sister.

I recommend reading this novel to people of all ages.  It is history as well as a fiction story, as each chapter represents another week passed in Ashe’s life, and a number, representing the number of fallen soldiers of the respective week (which is history).

“The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality” book tour – Apr. 20th — May 20th

gahanbooktour

Author Gahan Hanmer on his Virtual Book Tour starting April 20th, sponsored by The YP Publishing.

Would if you were able venture back to the Middle Ages without going back in time? Live in a castle, become a knight and travel on horseback?

Gahan Hanmer will be joining us on May 7th. We will be talking about his book The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality.”

There will be Contests * Giveaways * Reviews * Interviews

This Giveaway is open Internationally.
PRIZES 1 Winners will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash.

Learn More About Gahan Hanmer and His Book by Clicking on the Link Below:

http://thekingdomontheedgeofreality.com/thekingdomontheedgeofrealitybooktour.htm

 

The world around us

Look around and take stock of the changes that take place under our very eyes..

The world is dominated by corporations who conduct their business in a globalized way. They change work forces the way we, plain humans, change clothes. As soon as a new poorer country offers better conditions, the factories and offices move there and the old work force is “let go.” That means that men and women are left without the means to continue life as they knew it. The process of finding new jobs entails such stress that families split and children suffer.

I believe firmly that people should help each other when misfortune strikes; the need to put something on paper became an obsession with me and “Save Magic City” became reality.

I worked 10 years for such a corporation and when told that I together with my section colleagues were no more needed, I became part of this globalized world and I understood much better its underscoring evil.

Not Voldemort, but humans with $$ instead of hearts are changing us into scared beings, expecting the worst but doing nothing to change life to better…

5 Ideas of How We, Together With our Children, Can Bring Magic Into our Lives

Author Rocsanne Shields

I finished writing this book in early 2007, but I took my sweet time deciding what to do next.

In March 2010, I heard on the TV about a town (Detroit) in which the mayor had taken over the empty houses and the lots around them, to be used for the greater good of the town. There were too many empty houses left by their owners who could no more pay their dues. According to newsmax.com “city-hall takes over 23.000 abandoned houses.”

The story is not short, but very sad and very true — there were 33,000 abandoned houses, out of which 10,000 were too decrepit to be repaired and were to be demolished, the rest of 23,000 to be taken over by the city and used to produce income and save the city.  Aside from the houses there were 91,000 urban lots abandoned and polluted by trash.  The population had declined from 2 mill. in its days of glory, to less than one mill. in 2010.

How close to my story! It is frightening to know that fantasy walks so close to reality.  Though the process had started some time before the recession, it became accelerated by the closure of the automotive factories in Detroit, Michigan USA. Detroit’s magic will be provided by the government in the guise of loans and grants for the beautification of the city and advertising for new businesses to come and bring much needed jobs with them (50% of population was unemployed in 2010, at the time the article was written).

I think that people can do a lot to improve their lot, and their children are a major factor in implementing any plan.  It is their future they should fight for.  Here are the ideas I suggest for bringing the magic back in our lives:

1. Organize teams to keep the city clean.

Many a time I come home to find somebody had thrown empty cans of pop on the side of the street, coming to roost in the side ditch.  Children and young adults can help.  They are the next generation of workers, thinkers, and artists.  It is our duty to help them understand that if we destroy the environment, there will be nothing left to save in next decades.  They may organise through school, church, or just plain by neighbourhood, and help keep streets clean and green.

2. Start buying “Made in Canada”.

Once I heard President Obama say “Buy American”.  He was right but, not politically correct!  He changed the music to “buy global”.  But he was right.  Buy Canadian and support the Canadian economy.  Without our support, it is going the way of the Do-Do bird…

Parents and children together, by buying only local products will contribute to reinforce the local agriculture and the small entrepreneurs.  There is strength in numbers. This may preserve jobs from disappearing.

3. Encourage the farmers’ markets.

If we use all arable land to build houses and malls, we’ll be always buying our food from outside our country.  Already the Canadian agriculture is suffering.  We need to encourage the farmers markets, and teach all our friends and family members of all ages to do the same.

4. Follow the example of other children.

We hear all the time about children of ten or twelve who have already started to organize their friends, and gather money to help those in need.  It is very important to support their actions and encourage others to do the same, and not only for places struck by disasters.  The way the economy is oriented, we’ll have financial disasters like the banking one in USA, or the automotive crisis in North America and Europe in their generation as well.

Children can do lots to save a community.  “Canadian children help earthquake victims” is the story of Bilaal Rajan who started his crusade of helping children in need from the age of four, when he sold clementine oranges door to door. The $350 he raised was to help the 2001 earthquake victims in Gujarat, India…  After the hurricane of 2004 that ravaged Haiti, he formed a team of 12 other children to help sell the cookies his father’s company donated for this effort.  In October 2004, Bilaal and his team-mates presented UNICEF with a cheque for $6,387 from cookies sold by them door-to-door.  He was seven. By the time of the article, in 2007, he was eleven, and had already gathered $50,000 by himself. You can read more at http://www.bilaalrajan.com/about_bilaal.html :

“What a legacy Bilaal has begun– and in 2007 he’s only now 11 years of age! Your partnering with this visionary young man will make it possible for him to raise the consciousness of even the youngest of souls on the planet, and instill in them the purpose that so many of our lives lack today. In so doing, they will learn the importance of being of service to others, and will be primed to continue this work in brilliant ways in the future, leaving the world a better place than they found it, and keeping Bilaal’s dream alive…”  He also set up a dedicated website, ( www.handsforhelp.org ) to raise awareness for children in need.

5. Children should be exposed to good examples on the media.

If we start asking for such programmes, I’m sure the TV producers will listen to our voices and will find ideas for a series of shows to encourage good deeds among children and young adults.  Today Facebook is almost more important than TV.  Let’s have short movies taken while working for a good cause, instead of movies of kids beating kids.

I like to think that young people can get organized for good just as they get organized for crime.  Instead of choosing the easiest way to obtain satisfaction, they should help each other to better themselves, not to beat or bully the weaker among them.  This is our true magic.  Together we can change the conditions — locally and globally.