Tag Archives: children

Is it even worth talking about?

My wife has to work all weekend. This is usually a prophesy for some quality writing time. We both have Monday off, but I don’t mind that. Some time together is a fine thing.

Our daughter came home for the weekend too. This is an obstacle to any writing I want to do.

I got up early, did my usual social media tour, then started into my project. I always re-read my last chapter before moving ahead. I modified a couple of lines, fixed some typos, that kind of thing.

Then I started writing. Serang and her master decided to take their new boat down the river. Turns out neither of them ever operated a boat before. They have a few things to learn. The purpose is to move to the sea, and the next event. Then again, a bit of familiarity with boats, then ships, is important to who Serang becomes. I kind of want to rush it, but can’t. I have some things I can pepper in to keep it interesting, like river dolphins and such.

Then… my daughter woke up.

It came to 762 words, which poses the question, is it even worth talking about?

We talked about her work, her hair, and even her makeup. Not my favorite topics, but I’ll take what I can get. She brought Jackson the cat this time, and it’s fun having him around. My dogs and Jackson were always buddies and it’s nice to see them rekindling that relationship.

I love her, and won’t trade my time with her for quality writing time. There is always another hour out there somewhere. She isn’t here all that often. She came last weekend, but I had a houseful of people. Quality time wasn’t really available.

Those measly 762 words may be all I get this weekend. I really want to get this one published before school lets out, but let’s face it… it isn’t looking too good. I’ve lost two weekends in a row now. I have two events that have to happen, and can’t just write them. This one has been an epic journey, and I need to dedicate a certain amount of time to travel.

They have to go downstream, then overland where one adventure awaits. After that we have a bit of maturing and changing of the status quo. Then a quick trip leads to the last major adventure. After that I need to devote a bit of time to the denouement.

I can only do what I am allowed to do. I may have some hard decisions to make here. If I have to release it in the summer, I likely won’t spend any money on promotion. My summer releases have always performed poorly, despite the amount of money I’ve thrown at them. What reviews I’ve gathered have always been good, but that new story becomes an old story by the time readers are shopping again.

Holding it for fall isn’t a good option either. I’ve placed one story on the back-burner to focus on this one. Writing two at once turned out to be a wonderful experience. That other story demands an October release. This means any promo money I might have needs to go into the paranormal tale. There is also a matter of time involved. Managing and keeping up with a blog tour and other promos is tough enough, doubling that is not something I’m willing to do.

I’ll take what I can this weekend. If it’s father/daughter time, great. If it’s writing time, that’s great too.

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While the Bombs Fell, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you air raid wardens, and Home Guard members. Put out that light, and turn your radio up. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m waiting for a call. I hope everything is okay.

“Hello. Yes, I’ll accept the charges. Haven’t heard of a collect call in a long time.”

“Hello … hello… is that Lisa?”

“This is Lisa. I was getting worried about you, Elsie. Is everything okay?

“I’m calling from our bomb shelter in the garden. The air raid siren went off just as I was calling you. I could hear the sound of the Jerry bombers in the distance as we climbed down the stairs. I am glad Father and Mother are here with me, I’m scared.”

“Thank God for the long cable. For those of us who don’t know, what’s it like in a bomb shelter?”

“Father and some helpers built our bomb shelter from sheets of galvanized corrugated steel which they inserted into a deep hole they dug in the garden. The steps leading into the shelter and the floor are made of concrete which makes it really cold down here. It is damp and the walls drip with water. It is crowded when we are all in here, Father, Mother with baby, Teddy, my older sisters, Jean, Wendy and Gillian and my older brothers, Joey and Reggie. We all sit on wooden benches along the two sides of the shelter and wait until the “all clear” siren sounds. Sometimes we have to sit here for a long time and Mother and my sisters knit socks for the war effort.

“I don’t like coming down here but it is better than being inside the house when the Jerry planes are flying over. Reggie and Joey told me that Bungay, that is the town where I live in Suffolk, was bombed when I was two years old. I don’t remember it as I was too young but they said the seven bombs were dropped by a Jerry bomber plane. They said the bangs were so loud it hurt your ears and all the windows in Earsham Street blew out.

“I also overheard Granny King telling Mother about the bombing of Norwich in the Spring. There were huge fires in the city and lots of people were killed and houses were destroyed. I don’t want my house destroyed. I hate Hitler. He is like an old witch all dressed in black and Granny King says he eats black bread.”

“It sounds like you’re doing well under the circumstances. It must be hard to live your normal life considering all that.”

“We are lucky, Lisa. We live on a farm and not in a city. Lots of the children living in the cities have been evacuated into the country and have to live with strangers. I live with my family and Father hasn’t been called up to fight in the war because he is a farmer. His job is to stay on the farm and look after his cows so that the people living in Bungay can have fresh milk every day. Father’s helpers had to go away to fight in the war and now Father has Mavis to help him on the farm. She is a land girl. Father was worried when he heard she was coming but she works very hard and is strong too. Joey and Reggie also help Father to milk the cows every day and to bottle the milk. Mavis mucks out the cow stalls though.

“We have more food to eat than people living in the cities and lots of milk and eggs. Mother says I must be grateful to have eggs to eat because they are rationed and most people have to eat powdered eggs if they get any eggs at all. I don’t like the eggs. They smell of fish and it makes me feel sick. Mother is very good at making the family good things to eat with the rations we have, vegetables from the garden and the rabbits that Father sometimes shoots on the farm. My sisters and I helped her make a delicious rabbit stew last week. It was so good and Mother made a suet pudding to go with it. There was so left over so we ate it with a bit of golden syrup for afters.

“Joey and Reggie often feel hungry when they go to bed. I don’t feel hungry because I am much smaller than they are and don’t have to walk a mile to school and back every day and help Father with the farm work.”

“Rationing sounds tough. Still, living on a farm does put you in a better position than some. You can have a garden, and the Nazis might be aiming more at the cities.”

“Yes, we have only been bombed that one time here in Bungay. The people living in London are bombed all the time. I would be even more scared if I lived there. We are lucky as we have a big American airbase nearby called RAF Bungay. Some of the men are billeted in canvas tents on Bungay Common. It does make me feel safer.

“Everyone in Bungay is very proud and excited about our own “Bungay Buckaroos” and their contribution of the German bombing campaign. The American aviators have better food rations than the British soldiers and they also have cigarettes, Wrigley’s chewing gum and nylon stockings. The girls all hope to have an American boyfriend so that they can have a pair of nylons. Sometimes my brothers and the other ask them for gum. They say “any gum, chum?” and sometimes one of the soldiers gives them a piece.

“Now that the Americans have joined the war, Father says we can’t lose.”

“That sounds positive.”

“It is, and it can’t go on forever. We are all very proud of Mr. Churchill, he is a great leader, and now that the Americans are helping, Father thinks the war will end soon. I don’t know what it will be like when the war ends but I hope I can have sweets every week and we can have a bigger fire. Ours is so small and I am cold all the time.”

“I am sorry you are often cold and hungry, but it sounds like the war won’t go on for much longer. You keep your head down, Elsie, and we’ll all wish you the best. Any closing remarks for our listeners today? We ought to wrap this up before the phones go down.”

“Thank you for speaking to me, Lisa. The “all clear” siren has just sounded so we are going back to our house. Goodbye and have a lovely evening.”

“You can read all about Elsie and her family in the book, While the Bombs Fell, by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton. I’ll post all the details on the website after we go off the air.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. Even a simple tweet or Facebook share can really help an author out. I’m sure Robbie and Elsie would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War II?

Elsie and her family live in a small double story cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite, the war raging across the English Channel, daily life must continue with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its scary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic WWII recipes.

Purchase Link

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available.

You can catch up with Robbie at the following locations:

Blog: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

Blog: https://www.robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Purchase Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s Books from:

https://www.amazon.com/author/robbiecheadle

OR

http://tinyurl.com/zdokqjr

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Sir Chocolate stops by #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you conquistadores and knights in shining armor. Today is Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time for Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, bringing you another fabulous interview with one of the characters you love from your favorite books. My guest today is Sir Chocolate. “Welcome to the show, um, Sir.”

“Thank you, Lisa, I am delighted to be here. You don’t mind if I try up the air conditioning, do you? It is a bit warm in here and I don’t want to start melting.”

“I’m kind of indifferent to temperatures, so help yourself. I understand you’ve taken up a quest, as knights often do. Can you tell our listeners what kind of challenge you’re facing?”

“Lady Sweet and I own a chocolate factory where we make chocolate goodies, sugar mice and other sugar decorations that we sell in our chocolatier. One of our most popular products is our range of homemade soda pop which we make using sugar water from the Sugar Crystal Cave. This cave is nestled at the heart of the Chocolate Chip Hills. To get there we have to cross the chocolate mousse swamp which is infested with alligator sours, who feed on travelers, giant mosquitos and a fondant ghost.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad. I mean chocolate mousse swamp ought to be a pretty good time. I know several female authors who would happily move there.”

“The chocolate mousse swamp is a great place to stop for a snack. There are delicious marshmallow flowers to enjoy with a dollop of chocolate mousse on top, the only problems are the alligator sours and fondant ghost.”

“There’s always a catch, isn’t there. So what do you do to avoid those hazards?”

“Well, the alligator sours are very fond of the sugar mice I make so I bring a bag of those along to distract them with. I cleverly laid down some chocolate disk stepping stones which helps Lady Sweet and I cross the swamp. The fondant ghost haunts the swamp at night so we get around that by always crossing it during the day time. Once across, we always stop and have a chat and a picnic with the marshmallow sheep who told us the story of the Candy-striped Roc. That is how we knew he was lonely and needed a friend.

“On this latest trip to the Sugar Crystal Cave, the marshmallow sheep warned us that something strange was afoot. The area around the cave was warmer than usual and there were sobbing sounds coming from inside.

“When Lady Sweet and I arrived we quickly saw that something was wrong. The temperature was so high we had to put on our quick freeze suits to make sure we didn’t melt. Once inside we saw the sugar crystals were all starting to melt. Something had to be done or our famous soda pop would be at risk as we use the sugar water run off to make it in my chocolate factory.”

“Bummer. How will you make your soda now?”

“Well, when we ventured inside we came across a very miserable Baked Alaska Dragon. A magnificent creature who breathes fire in different seven different colours depending on his mood. The dragon was very sad and depressed and his fire was blue. Although he looked very fierce, I know something had to be done to save the sugar crystals and cheer up this anguished creature. He was very nice when we approached him and explained that he was very lonely as everyone was afraid of him because of his fierce looks.”

“I know this one author, who shall remain nameless, that could probably slay that dragon in one setting. So what are you going to do?”

“Well, Lisa, in Chocolate Land we prefer to find nonviolent solutions to problems. What this dragon needed was a friend. Lady Sweet remembered the conversation with the marshmallow sheep and their comments that the Candy-striped Roc was also very lonely as he was another scary and fierce creature. We decided to introduce the two creatures and they hit it off straight away. The Baked Alaska Dragon’s fire changed colour to yellow with happiness that very same day. They decided to live together in the Roc’s nest high up in the Chocolate Chip Hills.

“With that problems solved, Lady Sweet and I rushed back to the Sugar Crystal Cave. We had a high powered portable fan that we carry around to keep things cool. We turned this on high and the temperature soon returned to normal and the crystals hardened. We were able to gather more sugar water than usual due to the initial melted state of the sugar crystals so we went home very happy. We won’t need to make this journey again for quite a while as we have plenty of sugar water to keep us going in our factory.”

“That sound like a wonderful solution, Sir. Do you have any closing remarks for us today.”

“Well, we find in Chocolate Land that most fierce creatures also have a kind and tender side. If you can discover this side then they will usually be much more helpful. Look at the trolls, Stinkpot and his wife, who have helped us out more than once after we got to know them a bit better. Most creatures are also keen to help save their environment if it is at all possible so we always get the help we need on our adventures.”

“You can read all about Sir Chocolate’s quest in the book Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Cave, by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle. This book also comes with five outstanding recipes, including one that shows you how to make those beautiful sugar crystals yourself. Sounds like a great book to read with your children, and it gains longevity as a craft session later.

“Robbie provided some wonderful photos, and I’ll add those to the website. Don’t forget to click on those sharing buttons today. Sir Chocolate, Robbie, and Michael would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet journey to the sugar crystal caves to collect the sugar water they need to make their soda pop. To get to the Chocolate Chip Hills they must cross the Chocolate Mousse Swamp infested with alligator sours and a meringue ghost. When they arrive, they discover that the sugar crystals are melting, and something needs to be done to save them. Learn how to make some four fun creations out of biscuits and the sugar crystals too.

Purchase your copy here and here.

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available.

You can follow along with Robbie at the following places:

Blog

Goodreads

Google+

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite

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Wren, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hello all you diva’s and superstars. Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to try something a little bit different.

I receive mail, and sometimes we read them on the air as kind of an advice column. This one sparked my interest. We have someone calling herself Aunt Char, and she’s worried about her niece, Wren.

I heard a show recently where the radio host called someone up, and that’s just what we’re going to do. Just bear with me while I dial the number.

“Good morning, Char speaking.”

“Hello, this is Lisa Burton, and you’re on the air right now. Is this Aunt Char?”

“I just told you my name is Char. I was hoping that you would call. I have waited all week. I even made Byron, that’s my husband, shave and put on church shirts every morning. I have on my best dress today–it’s blue. Blue brings out the color in my eyes and high-lights in my hair. I’m a natural blonde, you know. But you sure took your time calling–I mailed the postcard last Friday. Maybe I should talk to someone down at the Post Office. Well, better late than never.”

“That’s right, I received your post card and wanted to talk to you about it. So why are you worried about Wren?”

“Well, Wren has a lovely singing voice. She gets that from me. She got the lead in a summer musical at her school–beating out other girls who are older. But my sister sent Wren to Mama’s and Papa’s place for the summer. Wren was really upset, and I can’t blame her.”

“Sometimes kids have to spend the summer with relatives. That’s nothing completely new. I understand why she might be upset, but maybe there is something there she can participate in locally.”

“My sister Willow had surgery for breast cancer, and then had to have chemotherapy. Wren is old enough to stay home and help her mama. Coddling her by sending her to be a guest in someone’s home all summer will ruin her. She should be cooking meals and keeping the house clean and seeing that her mother gets enough rest. She could still have time for the musical. Instead, I had to go help my sister–drove all the way to Colorado.

“And when I got there, Wren could not get away from home fast enough. I tried to help her with some tips on breathing and enunciation and important singing techniques, but she just got sassy.”

“Cancer is terrifying, so I understand if Wren is a little bit worried. Her mother is in bad shape, and Wren might be staying much longer than the summer if things go wrong. Maybe Wren needs a little support to work through things.”

“Well, the goats and chickens and alpacas aren’t going to help Wren with her singing. I know–there is nothing there but mud and poop and hard work. Just look at my parents–they should be retired and having fun, but all they do is work, work, work. It was not a good place for me with my talents, and it is not the right place for Wren. All she does is mope around and try to get a cell phone signal, so she can talk with her friends at home.”

“I’m sure your parents love Wren dearly. Taking care of animals is good for her to learn, but I understand her desire for something more. I’m sure your parents are just as worried about your sister.”

“They know how to cope. When I was quite young, I went through my own bout of cancer, and I am still kicking. But I could never have children of my own. So there is only Wren.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. It probably doesn’t help, but robot girls can’t bear children either.”

“There’s no comparison. But we got on with life, and Wren needs to do the same thing –  regardless of the outcome. I mean, I love my sister and am sure she will recover, but we should make sure to have a plan for Wren.”

“Well, I’m so glad Wren has someone like you to help break up the doldrums of milking goats and feeling like free farm labor. Maybe you can introduce her to some locals that are more her age.”

“She should meet some nice church kids, but she does not seem to like them. Spends most of her time with kids she met at the park–writing poetry and going for hikes. I don’t think they are a good influence. It’s a good thing I am back in town, so I can introduce her to the right people.  I had a tea at my house, but Wren ended up pouting in the kitchen when I asked her to let the grownups talk without her.

“One day she sassed me outright, and when I corrected her, she said she never wanted to be like me. She even slammed the door. Came around a few days later to apologize, and she said she wanted to be able to sing just like me. So I started her with voice lessons. She shows promise even if she is not grateful.”

“Aunt Char, thank you for taking my call today. Any last thoughts for our listeners?”

“Well, I guess we worry about those we love and want the best for them. That’s what I want for Wren. Even if she is sassy.”

“You can read all about Wren and Aunt Char in the book Wren, by Alice Longaker. I’ll post all the details on the website.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Alice and Aunt Char would do it for you, when your character is on the show.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Blurb

Wren’s summer plans crash with the news of her mother’s diagnosis of Breast Cancer. While her mother focuses on healing, Wren is sent to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

The not-so-typical grandparents are aging hippies with goats, chickens, and alpacas as companions. With new friends, increased independence, and acres of woods to explore, Wren tries to discover what she wants to do when she is grown—an archaeologist, or ranger, perhaps a writer or a singer?

Without cell phone reception or internet access, Wren feels detached from those back home. Chiggers bite. Spiders lurk. An owl calls outside of Wren’s window. Sometimes Wren gets scared. Yet, even in bleak sorrow and loss, Wren can see that life does not have to be perfect to be good.

Title; Wren

Genre: Middle-Grade fiction

Release date: April 2017

Audience: Middle-Grade Girls

Where to Order:

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/wren

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wren-Alice-Longaker/dp/1612968546

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wren-alice-longaker/1126086449

Biography

Although she writes in many forms, Alice Longaker is first of all a poet. Her job is to see the wonder of something newly made from old patterns.

A self-professed late bloomer, she obtained a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She wandered through a library career—the solitude of cataloging, the austere aisles of a research library, and a boisterous children’s library.

Alice then taught research, composition, literature, and Intensive English to college students throughout Colorado. She currently dabbles in tutoring international students, and heeding the ‘call of stories,’ she writes. New projects include a collection of lyrical essays, poetry, and perhaps sequels to WREN.

Links

Website for youth: WREN: https://wrenbyalicelongaker.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: Alice Longaker-Author https://www.facebook.com/alicelongakercolorado

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/longakeralley

Twitter: Alice Longaker: https://twitter.com/AliceLongaker

Organizations

Northern Colorado Writers: http://www.northerncoloradowriters.com

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Veil of Walls, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa BurtonWelcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today on the phone we have a guest with a problem. “Welcome to the show, Anahita.”

“Thanks. I’m so excited to be able to talk to an American. It’s been a while.”

“My bio says you have an unusual kind of problem. Something we don’t often see in fiction these days. I’ll let you tell our listeners all about it.”

“I was ten years old and living in Massachusetts like any American kid. But then one day my parents decided to up and visit my father’s country, Iran. I knew nothing about my father’s country and culture and it was, to say the least, quite a shock. But when I suddenly was forced to stay there with my relatives, the real problems began.”

“That’s doesn’t sound so horrible. I mean, you have family around you. That has to be kind of cool.”

“True, I had my father’s family around me, but they were complete strangers to me, and everything was so different, so alien. Their food, their language, they way they behaved with one another. I couldn’t relate to any of it. It would have been fine visiting for a while, or a month as originally planned, but living there with them was a whole different matter.”

“Wait a minute. You went for a visit, but you’ve been there for how many years? Did your parents move there or something?”

“We originally went there to visit my father’s family and for my father to take care of family business. But two weeks in, my parents were killed in a car accident. I was devastated, my only saving grace being my American grandparents, whom I knew all my life and loved dearly, were coming to take me home.

“But my Iranian grandmother had other ideas and she used Iranian laws to keep me there. According to Iran, if your father is Iranian, you are Iranian. It’s by blood, not by birth. So they claimed I was Iranian and they had the right, by law, to keep in Iran and raise me. My grandparents went to the American Embassy to complain, but they said it was true, and there was nothing they could do – even though I held an American passport. And so I was stuck in Iran, an alien culture and people who called themselves my family, but were in fact strangers I had just met and had no emotional connection with.”

“What efforts have your grandparents taken to get you back?”

“After having no luck at the American Embassy, they returned home and started procedures to officially adopt me and somehow get me out of Iran. When I was 13, my grandmother returned and tried to trick them into bringing me to the states for a visit, but it didn’t work. As long as I was still physically in Iran, there was not much she could do. And it was really tough for an American teenager since I had to go to a all-girl’s school, could not hang out with friends or do any teenage stuff, and there was always the possibility of their arranging a marriage for me when I came of age. Things looked pretty bleak.”

“That’s terrible. Do you have a plan to get home on your own somehow?”

“I have an Iranian aunt, Auntie Scheherazade, who left Iran when she was young and never returned. I’m discovering bits and pieces of her story and that is giving me hope.”

“I’m so sorry. This should have been a fun cultural visit with family, and it’s turned into a nightmare for you. Any last comments for our listeners?”

“I am growing and learning about my father’s country and culture, but I secretly plan to just wait until I grow up. While in Iran, others seem to make decisions for women regardless of their age, I am going to fight this. My life is my own and they will not control me.”

“There you have it. I feel so bad for Anahita. You can read all about her struggles in the book Veil of Walls by Patricia Panahi. I’ll include all the details on the website.

“Don’t forget to support this awesome author, and your favorite robot girl, by using those sharing links on the website. I’m sure Patricia would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Lisa Burton RadioBLURB

Anahita Sadeghi, a typical, happy-go-lucky American ten-year-old, was not too keen on traveling to the other side of the world to meet her father’s family. But her month-long vacation turns into a nightmare when her Persian relatives refuse to let her return to the States. She is forced to deal with the dizzying maze of social customs, resist her grandmother’s efforts to mold her into the proper Persian girl, dodge her aunt’s schemes of marriage, and fight to make her own life choices until she can find a way to return home. Longing for her friends and her freedom, only the enigma of her missing aunt, Scheherazade, gives Ana a glimmer of hope of one day escaping Iran for good. Will Ana’s family marry her off and forever bind her to this country, or will she break free of Iran’s walls and find her way back to America?

Amazon Purchase Link

Lisa Burton RadioBIO

Born in Massachusetts from a New Jersey mother and Iranian father, Patricia Panahi moved to Iran at the age of nine. She later returned to the States and completed her graduate work at San Diego State University. Panahi has taught English in Iran, California, and Hawaii, owned and operated The Light Spot Bookstore and Coffee House in San Diego, and directed English language programs for international students for the University of Hawaii. Panahi retired from UH Hilo in 2016 and is now focused on her writing career.

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Quantum Wanderlust, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa BurtonWelcome to a very special edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we have something fun going on today. Thirteen outstanding authors have teamed together to bring you an anthology of short stories called Quantum Wanderlust.

In the interest of full disclosure, Craig has a story in the collection too.

Today, we’re chatting with Alberta who is an aerospace engineer. “Welcome to the show, Alberta.”

“Thank you, Lisa. I’m excited to be on your show. I’ve never been on the radio before. And call me Abbi, please. Alberta makes me think of my mother when she is angry with me.”

“What led you to working in the aerospace industry?”

“I’ve always been quite the science geek. When my schoolmates were playing with Barbie and plastic jewelry, I was building spaceships with my brother’s Lego. I never really had to decide what to do after high school, Polytech in Turin sounded like the only viable option. After that I applied to ESA, the European Space Agency, for an internship and the rest is history. There are so many possibilities in space, you can’t even imagine. Or maybe you can. But what really attracted me was the travel itself. The challenge is covering unimaginable distances as fast as possible, bringing astronauts as near as possible to the speed of light. Actually, getting there would change our perception of space but also of time.”

“Of time? How so?”

“You need to think about time as another kind of dimension, just like space. Einstein taught us that everything constantly travels through space-time at the speed of light. This motion is usually ‘spread’ on these two dimensions and it can be distributed differently. If an object is still in space, it’s only moving through time. When it moves in space too, its motion through time gets slower. This slowing down is infinitesimal in day-to-day life, so we don’t feel it. But when the speed of an object gets near to the speed of light, its motion in time slows down significantly. Are you still with me?”

“I think so. You’re saying that when your speed increases, the flow of time slows down.”

“Exactly! The point is time is going at the usual speed at your starting point, so if you go back after a while, time would have passed much faster for those who stayed behind. It would be like going into the future. And this is amazing! If we can reverse the process too, we could go back and forth in time. I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities. We should devote so much more to this kind of research.”

“Abbi, that sounds like it’s almost an obsession. What caused you to dedicate your entire career to time travel and all it could bring?”

“Well, it’s– Usually I don’t talk about this. People tend to regard me as a mad person when I do, but the fact is I actually travelled in time once. I was only five years old. My brother and I were playing in the garden at my parent’s house in Italy. We went into my father’s shack and, when we came out, boom! We were in the future. My memories are a bit foggy and I discovered what really happened only recently, but it was life-changing for me. I had a glimpse of the future, my future. I know what was bound to happen, I knew what I was destined for. How many people can say the same? From then on, all I had to do was work to make that future real. And that’s what I did.”

“My bio indicates that Pietro didn’t handle this quite the way you did. He seems to think you shouldn’t interfere in the process. Does this cause any stress between the two of you?”

“My brother is – how can I put it – quite unscientific in his approach to life. I work with facts and figures, he prefers to deal with feelings and purpose. Pete wasn’t as curious as I was to understand the how, he was more preoccupied with the why. He doesn’t approve of my work and tried over and over to talk me out of this. I want to make time travel real, he is sure the chance to go back and forth through time shouldn’t be accessible to everyone. He says it could be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands. But who are we to decide for everyone? Needless to say, Pete wasn’t happy to discover I was working on a prototype of the time machine.”

“Wait… You already have a time machine?”

“Well, sort of. ESTEC is a great place for an aerospace engineer to work, but time travel isn’t exactly their priority. So I started working with a group of colleagues who were interested in my ideas. We borrowed a place and some equipment–“

“Borrowed?”

“There is a lot of unused space in the basement under ESTEC exhibition, you know. And there is a lot of scrap material unsuitable for the main projects. Let’s say we hate wasting. When things became bigger we found a… sponsor. I can’t reveal his name but I can tell you, he sees the potential in our research and he is passionate about this kind of science.”

“You’ve really put a lot into this, and I hope it works out for you, and for childhood Alberta too. Don’t you find it interesting that you’re creating a loop for yourself? Childhood Alberta shows up, adult Abbi has to help her return to her own time. This fuels the interest in time travel research and starts all over again.”

“We made great strides in this field, but we still know very little. I’d like to make further tests on this, to see if this loop thing is something we can change or if it’s beyond our control. Would it have changed anything had I stayed in Amsterdam that day, had I never met my child-self? Or space-time continuum would have found a way to bring me here anyway? I know this sounds a lot like talking about fate, and it doesn’t sound a lot like a scientist, but great discoveries require something like a leap of faith. Just think about what time travel could mean for future generations. We could have a look at the past and learn from our mistakes or see the outcome of our decisions in the future. I’m not saying everyone should have this chance, but small groups of selected people sent at the right time in the right place could work wonders.”

“It’s an exciting discovery, no doubt. Whatever the ramifications, the world just changed and I, for one, can’t wait to see what develops. Any closing remarks for our guests today?”

“Oh, well. I’m not… I don’t know… My brother is the one to go to for motivational speeches.”

“Don’t worry about it, Abbi. You can always come back in time and redo the show so you can leave some awesome remarks.

“Please use those sharing buttons on your way out today. Quantum Wanderlust is a free book, and all the authors would appreciate you helping spread the word. I’ll include a purchase link on the website, but since it’s free it would really help if you could pick your copy up today. Clusters of downloads really help with Amazon’s rankings.

“If you’re feeling extra generous, you could add it to your reading list on Goodreads too.

“For Quantum Wanderlust, and Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Quantum WanderlustWhat if you had all the time in the world?

Thirteen authors answer that question with short stories about time travel. Go back in time to right a wrong, forward to see the future. No jump is too large, no method unfeasible, no lesson beyond learning.

• Visit the past to learn a family secret.

• See the formation of a future dictatorship.

• Assume responsibility for weaving the fabric of time.

• Travel back in time to WWII.

• Use a family heirloom to solve problems.

• Wear an inheritance to visit ancestors.

• Leave a dystopian future for the hope of something better.

• Make history come true in an unexpected way.

• Fight evil fairies to protect a chosen angel.

• Live with the childhood memory of visitors until the day they arrive.

• Seek medical help for a memory issue and get way more than bargained for.

• Discover that with great power comes great responsibility.

• Uncover the secrets of a pharaoh’s tomb and curse.

Do the characters observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline? Read these stories to learn how far they go, how they get there, and what happens when they return.

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Irene’s story in Quantum Wanderlust is called Children of Time.

Irene Aprile has been writing since she was a child, but she decided to pursue her passion only recently. During her detour from writing, she read tons of novels, took a degree in Chemistry and got married to an amazing patient man who puts up with all her notebooks and papers scattered all around their house.

Now she lives a double life: chemist by day, writer at night. She loves many kinds of stories and works with multiple genres. Her chick-lit Secrets of a Handbag is due later this year. In the meantime, she is working on Undercover, the first volume in her science-fiction/spy story series.

When she isn’t chained to a laboratory counter or her laptop, she loves spending time with her family, shopping for books, handbags and shoes (more than she can read, use and wear), and falling in love with TV series.

You can get in touch with her through her website http://ireneaprile.com or through these social media links:

E-mail | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Frankie the Fish, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Hello all you watersprites and merfolk, you selkies and Aquarians. You've found this week's edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I have a very special guest with me today, please welcome Frankie the Fishtastic.

“Thank you, Lisa Burton. I am pleased that you have acknowledged my fish-tasticness. This will be a great interview. I also welcome my fellow creatures of the deep as well as those who live on land.”


“My bio says you are the supervisor of the Chameleon family. Do most families have a supervisor where you live?”


“Most families in New Town do not require a supervisor. It was not my intention to watch over the doings of the Chameleon family, but they are so in need. I help them out in this capacity with the understanding that they will never truly understand my gift to them.”


“And where do you stay? Do you live at the Chameleon household, or do you have an office somewhere?”


“I have several homes. My primary home is a 10 gallon aquarium, tastefully decorated by me. I have a cave, my sword, and a mermaid or two that keep me company. I also have a fishbowl which is used when I eat with the Chameleon family in the first floor kitchen. You see, I sometimes supervise cooking. I also have a portable home in Charlie’s backpack. I go with to help him keep out of trouble, although I don’t think he appreciates all I do for him.”


“So you're, um, actually a fish then?”


“Well of course! Why else would I live in water? Really, Lisa Burton, that was not logical.”


“Well, the show must go on. What kind of activities do you supervise?”


“Recently, bullying. Charlie decided that he wanted to invite friends over to make cookies. I told him that cookies would be a fish-tastic idea but he should remember not to put onions it them, yuck. But that’s a story for another day.


“When he said he was having Boris Bunny over, I got really worried and told him that wasn’t a good idea. Boris has issues. He can be a bully. Once he had the nerve to try and squish me. Fish don’t like hugs! Then Charlie was thinking about inviting Gary Gecko, too. The Bunny and the Gecko don’t get along.


“Charlie was asking for trouble.”


“And did Charlie take your advice, or did he find his own path?”


“Triton, no. He invited them both over without letting each other know. Can you believe it? He did promise to keep Boris away from me and also that he would not put onions in the cookies. Thank goodness for that. Even the birds wouldn’t eat the leftovers.”


“Sounds like Charlie is lucky to have you, even if it's a tough love situation.”


“Indeed. Charlie is one lucky Chameleon.”


“My author, that Ellen woman, delivered a passable product. I suggested to her subconsciously to rewrite it to include some activities the readers can complete at the end of each chapter. Can you believe she thinks they are all her ideas?”


“That sounds like fun, and gets the readers involved too. She sounds like a very creative author to me.”


“Ellen is a serviceable employee. She needs to leave the mermaids alone though. She’s given me a love-fear relationship with them that I find very confusing.”


“And on that note, Frankie, do you have any closing comments for our listeners today?”


“Gentle listeners, and not so gentle ones, I am so pleased that you showed good taste and listened in to my interview. You can learn more about my adventures, and Charlie’s too in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series. The author really should have titled the series after me, but what can I say. There is only so much one fish can do, no matter how awesome.


“I had a fish-tastic time, Lisa Burton. If you ever find a way to shift yourself along the grid to one of the eBooks, I’d be happy to entertain you in my world. I doubt Charlie would mind.”


“You can read more about Charlie Chameleon and Frankie's supervision skills in the book, The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: School Days, by Ellen L. Buikema. I'm sure you'll find her more than a serviceable author.


“Don't forget to use those sharing buttons today, I'm sure Ellen would appreciate it, and Frankie would demand it. Then they'll do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”


***

The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: School Days

Charlie Chameleon and his friends are having trouble with Boris Bunny, the class bully. Charlie thinks Boris is putting on an act, but his friends disagree. Follow Charlie’s adventures as he helps Boris learn how to be a friend.

Charlie's School Days – book trailer

Purchase Link

Now you can ask Frankie A Question

Read the answers here

About the Author:

Ellen Buikema is a parent, writer, speaker and educator. She received a M.Ed. specializing in Early Childhood from the University of Illinois in Chicago and has extensive post-graduate work in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. She writes adult nonfiction and fiction for children, sprinkling humor everywhere possible. Ellen is the author of The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series and Parenting . . . A Work in Progress. She has begun research for a Young Adult historical fiction.

Social Media Contacts:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Google+

Amazon Author Page

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Baby Steps Today

If anyone is wondering where I've been, I've had company this weekend. My parents wanted to see the puppies while they are still puppies. It's kind of hard to argue with that. I love puppies myself. We spent most of our time visiting, and went for a nice dinner last night. My oldest son and his entire family decided to join us, my daughter, and her pseudo-boyfriend, so we had a big group. It's nice when we can all get together. It's kind of strange when you start hearing the term Great Grandma, or Great Grandpa.

Today, I dragged my generators to the garage door and started them up. I aimed the exhaust out into the driveway. My intention was to run them out of gas, but they're still going about six hours later. I put them away two years ago and haven't run them since. Old gas is the enemy of engines, and I expected more problems. We are taking the camper out next weekend, and this time we'll need the generators.

I swept out the garage, and intend to finish if the little buggers ever run out of fuel. Right now my dust pile is next to them, waiting for them to finish. Garage is looking pretty good though.

While waiting, I took my turn at puppy patrol. They're both pretty good, but Nyx sometimes doesn't remember to go to the door for a potty break. So far, so good today.

I also worked through my critiques. We met Tuesday, and I stashed them until my parents went home. Yak Guy is still a hit with the group. I need to figure out how to get all the non-fun parts finished.

I tried to talk my wife into stealing away this afternoon to see Pirates, but she wouldn't have it. I feel like I accomplished some reasonable things today.

Tomorrow is my flex day, so there is a small chance to work on the beta reads I received for The Enhanced League. It all depends on luck, but maybe I can move that project closer to completion.

What did you guys do this weekend? Hope you had a good one.

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Silly Willie, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that interviews the characters from books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today, my special guest is Cautious Craig, who recently took a vacation to Cape Town, South Africa. “Welcome to the show, Craig. You look so smart in your suit and tie but what is that funny noise and what are you sitting on?”

“Hi Lisa, thank you for having me over for a visit. I chose this tie myself. Dad said I shouldn’t get the one with aeroplanes all over it but I really like aeroplanes, especially after our holiday to Cape Town. Mom made me bring Willy with me for the interview. Willy is only three years old and he is very naughty and spoils everything. I am sitting on him and have my hand over his mouth so that he can’t spoil this interview.”

“Maybe you should let him sit up. Our listeners won’t like that funny snuffling noise and Willy might suffocate.”

“Oh, I didn’t think of that. Willy has asthma so I better let him up. Mom is waiting outside the door and I don’t want her to come in and shout at me.”

“BWAAAAAA! Craig sat on me. BWAAAAAA!”

“Please don’t cry Willy. It makes terrible feedback over my microphone. I’ll give you a sweet if you stop.”

“Okay fanks. I have my own biscuits. Can I eat one on your chair?”

“Sure. Okay guys, let’s get on with this interview, shall we? You said you went on a vacation to Cape Town, Craig? Tell me about it.”

“We went on a holiday to Cape Town and it was wonderful. Cape Town is in South Africa.”

“We went to another country.”

“No, Willy, Cape Town is in South Africa. We live in Johannesburg. It isn’t another country.”

“It is too. We went on an aeroplane. So it must be another country. BWAAAAAA! Craig kicked me!”

“Craig, please don’t kick your brother. Willy, have another biscuit. So, you went on an airplane. Was that fun?”

“Oh yes, it was great. Do you know they have funny toilets with no water on an aeroplane? There are also little tiny basins with taps that you press to make the water come. We went to the toilet five times and Willy made a big mess.”

“Did not. I was just washing my hands.”

“He did too. He used up all the soap and lots of it went on the floor and all over the basin. He also splashed water everywhere. Mom got so cross that she made Dad take us to the toilet the last time. We also had lunch on the aeroplane. It was disgusting.”

“Yucky! I didn’t eat mine. I put it in Mom’s handbag.”

“Um, yeah, how did your mother like that little surprise?”

“Mom was very cross. The sandwich was all squashy and butter went all over her keys, hairbrush and make-up. She is never going to let us have the aeroplane lunch again. Luckily, Mom had packed biltong and biscuits so we didn’t starve. Willy, spilled his juice all over the place. Willy is so silly. Mom made me give him some of mine. It is so unfair. I always have to share.”

“It’s good to share, Craig. Willy is just a baby.”

“BWAAAAAA!!!! Lisa called me a baby!”

“Um, I mean a big boy of three years old. Have another biscuit. Right, let’s move this interview along. Where did you stay in Cape Town, Craig?”

“We stayed in an apartment in Camps Bay. Dad loves it there. It is very windy. The wind almost knocked Willy and me off our feet. I didn’t like that. It whistles all around the windows and the trees in the garden are all bent over. Granddad says that when you go to Cape Town you have to put extra lead in the car’s tyres so it doesn’t blow away. I looked at the tyres but they looked the same as the ones on our Joburg car.”

“That sounds really nice. Did the apartment have a nice view?”

“Oh yes, the view was lovely. We could see the ocean stretching right out to the sky. Did you know there is a dark line where they meet? We saw lots of huge ships waiting to go into the harbour and also paragliders and surfers. It was very nice at the apartment even if the pictures were weird blue and silver blobs. Dad says we can never go there again.”

“Never! You just said it was a nice apartment. Why won’t you go there again?”

“Dad said Willy and I are hooligans. He said that we damaged stuff in the apartment. It is very unfair. I get blamed for everything. Willy pulled the curtains down by trying to climb up them like a monkey. I did burst the cushions in the bedroom, but jumping onto them from the top bunk bed was so much fun. Oh, and we also broke the string on the blinds and Willy sawed a hole in the balcony wall. That wasn’t my fault though. It was Mom’s.”

“Ummm, I can see why your Dad was a bit upset. Why was it your Mom’s fault that Willy sawed a hole in the balcony wall? Actually, how on earth did a three year old manage to do that?”

“It was Mom’s fault because she let Willy bring his tools. He has a whole collection of plastic tools.”

“I have a saw and a hammer.”

“It was the saw that caused the damage. While Mom was unpacking, Willy sat the whole time sawing at the same place in the wall with his plastic saw. I was really surprised when I saw he had made a hole and Mom was horrified.”

“Yeah, I can believe you two causing a little trouble. We’re running out of time and you haven’t told me anything about your vacation yet. What did you enjoy the most in Cape Town?”

“I like the beach. It was really awesome but the water at Camps Bay is really cold. It is the Atlantic Ocean. I learned that at school. I did get dumped by the sea and I nearly drowned but I liked everything else. The sea in Cape Town is very powerful. Mom also helped us to build a pirate island in the sand. It was very good and the other children on the beach all came to help. Mom also showed us how to make an aeroplane out of sand. It was so big we could sit in it and pretend to fly it.”

“I love aeroplanes. My ice cream fell in the sand and I cried.”

“You know, I can believe that. What did you like about Cape Town, Willy?”

“There was a fire on the mountain… and a helicopter came… it had a big bucket underneath it… it dumped sea water on the fire.”

“That was amazing! There were lots of firemen all trying to stop the fire from spreading. We were traveling in the car when we saw the fire. It was a big fire and it was jumping from tree to tree and all the small plants and grass were burning.”

“I want a fireman’s hat!”

“You always want everything, Willy. You are so spoilt!”

“BWAAAAA! Craig called me spoilt!”

“Okay boys, that about wraps it up. I’ll call in your Mom to take you both away. Thanks for listening folks. I’m just going to start wiping up these cookie crumbs and fingerprints.

“If you’d like to read more about Cautious Craig and Willie, check out the books by Robbie Cheadle. I’ll post all the details on the website. Don’t forget, the books have recipes in them too.

“Don’t forget to hit those sharing buttons on your way out. Robbie and Craig will both appreciate it, and they’d do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa burton Radio.”

***

Blurb: When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy.

 

Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

 

Silly Willy goes to Cape Town – available in early July 2017

 

***

 

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, will be available in early July 2017.

You can connect with Robbie at the following locations:

Blog

Goodreads

Google+

Facebook

Twitter

Purchase Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s Books from:

https://www.amazon.com/author/robbiecheadle

***

Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate land where you can eat absolutely everything. Join them on a fantastic adventure to find the amazing strawberry cream berry and learn how to make some of their scrumptious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook:

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

Purchase Link The first three Sir Chocolate Books are currently available at a discounted price in hard copy and as ebooks.

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My writing Saturday

It didn't work out exactly as I planned it. Does it ever, really? If you plan on tearing it up, it slows and stalls. If you plan on a light day, it winds up being 6000 words.

I started somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:00 AM. Yak Guy made some mistakes and learned what he did wrong. He's thinking about deeper subjects and making progress. He insulted someone who didn't deserve it, and can't defend himself. Now it's time to go back to the city.

This story involves transportation by animals. Things take time, and it should not be rushed through. However, I've established that fact pretty clearly, and it's time to jump over some things for the sake of the story. While establishing the facts of this world, I wove in a bunch of philosophy and dialog to keep it from being simply landscape. Now, I'm jumping ahead to keep the journey moving.

It's time to introduce the next major arcana character. This one is called The Emperor, but in my story he is The Lord. Rather than make him The Lady's husband he is her father. That way I can keep things interesting for Yak Guy.

My daughter passed her boards, and took a week off with friends to go to Sun Valley. She has a few more school hours before she can get her license. She decided to get up about 6:45.

If my daughter had an Indian name it would be She Who Cannot Stop Talking. This means the writing came to a screeching halt. I'm really okay with it. I love my daughter, and don't mind spending time with her. I'm sure her first big girl vacation was exciting to her.

I managed less than a thousand words today, and tomorrow is looking grim. I decided to go down the research rabbit hole. The Research Sirens kept me occupied for a long time, and one bit of knowledge leads to desire for another, and another. This time it was silkworm propagation. I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with it all, but it's a neat bit of world building that isn't common in stories.

Note to self: Research Sirens would be great in stories about the writing cabin. Now I have to do more research into sirens so I can have them show up. This should be fun.

It's all writing to me. Even this blog is writing. Research needs to be done, and it's productive in my eyes. I wish I could claim a higher word count, but so be it. I'd rather worry about planting things in my story that will pay off later.

My wife had to return something at the mall, and I tagged along. I needed some legal tablets, and a few more notebooks. The tablets are to make notes for the tax man, and the notebooks are for me to use in my writing. Of course I stopped off for a pint at Old Chicago. Have to feed that writer's brain somehow.

We managed date night with supper at P. F. Chang's. Not my most favorite, but my wife loves it. We picked up The Last Witch Hunter on DVD. We loved it in the theater, and decided we needed to own it. That's how I'm spending the rest of my evening.

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