Avid Readers, check out this uranian fiction!

Miriamspia's Blog

555545_4438412967325_1970803969_nThe Future of Engineering – an anthology
This anthology of short science fiction stories is ideal for college students or those who are curious about it. The author originally wrote these while living as a foreign exchange graduate student in London, England. While, definitely science fiction shorts, the ambiance of international academia and college students shines as the background setting.

Jimmy Bodeilo Travels Through Time
This is a single short science fiction story starring Jimmy Bodeilo who is about 11 years old. He appears in more than one story by the same author. To keep it simple “If it is a Jimmy Bodeilo story, then you know it is for kids.”

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead  This is an urban crime novel.  You can also check out a page at the blog, and read a chapter for free.

The Children of Loki at Jet.com Using mercenaries in corporate…

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Blogospheric Interactions

Read, Respond

While still coming down emotionally from upset based on a formatting issue (I tried to put an image at the top of this blog post), I’m starting this today.

A few of you may have read the odd post that I wrote directly related to someone else’s post.  I’ve been known to also do that at Facebook.  This type of behavior is sometimes known as “Letter to the editor” of Newspaper X.

Not surprisingly, I’m sure that all of us have some degree of desiring to interact or to now when we read blogs.  I’m no different in that I would guess that 70% of the time I spend reading, I do so with a desire to interact involved with the behavior.  For some reason, I get the feeling I can’t or won’t with in person living people so I read or watch videos of people speaking on given topics.

It’s also usually true when writing, including this post.  Again, I have been assuming this is the case for at least 50% of the people, but am open to being corrected if I am just being blind to the fact that “It’s just me”.  Sometimes that can happen to people; we think we are mature enough to know the difference, but really we don’t know.

Feel free to let me know if you have the same feeling and think I’m right that most of us are like that: when we write a blog post or article or read one or a book, our desire to interact is engaged.

Blogosphere

The blogosphere is actually fairly complicated, I think.  I feel my own knowledge of it is like having touched a few places on that smaller upside of the proverbial iceberg.

Some of it is purely professional and segmented according to the industry in which a given blog exists.

Other blogs are a mixture of business and pleasure, or somehow come across that way.  Most recently Christian Mihai and MakeItUltra and Isha Garga (Garda?!) come across to me as a blend of personal and business.  Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha is often right on top in my WordPress Reader feed.  It occurs to me: is this the same for everyone?  Maybe not; when I searched for it, I was able to find Psycho Bunny’s blog and of course there is always The Writer in Black.

There are blogs that are strictly personal, but I’m not sure 1) whether I would claim that mine is.  I have tried just letting my blog be natural but then,…a few years ago, just as I began to improve how professionalized it was…something happened that made the upgrade die in the water like the recent death of one of my pet fish.   This paragraph is almost entirely personal rambling on.  2) If I know how to find which type of blog or if the truth is I only very rarely bother to search up someone’s personal blog.  That said, I can easily imagine feeling I developed an intimate psychological relationship with someone via his or her blog.  Resulting in “I feel like I really know you, although we’ve never met” until the sting of reality hits and he or she is like “Who the heck are you? Get a way from me, you weirdo!”  Of course, if the whole thing is not a delusional fantasy, the other person will say, “Wow, it’s mutual.  I guess we’re fans of each other” or will try to be diplomatic but not duplicitous and will say something like: “Well, I’ve accessed your account and have found that you’ve commented on the blogs…You know, I think me and just a few of the other employees here have been reading the messages you send and the posts you post….You know, wait a minute So-n-So is on staff and I see that s/he has handled your posts in the past…” You get put on hold for a few minutes and then finally someone says, “Yeah, hi, I remember you I’m So-n-So Not-the-Star you contacted at Star’s Blog.org.  Yeah, I’m starting to feel like I know you.”  I think you all know what I mean.

Today’s Experiment

This blog post should be viewed by the readers as an experiment in connection with you all.  It makes a big difference whether or not any of you see this, read it and provide feedback that I will be able to notice at my end within the upcoming week.

If so, I hope you feel that I’ve reached out, so to speak, without embarrassing myself in any way.

Things gone awry

Below is the image intended for the top center of this blog post.

 

German castle in the mountains

Positivity and Negativity

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Public talk

We hear a lot about how much good attitudes help.  In general I agree, but today, when I read a post by Dr. Perry on the subject of positivity and negativity I felt inspired to write about the subject.

When negative is bad

Negativity can really ruin peoples’ previously happy day.  People can be going along and decide to be sociable only to run into someone who seems to just drain their energy.

Complaining, blaming others for events that are really one’s own fault and negative attitudes can really negatively impact other peoples’ moods.

People can develop negatives attitudes and behaviors both accidentally and on purpose.  It can come from lots of disappointment or from buying into ideas picked up in the media.

People can desperately need to break free of negative people in their lives and/or bad circumstances or attitudes.

When negative is good

There are times when negative is good, rather than bad.  The first examples I always think of are when:  the results of the medical tests are negative – you or I or you plural don’t have a disease.  The other case that I think of most strongly, right off the top of my head is what a relief and a joy it is whenever a woman or a man finds out that the partner is really not having an extramarital affair.

Negativity is also good when it means that a person is able to be honest, at least with the self, about emotions and circumstances.  This can include being truthful about negative emotions or feeling badly about a particular set of circumstances.

Being negative can help motivate people to make needed changes in their lives.

Criticism

Criticism is a well known form of negativity.  It can also be good or bad.  Constructive criticism is one of the most helpful non-things that a person can ever receive from a more experienced person who knows what he or she is really dealing with.

Correction is really a great gift to the recipient.  Most of experience this from loving parents, from school teachers and from religious leaders.  Once adult, most of us also experience correction and constructive criticism from colleagues and bosses at work.

Destructive Criticism

When on the wrong side of this, destructive criticism is actually devastating.  It can make people insecure; bullying can destroy people.  Criticism can make people hopeless and incredibly depressed without any self-esteem left at the end.

One common example of this is when a person is so ridiculed for something that he or she no longer tries.  In my own life, I relate this most easily to living in a foreign language atmosphere.  The amount of error one must endure to even attempt to use the local language is sort of horrible.  Destructive criticism can make a bad situation worse, because it becomes much harder to learn if one doesn’t dare to even try.

Over all

Due to all of that, I personally don’t believe that negativity is particularly bad or good but that like so much in life, if the balance is wrong it makes matters worse but when right, it is healthy and helpful.

 

Author Interview: Robert Fitzgerald Jr.

Welcome to this blog.  Today, we are featuring the interview with the author of the science novel The Children of Loki by Robert Fitzgerald Jr..

Q. Robert, is this your first novel?

A. Yes, at least this is the first novel I’ve ever published using that name.

Q.  Wow, was it hard to get it published?

A.  Compared to what the main characters in the novel go through, no, not at all.  My life is much easier than those of the characters in the novel.  I did find it challenging to get published but I can’t be sure whether that’s only because I haven’t been living in NYC for the past 30 years or if that’s not the cause of the problem.

Q. Can you give us a general feeling for what kind of story this is?

A.  It’s military science fiction.  It’s intended to be able to complement or rival David Drake’s Hammers Slammers and the like.  I’d rather people read both than just lose to his fans.  It’s very much subgenre fiction.

It’s about military soldiers working in the private sector after completing military service, but it’s nothing like what happens when veterans from Afghanistan or Iraq become corporate managers or trainers.   In fact, that could be construed as misleading based on what the novel is really like, but its also an almost freakishly accurate way of describing the actual plot line.

Q. Really?

A. (makes strange sound) Yes, absolutely.   It’s about a business start-up only…If I tell you, it might be a spoiler.

OK, let me ask you a few different types of questions about it:

Q.  What did you use for character development in your fiction novel The Children of Loki?

A.  Oh, wow, that is a different type of question.  I used a number of features.  How to express unique individuals in writing is an exciting and fun part of the process.  I used a few traits and pieces of world-views and attitudes to set up how each of the main characters tends to make decisions.

None of the characters is taken from anyone alive, although I would like to cast that man Rock to play the lead male character if the novel were turned into a movie during the upcoming 5 years, which sadly, isn’t likely.  The main male character is a big, strong middle aged mulatto from right here on planet Earth.  He has significant military experience but he wasn’t career military.

In stark contrast, the main woman character is a cradle-to-grave soldier.

Also, just to be clear, I dared to make the leads not a romance; I know that’s very un-Hollywood, or may seem anti-Hollywood but all the “why nots” are shown and explained well in the story itself.  Just one hint about that might be her fear-inducing body odor and how that was scientifically developed in her native culture.

In truth, I haven’t been able to find anyone I would cast in her role.  There might be someone living who could do it, but I tend to think she would be done using advanced graphic arts, and a voice-over actress.  That’s not necessarily easier on the acting staff: something about green walls and pretending to talk to someone who isn’t there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  I’m not sure who’s voice would be ideal.

I realize that’s strange to have easily cast one role but not the others.  I don’t know if the Rock would even want to play Kiel Bronson in a movie, but he’s got the right physical size and his face would also suit the part.

(the author blushes) and looks sheepishly at the interviewer.

Q. Can you tell us anything about the setting?

A. Sure.  In truth, there is a map from a game that I did use for guidance.  Some map that shows the main starts within the 50Light Years closest to our Solar System.  The setting is within 50 LY from Sol and out planet.

(author makes a noise that sounds like a mixture of chuckling aloud and suffering from embarrassment)

I made up almost all the details.  It’s set in the distant future or else in an alternative but very nearby universe where most things are the same, but some stuff isn’t.

It’s a typical military science fiction setting.  (something that seems like fidgeting again, on the part of the author).

Q.  If you could only tell us one more thing about the novel what would it be?

A.  For me, the author, the 2 main characters, Gezka and Kiel, drive the whole story.  In truth, the characters, events and setting are all interconnected but that’s what it was and is like for me, the author.  That’s part of why it says on the title page *a Gezka FaucMerz and Kiel Bronson novel.   In the event of related sequels, from my perspective it’s that the future stories would star one or both of those 2.

Q. If we want to buy it online, can we?

A. Yes, of course.  Here are a couple of links.  The Children of Loki from Barnes & Noble bookstoreThe Children of Loki via Amazon .

Q. Is it possible to buy it offline?

A. You can also buy it from nearly any book store, especially a large chain store, but you have to ask for the store to order it.

A.  Also, I actually go out to sell the books for myself.  So, depending upon our relative locations I might show up out of nowhere offering the book.  It is very common for authors to have a few copies of their books in the trunk of their car, or stashed nearby for selling to people when it comes up.  Unfortunately, the publishing companies don’t handle most of the marketing for me;  I wish they did, but they don’t.

 

Who’s Tutweiler Buckhead?

Who?

Who is this man?  In truth, that’s the big question that the protagonists want to know.  The cops know a little bit about him, but unlike you, they don’t even know his name.  That’s a slight tease: all you do know is his name…and that’s the one piece of information the cops would most like to have.

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead  may be one of the first if not only, mystery novels named after the villain.  Perhaps you should chime in on whether or not you feel this makes the novel more attractive, or if you find it misleading, as far as titles are concerned.

The novel is an action adventure story set in the city of Indianapolis, which is where I lived when I wrote the first couple of drafts.

The story is not told from Tutweiler’s perspective.  In fact, if he could respond to this post it would only be to hope that no one notices it or else that no one takes it seriously, because of how much he is evading the Police with some of his activities, but not all of them.

Tutweiler is also honestly not based on any single real-life person but I suppose anyone like Tutweiler might worry that this was about him.  In reality, in my fictions stories, especially novels, each character is a composite of at least 4 different people.  To share a sad joke, the other day I saw a video in which Tai Lopez essentially said this ideal girlfriend is also a composite of at least 3 different women.  While that may be painfully true, I immediately thought of the way that I personally write fiction and how I do that intentionally in the invention of characters for novels…but would not find it so helpful for making myself content within a marriage.

The name is very intentionally exotic.  I think I found his first name doing Internet research about dog breeds while scouting the terrain for potential freelance writing contracts over a decade ago.  Strangely enough, I do recall specifically how I came up with the character’s surname.  I was being paid to write a real estate blog for a little while and through the related research learned that Buckhead is one of the fancier neighborhoods in greater Atlanta, Georgia.  Well, something about it struck me as fitting.

White Collar Criminals

I am willing to divulge, and I hope it’s not a spoiler, that Tutweiler is a white collar type of criminal, but even telling you that I begin to digress into that character’s personal issues that are explained in chapters of the novel.

Everyone who has known or hated white collar criminals will appreciate this.

What’s the plot line?

It’s really about finding out who Tutweiler actually is, and saddling him with the burden of the responsibility for some of his actions.  Mind you, he’s enough of a real person type of villain that there is a lot more to him than just his crimes.

The City of Indianapolis resorts to using a special squad of 4 who are a compromise between the law enforcement agencies and vigilantes.   The 4 are not all alike, which will appeal more to some readers than others.   Three types of people will feel most at home with our protagonists: 1) people who like those crime TV shows like NCIS where there is obviously a team solving a criminal case, 2) fantasy role play gamers who are used to thinking in terms of “adventuring parties”, 3) people who love comic book heroes and heroines.  (old use of the actual feminine form instead of only the masculine grammatical form).  If you or someone you know is any of those types, then you might really like this novel.

Magical Realism

Fans of fantasy might be terribly disappointed by level of magic in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead.  In fact, here’s a link to a  negative book review – fantasy disappointment.   There is some magic and occultism in the novel, but it does not conform to either sword and sorcery nor to ‘Satanic crimes’ genre expectations.  It may live up to the standards of magical realism.

There is also God related magic in the novel, and in this case, it is done by Christians rather than say Buddhists or Hindus ala Dr. Strange.

Other details

The writing style developed from someone who finds it normal if you take advanced classes in high school or go to college in stark contrast to someone who thought all that would go right over your head.  This is not a book written “at an 8th grade reading level” so that foreigners and kids can feel as if they understand the English language.   Be prepared for relatively long sentences and descriptive sub-clauses.

Interested?

If this sounds like your type of thing, then just scroll on up and click on the link.   The review is also real by the way and not a ‘brain wash positive’ work of paid promotional advertising.

If you go for it, I hope you love it.

I would be thrilled if anyone who reads it would bother to post a comment or a semi-public or public review of the reader’s own free will.

Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them

the most concise work of applied philosophy ever known

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Does it matter?

Perhaps you are having one of those days when you are actually asking yourself questions such as:  Does my life matter?  or just What does it all mean?  If so, there are a few simple approaches to handling this.  One, if possible you should get a hug from someone who cares about you.  Two, you should either read a bit of philosophy or go to a church service, or three: all of the above.

This is one of the questions directly addressed in the booklet shown in the image with this post.  Not only that, but it’s only $13.50 and can be delivered right to your door.  Here’s a link: Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them

How do know what’s true anymore?

Let’s just say that the headline describes your subjective mental state.  It could be because you aren’t sure whether or not your spouse is cheating on you.  It might be caused by having found a crook at the company you work for, or because you recently suffered from an online scam.

Whatever the reason, this is a fairly serious question.  Let’s rephrase it just slightly: how does any of us know what’s true in the first place?  Often we trust authority and experts: this is normally the case whether we mean a religious cleric or a school instructor who claims to have received trusted information from scientific researchers.  In both cases, whether from The Bible or History of the Universe we are faced with serious efforts to get at truth and knowledge.

Philosophy also seeks truth and knowledge.  If you are an avid and vigorous reader or lengthy works you can start with the link at the beginning of this paragraph, but if you just want the short answer, you can click on the link for the booklet above.

Either the human mind contains the power to perceive the truth or does not.  If so, then either we can get to it from: God, and or from thought and or from sense experience.  If we can get to it in any of those ways, we still have to look into methods.  There are spiritual methods, and there are also philosophical and scientific methods for getting at the truth.  In Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them, I help readers see how these basic principles work and how they show up in daily life.

Sadly, I am not in a position to call your boyfriend or girlfriend for you and explain what happened…nor am I in a great position to call you right now and talk you through your present problem.

If it is mainly emotional unrest, please take a few deep breaths and maybe go for a walk.  I do also recommend getting a hug if you can get one from someone you trust at this time.  If it still seems important after you’ve calmed down, buy the booklet and delve into this more deeply.

If you love the booklet you can come back to this article and find the links to books that cover the same topic in more depth.

Wild Undergraduates

Do you love a college student?

Maybe you and your peers are going to university.  If so, we hope that you are full of hope and excited about getting the education best suited to help you have a rewarding and fulfilling career and a wonderful life.

If you are a college student and you love yourself, I hope it is healthy self-love rather than