Been A While…

(Love that song!)

Here I am, on the final countdown to the release of Revolussion on 11/11/11…yay! Been a long haul to get here, and I am truly, terribly nervous because in the same way that Evolussion took turns not everyone liked, Revolussion went spiralling in directions I did not even imagine when I created the roadmap I thought the Infinion Series would follow.

Like so many people, I find myself with not enough time to complete all the things I would like to do, and unfortunately I must relegate my online presence to the back burner behind family and work. But, things are opening up now (every time I say that, something new comes along to steal my time!), and I’m excited to be looking at slotting ‘face time’ for Facebook and WordPress to coincide with the release of Revolussion. I can’t guarantee daily, but I just might very well try!

I am going to be posting a surprise for my Facebook Followers, likely Sunday, so be sure to check the Facebook Fan Pages later this weekend.

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Synchronicity…again

In an earlier posting, I had mentioned the number of recent coincidences. They continue…

In April, I had been dealing with a government refund for an overpayment on deductions, and had only gotten a partial refund. I called back in June, but still nothing last week. So, I tried to call on Tuesday but the office was closed. I phone the government office on Wednesday only to be told a refund check had been issued on the Monday!! Strange that after almost two months, when I randomly begin to re-initiate contact, they had also begun to work on the file. Granted, there was still a missing portion to the refund (no one can explain that mystery to me, but it is par for the course in my dealings with any financial institution, whether it be government accounting, banks, or payroll!) which is supposed to arrive in the next five days, but at least forward motion had begun.

On a more sombre note, as I’m reading Regression again for the first time in quite a while, I realized another eerie coincidence which does not have a happy ending. In trying to determine the veracity of her memories, Adya called her past/future in-law’s house, and recognizes the voice on the line as that of her deceased mother-in-law, who had died of cancer. My mother-in-law is fighting a losing battle with cancer after a 2010 diagnosis…two years after I wrote the passage in the novel. Again, to be shrugged off as a sad twist of chance but still, it makes you wonder at the alignment of many of the world’s occurrences. Jung’s concept of Synchronicity strikes a chord and makes for interesting reading.

Free Ebook!

I’m getting ready for the release of Revolussion, the third book in the Infinion Series. Smashwords is my distributor for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. I’m thinking ahead…I would like to propagate the ‘free’ price for Bestselling Regression on their listings pages, but it can take up to three months to trickle down. By listing now, maybe Regression will be free when Revolussion is released on 11/11/11. And perhaps even Amazon will catch up on the price. So, if you like Smashwords, science fiction, and time travel, stop on by and grab a free copy of my book.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5649

Doing a Book Reading Online

Sort Of. I’ve been invited to host a ‘Read With The Author’ Book Klub on Kindleboards and will be reading through Regression, Evolussion, and finally Revolussion (in the form of Advance Reader Copies). So, my monotone voice will not be droning on but I will be reading along with other people, in their heads. I hope. More need to show up or I’ll just be talking mainly to myself!

So, what is Kindleboards? It’s a great social site for Kindle users to share tips, ideas, book recommendations, and just hang out. I just learned a whole bunch about Walt Disney World from hanging around the boards, so it’s not just about Kindles, although ownership is strongly recommended as it does make it easier to take part in the conversations!

Since I’ve made the committment to visit the Kindleboards site daily over the coming months, I’m also going to try to get slamming out some blog entries. And of course, with the final book in the Infinion Series coming out soon, I’ll have to work in some background about that. Get it months before it goes on sale by joining me in the Book Klub!

A bit Late!

I took an interesting phone call the other day. This call was interesting only in that it exemplified the state of the publishing industry.

The woman on the other end of the line identified herself as being with a publishing company who was interested in publishing my book. I laughed, and told her she was more than two years two late, as my book had not only been published, but also made the Amazon Bestsellers list in 2009, had the sequel out last year, and the conclusion to the trilogy coming out this fall. The other end of the line went dead for a moment, and then she asked me with whom I had published. I said, myself. Dead air again, and then she repeated her question. I said, I did it myself. I really don’t think she knew what to say, but then she went on to ask if I planned any other books. Obviously her script did not cover how to deal with someone who was happily published, as she tried to convince me that I needed her firm. I politely but firmly indicated that I really did not think print was the way to go, and that digital was my primary target market so no, thanks. She wanted to engage in a debate, asking me who told me print was dying and digital flying, but I closed the conversation with a quick ‘Thank you for your time” and a disconnect.

You know the print companies are in trouble when they’re soliciting future manuscripts by telephone! I wish I had thought to jot down which firm she represented. Three years ago when I was sending out manuscripts, I would have loved to get a phone call (actually, I did get a number of positive emails but nothing panned out), but now I recognize how much more effective publishing with Kindle and the other electronic platforms is, and would not want to deal with any publisher who will not admit it is time to do digital or die.

Eerie Coincidences

As I’ve worked my way through the Infinion series, I’ve encountered some eerie coincidences.

When I wrote Regression, I pondered how to produce maximum genetic variety from a small population of individuals. Regular fraternal twins or siblings just didn’t create enough diversity; I needed to most completely opposite DNA possible, so that the children shared no common genes even though they had a common mother. I decided to have the plasmid act on the chromosomes, making twins who started out identical, but through manipulation ended up with completely opposite genetic material. I dubbed my babies Polar Twins, having not heard of the term before. Then, in 2010, I was at the vet for a routine c-section when the vet commented ‘We’ve got twins’. I didn’t think much of it, since a litter is by nature fraternal twins, until she reinforced that no, two puppies shared both a placenta and amniotic sac. Imagine our surprise to discover one of those pups was a male, the other a female. One possible explanation for our unusual twins is polar twinning, where an egg had uneven division of the cytoplasm during oogenesis and a viable polar body was created, then an X chromosome sperm fertilized one of them, and a Y chromosome fertilized the other. Such an occurrence has not been seen in dogs. Unfortunately, we lost the male pup to an infection so could not document the ongoing development or determine fertility level later on. I do have a sample of his DNA, which when life settles down will get submitted for extensive testing to verify the relationship between the puppies, their mother, father and siblings. Still, for having never heard of the concept of polar twinning, then using the term in my book (I was all exciting thinking I had coined it, but I guess perhaps not), to have one of my dogs give birth not only to rare twins, but possible polar twins, is surprising in the extreme. That is the most unusual of the coincidences.

As I was working away on Evolussion, I drafted a scene where Dawn relives her demise, and views the full moon. Realizing how critical readers can be, I decided to verify the phase of the moon on 11/11/11 AFTER I had written the passage to include a full moon. Imagine my delight to find that yes, the moon would be full (full is actually on the 10th, but will appear full enough less than 24 hours later). The creepiness of coincidences didn’t hit at that point because it was only a couple.

Then the other night my husband brought to my attention the fact an asteroid is passing quite close to Earth in mid-November, and would actually still be visible on 11/11/11. I had not written one into Dawn’s experience, but since an asteroid is the cause of all the problems on Earth, it’s freaky one is truly passing near at the time of my book release, and will likely still be visible on 11/11/11 (albeit maybe only by telescope)!

I like to ask my husband for help and thoughts now when working on the books. I never told him I was writing the first one until it was done, but that’s a story for another blog. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I pulled out the globe, spun it, and said ‘Where would you land if you were an alien coming to Earth for the first time?’ He pointed to Northern Africa and said ‘Right there. Lots of landmass around, it would make sense.’ So, I wrote that in as a placeholder, without getting specific. Then, tonight, as I was writing a first contact scene, I realized where the contact had to take place. The Great Pyramid in Giza is situated smack, dab in the centre of the Earth’s landmasses. Trent and I had watched a show about the pyramids only last week, and as I tried to add more detail to the first contact meeting, I realized coincidence was once again at work. We had unknowingly chosen exactly where the Great Pyramid was situated, and then the show (Ancient Aliens) mentioned it sat right at the centre of the landmasses. I’m still working on the first contact scene, and discovering properties of the pyramid I was completely unaware of, but that work themselves seamlessly into the story in the same manner that White Buffalo Calf Woman did when I discovered that tale.

That is another coincidence, finding a Lakota legend which fit my story, after just putting ‘vision quest’ as a placeholder in Evolussion. I had never heard of her before, but she’s become a central part of the series. Refer to my earlier entry about White Buffalo Woman and 2012.

Although unrelated to the Infinion Series, I had another TV coincidence happen for an urban fantasy I will begin as soon as Revolussion is finished (which is of course being delayed by life’s curveballs, just as always). I knew exactly what I wanted to have happen in the story, but could not find a natural beginning for the tale. Once again, watching a show (Gates of Hell) led me to the perfect location for my already developed activity. These coincidences save me immense amounts of research time, as I would have had to scour hundreds of possible locations without happening to turn on the TV to a show I had no intention of watching, and which happened to mention ‘Mayans’ right when we turned the show on. Eerie!

I may be a scientist who believes in empirical data, but I still find it unsettling when I sing a song and then hear it on the radio within minutes, and that happens more often than I like, LOL! Coincidences, or scripted? .

I shouldn’t write after midnight!

<edit – Since it’s Sample Sunday, I’ll try and post part of the pyramid scene on my other blog later today!>

The Other Blog – Sample Sunday Post

Since I don’t have much traffic at the other blog (either), I’d better post the link here when I update there, at least for now.

There is a wee excerpt from Revolussion that might be fun for some readers.
http://kathybellauthor.blogspot.com/2011/04/sample-sunday-science-fiction.html

Progress is happening…actually, off to write some more right now. Finished 2200 words in 1.5 hours last night, here’s hoping the flow continues!

Why PMS?

I was pondering the nature of life, and wondering exactly what purpose PMS would serve from an evolutionary standpoint. I mean, you can certainly see where ovulation fits it, with pheromones and all that, but what the heck good would being grumpy and nasty do you, except to drive away the male.

And therein lies the answer!!

If you’re PMSing, that means you didn’t get pregnant. Which means the male failed in the breeding because if you’re cycling normally, you should have gotten pregnant and when you didn’t then your body is blaming the male and attempting to drive him away so you can find a more suitable mate when ovulation arrives again a couple of weeks later.

Of course, this is relating back to when humans were not social, monogamous creatures living in communities. This would be before the times of true love and ’til debt..oops…death do we part’. Back in the days of live to eat, sleep, excrete, and reproduce. Back when evolution would have been influencing human development. Perhaps having the unsuccessful male leave because of nastiness served a purpose – opening the door for the next, more fertile, male! And, since you wouldn’t PMS once pregnant, then your fertile male sticks around, protecting the gravid female.

This is, of course, speculation, which is one of my favourite things to do. And, is of course not politically correct, which is one of my least favourite things. Let the comments role…looking forward to it!

Sample Sunday

I don’t want to be redundant, so I’ll just post a link from here to my Blogger.com blog, where I’ve put up samples from Regression, Evolussion, and Revolussion in honour of Sample Sundays on Twitter.

Time has been tight lately but lots of blog entries have collected in my head. Once I’ve got a handle on drafting Revolussion, then I’ll begin composing some blog entries once again.

Behind Regression:The Men of Three Eleven or Why Noah’s Ark Wouldn’t Work

Yeah, I know, the thought of twenty-eight men and one woman seems right out of a porn movie but…that’s where the story went in Regression. I am a science fiction reader, so that sort of thing perhaps doesn’t disturb me as much as someone who has never read the odd and perhaps awkward situations deemed acceptable on other planets or in other cultures created by scifi authors. Same with the age of the main character…although that will be the topic of another blog.

The men of Three Eleven are all excellent scientists, but even more importantly, they represent the various alleles within the human genome. One man and one woman would not be able to retain the multitude of individual traits present around the globe, since each would only contribute one allele for each gene. Obviously, Adya could only contribute two possible alleles, so the plasmid had to step in to create greater variability by forcing the polar twins instead of simple fraternal or less diverse identical twins. And, although it hasn’t been called for as the story developed, it was my plan to have the plasmid suppress any expression of Adya’s genetics. Babak continued that thought anyway, with his secretive Pluman production in Evolussion taking into account the genetic background of the mothers to dilute Adya’s influence. She also was composed of mainly recessive genes which the plasmid would control future inheritance to maximize variability, so her influence was to be minimized as the generations developed.

Sanctum was designated a type of Noah’s Ark, but there would have to be significantly more than two animals per species to preserve the world as we know it. There were not grown animals deep below the surface, rather, some female embryos, then lots of sperm and ova. Some species likely have less variability, so would need fewer samples, but essentially you would need to have a speciman for every single allele to ensure you preserved what we see in the world around us. Just in breeding my bulldogs, I’m amazed with the genetic variability within the breed. I’ve always loved genetics, and getting to play with them while playing with puppies is awesome. Watching the recessives (we found out the hard way that the short tail is recessive when one of our girls got ‘accosted’ by a border collie while living with a foster family…no more foster agreements for a decade), predicting the outcomes of the crosses, is all fascinating. But humans have significantly more variability than a breed of dogs (perhaps not more than the canine species, though), so I know that even my 28 representatives of the human cline would unfortunately still lead to some loss of traits unless they spontaneously re-emerged through mutation. So, generational ships, arks, Sanctum, or any other attempt at preserving our species will never be able to retain the full spectrum of uniqueness.

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