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Home for the Holidays

In the climax of x0, as my newly telepathic hero Lola speeds around the world trying to outrun an evil man, there feastis a part of her that is still also trying to get home in time for Christmas dinner with her family. For all that she has transitioned into becoming a sort of super hero, she is still very much human.

Today, I am lucky to celebrate my own Christmas holiday with those I love the most, and as we start in with the chaos of making a feast, I recognize this time as well worth cherishing. Whatever your traditions or your situation, I wish you your own celebrations in the year ahead, and may they be filled with the warmth of time spent with those that bring the most joy into your life.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may your days be filled with hope, with joy and with peace.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in peace

 

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Enter on Goodreads to win a free paperback copy

Winners anywhere get a paperback book mailed right to their door. Click on the flag of Nigeria below to enter

flag

Nigerian Flag

(The Flag of Nigeria was first officially hoisted on October 1, 1960. The two green bands represent the forests and abundant natural wealth of Nigeria while the white band represents peace.)

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in One of One

 

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It’s a real book!

x0_sw final little

Click to see

Gulp. This writing thing just got more real for me as today x0 became available in paperback.  Check it out here. It’s 328 actual paper pages. It even comes with free shipping. Just like any other real stuff you order. How cool is that?

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in One of One

 

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Why in the world would you write a book about Nigeria?

Recently I’ve gotten some feedback on my book from folks who did not particularly enjoy it.  That’s part of the process of writing, of course, and I accept these comments with all the good cheer I can manage.  After all, we all enjoy different things and I appreciate an honest review. But I’ve heard a few times now that writing about Nigeria was part of the problem. It has been suggested to me that it just isn’t a place that particularly interests many readers from the United States. So I’ve had to consider, after the fact, why in the world I picked such a “difficult” location for my first book. I mean, wouldn’t Paris or London have been better?

Much of x0 probably takes place in Nigeria simply because I began to write a tale of two very different women helping each other about the same time that I started a new job exploring for oil in the Niger Delta. Mind you, I do my exploring at a computer in Houston, twisting and turning 3-D images on a screen just like Lola does in the story. The fair-sized oil company that I work for bears little resemblance to Lola’s tiny focused employer, and as I began writing I promised myself that I would steadfastly resist the temptation to let any thing about my actual place of employment creep into the fictional world I was creating. Certainly I owed my employer that discretion.

In the end though, I made one exception. One day I asked my office mate, a Nigerian geologist, to describe to me how his tribe, the Igbo, were unique. He responded by telling me a legend about Igbo slaves coming to America. It startled me at first that he would even speak of such a thing, but in the end I was touched by both the moving story he told, and by the powerful way in that he told it.  I tried to capture each of those when I retold this scene in my book.

Nana Asma’u
Click here to visit the website for Wise Muslim Women.org to learn more

Nigeria, it turns out, has a plethora of rich stories to tell, and as an outsider I am poorly equipped to speak of even the few that I know. Yet as I kept writing I filled myself with all the history, culture and geography I could find on the internet. Somewhere along the way I became a fan of Nana Asma’u, a proponent of education for her fellow Muslim women and a poet and scholar herself.  She lived in northern Nigeria in the early 1800’s.

Why Nigeria?  Why anywhere. Every spot on this earth is teeming with tales of heroes and feats that will never make it to our ears. Why listen to these tales? Why tell them again? When young Pakistani Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban a few weeks ago for advocating education for girls, I thought of Malala’s noble predecessor of 200 years ago, and I had a perspective that I would once have totally lacked.

Why Nigeria?  Because when I started writing this book, there probably wasn’t a place on earth that I knew less about. That’s not true anymore. I get that the fascinating details of a far off land don’t appeal to everyone, but they do to me. I had to look hard to find a location for my second book that was even less known to me. I found it. And I hope that some of you will also enjoy reading about the remote Pacific Island nation of Kiribati.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Nigeria, oil industry

 

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Art for empathy and world peace

The Golden Rule by Normal Rockwell as available at art.com

Lola’s most cherished gift for her 50th birthday is a print from fellow telepath Maurice of Norman Rockwell’s famous painting called “The Golden Rule”. It occurred to me that I’d like a copy of it myself, and now that writing the novel x0 has me thinking so much about the subject, maybe I’ll even start a little collection of prints relating to empathy and world peace. So I looked around.

It turns out that one can get a print of the April 1, 1961 cover of the Saturday Evening Post as shown at the left at art.com and for additional dollars it will come matted and framed.

Peace to the World by saleire

If you prefer original art on the subject of world peace, check out redbubble.com where the original of the painting to the right, entitled Peace to the World by the artist   is available at an affordable price.

Peace Sign by Laura Barbosa

If you are looking for nostalgic peace symbolism  (and how could you not be?) take a look at this original by Laura Barbosa on her website.  She also has quite a bit of other original art available on the rest of her blog, and much of it may bring thoughts of empathy, telepathy and world peace into you head. Although this particular original has been sold, prints can be purchased at redbubble.com.

I’m going to keep seeking more prints to add to my world peace art collection, so you can expect to see additional items here soon.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in art for peace

 

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Making a little noise

It’s been nice to make a little positive noise lately, including a couple of good new reviews on amazon.com, a nice review on The Virtual Muser eBook Review, and a short interview on Hock G. Tjoa‘s blog. Please check them out.  Both Virtual Muser and Hock G. Tjoa are very interesting places to visit as they both make a point of seeking out new authors doing something a little different. Both are good places to discover reading material you might not easily find elsewhere.

Also thanks to everyone who clicked on x0 for me at Best Indie Books.  Thanks to you I’m ranked 10th out of, well, lots of books. If you feel like doing a quick good deed, click on the link above, scroll down to x0 and just click one last time for me. Thanks!

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in One of One elsewhere

 

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Free books at Once Upon a Time

Check out Once Upon a Time, an eclectic book blog devoted to fantasy and speculative fiction. It’s a fascinating place to get new reading ideas and today they are featuring x0 with a giveaway of two free electronic copies.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in One of One elsewhere

 

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