Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The search for true happiness has been going on for millennia and remains the subject of discourse for philosophers. Yet, it continually seems to elude many of us the more we pursue it.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Although the discussion of climate change and its manmade causes can be controversial, we can all agree that it’s important to do everything we can to safeguard our environment and its natural resources. Toward that end we’ll also be providing links to information that will allow us to reinvent ourselves as a more sustainable society."
I agree, Deborah. Just don't stop...
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
- Somerset Bob (Kingsley), who's friendly and warm advice to fellow bloggers has made this place a little less daunting for many of us;
- In Cinq (Adria Balgassi), who excudes warmth and kindness and beauty at every turn;
- Jean-Luc Picard, who appears to be everywhere all at once (I don't know how you do it, Jean-Luc--perhaps you've mastered time-travel-- but I admire your kindness and enthusiastic presence);
- Zephyr1, whose tireless and caring nature fills the blogosphere with her radiant dedication; and,
- Steve Tennant (Time Line Journey), whose quiet, unassuming nature and great sense of humor make this place smaller and cozy.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
...Oops, I missed my Friday Feature yesterday (I was caught in a high velocity windstorm out by the HD189733 system and didn't make it back until today. But...when I got back, I was surprised by this cool very pink thing! So, hey, I'm just a rockin' SF Girl! Thanks, Zephyr1 (definitely a rockin' girl herself) at Climate of our Future for tagging me with this cool award. I immediately thought of several awesome girl bloggers and found that they'd already had bestowed upon them this neon pink badge of coolness. But I'm going to link to them anyway, because you may wish to visit their rockin' sites :)
- Theresa (Sqt), whose site Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog is the coolest (I may be a little biased, given my love for space travel and such);
- Adria (in cinq), whose poetry/photo project continues to inspire so many of us
- W for Wonder, another rockin' site on subjects I love
- Walks Far Woman, whose idea for a blog and insightful thoughts I find compelling
- Orbitgal's site is devoted to wonderful self-expression, thoughtful ideas and photos that sparkle with feminine energy
- Peggy K's two blogs (e.g., Biology in Science Fiction and Women in Science) rock with strong girl power that linger in our thoughts like a rich dark coffee
- Jennifer Rahn's generous nature and creative sense of humor characterize her blog, Random Synaptic Transfers, with an aluring female energy
- Tricia's The Modern Matriarch is an incredible distaff reflection of the world that surges with female lightening--uplifting and challenging
- Karen Mason's exuberance and selfless devotion in creating and maintaining a site dedicated to my next book, Darwin's Paradox merits special mention for the female trait of giving. Thank you, Karen; you're a rockin' girl blogger!
Congratulations, Rockin' Gals!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Zephyr1 over at Climate of our Future, must think I schmooze a lot, because she's just honored me with this cool award. Thanks, Deborah and Francis!
According to Maurica author of Maurica wishing on a falling star, schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.”
"Good schmoozers", says Deborah, "effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship."
So, now it's my turn to bestow this award on 5 other schmoozers who I think you will find are just as kind and considerate:
- Captain Picard's Journal
- Sqt (Teresa) (Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin' Blog)
- Orbitgal (Kim) (Bare)
- Grasshopperkm (Diary of a Heretic)
You are all super schmoozers. You make the blogosphere a place of friendship and community.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Jennifer is not one for heights—apparently, if she gets more than four feet off the ground her hands lock and she can’t let go of whatever she’s hanging on to—so, I offered to transport us to my ship via my crystal beam device, even though its annoying transit squeal makes you a little queasy. Despite this, Jennifer insisted on us using it...She must be a Taurus...So, I made the calculations and we set off. I remember glancing at her between gritting my teeth to the screaming crystal beam as she blithely popped a chocolate-covered marshmallow with toasted coconut she'd gotten from Picard’s into her mouth (I had no idea she knew Jean-Luc that well! All he ever gave me was red wine—albeit, a wonderful Merlot from his own vineyard...).
Anyway, once onboard, we settle in the aft lounge with two Labbatts Blues (she’s a Canadian, after all, eh?) and I let her glance in curious wonder at the view of the Earth below as I prepare my onslaught of questions by skimming the blurb of her book on her awesome publisher’s site, Dragon Moon Press, that I cued on my handheld:
Apprenticed to the Graduate Supervisor from Hell . . .
Deformed by the Desert he had been born in, Antronos had fought hard to overcome the stigma of being a surface dweller and make his place in the underground civilization of the Temlochti State. Finally accepted in academia, he graduates with a degree in medicine and accepts a position as a graduate student in the laboratory of Sen Vernus, a Professor Emeritus who demonstrates an extensive and arcane knowledge of longevity.
The weak-willed Lord Jait possesses psychic power he has no idea how to use—power that Vernus can use to possess others. The 'longevity' studies progress from stealing body parts to control over entire beings. Can Antronos resist the mind invasions of Vernus or will he destroy Lord Jait, the very man he has vowed to save?
Mid-way through Jennifer's appreciative swig of her beer, I sock it between her eyes with my first question:
SF Girl: “Being an ecologist alien, I was both curious and entranced with the setting of your book, Longevity Thesis. You mentioned that Temlocht (one of five regions of this world) is a Desert wasteland, where magnetic forces (actually magical forces) cause the Desert to rearrange itself constantly so that travelers get lost and the landscape is always changing with the undead appearing and disappearing; people who live on the Desert surface are considered freaks or barbarians by the ‘civilized’ population who live underground. What inspired you to create these incredible settings and did you draw from any personal experiences?”
JR: “Hmm...” She purses her lips in thought. “It seems I can’t answer this question without revealing what a nerd I am—”
SF Girl: “Nerd? What’s a nerd?”
JR: She ignores my interruption with a few dismissive blinks—another Taurus trait, I think—and doggedly proceeds to explain, like she would to a child, “They were inspired [partly] by the Rutherford Library on the U of Alberta Campus, which is the most amazing library I’ve ever been in...with several levels and ancient books...”
SF Girl: “You’ve described Longevity Thesis as dark fantasy. What do you mean by that?”
JR: Her eyes sparkle with the challenge of my brilliant question. “Well, the story is a bit macabre in places. Hard science is unnecessary for explaining the overall plot, and it is also extremely far-fetched. Ergo, dark fantasy.”
SF Girl: “How long did it take to research and write Longevity Thesis?”
JR: She gives me a slanted smile. “I think I wrote a really awful version of it when I was twelve—there were spaceships and dimensional crossovers in it back then—and then seriously started trying to write it properly when I was twenty. I first tried to get it published sometime between the ages of 26 to 28, and then realized that it needed some serious reworking. I was in the Critters Workshop for about three years and ran the novel through 3 or 4 times. The final rewrite took 8 months (all spaceships deleted) and was finished in December of 2003. So, in total, [it took me] twenty-one years.”
WOW! Maybe that’s why she called it the Longevity Thesis.
SF Girl: “What makes you write?”
JR: “I suppose the desire to remain somewhat sane. I need an outlet and this is it. I get a lot of satisfaction and peace from having a story come together.”
SF Girl: “How did you get started writing?”
JR: “Uh...I think it was when my Mum first gave me a pencil [when] I was two...”
SF Girl: I curb a frown at the brazen cleverness of her response and scramble for an equally clever comeback as Jennifer pops back another mouthful of Blue and lets her gaze stray to the window facing the breathtaking view of the Earth. “Earlier, you told me that you’re currently working as a post doc in the cancer research field. In a prior post on your blog, you mentioned how you had to put to rest the question that some of your academic characters (e.g., Jait and Vernus) in no way resembled your previous PhD or MSc supervisors...So where DID they come from?”
JR: I catch her shifting in her chair and let a predatory smile tug my lips. “[Some] are complete fabrications, [others] are all seeded from slivers of my own personality, which were greatly exaggerated for entertainment purposes. Atronos [arose] from a weird dream I had...I decided to include him in the novel because I needed a ‘glue’ character to string all the sequences together—”
SF Girl: “But didn’t your PhD supervisor say—” I catch her glancing around in search of a screen...I’d promised her anime, after all. Calling my bluff, Jennifer surges to her feet with a pointed glance at her watch.
JR: “Oh, I’m late for a lab session with my two trainees. Thanks, SF Girl.” She claps the beer down on the table and adds, “I really must go!”
Then she activates the crystal beam without me showing her how (another Taurus trait, I guess) and disappears. Lab session...Sure...I know better...She’s probably off manga shopping.
...I leave you with an excerpt of Longevity Thesis, Chapter One:
Chapter 1: Awakening
Antronos was being swallowed by the Desert. He stood petrified, watching a great wall of sand heave upwards and seethe past him overhead, covering his world in red gloom. Turning to look back towards his mother's hovel, praying it hadn't disappeared, he found he was somewhere else entirely—in an instant, all had changed. The sky churned and a vortex of wind stretched down from the red, sooty clouds to touch the ground and tease the sand into a great column that tipped sideways, and slowly writhed towards him, like a great, opened maw. At his feet, stones were sliding towards that opening, becoming caught up in the spiralling wind and tumbling out of sight. He called out to his mother, his trembling, skinny hands clutching the few dried brambles he had found, as he continued to turn in a circle looking for what he knew would not be there. Hell had returned.
Longevity Thesis will be on sale this September at Amazon.com. You can pre-order it now.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy by Tor Books consists of three rather large books: Kushiel’s Dart (a hefty 910 pages); Kushiel’s Chosen; and Kushiel’s Avatar, with a fourth and fifth in the saga, based on another character (Kushiel’s Scion and Kushiel's Judgement). Kushiel’s Legacy is definitely an epic fantasy. But, thankfully for me, it couldn’t be further from its stereotype. Epic, yes—in size, scope and granduer. Fantastic, also, in its brilliant imagination and masterful delivery. But it is so much more.
Monday, July 2, 2007
I, along with four others, have been honored as the first recipients of the "Bloggers for Positive Global Change" award conceived by Climate of Our Future. This award was created by the COOF team to commemorate blogger's efforts around the world to share their knowledge, thoughts and inspirations in making this a better, healthier, more sustainable world.
The four other initial recipients of this excellent award include:
- A New Green Earth
- The Accidental Environmentalist
- Global Warming Awareness 2007
- Let's Meet Where the Continents Meet
So, in keeping with the participation rules below-- I, in turn, bestow this Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award to the following 5 bloggers:
- What's Your Ecotype: an informative treatise on environmental issues with practical advice and solutions
- Princess Haiku: an ode to the beauty that surrounds us and permeates through us, providing a path toward improving how we perceive our selves and our world and therefore how we act
- The Green Fingured Photographer: optimistic musings of a man living his life with a genuine dedication to improving himself and his world, one photo at a time
- Seacoast NRG: a well-written advisory on energy, conservation, climate and the impetus for change that informs and challenges us to act
- Got 2 Be Green: a down-to-earth summary of tips on living an environmentally friendly life one step at a time
The participation rules are simple:
1. When you get tagged, write a post with links to up to 5 blogs that you think are trying to change the world in a positive way.
2. In your post, make sure you link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you’re tagging, so they know they’re now part of the meme.
4. Optional: Proudly display the “Bloggers For Positive Global Change” award badge with a link to the post that you write up.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I am a believer in the autopoietic nature of life in the universe, that events in our lives are not just random events, but simply not understood in a seemingly chaotic mosaic. I think everything has a "meaning" in God's eyes, whether we discern it or not. For that reason, I am not surprised that Diana shares Canada's birthday. In some very fundamental ways, this iconic yet unassuming humanitarian embodies the nature and spirit of our nation.
Diana was a philanthropist, characterized for her sense of style, charisma, humour and charity and her selfless devotion to her children, indeed to all children of the world.
Diana became well known for her charity work and her participation in the campaign against the use of landmines, a cause which garnered a Nobel Prize in 1997 in tribute. She also helped to decrease discrimination against victims of AIDS.
In 2001, Bill Clinton said of the Princess: "In 1987, when so many still believed that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact, Princess Diana sat on the sickbed of a man with AIDS and held his hand. She showed the world that people with AIDS deserve no isolation, but compassion and kindness."
True to her humble nature, Diana also made clandestine visits of kindness to the sick, turning up unannounced with instructions that her visit was to be concealed from the media.
Diana could have been a Canadian. I'm proud that Canada shares her birthday.
- Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world by area
- Canada became a confederation of four British North American colonies in 1867
- it remains a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and maintains a parliamentary democracy
- in 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Eliott Trudeau pushed through the patriation of the constitution from Britain, enshrining a Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on individual rights in the Constitution Act of 1982
- Canada is officially bilingual with English and French
- its official national sports are ice hockey (in winter) and lacrosse (in summer)
- Did you know that our national animal is a large aquatic rodent and appears on the Canadian nickel? The hardworking beaver!
- Or that Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese dinners per capita than any other country? Hmm...not sure I'm proud of that...
- Or how about those 'loonies' and 'toonies' we use to buy all those mac & cheese dinners? Those are what we call our 1-dollar and 2-dollar coins...because of the loon on the dollar coin; clever, eh?
- or that the alcoholic beverage Canadians usually prefer is beer? No need to explain that one! :)