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Archive for April, 2011:

Dream Weaver

Written by AJ on April 27, 2011 – 12:02 pm

When people ask where I get my ideas for my books, there is no single answer. Resonance started when I read an article out of Harvard about polar shifts. There I was, reading this standard scientific journal entry, and the characters simply came to life and all fit together. With Vengeance, the story just came to me. This was my interpretation of the classic revenge tale. But honestly, Owen didn’t exist until I hit page four. Then, suddenly, there was this agent who was in the FBI for all the right reasons, and suffering the fate of those who give themselves to the greater good. But dreams have been responsible for more than one story of mine . . . and throughout my life I have been the recipient of some very weird dreams.

God’s Eye grew from a dream of black cats disappearing in dark corners. In the dream, I stood in my room and knew – just knew – that something was behind me. Though I knew that ‘something’ had been the cat, I didn’t know what it really was, or even if I should be afraid of it. I awoke feeling incredibly ignorant. Katharine, Allistair and Zachary plagued me until that dream made sense as a novel. And later – several books from now – you’ll read the story of Fortune, a young girl who vanishes one day. Only when she is gone does everyone begin to realize that Fortune’s life was never what it seemed. That book will be told in vivid detail almost exactly as I remember the dream. It was a dream I had when I was fourteen.

So you can see I have been treated to some doozies, courtesy of my subconscious. If reading God’s Eye doesn’t convince you that I should have some serious concerns, maybe the rest of this will. . .

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The Grass is Always Greener

Written by AJ on April 20, 2011 – 12:02 pm

My neighborhood is a standard idyllic American neighborhood . . . houses side by side, back yards fenced, kids riding bikes next to dogs running on the streets. However, the majority of these kinds of neighborhoods back up onto other neighborhoods, or main roads or even shopping complexes. My neighborhood backs up onto cow farms.

Looked at from an aerial view, it’s hard to determine who thought to buy a neighborhood in this shape. Most subdivisions are rectangular, or even have rounded sides. The shape of mine is like a three fingered, lumpy cartoon style hand with lumps sticking out here and there. In fact, my property is one of those lumps. Not only does my yard abut a cow farm, it’s flush against three different cow farms!

I have learned a lot about cows living next to so many of them. One thing I have not learned is what the cows are for . . . I don’t think they are milk cows (no facilities on the neighboring farms) and I don’t think they are beef cows (the entire herd never disappears nor dwindles). I have to admit ignorance here, as – beyond milk and beef – I don’t know what else cows are for. *shrug*

But I have learned other useful things. 1 – Cows have a daycare system. One or two mothers will look after eight to ten calves at a time. They moo to corral them. 2 – Barbed wire does not stop a cow. It merely lowers a cow’s desire to be on the other side of that wire. 3 – Cows are more curious than people give them credit for. 4 – Cows are much larger up close than you would think. (I learned numbers 2, 3 and 4 on the same day.)

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Expert at Something

Written by AJ on April 13, 2011 – 12:02 pm

Everyone is an expert at something

At the airport today, I learned that I am what is known as an ‘expert’ traveler. This was a surprise to me, as I fly maybe once every three months. We take family vacations in our car, stopping along the way, visiting the landmarks in between where we are and where we want to be. Basically, it’s our car, and we like the jump-in-and-go aspect. We also are big fans of the it’s-vacation-let’s-not-leave-as-early-as-we-thought aspect. So you have to see that I wasn’t expecting to be an ‘expert’ air traveler.

Let’s clarify though . . . apparently the ‘expert traveler’ line is just a nice name for people without holdups. i.e. those who know not to pack liquids in their carry-ons and aren’t burdened by things that make flying more difficult – like small children.

So, yesterday, I loaded up and headed out for my work trip – three days in New York where I’ll be filming. I’m no actor, but I will appear in some corporate videos. Because my clothes are important when I’m going to be green-screening it, I worked hard to pack everything into one carry-on. This is to be sure the airline doesn’t lose my bag then deliver it the day I’m ready to leave the city. I don’t think I can afford the time to shop in Manhattan for shirts that aren’t too shiny, too stripey or the wrong shade of green or red. No, I was hauling my own luggage thank you.

(You may by now be smelling the hint of evil to come. . . )

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MegaCon (Florida, March 2011)

Written by AJ on April 6, 2011 – 12:02 pm

Hello to all the new Chickens I met at MegaCon last weekend!

I had a great time in Orlando, and even got to enjoy a new Mid Florida treat – butterbeer. I got to see and do a lot. At the con. Sadly, you don’t really get to visit a town when you visit the con – not unless you book a few extra days. (In fact, that run for butterbeer was just that: a quick in-and-out at Universal Studios before hitting the road!) But there was a lot going on in the Orlando Convention Center, I must say.

I met R2D2 and his green friend. Since they are radio controlled, they appear to wander the floor on their own, weaving in and out of fans. The best part about the droids is when little kids see them and don’t understand that they are remote controlled.

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