Be Electrific Day is February 11. It honors the birthday of Thomas Edison who was the inventor of the light bulb, held over 1,000 patents and was the founder of General Electric, now known as GE. This holiday was founded in 1998 by Carolyn Finch to encourage each of us to explore our body electricity. Without electricity, we wouldn't be alive as electric energy powers our brain and sends signals throughout our body via the nervous system.
To celebrate this holiday on an intellectual level, use this day to learn more about how electricity is used by our body. Or, if the non-intellect route is more your style, you can rub balloons on your hair to make it stand up, or drag your feet on the carpet to shock the unexpecting.
A Bit of a shock
The year was 1963 just after the Christmas Holidays. I was a freshman at Wauconda High School (No, not Wakanda) in Illinois. Our school was brand new that year. We had shiny new lockers and carpeted floors. (this is not a picture of the actual hall in the school) One of the things boys did to torment each other was to scuff up a charge on the carpet and touch the ear of the person standing at the next locker. Girls were often perpetrators and victims. Many wore nylon stockings and blouses paired with wool skirts and cashmere sweaters. (Ah the early 60's) They noticed that one had to be careful not to touch metal after walking in the hall or removing sweaters. One day, a bus was late and students were hurrying to take off coats before the bell. One young genius came down the hall scuffing hard, but no one paid attention in their haste to get to class on time. Manufactured lightning began at the door of one locker and traveled the length of the hall as the static actually grew in force - accompanied by shrieks and yelps as it punished each student at his or her locker door. It was a great science lesson for the day.
Children of Stone - Electrific Power.
The ancient gods and goddesses controlled forces of nature. Primitive man had gods of thunder and lightning as well as gods of the storm and the wind. Usually these forces were destructive. When Marai is given a new lease on life he describes the force as being like darkness combined with lightning that comes upon him and emerges from his fingertips as a bolt of electricity. A by-product of the emergence of the power is his ability to slow and stop time with that electricity so he can step through moments. Here is the first time from Voices in Crystal (spoilers removed)
Marai felt instant rage replace any of the Children’s thoughtfulness. It moved down as if it had become a living thing, descending through his shoulders in a shudder of disgust, dwelling in the pit of his gut and then spreading upward through his backbone. His brow pulsed, and his breathing slowed the images of all the men moving around him as if time itself had slowed. He was too angry to notice. You daring me? his head snapped around.
(Moments later someone tries to knife him, and...)
Marai whirled, instinctively blocking the blow with his crossed forearms. A sizzling crackle of dark lightning leapt from his stone followed by a red thunderbolt that growled out to the flat of his arms. The man screamed in horrible agony and went to his knees in pain. His blade fell to the sand unused as he whimpered prayers to his goddess. Both arms had snapped backward and twisted several times into bleeding knots with white juts of broken, exposed bone.
None of my listed authors published this week so here are three reviews of books I've read recently.
Janus: The Devil's Election (The Janus Series Book 1) by Angel Ramon
Readers remember the American presidential election of 2016 and have likely listened to the news in these two years that have followed enough to think this "Alternate Universe" United states might not be far off.
The story is action packed and fast paced. It relates a story that reads like a conspiracy theory and political thriller with a "what-if" twist. There are Terrorist killers seeking the identity of an evil overlord named for the two-faced god Janus who is bent on controlling the world by rigging the election. Tip the hat to the Russians and then tip it again to Big Pharma and a shadowy deep state with stem cell drugs that genetically engineer super-humans. It's written in first-person narrative which is a struggle for me, but it's well written and I won't ding an author who chooses to write it. Once I was able to get the swing of the writing style I found the story kept picking up speed and didn't let go. It's a complex story that's real enough to be "fake news."I'll certain be interested in the next installment.
Silver Coins: Poems and Dream Prose Kindle Edition
by WC Quick (Author)
As Mr. Quick states this is his book of poems and verse and from dreams and observations while traveling about, Love and loss and ramblings.
Many poems come from his stories of the Orb.
I loved the little book and felt so many of the poems speak to me of the feelings of getting older and reflecting on life. Well written. A joy for anyone who loves short free verse poetry.
What the F*ck Just Happened?: Stories From the Supermarket Kindle Edition by Blake Cooper (Author)
A book of short and hilarious vignettes of things that happen at the supermarket and even stranger things going on behind the scenes. If you like "People of Walmart" humor, silliness, gaffes and the odd practical joke, You'll love this book!
Last Week John (J F) Holmes wrote about his writing life. Now he presents his character Brittany.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name is Brittany Beth O’Neill – Agostine
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in Smallville, Kansas. Never ask a woman how old she is.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m incredibly smart and beautiful, forever being made to do dumb ass shit by my husband and his dumbass sense of duty, running around trying to keep Captain ‘merika alive while he freaking tries to save the world.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Most boring place ever, on a farm full of cows, hogs, shit, corn and knuckle dragging football players. Which is funny, because after the Apocalypse, I live on a farm filled with cows hogs, shit, corn, and knuckle dragging operators who will gladly kill you as shake your hand. Nice guys, though, really.
5. How old are you?
See above. Who wrote these questions?
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
I did. I’m the all American redheaded girl that the boy next door always wanted to f*ck but never could.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Who gives a shit about the past? Current relationship? Well, where do I start. Saved my life numerous times, but in return I’ve lost my right eye, right hand, and gotten infected with the plague. Given me some cute kids, but someday he’s going to get killed and then where the hell will I be?
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Slaying my enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women. Seriously, though, touch my kids and I will f*cking kill you. I like to get laid just as much as the rest of them, and for some damn reason I have a soft spot for my boneheaded husband. I value my teammates and will lay own my life for them.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Hot water and bathing. And not starving. Unlike you, fat ass, sitting in the Federal Zone in Seattle for most of the past few years, I’ve been out in the wild wild east, bringing back civilization.
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I believe in the power of a 12 gauge Bennelli pump action shotgun loaded with .00 buck. What do you believe in?
11. Biggest fear?
That someday I’ll run out of antidote and turn all the way to undead.
12. What line will you never cross?
Draw one, see what happens. No seriously, I’ve never eaten another human. Never will.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The Zombie Apocalypse, in both cases. Destroyed my life, but brought me a husband and a family.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I almost got killed taking a piss in the woods and had to run back the Humvee with my underwear and pants around my boots. Jonesy about died laughing.
15. Biggest secret?
I know who started the Apocalypse.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Live, baby. Live.
Next Author up: Richard Gibney
What made you want to be a writer?
As a child of maybe 6, I drew comic strips til I realised that my art wasn't up to scratch. I have been writing since then. I wrote what would be today deemed fan fiction of tv programs, but back then I didn't have a name for it. I started writing my own stuff a few years later.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale. How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
The Quantum Eavesdropper Vol. 1. It’s science fiction and it and volume 2 are 180,000 words long. It should be released Summer 2019.
A year after losing his wife, a man gets trapped on the lip of a black hole. It’s 2095, but he finds that he can communicate at this point in time with individuals back on Earth at any point in the past from the birth of telecommunications to far into the future. He could call you on your phone right now. But can he save his wife from death?
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
To see what's possible and to appreciate the canonical are two very strong reasons to read.
Do you remember the first book you read?
No. An early inspiration was Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
What book are you reading now?
Beta-reading or editing as-yet-to-be released novels by Lynn Lamb, Saadon Aksah, Bianca Bowers and David Wells. I recently finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel (fiction, very impressive writing) and I’m reading War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (non-fiction, alarming insight into how Trump is gutting the State Department and the US’s diplomatic corps across the globe).
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, although it would probably help.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
My current novel is The Perduror and my hero is a young man named Blythe who finds himself in a DaVinci Code style mystery. I’d like to think that I can relate to Blythe’s naivety more than I can relate to Keir Tremayne’s cynicism in my yet-to-be-released The Quantum Eavesdropper.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, it’s all stuff and nonsense, isn’t it? There are certain things that are based on actual events, but they are exaggerated in my fiction. There is a “ship” / “sheep” mix-up between Blythe and his (French) love interest in The Perduror that sort-of happened in real life.
There’s a scene in The Quantum Eavesdropper where the top of Magdalena’s dress catches on her charm bracelet at a dinner party. The charm bracelet breaks apart, and she simultaneously pulls her breasts out over her dress. “My charms! My charms!” she shouts as the charms fall to the floor, with everyone looking at her exposed upper body, under the misapprehension that she is referring to her breasts. That didn’t actually happen, but there was a young lady whose charm bracelet caught on her dress (without the added exposure).
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
Music’s often good. My villain in The Quantum Eavesdropper is Zhinny Zhao, and the theme song I use for her is The Living Daylights by A-ha. In fact, Eavesdropper’s playlist would probably comprise more than a few Bond themes as there’s lots of political intrigue and industrial espionage.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Coffee. Unfortunate but true.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Probably formatting for publication.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
The worst thing is probably getting over the fact that traditional publishing didn’t work out for me. I have novels sitting on my desktop for years, and I was turned away by agents time and again. They would often ask for the whole manuscript before saying it wasn’t for them or they just weren’t feeling it. So four fellow indie writers were putting together a boxset a couple of years back, and Lynn Lamb convinced me to publish The Perduror with them. Since then I’ve only put out a short story collection, Fade to Black. Some of the short stories in that collection have won awards, been broadcast on national radio, or reached shortlists, so they have some provenance. But whether trad or indie, I’d rather be published than not, to be honest.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Yusuf Toropov provides a good ear. He’s a fellow author and he offers lots of encouragement.
How do you market your book?
I use Twitter and Facebook. Sales have not been great to be honest but I never developed a mailing list or anything like that. It’s something I ought to strongly consider as they say it’s the first thing a writer should develop. I have yet to buy any advertising for my publications.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
A few quotes below from people who should know better!
“The story that cheerfully breaks the rules and gets away with it.”
“Thanks to the skill of this storyteller—who concocts a delicious blend of mystery and history—we are blown away by the premise and the structure. A delight to read from beginning to end.”
“One of the best opening lines I’ve read.”
“Brilliant comic timing!”
Dialogue that shows “remarkable command over the spoken word.”
“… a light touch to leave the reader both pensive and thoroughly entertained.”
“I think one of the best beta readings I’ve read.”
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
Get The Perduror here:
And my short story collection, called Fade to Black, is here:
Social media links and websites?
Check out My Children of Stone Facebook page for ticket and motel information. I'd love to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrenofstonebooks/announcements/
In the coming weeks I'll be interviewing Amanda Rose
who writes fiction as well as self-help books. Here's a current coupon and two Press Releases followed by links for YouTube trailers:
Until Feb 20th customers can get the Fire Fury Freedom E-book 30% off through Smashwords using coupon code TN83N https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/910869
Fire Fury Frontierhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrgg_nGscBA
Fire Fury Freedom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxM3yAifjbY