What Would Spock Do?

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy: Thank you.

What Would Spock Do? An Iconic Role Model

I wish I could write a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, but sadly, I have no personal recollections. I was not fangirl enough to find a way to get to a con where he appeared.

However, I have been, and always will be, a fan.

Though his books, I am Not Spock, and later, I am Spock, Mr. Nimoy explored the character that he will always be identified with, the eminently rational yet passionate Vulcan.  He said that as he grew older, carrying the constant mantle of the role, he found that he wanted to grow into the wisdom and perspective of the Vulcan. What better fictional role model could a person strive to emulate?

Spock and Cat

Spock and Cat

Spock is one who knows who he is, despite his always being an outsider, unlike so many of us who are drawn to science fiction and the otherworlds. He is sensual, judging by the elegance of his quarters on the Enterprise, contrasted with the Spartan quarters of his captain. He likes cats and tribbles.

He has strong emotions, but controls their expression while not being heartless, despite the other doctor’s many jibes. He is able to sacrifice himself to save the many, a heroic figure without bravado or machismo. The famous neck pinch is symbolic of the great personal power held in reserve, extremely effective without overt violence.

Evil Spock

Evil Spock – even in the mirror universe, his wisdom prevails.

While he can command, he has no ambition to rule, only to learn and explore the mysteries of the infinite. In the “Mirror, Mirror” episode, even the evil Spock is able to see the rationality—always called logic but always more than that—of his taking over the Empire because he knows it will collapse in his lifetime, and he can take it to a better place than it will be without him.

I would like a bumper sticker, which seems to be an appropriate signal of one’s world view, that reads:
What Would Spock Do?

Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy and Spock Prime. Thank you for your blessing, “Live long and Prosper” and your example both as yourself and as the Vulcan.

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Neural Networks Built by Affirmations

Neural networks are built by mantras: All is well, life is good, I am happy, and I am safe

All is well, life is good, I am happy, and I am safe

I never really understood the point of repeating affirmations or mantras until yesterday. Chanting puts me to sleep. In a class I am taking, Barbara Waterhouse of Center for Spiritual Living Asheville explained that our negative thoughts build strong neural networks so that these thoughts are easier to think than new thoughts–like an interstate vs. a cow path. 

The impact of this became clear to me yesterday. I went for  a walk and listened to myself repeat a story, one that was not uplifting or inspiring. I decided to repeat a mantra as I walked, mostly to get the inner whiner to shut up.

I’d tried several affirmations for the class: All is well, Life is good, I am happy, I am safe. So halfway around the park I chanted to myself, and it worked well.

I could not think anything else while I said this to myself.  I had repeated each of these sentences individually over the past week, so putting them together was easy. 

Building new neural networks

But when I stopped to take a picture with my phone, a new thought occurred to me. If I made some variations in the statements, just rearranging them a little, that should build another lane, so to speak, on my new neural highway. Then I found out why having a strong network is important. 

It’s hard to think a new thought.

I didn’t change the mantra very much: All is happy, I am well, Life is safe, I am good. It was very hard to say. I had to concentrate to change the words around. Even after repeating for at least ten minutes, I still had to think about each word to keep from going back to the previous pattern.

The new neural net was not nearly as strong because I had new sentences.  My brain didn’t see these new sentences as just variations, but as completely unique. I did not have a neural path for each of these sentences, but was building four new paths at once. 

The value  of mantras is first that they crowd out other thoughts, those repeated stories that pop into the unoccupied mind and reinforce the nearly unconscious thoughts like “I can’t  do this, I am not good enough, I am fat, I am weak, what if…”  

Then the kicker–if I do build my own worlds from my thoughts, it’s time I took control of them. Easier to think than to say. Neural networks are built by repetition. 

I also get the “walking meditation” idea, at least that I can walk around in a garden, look for flowers in the winter, and keep the inner chatterbox busy with something good to think.

All is happy. I am well. Life is safe. I am good.

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Q & A with C.B. Mac Gillavry

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Q & A with C.B. Mac Gillavry

I write for young adults, but I hope that people over 18 will like my stories as well. I actually write eco fantasy, which is fantasy with an environmental topic, and this is the hard yet easy part: smuggling a message this complicated into my stories.

C.B. Mac Gillavry

C.B. Mac Gillavry

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

I have completed one novel and one novella so far. There is a fairy tale spinning in my head: it’s like having to breathe in and out. This story must blossom and if I ignore it, it’s bound to bother me until I write it down.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

The title is SuperMoon, the moon and the fascination I feel for “her” inspired it, together with the urge to be with some people I have lost a long time ago. My book is my special place where I get to be with them yet again.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I listen to music while I write, classical (Bach!) when I’m near a deadline, and just the radio when I’m not running late. I also drink too much coffie and eat too much…

What authors or books have influenced you?

There are so many authors I love, but let’s just name a few: Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling, Isabel Allende, Primo Levi (Italian writer), Andrea Camilleri (Sicilian writer, he writes in Sicilian, not in Italian), F. Springer (Dutch writer), Hermann Hesse.

What are you reading now?

The 11th percent, by T.H. Morris, but next will be Argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Tell us about your writing process

I start daydreaming and as soon as I’m alone I start writing or recording my ideas on my phone.

Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

No, they already exist, they are and I write about them.

Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

They act, I describe, just as simple as that. I see the pictures in my mind, mostly moving and unfolding, and I write down what I see.

What advice would you give other writers?

Just write and be happy.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I hope people will keep reading real paper books, although ebooks are good enough, as long as people keep reading. I wish others had the same addiction to books that I have, I still think it’s a good addiction, one that actually improves something of the general condition of the addicted person. And yes, I’m also a pusher…

Read more from C.B. Mac Gillavry at Domus Dianae

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Beware the Teg by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Beware the Teg by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Darkly Never After by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Darkly Never After by Debbie Manber Kupfer

BEWARE THE TEG – A DEVIOUS CREATURE DESCENDED FROM THE LEPRECHAUNS. SEEMINGLY HELPFUL THEY CAN LEAD YOU ASTRAY, TO PLACES YOU SHOULD NEVER VISIT LEST YOU NEVER RETURN . . .

MEET MORGANA IN DARKLY NEVER AFTER

“Why so glum?” said a voice. “A maiden as young and beautiful as you should be happy, and yet you seem so sad.”

Ramora looked up. The fairy was emerald green with tiny gossamer wings and beady yellow eyes. She hovered by Ramora’s side and smiled at the girl, a glint of mischief in her eyes.

AND HER SISTER, STELLA IN ARGENTUM

Argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Argentum by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Green . . . everywhere, an emerald mist . . . then out of the mist there came an eerie laughter. Jessamyn instinctively clutched her silver scepter. The Teg was a little shorter than she. It was green, and resembled the picture in the book, but the book could never even begin to represent the feeling of it. It oozed magic out of every pore . . . and delight; sheer, utter delight.

It approached Jessamyn and clapped its hands, its sharp beady eyes taking in her appearance from every angle.

“You’ll do!” it said. “You’ll do very nicely, but wait . . . are you really innocent? Are you truly pure? If I am to have a new home, it has to be pristine. No secondhand goods for Stella. Oh no, Stella only takes the best!”

AND BOTH IN MAZE OF SHADOWS (P.A.W.S. 3) COMING IN 2015

PAWS by Debbie Manber Kupfer

PAWS by Debbie Manber Kupfer

During her stay she was visited by both Stella and her sister Morgana in turn. Both vied for her attention. “Aren’t I the most beguiling?” said Stella, twirling her tiny green form in front of Cici. “Stay with Stella, and I will give you riches beyond compare. Stay with me and you will not want for anything your little feline heart desires.”

Morgana had a different set of promises. “Come with me, Cici, and together we can rule the world. Together with Morgana you can wreak vengeance on those who have hurt you. Morgana can see it, you are in pain. Someone above the ground has hurt you, betrayed you and you are hiding from them. That is why you traveled in your feline form. But with Morgana you can free yourself from those who have hurt you and live in whichever form most pleases.”

Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of P.A.W.S and Argentum and has short stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Darkly Never After, and Sins of the Past. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything! Connect with Debbie on her blog http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor .

 

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Danielle Ross Author Interview

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

See other authors here.

Danielle Ross

Danielle Ross

Tell us about yourself and
how many books you have 
written.

I have a Master’s of Science in Biology, and currently teach at a local University as an adjunct. I’m also an artist and crafter, and currently make wands from natural pecan wood, tumbled gemstones, and suede. I’ve lost count of how many manuscripts I’ve written. Most all are longer than 50K, and very few under 10K.  Deadly Ink 2010 Short Story Collection

Deadly Ink 2010 Short Story Collection

Deadly Ink 2010 Short Story Collection

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Most all of my stories are untitled until I finish them. As my current one is unfinished, it’s untitled. What inspires all my writing typically are my dreams. I usually wake up in the morning from a very vivid dream, really a single scene, and create a story around that.

Blue rose by Danielle Ross

Blue rose by Danielle Ross

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I often make things from my stories. Whether it is the costume of one of the characters, or a sculpture of one of the creatures that I made up for the story. I do like to make up creatures where it is needed. XD

 

What authors or books have influenced you?

There are too many books to list, but some of my favorite authors include, Kate Elliot, Kristen Britain, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Van Lustbader, Lee Martindale, Tanith Lee, Gale Greeno, David Gemmell, etc. XD

Etsy Shop  Wands by  TS Rider

Wands & Pouches

Wands & Pouches

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on my wands and wand shop. I have a couple of stories that I’m playing with writing, and trying to get one of my manuscripts ready for submission.

What is your best method or website for book promotion

No idea, but I tell everyone I know where they can get a copy of something I’ve written through every medium possible. Including Facebook, e-mail, and word of mouth.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

The things I’ve been told the most: Keep at it, don’t quit. Money flows to the author. Once you finish one project, go on to the next, don’t sit and wait for the story to be rejected or accepted before starting your next one. And finally; don’t quit your day job, at least not right away.

What are you reading now?

Kate Elliot Crown of Stars series

What’s next for you as a writer?

Finish polishing one of my longer manuscripts for submission.

3 or 4 books for deserted island?

I have to choose! :'(   Really, anything I haven’t read yet would be a good choice.

What inspires you to write?

My dreams. Most mornings I wake up from very vivid dreams. They’re usually only one scene of a story, but I can often determine the rest of the story from that one scene.

Tell us about your writing process

Often I just sit down and write. I have to have some music or the TV on while I write because I have mild ADD, and need something to turn to when I lose focus on the story.

Pixie House by Danielle Ross

Pixie House by Danielle Ross

Sometimes I outline, most of the time I write by the seat of my pants. Often when I outline, once I start writing the character decides they want to change the story, and then the outline just goes out the window.

If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software?

Notebook paper mostly. That way I can look at it, and look back at it at anytime without having to change the window on my screen. Whiteboard might be a good change, except I don’t think there is a whiteboard large enough for me to outline one of my stories on that’ll fit in my room. XD

Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

During, it’s often easier to flesh out the character that way.

Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

I talk to them all the time, I just don’t do a lot of listening. The last time I did, the character decided to throw out the outline halfway through the story, then at the end decided she wanted to go back to the outline.

How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?

I make them do the things I’m writing, and squish their complaints because I’m the writer!

Fairy Costume 2014 by Danielle Ross

Fairy Costume 2014 by Danielle Ross

What advice would you give other writers?

Don’t write for fame and fortune, write because you have a story to tell.

How did you decide how to publish your books?

I like physical books, so I hope to have my books printed, but I am open to e-publishing just because I could do it myself.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

Physical books will never go away, but they will become more of a luxury item since e-books are so easy to get and store. I think I’ll lose my mind if all the books I want in the future are only available as e-books. I don’t trust technology, and a physical book’s battery never runs out, nor does the software crash and loses a library worth of books. With physical books, it takes a library fire to lose that many stories.

Artwork at HandMadeWands.com

I make various types of artwork, including sculpture, costumery, accessories, woodworking, and jewelry.  I have been primarily working on selling the wands I make from natural pecan wood, tumbled gemstones, and suede.  I also make boxes, stands, and pouches for the wands.

Pegasus Wand by Danielle Ross

Pegasus Wand by Danielle Ross

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Tal Sarokan: Character Interview

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Character Interview: Tal Sarokan
of Fortune’s Thief by M.B. Davies

How did you get into this mess?

It’s all Al Salazar’s fault. I think it’s fair to say that most things are.

Tal Sarokan

Tal Sarokan

My father died when I was fifteen, and I was turned out on the streets by the authorities when they took his possessions to pay off his debts.

Desperate for something to eat, I fell into a life of thievery and lived by my wits on the edge of the law. But one day I chose the wrong caravan to rob and ended up being conscripted into the Sarandani, Al Salazar’s mercenary band.

It was he who convinced me to start using the sword my father left me on his deathbed. It was his dying wish that I solve its riddle, and I carried it with me as a keepsake, not a weapon. When I started using it in battle, at Al Salazar’s insistence, it woke the spirit sleeping within the blade, and now I can’t stop hearing its thoughts. It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t so dark, bloody and thirsty for revenge.

What have you learned so far?

I’ve learned that no matter how blessed one may be by the winds of fortune, every man’s luck runs out in the end.

What is your greatest fear?

That I will not be able to fulfil my oath to my father and unravel the mystery of the phoenix blade. It would be the source of deepest dishonour to me. I plan to take it north to the Spiritsmiths who forged it so that they can help me lay the spirit to rest and free me of its influence.

What have you done that you never thought you would (could) do?

Leave the Sarandani. There are rules that Al Salazar sets out for all those who join his mercenary band, chief among them being that no man may desert the Sarandani and live. I knew they would hunt me down, but I could not in good conscience remain with them any longer. I managed to flee far to the north-west and for three long years they did not find me. I should have known I could not elude them forever.

Fortune’s Thief  by M. B. Davies

Fortune's Thief by M. B. Davies

Fortune’s Thief by M. B. Davies

When Tal Sarokan deserts from a mercenary band to look for a better life, little does he know that his departure will bring an end to his friends’ supernatural good fortune.
Al Salazar, the charismatic leader of the mercenaries, has stolen a stone from the Well of Fate and is using it to control his destiny, and that of his band, the Sarandani.

When the mercenaries start dying, Al Salazar must somehow find Tal and convince him to return – by any means necessary. Meanwhile, the Keeper of the Well has set plans in motion to force Al Salazar to return the fate-stone through the subtle manipulation of his enemies. In time, Al Salazar learns that controlling one’s own destiny comes at a price, and that every man’s luck runs out in the end.

Fortune’s Thief is not yet published, but you can find Deedee’s published short stories in several anthologies:

M. B. Davis Short Stories

M. B. Davis Short Stories

The End Was Not the End:
http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Was-Not-Post-Apocalyptic/dp/1937929078
Perfect Flaw:
http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Flaw-ebook/dp/B00BWTKXZK
A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC
Monster Hunter Blood Trails:
http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Hunter-Blood-Trails-Boothe/dp/1940344123
Just One More Step:
http://www.amazon.com/Just-More-Step-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00JMBYJ0U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416947381&sr=1-1&keywords=just+one+more+step

Deedee Davies

Deedee Davies

Deedee Davies, Author

Deedee Davies is a short story author and novelist interested mainly in the fantasy, horror and science-fiction genres. She has had five short stories published to date in publications from Seventh Star Press, Horrified Press and EMBY Press. Deedee is also a cover artist, with around thirty published book covers under her belt. She lives in Plymouth, UK with her partner, ten spiders and four snakes.

Social Networking Links

You can read Deedee’s blog at The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies: http://deedeedavies.wordpress.com and see her artwork at http://www.3dfantasyart.co.uk/
You can also find her in the following places:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00P20L9IK
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3232352.Deedee_Davies
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/deedee-davies/19/ba/972
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeedeeDaviesAuthor
DeviantArt: http://3d-fantasy-art.deviantart.com/

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Bloghop Giveaway

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog tour

 Join the Rafflecopter Giveaway

for Free Books by Blog Tour Fantasy Writers

$5 Amazon card & Wrong ebook J. Lenni Dorner
Maven Fairy Godmother paperback Charlotte Henley Babb (me)
P.A.W.S. ebook Debbie Manber Kupfer
Shadow Stalker ebook bundle Renee Scattergood
Choice of ebook from Elizabeth Loraine
The Tower of Il Serrohe ebook RJ Mirabal
Godmode by JuQuan Williams Soundtrack download

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