Cloning Gone Wrong

Mr. Paws wasn't sure why, but today, for the first time, he felt digging in the back yard for worms.


Thirteen Reasons why I think my husband is an alien.

1. He has more shoes than I do.

2. He likes to exercise.

3. He frequently forgets to drink water. Must have come from a dry planet.

4. He takes longer than I do to get ready in the morning. Probably hiding that third eye on the back of his head.

5. He uses the left side his brain way too often.

6. He teaches the language of the universe: Algebra, Calculus, Geometry.

7. He has the perfect cover up: He doesn’t like Sci Fi.

8. He hasn’t aged in 10 years.

9. His favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. ‘Nuff said.

10. All year long he drives with the top down on his Miata. Obviously some system of communicating with the Mother Ship.

11. He never wears tin foil on his head. Again, communicating with the M.S.

12. He can’t figure out his computer. Obviously because earth technology is so far behind what they had on his home planet.

13. And Number 13 is the biggest one of all: He loves me!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Grace
2. Angela, the Sci Fi Chick
3. Mama Pajama
4. Kat's Kracker Box
5. The Good Stuff
6. The Quest Writer, or otherwise known as Eve!
7. Working at home Mom
8. Buck Naked Politics
9. Some Things Need Said

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The Yike Factor

Herman just wasn't prepared for the savage brown alligator that lurked in the shadows . . .

Love At First Bite

I just love these things. Especially with salt.

All Washed Up

I promise I don't know the secrets to the universe. Honest. Can I go out and pretend I'm a dog again?

Phone Home

Myrtle loved talking to the Mother Ship. The way the wind caught her long ears. How her voice sounded as it carried away on the star-dusted breeze.

The Secret Life of the Real Becky Miller: Part 3

Here we are. The final interview with the REAL Becky Miller. This is the part where she reveals her deepest, darkest secret . . . (loud stage gasp) . . . an excerpt from one of her books.

Before I give you what you all have been waiting for, some great genre writing, I'd like to thank my virtual reality guest, Rebecca Luella Miller, for the interview.

Thanks so much, Becky, and I wish you the best on all your writing projects!

Now, back to the show:

MD: We’d all love to read something you’ve written. Can you give us a brief synopsis and an excerpt from one of your novels?

RLM: Well, why be logical. Since I’ve been talking about The Lore of Efrathah, I’ll give you a completely different story. This is a stand-alone entitled The Only.

Brief synopsis:
Soluno—the discarded God of the land.

Roving bands of thieves. Child sacrifice. Deification of the reigning sovereign. Novo and the others who want to bring back worship of Soluno plan to change these reprehensible conditions. Can they escape King Olam’s murderous clutches? As they flee, will they fall victim to revenge, or discover a surprising source of support? Above all, will the new king succumb to the lure of illegitimate wealth and power?

Chapter 1—Secrets and Lies
King Olam’s human sacrifices provided powerful evidence, but the warrior contests convinced Novo. Not because of the spilled blood—either way, on the altar or in the arena, people died. Rather, Olam’s cocky air, his expectation of winning the final bout against the tournament champion, his grandstanding for the crowd were explicit contradictions to nobility, to deity. Meridan was right—how could Olam be the legitimate king?

On the stadium floor, the regal figure spun away from his opponent and thrust his sword upward, cutting the soldier’s shield arm. The crowd cheered, and Novo pumped his fist in the air, chanting Olam’s name along with the other citizens of Thenes.

The effort to appear supportive demanded all of Novo’s will, more so today than it had three months ago at the king’s festival, though why this was so, he couldn’t explain. Perhaps his perception was off—with time he had simply forgotten how hard these games were to endure.

The crowd roared again as King Olam ducked his head and his opponent’s dagger whiffled past his ear. The king righted himself and laughed, a sardonic chuckle that twisted his mouth into a sneer. “Not bad for a foot soldier.”

The warrior circling him paused, his rapier dipping slightly. “A foot soldier, your grace? I’m of the temple guard, the ranking officer.”

“Foot soldier,” repeated the king. “If you live.” He lunged with his sword aimed at his opponent’s armpit.

The officer reacted to the threat with a jerk that snapped his blade back into position. The point scraped the king’s neck just under his chin.

A red welt puffed up, and a trickle of blood meandered toward the throat of his open shirt. He daubed at the laceration with the back of his hand, staring with ever-widening eyes at the red blotch smearing his knuckles.

A collective gasp escaped the spectators closest to the action.

“Is he bleeding?” an old woman said into the silence that followed.

The king clamped the palm of his free hand against the wound, roaring as if he’d lost the life of his eldest son at the hands of his youngest. Novo recognized the cry because he’d been present when the king received the report that Ongilam had stabbed Malik to death.

The menace in the king’s eye matched the rising fury in his voice.

Novo’s friend Potani elbowed him in the ribs. “If I were the officer, I’d yield.”

“Too late. He’s already a dead man.” Fingering an imperceptible bulge beneath his waistband, Novo pushed away from the restraining rail. He didn’t need to watch what was about to take place since he’d seen the king cut the life from a man many times before, but what was worse, that roar of anger meant a good many onlookers were doomed to die as well.

He grabbed a fist of Potani’s thin cotton shirt, careful not to pull too hard lest he widen the tear splitting the sleeve from the neck.

Potani stumbled after him. The king roared a second time, more in triumph than before. The officer of the guard screamed, and screamed again. Terror pushed his voice higher, louder, until his cry of pain overtook it. The crowd cheered, drowning his last gasps, though the shouts sounded more half-hearted than usual.

Novo, still pulling Potani along with him, reached the closest archway before the next shriek sounded—a woman’s high-pitched shriek.

A palace guardsman stepped from the shadow of the sandstone wall enclosing the arena. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Averting his gaze to the ground, Novo mumbled, “The king has his victory.”

“But not the homage he is due.”

More screams rose from the stadium floor.

“He won’t take the temple throne today.” Novo guided Potani to his side so the guard could not see his friend’s face.

A figure appeared on the parapet above them. “Guardsman, open the gate.”


“Open the gate, you dolt. The games are over today.”

The guardsman saluted, then unlatched the wooden gate and swung it open without taking his eyes off Novo.

After checking the presence of the bulge at his waist, Novo shepherded Potani out, adjusting his tattered brown cap—as much to block his face and hide the clump of sandy hair that had a way of falling over his forehead as to stave off the blast of cold air that met them on the other side of the wall.

The two men hunched along without speaking, their footsteps clattering on the cobbled street, until the acrid scent of the smelter’s workshop drifted to them.

At the next intersection, Potani glanced down the empty lane, left, then right. “How did you know he wouldn’t take the throne today?”

Novo peered over his shoulder. When he was convinced no one was following them, he answered. “He was bleeding.”

“You think that really was blood?” Potani asked, his tone full of caution more than of doubt.

“Of course it was.” Novo slowed, his hand once again connecting with the hard stone beneath his waistband. “He doesn’t have you fooled too, does he?”

“Everyone says the king doesn’t bleed.”

Novo met his friend’s gaze. “The true king doesn’t.”

“But you just said …”

“That Olam was bleeding.”

Potani waved his hands as if to erase the words from the air. “Novo, don’t say such a thing.”

“You yourself saw it.”

“But don’t say such a thing.” Potani raised one eyebrow higher than the other.

Novo coerced playfulness into his tone. “At least not on the street.”

Potani chuckled, and the two men broke into a jog.


Danger, Will Robinson

Don't forget to stop by and check up on Crop Circles. Remember, she's been home alone all day. She could have eaten the carpet, scratched the furniture, slobbered on the nightstand.

Right now she could be standing outside in the backyard, staring up at the stars, with a popcorn bowl on her head. Waiting for the Mother Ship to come take her back to her REAL home.

So don't make her feel like an unwanted orphan alien child. (Even if she is.)

We don't want her to run away from home.

My Picks

Some way cool sites to visit during the fab blog tour for Austin Boyd's latest book, The Return:

1. A Christian Worldview of Fiction
2. Imagination Investigation
3. Bloggin' Outloud
4. Shadow of the Wood
5. Karanee's Backlog
6. Daily Blurb

A Book Alien Lovers Have To Read

Austin Boyd's third book, The Return, is available at Amazon.com.

Below is a review from Amazon:
"Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells is set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race."
While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth.

"Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.

"From the Back Cover
With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.

"Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.

"Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself."


The Secret Life of the Real Becky Miller: Part 2

Today we are continuing our interview with the REAL Becky Miller . . .

MD: What would you like to see change within the next year?

RLM: Well, the most obvious thing I would like to see changed is more fantasy on book shelves. And I wouldn’t mind seeing The Return to Efrathah included on the list. ;-)

Seriously, CBA publishers seem to be more open to fantasy, though some, cautiously so.

Ironically, I still don’t see a lot of the sword-and-sorcery fantasy I enjoy. I hear publishers saying they want something fresh, but when there are few s-and-s titles written from a Christian worldview, I claim that IS fresh.

Some of the “fantasy-friendly” editors have made it plain their interest is in a much narrower slice of the speculative pie, and sword-and-sorcery is not part of that mix. So I guess I would hope editors would expand what they are willing to consider.

Even the little science fiction that CBA has produced is borderline contemporary and is sometimes marketed as such.

MD: I agree. I’ve noticed that most of the science fiction in CBA, and even in ABA, tends to be futuristic fiction rather than what we might consider classic sci-fi that takes place on other planets.

How do think these changes will take place, or what is required for these changes to manifest?

RLM: Editor after editor says that what spurs change is sales. I wish publishing houses would do marketing studies because this reliance on sales is so nebulous. If there are only two speculative titles on the shelf of a CBA store, one an urban fantasy and one a science fiction, I, who love sword-and-sorcery fantasy, will probably go elsewhere. Then when sales don’t exceed expectations, marketers will say, Fantasy doesn’t sell in the CBA.

Compare that to the romance reader who has, 20 or more titles to choose from. What chance does she have of finding something she will like? The percentages are obviously in favor of the romance reader.

That being said, I think things like the CSFF Blog Tour and the Latest In Spec Classifieds can help the speculative titles find their audience. If sales improve, I see publishers increasing the number of titles exponentially.

MD: One thing I’ve noticed is that the CSFF Blog Tour really seems to be a great marketing tool for this growing market. It’s the perfect place for publishers to help introduce their speculative books to the readers who are interested. And, from my perspective, it’s an awesome opportunity for someone like me to get involved, to help promote the same type of fiction that I want to see when I walk into any bookstore, Christian or otherwise.

Who is the real Becky Miller and what is her secret life?

RLM: Hahah. Sharon Hinck put me on the map with The Secret Life of Becky Miller. I couldn’t be more different than Sharon’s character, however. I’m single, a baby-boomer, and living the life I’d dreamed of. I used to say my pipe-dream was to teach Bible, coach, and write. I lived that one year, but the writing was … secondary. When I had the opportunity to step away from teaching and begin writing full time, I felt like I’d become a whole person.

MD: What project are you working on now?

RLM: I’m working on a rewrite of the third book in The Lore of Efrathah trilogy. Its working title is The Battle for RevĂ­n.

MD: Okay, I have to ask this: What do aliens dream about?

RLM: I’m SURE they dream about the land of Efrathah. ;-)

MD: I think you're right. One more signature question: Where will you be in 10,000 years?

RLM: Heaven!

MD: Is there anything else you’d like to say or share
with the Alien Dream blog readers?

RLM: It’s a privilege to be included as part of this uber creative effort here at Alien Dream. Thanks for having me, Merrie.

MD: It’s my pleasure, of course! Like I mentioned, I’m thrilled to be part of the CSFF Blog Tour. If any of you readers are interested in joining the tour, stop over at CSSF.

And don't forget. We're going to run an excerpt from one of Becky's books tomorrow.

So stay tuned. Same bat time. Same bat channel.


The Secret Life of the Real Becky Miller

There are a series of books about a fictional character named Becky Miller. Written by talented author, Sharon Hinck, these stories tell the adventures of a woman lost in a world of fantasy.

In the Grand Blogging Universe, however, there is another story being written about a different Becky Miller, a real live woman this time, who also happens to dwell in the world of fantasy. This tale unfolds on a daily basis in the land of cyberspace, in an interlinked set of Web sites visited often by faithful readers. These sites cater to those who enjoy their speculative fiction with a unique twist: an element of faith.

For the next several days, we will be interviewing the real Becky Miller, otherwise known as Rebecca Luella Miller, and, faithful Alien Dream readers will get to read a portion of one of her novels on Thursday.

MD: Can you give us a brief bio?

RLM: The thumbnail sketch is, I grew up in a Christian home, became a teacher for thirty years, then changed professions and became a writer. Of course, that leaves out my summer attending school in Mexico City, my year in Tanzania, my three years teaching in Guatemala, but you can’t get much on a thumbnail.

MD: I know you were a teacher. Can you give us your credentials?

RLM: I was a Literature major in college and taught some level of English for twenty-nine of my thirty years in the classroom. As a teacher, I wrote. One year it was a play for a summer school class. Another year it was a short story for a speech unit. Off and on I wrote poems as examples for our poetry unit. And regularly I wrote countless worksheets and other curriculum aids.

Six years ago, I decided to write full time. A year later I became a stringer for the San Gabriel Newspaper Group, covering local high school and college sports. I also began doing some freelance editing, most prominently for AMG Publishing (three of the Dragon in Our Midst books and Eye of the Oracle). I’ve also published two short stories and have an article coming out in Victorian Homes magazine.

MD: Tell us about your blogs. How and why and when did all that get started?

RLM: My personal blog is A Christian Worldview of Fiction. I began that in February 2006 because a writer friend of mine told me about a contest called Everyday Hogwash. It was for blog posts ranting about the ineptitude of some business. I ranted about bookstores. I’d wanted to start a blog to begin building a “platform,” so this contest was the nudge that got me started.

The following summer, I teamed with a group of authors to create Speculative Faith, a blog focused on a Christian view of speculative literature.

That same summer we also started the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour. Some months later one of our members created the CSFF blog site where she posts, among other things, my emails to the group.

MD: What results have you seen from all of this?

RLM: Because I’m not selling anything, I don’t have a good measuring stick for “results,” but I definitely have a web presence now. I’ve seen growth in the number of people who stop by my blog, and the e-mail list for CSFF is nearing 100.

The most exciting thing, of course, is that publishers are expanding their list of speculative titles, but I have no way of knowing if any of our grassroots efforts factored into this development.

MD: What is your vision for future of speculative fiction?

RLM: I started writing fantasy because, in my view, it is the perfect genre to tell the whole story—because of the good versus evil motif, it is a natural fit to include a spiritual dimension.

In addition, I do not see fantasy as a niche genre.

The books I love are the same ones that thousands upon hundreds of thousands of other readers love: Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Watership Down. These are books that people of all ages have read, that sold in shocking numbers, and created a stir in the populace at large.

Quite honestly, I don’t understand how fantasy ended up in the niche closet, given its history.

My hope for the Christian arm of the genre is to see it again reach the general public. Harry Potter certainly did. Why not CBA fantasy? Or another ABA fantasy written from a Christian worldview.

Without a doubt the Phillip Pullmans of writing have discovered fantasy as an avenue to distort the truth. It seems imperative, from my perspective, that Christians counter with fantasy that tells the truth.

MD: Thank you, Becky, for the first of our two-part interview! I hope our readers stay tuned for the second half of the interview tomorrow. Plus, an excerpt from one of Becky's novels on Wednesday.

And if any of you want to see what this CSSF blog tour is all about, today is great day to go surfing. Austin Boyd's Sci-Fi thriller, The Return, is the featured book.

This Way

You might not know it, but there are some super-snazzy, ultra-hip Sci-Fi things happenin' in the Blogging Universe. Even on Sunday.

Here are my Top Three picks for the day:

1. Check out the new issue of Residential Aliens. Yes, they live here, and yes, they're friendly.

2. Check out the latest and greatest over at Eight Twenty. Steve Parolini is ending the world with a bang, one story at a time.

3. Check out the Countdown to Premier Week over at SciFi Chick.

What he said

What David said,

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

"There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

"Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat."


Now take another look at that NASA photo below.

Here's Lookin' At You

This undated image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a ghostly ring of dark matter in a galaxy cluster designated Cl 0024+17. Dark matter may have played a key role in forming the earliest stars, according to researchers who suggest that the mysterious and invisible material may also have been responsible for creating black holes.

NASA, ESA, M.J. Jee and H. Ford/Johns Hopkins University/Handout/Reuters

Am I the only who sees a giant eye, staring at us from outer space?

Stay Tuned: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Yikes! A shocking revelation for all Alien Dream lovers:

Monday we will begin the 3-day interview with Becky Miller.

And we will attempt to keep up with the blog tour for Austin Boyd, a way cool writer dude that all of you need to check out. Really.

So, as we say in the biz, be there or be alien square.
Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.

No Such Thing As A Free Ride

Cinderella's dreams of meeting Prince Charming were dashed when the carriage her Fairy Godmother promised arrived.

Hide Your Doughnuts

This guy is hungry.

Forced out of his natural habitat by drought, this guy and all his friends have opted for a life of crime. In Colorado and California, black bears have been breaking and entering.

What are these furry felons after? Doughnuts, hamburgers, ice cream. Apparently, they need to fatten up for their long winter sleep.

So, you might just meet up with a cranky 350-pound intruder the next time you get up for a midnight snack.

Could be a good time to get back on that South Beach Diet.


Donkey Admonished

Firefighters rescued a donkey from an abandoned well.

But somebody may be giving this donkey more credit than he deserves.

Gundberg [the farmer who owns the donkey] admonished the animal after the rescue: "I bet you'll think twice about doing that again. If you would have stayed home you wouldn't be in this trouble."

The donkey's answer?

Heeeee Haaawww!

The Fine Print

Notice the latest polyester blend of fashion and politics.

Make sure you read this carefully. Unless, well, you can't read. In which case, it was nice knowing you.

Alien Fashion Faux Pas

What not to wear to the alien next door's dinner party.


Pinocchio's New AI Friend

Good old wooden boy Pinocchio has competition in Zeno, the robotic creation of David Hansen. With a face fashioned from skinlike "frubber," these little guys stand about 17 inches tall and should be available for consumers in a couple of years.

"It's a representation of robotics as a character animation medium, one that is intelligent," Hanson beams. "It sees you and recognizes your face. It learns your name and can build a relationship with you."

It's no coincidence if the whole concept sounds like a science-fiction movie.

Hanson said he was inspired by, and is aiming for, the same sort of realism found in the book "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," by Brian Aldiss. Aldiss' story of troubled robot boy David and his quest for the love of his flesh-and-blood parents was the source material for Steven Spielberg's film "Artificial Intelligence: AI."

So, in a couple of years, you too can have your own "real" boy. For about $300.

Origami Girl

Change is on the horizon. I can feel it, hear it. Like a hundred thousand elephants thundering towards me. I can’t see them. Can’t distinguish their tree trunk legs and wing-like ears through a haze of dust.

But I know they’re coming.

I can’t tell which way to run to avoid them, don’t know how to escape. Soon one or ten of them will swoop in my direction, pound me flat with their sledgehammer hooves. Crush my bones. Spill my blood.

Change my flesh into paper.

I hold my breath and wait. For the destruction that will change me, transform me. For the God I love to pick up the edges and fold them, ever so gently, make this human vessel into something different.

Something unexpected. Something beautiful.

Fiction Friday and Crop Circles

Hi, everyone!

Just a note to tell you that I made a mistake with some of my Fiction Friday posts. Oops.

My Fiction Friday is posted on my other blog:
Crop Circles.

I apologize if I accidentally directed you to Alien Dream instead. Please drop by Crop Circle and say hi!


Thirteen Fairy Tales You Never Heard About

Thirteen Fairy Tales You Never Heard About
by Merrie Destefano

1. Jack and the Cornstalk

2. Three Blind Flies

3. Snow White and the Seven Drive Through Restaurants

4. Sleeping Beauty’s-Only-Skin-Deep

5. Hansel and Gretel Don’t Live Here Anymore

6. The Three Little Lemmings

7. The Blizzard of Oz

8. The Little Mermaid Chair

9. Goldilocks and the Three Aliens Who Pretended to be Bears

10. Alice in Blunderland

11. Beauty and the Bodybuilder

12. The Elves and the Jimmy Choo Shoemaker

13. The Emperor’s New Cloak of Invisibility

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. The Urban Recluse
2. Blue Monday
3. A sample of Jennifer's thoughts
4. Believer in balance
5. Shiloh Walker
6. The Jokes Blog
7. A Gentleman's Domain
8. West of Mars
9. What Works for Us
10. Single Parents Unite
11. Tales from a former Michaganer
12. Sandier Pastures
14. Buck Naked Politics
15. Working at Home Mom
16. Joy in the Moment
17. Morgan St. John
18. SciFi Chick
19. Some Things Need Said
20. I heart paperbacks
21. You're next!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Aliens in the News

Here we see Muffin, doing her best alien impression.

Pretty scary, Muffin.

Tomorrow is Thusday, so . . .

Just wanted to give you all a head's up. Tomorrow I am going to play with that way cool meme, Thursday Thirteen.

I'm just a beginner, here, so have mercy.

My topic will be: Thirteen fairy tales you never read.

So, stop by. Or better yet, play along.

Stay Tuned: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Here are a few of the topics that we’ll be covering here during the next several weeks:

* An interview with the real Becky Miller, owner and founder of the popular blogs: A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Speculative Faith and Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour. We’ll be discussing her passion for writing, as well as her vision for the future of speculative fiction. We’ll also post an excerpt from one of her novels.

* A review of Jeffrey Overstreet's new book, Auralia's Colors, published by WaterBrook.

* Global Cooling: How an unusual weather change in the Edwardian era gave birth to a new fiction genre—science fiction.

So, stay tuned. Same bat time, same bat channel.


African Traffic Jam

And I thought wacky stuff only happened in California.

Flash Fiction

Check out my flash fiction story, "Dirty Jobs," over at my other blog.

Crop Circles.

Just remember. Crop Circles is still a baby. Her feelings get hurt when you leave her out in the rain all night long. Alone. With no visitors. And no candy.

The Whole Tooth, And Nothing But the Tooth

Apparently, Neanderthals had good oral hygiene.

Who knew?

Now, if they just could have fixed that posture thing . . .

Tomorrow I Will

Tomorrow, tomorrow. . .

Tomorrow I will write for fun. I will play. I will roll and tumble through sparkle bright, glitter glass, ornament ideas. Fields of long green grass will beckon and I will answer. Shoes off. Running. Laughing. Every word will glisten and belong to me. Just me.

Today I write for money. Every word is weighed and valued, a price put upon its black spiny head. With this word I will buy dog food, with that word I will pay for gas. With those words—those superlative ornamental adverbs that got sliced and diced—I was going to buy a dress. But the dress is gone. The words erased.

I write. I live. I breathe.

Tomorrow. The long day of sunlight will belong to me.

Today. The long night of angst and barbed wire words that refuse to be born; today belongs to me too.


Check It Out

Some ulta-hip blogs you might want to check out, in between your sci-fi wardrobe changes:

SciFi Journalist

SciFi Chick

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin’ Blog

Pirate Dreams

Waldo Von Wichtenstein didn't make it into the Pirate finalists, a fact that saddened him throughout the remainder of his life. While the other Pirate wannabees, as he later referred to his competitors, showed up sporting parrots on their shoulders, Von Wichtenstein walked in the door with Fluffy, a two-year-old calico.

Christmas in September

Outside, California sunshine and Indian summer temperatures compete with a devastating horizon of blue sky and sea.

Inside, Christmas trees and vintage Santa Claus ornaments battle with historic photos of the Salvation Army.

Meanwhile, a PR person just sent me another box of rocks. Over the past several weeks, we’ve graduated from a box of dirt to a box of gravel, and now I’m all the way up to a real, honest-to-goodness boxful of black rocks. I still haven’t quite figured out that marketing campaign.

But I have to put it all aside for a few minutes and finish my editorial letter. Something witty, something poignant, something about snow and sparkling lights and sugar cookies. Something trimmed in satin and lace and placed beneath the tree.

I have to switch gears from the garden outside my window, gasping for a drink of water, to an imaginary landscape, dusted with winter magic. It’s time for my thinking cap. I just have to make sure I don’t accidentally wear the one made out of tinfoil . . .


What he said

Paul said,

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose."

Cow Talk

Look. I just want to make one thing clear. I didn't have anything to do with that McDonald's burger. Yes, I've been taking hormones. Okay? I admit to the hormones. But salt?

Come on.

What do you take me for? Some stupid deer with nothin' better to do than lick on a block of salt all day long?

Hold the Salt, Please

When all else fails, blame it on the burger.

Lost in Translation

Because honest tricks are okay.

When buying gas in a foreign country, be sure to check with the spy and the bomb.

Apparently writing isn't as easy as it seems.

Who owns this pet?

I've been wondering about those monkeys.

Time Travel

One more person who has the secret to time travel.

Hint: It all centers around crop circles.

No, I did not make it up. Wish I did. Then I would get credit for all the laugher.


A New Beginning

It's still an infant, barely able to toddle, words incomprehensible. But I thought I would let you take a look at my new baby.

Crop Circles.

An alien home for my stories and articles. Most of them have been seen here, but they will have a chance for a bit more exposure over on Crop Circles.

My goal is to post what I consider my best Alien Dream articles over there. And occasionally spice it up with something new.

Stop by and say hello. And try not to scare the baby.

Other Cool Stuff

Another very cool thing. Cyber sweetheart and author of the fabulous, Sushi for One, Camy Tang just awarded other fantastic author, Sharon Hinck with the "Nice Matters Award."

Way to go, Sharon!

By the way, I didn't know Sharon was from Minnesota. No wonder she's so nice!

Life Goes On

I may be boring because I'm all worker bee and then some, but, here's the cool thing, there still are some super fantastic things happenin' in Blogger Land.

Pal Rachel Marks is working on a book that will take your breath away.

Check it out here and here.

There you have it. Proof positive that life doesn't come to a screeching halt just because I get too busy to have fun.

Way to go, Rachel!

My Kingdom for a Clone

Where are the clones when you need them? Lollygagging, for sure. I wish I could blame everything on aliens, but right now I'd have to say The Galactic Overlord is the culprit. The Galactic Overlord that pays my salary.

I want to be blogging but I have deadlines. Those dreaded deadlines.

One, I have a feature story to write for The Magazine. And an editorial letter.

Two, I need to get crackin' on my Big Secret Book. Yeah, that one I almost never talk about.

So . . .

I'll be back soon. Meanwhile, I'm going to have to leave you cyber-children alone for a little while. Play nice. Don't press too many delete buttons. And remember the Internet is your friend.



The Fine Print

The Johnsons were excited when they picked up their new puppy.

After all, he was just a little guy, but the advertisement said he was potty trained.

It wasn't until later that evening that they read the fine print.

"Potty trained on a PC."

The Writing Evolution

I’ve seen a change in my writing during the past year. An evolution. Part of it because of the books I’ve been reading. In grown-up talk: you act like the kids you hang out with. Or in writer’s verse: you sound like who you read. Whether you mean to or not, these books become imbedded in your soul, their words flash across the screen of your mind like neon.

What did I read? The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kid, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. Yes, I read many other books, but they felt like newsprint in my hands, disposable words written with ink that rubs off. These other writers, they wrote with tattoo needles, leaving beautiful scars on my flesh.

Sometimes I wish I could conjure their words when I am laying awake at night, that I could run my tongue over the smorgasbord of syllables and let their magic sing me to sleep.

So, this transformation of ideas works its way through the pressure cooker of my brain, flows down through the invisible path, the journey it must always take, through my arms to my fingers. At that point the words and thoughts are finally given freedom. I touch my thoughts to life. With pen or keyboard. With black and white.

Creator, awaken. Let the verses flow.

And just like certain books have influenced a Renaissance in me, so have certain pieces I’ve written. I can think of two in particular. One was a short story, an experimental piece I wrote about murder and betrayal, all within a very narrow physical space—within a courtyard—and all told through the viewpoint of a narcissistic flower. It opened the doors for a wide variety of metaphors and lovely language. It contained a dark, bitter beauty; one writer friend said it was poetic horror; my husband called it emotional violence.

Huh. Who would think a story about a flower could be so heavy.

The other piece was a painfully autobiographical essay about growing up in the turbulent ‘60s, when all my friends spent their free time in psychiatrict wards and drug rehab, when my parents played a duel of alcoholism and adultry, when I “survived” by running away at 15. I masked the sordid details, for there really were no other details available, and painted a colorful story of metaphors. It was dark, and yet, as beautiful as any tree decorated with bits of drying flesh. From a distance, it looks pretty. You’re just glad you weren’t there when they decorated the tree. That you didn’t have to watch.

Writing truly is an evolutionary process, it forces you to become something else, to inhabit your words and stories, to wear someone else’s flesh. It forces you to explore the world with a new opinion, often not your own, to momentarily accept what someone else believes.

It can be therapy, if you let it.

Or it can lead to your own destruction, inch by inch, as you stalk your ever elusive Muse.

But if you pursue it with passion, it will definitely force you to grow.