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Open Book Blog Hop   1 comment

A new blog hop participant.

Magical World Web

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I was invited to participate in a blog hop.  (Thank you!)  This week’s question was:  “What language have you always wanted to learn?  Do you think you will try?”

I’ve always been fascinated by languages.  I learned Spanish in high school, and it’s the closest I’ve come to being bilingual.  I took three years of it, and was able to read Don Quixote at the end of the that time period.  The only thing I was lacking was immersing myself in it.  Someday, I think it would be great to pick it back up and finish.

I picked up ASL in college enough to communicate some with it, and again, it would be great to study it more.

I would love to learn French, and am trying to pick some up with my kids since I homeschool them.  I do hope to…

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Posted July 20, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – July 16th   1 comment

Stevie Turner

The topic this week is:

What language have you always wanted to learn? Do you think you will try?

Many years ago (try 45?) when I was in school I enjoyed learning French, although I was taught by somebody who was English.   I even had a French pen friend at one point and tried out my halting French on him.  He replied in terrible English, but we corresponded every now and then for a couple of years until it fizzled out.

When I reached the Fifth Year at school (15/16 years old) we had a native French speaker come to visit our class so that we could all try out our French conversation skills.  However, because we had been taught by an English person, none of us could understand a word she said.  She spoke terribly fast and with an accent obviously native to her part of the world. …

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Posted July 16, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Don’t Talk with Your Hands Full   13 comments

What language have you always wanted to learn? Do you think you will try?

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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My primary language is English, which makes sense since I was raised in America by American parents. BUT ….

Amercian Sign Language

I can speak a smattering of languages – my dad grew up speaking Swedish, my mother’s tribal language died out when I was a kid, but some words are still used … I grew up in an extremely diverse state where two Native American languages are spoken in a variety of dialects … I used to attend a church with a sizeable Korean congregation, so I know a few words (mostly to hear, not say) … I took Spanish in high school. I’m not conversationally proficient in any of them because you have to have people to practice with to get good at speaking a second language. At one time, I navigated a South American country and Mexico with my Spanish, but it was mostly that I understood what they were saying and could ask basic questions in Spanish. If you can speak relatively good Spanish, you can also cipher out Italian and Portuguese, so it’s actually a really versatile language.

In college, I needed a foreign language, but I couldn’t get into Spanish, so I took an American Sign Language course. I have cousins who are deaf and I always wanted to learn the language, but I wasn’t around them enough to get very good at it. It was apparently a language I was meant to learn because I picked it up really quickly. I am conversationally proficient and have managed to hang onto my vocabulary even during times when I didn’t have much practice.  There are times when Deaf prefer Hearing not to know what they’re talking about and then they sign really fast and in short-hand – like some rare dialect of Hungarian. I can’t go there, but otherwise, I do pretty well. I’m “on the continuum” of signers in that I can comprehend most ASL, even in full ASL grammar, but I tend to sign in the telegraphic Pidgeon Signed English. The Deaf are generally okay with that and it is still understandable communication.

American Sign Language is beautiful and adaptable and I taught my children and husband so we could say things in public without being overheard. Even our dogs learned some signs because dogs respond well to hand signals and they have the comprehension skills of about a three-year-old child. Again, in a community with a diverse population, I have a fair opportunity to practice my second language. While ASL is not a universal language (sign languages differ from country to country), it does help its speakers to learn how to communicate non-orally, which I have found very useful when dealing in languages I don’t speak. I’ve used it in combination with a smattering of phrases while traveling in Germany and South America (there I did have Spanish, but the sign was very helpful) and fellowshipping with many other-language speakers in church communities.

I would really like to refresh my Spanish and learn more Swedish. I would need to concentrate a lot of attention on that, so I probably won’t actually accomplish those goals. But I plan to continue speaking ASL for the rest of my life. That is probably why I included a family of Deaf in Transformation Project and so there are many signers in Emmaus and I try to mirror the grammar to the best of my ability.

 

Watch This Space   Leave a comment

July 9, 2018

Have you written any books or stories that you haven’t published? Tell us about them. Do you have plans to release them in the future?

Rules:1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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I’ve been writing since I was 12, mostly for my own amazement, so I have a large back catalog that I can dig into for new stories. While I’ve mostly published fantasy and apocalyptic science fiction, I’ve got several works in progress that are moving toward completion at various speeds.

This fall, the fourth book in Transformation Project “Thanatosis” will launch. The draft is in rewrite mode currently. And the draft for the third book in Daermad Cycle “Fount of Wraiths” moves closer to completion every time I get bored of doing Transformation Project or when I have a break between books. I try to do that after each book because variety is the spice of life and I always have a primary project and a secondary project so I don’t get bored and risk writer’s block.

TP Cover Montage“What If Wasn’t” is the closest to publication of my WIPs. It’s a literary fiction (or a New Adult, human interest drama) tale inspired by a friend of ours who did four years in prison. Bern did an interview with me a few weeks ago. Of course, I’m a fiction writer, not a biographer, so it isn’t really his story. It’s “inspired by”. The character of Peter is nothing like Bern and the details of his crime are quite different. But some of the struggles he has reintegrating into society and some of the things that happened to him in prison are things Bern has told me about. I really hope to publish it sometime in the next year or two, but it’s not ready yet. The draft needs a major rewrite.

I also have a YA that is a full draft, but also needs a major rewrite. Oh for the time to accomplish it.

For the last few years, I’ve participated in the Agorist Writers Workshop‘s anthology series, Clarion Call. This spring I wrote “An Investment Returns” which was an adventure set in Alaska. The characters of Dan and Mallory have inspired a mystery/thriller/romance that I feel might finally be an Alaskana project worth following. We’ll see. It’s not a primary project, but the ideas are flowing. It’ll be at least two years before anything might be published on that because the opening scene is temporarily held by AWW.

The one I’m most excited about but is definitely the hardest to do is an extension of my alternative historical fiction started in “A Bridge at Adelphia” (also in a Clarion Call anthology Echoes of Liberty). I postulate that the US Constitution is never ratified because: a) James Madison has one of his famous illnesses and so was unable to push the ratification efforts; b) that George Washington’s letters about land and the need for a “controlling power” are made public and people come to believe that he wants to be king (these letters are actually public today, but at the time, they were private). Patrick Henry’s convention speech was more widely published and swayed some state legislatures; d) that Arthur St. Clair’s manipulation of his post as President of Congress (under the Articles) so that he can be appointed governor of the Northwest Territory is discovered and made public; e) just one state refused to ratify early on and that convinced the others not to. It’s a fun project because I get to mess with history, to show how tiny tweaks in the circumstances around the Constitutional ratification might have derailed the whole process. . It’s also a hard project because I have to decide what might have happened if the Articles of Confederation had continued in force. Indian relations on the western frontier would have been different because the US would not have been able to mount a big army to force their desires on the tribes … and that was covered in the short story. I think Ohio would have become a state even without St. Clair’s influence. Washington DC would have never existed and Philadelphia would be the US capital today. I plan to follow the life of the central character, with snatches of his life in short story form, so the book ends in 1860s (upon Lai’s death). I’m still staring at that subject of slavery and how it will resolve under the AofC as opposed to how it did resolve under the Constitution. Without a big army, whatever would the North have done to force the South to give up its economic livelihood? That could be the subject for another book, you know?

And, then I have a whole list of projects I would like to do, but are no more than a few notes here and there. But who knows? Maybe I”ll get to them, someday. Watch this space.

 

Define “conservative”   Leave a comment

Another conversation on Facebook – Define “conservative”

Define “liberal”   1 comment

We’re having a great conversation over on Facebook about the term “liberal” – exploring it’s different meanings across the US and UK, primarily, but it’s pretty far-ranging. Anyone is welcome to join us. The only rule is … be civil.

Wild & Free Forever   2 comments

Sunrise (whose blog nickname has been Goldeneyes) passed into the realm of “wild and free forever” yesterday about noon.

Related imageAt 14, it was not unexpected. She’d had a cancerous tumor removed in February and we knew it could come back. But she wasn’t bowing to age. She still jumped over the back of the couch and was always ready to go for a ride. She could still run pretty fast and swim like the water dog she was. Her molten gold eyes were always smiling and she absolutely loved her people dearly.

In earlier years she had tried to catch a beaver — and almost had it landed when her companion dog, the black-hearted pirate Friday, let go. And this after she taught her elder how to swim. Disgraceful! She enjoyed catch-and-release — the neighbors’ chickens would get out, she’d catch them and bring them to us uninjured. She never quite understood why we took them back. She wasn’t afraid of heights like most dogs so she would cross a log bridge rather than swim a swift current. She was at once very smart and a total goof, domesticated by the belly rub. She was the only Lab I’ve ever met who would be trusted with a full bag of dog food. She’d eat just what she needed to not starve to death and leave the rest for later. She once ate mushrooms while we were on a camping trip and freaked out in the tent (thought Brad was an ogre, we think). Once released, she ran off down the trail and attacked the Davidson Ditch, a metal aquaduct. I’m thinking she thought it was a giant metal snake. She wasn’t particularly brave – kind of scared of the woods and if someone was yelling around her, she’d hide, but she’d do things that you could tell terrified her just because she wanted to be with us. Back when she was still a young puppy and hadn’t convinced Brad to like her yet, she stole his shoes once — picked them up from the Arctic entry way and carried them to her favorite cozy spot, put them side by side, but didn’t chew them up. He thought he was losing his mind until he found them. They were friends after that. She was extremely empathetic, could sense our emotions, and was always ready to listen and love us. She was a great companion, a loving friend, a tireless hiker, a sweet soul and she went out on her own terms.

Image result for image of female yellow field labTuesday night, she seemed tired and she declined going “wild and free” – a holiday evening tradition when she was allowed to race the streets in pure abandon. This is what comes from a Lab being raised by a husky – a water dog who enjoys running. She spent the night watching us sleep. Every time I opened my eyes, she was there with a loving grin on her face. In the morning, when I let her go out to pee, she had trouble coming up the stairs, like it exhausted her. But she was still smiling. We agreed she probably needed to go to the vet today, that the cancer was probably back and she was in pain. We were torn on whether to euthanize her or get her pain meds so she’d enjoy her last few days. Brad went by the bedroom around 11:30 and told her “you’re going to get to go wild-and-free forever soon.” A half hour later, we found her on her bed, on her side, eyes open with one ear furled under her as if she’d sprang to her feet planning to go wild-and-free and simply fell over dead.

That’s a great way to go for a fine athlete who loved to run and it even seems that she was smiling as she did it. And it being Independence Day — well, what a great day to enter the realm of “wild-and-free-forever.”

Image result for image of female yellow field labWe’re going to miss her, but we know she’s somewhere pleasant, maybe hanging out with our other dogs Cana and Friday or the cat Angel that she loved dearly but could never convince to be friends. It would be wonderful if the mini-lion would now lay down with the Labrador.

Where ever it is, I’m sure there’s water for her and Cana (a water Lab) to enjoy and for Friday (a husky) to complain about. And I’m sure she’s smiling because that is who Sunrise is and will always be.

Posted July 5, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gratitude, Uncategorized

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Lyndell Williams

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