Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Frozen in Time

                                                        

I love the songs in Madonna’s Ray of Light Album. I think this album was written after the birth of her daughter. Madonna is still a wild child, but she is very maternal and I’ve always suspected sensitive to the spiritual world. One song, in particular, hit a cord with me, Frozen, and here are the lyrics

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
You're frozen
When your heart's not open

You're so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret
You're broken
When your heart's not open

Mmmmmm, if I could melt your heart
Mmmmmm, we'd never be apart
Mmmmmm, give yourself to me
Mmmmmm, you hold the key

Now there's no point in placing the blame
And you should know I suffer the same
If I lose you
My heart will be broken

Love is a bird, she needs to fly
Let all the hurt inside of you die
You're frozen
When your heart's not open

Mmmmmm, if I could melt your heart
Mmmmmm, we'd never be apart
Mmmmmm, give yourself to me
Mmmmmm, you hold the key

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
You're frozen
When your heart's not open

Mmmmmm, if I could melt your heart
Mmmmmm, we'd never be apart
Mmmmmm, give yourself to me
Mmmmmm, you hold the key

If I could melt your heart
Mmmmmm, we'd never be apart
Mmmmmm, give yourself to me
Mmmmmm, you hold the key

If I could melt your heart

Nice words, right. The melody is just as beautiful and, the song served as a Segway for this post on how we see the world around us. What is and what isn’t seen by the human eyes.
                                                               

What is it that we see or think we see that causes us to freeze up and disconnect from each other? We look at someone who is different than us: maybe they have tattoos; maybe they’re dressed in weird or scary clothing; maybe they’re skin is a shade darker, or lighter than ours and we give them a label to emphasize the difference, “THEM.”

By using only your eyes and not your mind or heart, we have with one stroke eliminated half the population from the collective “US.”
                                                             

 
By profiling a person, race or nationality using only the one sense, we are cheating ourselves out of evolving into a better “WE.”

I truly believe that the human race is still evolving, not as fast as we were meant to evolve; we are our own worst enemy. We, along with the entire universe, are connected as one. What happens here on Earth is felt on all levels; the cries of our children pulsate throughout the cosmos.

Our Creator made us to become like him. To be like him, we need to think like him and that simple act  of thinking like HIM puts to death all the hate spewed by organized religion.
                         
 
I read a book once called The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) written in 1943 by a French aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. There is one quote in the Little Prince that captured my soul the first time I read it. I think Madonna’s song is trying to say the same thing.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

If we are to continue evolving, if we are to survive as a race, if we are to return to the stars from which we came, we need to use our hearts more often and open wide our minds. Only then will we fulfill our destiny and what the Creator intended for us.
Listen to the song.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Disconnecting from the Matrix

                                                            

I don’t know why it is that during the Christmas holidays, when there is so much happiness for us all to share, I find myself pulling back a bit. It’s not depression, because I am happy doing Christmas activities. It has something more to do with my empathic abilities and overload.
                                                                  

I find that the spirits are more open to discussion at this time of the year, and for me, this openness is much stronger than it is during the Halloween season. My father and mother have been visiting more with messages for me to share with the family, and sometimes, the world.
You could imagine my surprise when they stopped by with a former prisoner of ISIS. They had to translate, but the man showed me a vision of how he died and he gave me a warning. I don’t want to get political about the refugees and, I have no love for Donald Trump...but for now, maybe we should be very careful who we let into our country from war ravaged countries. Not permanently, mind you, but just for now.
                                                                  

I feel people’s emotions and sometimes I need to shut down to keep myself from getting physically ill. I’m good at doing this and know how to protect my aura from negative spirits, but even the positive spirits can drain you with their needs. I know how to protect myself, but not everyone does.
Do you know how to stay focused while controlling what the matrix sends your way? Here are a few suggestions that may help the sensitive empathic person survive the holidays.

1.    Do what you can during the holidays. Don’t stress over what you can’t get done. Check out a post a good friend of mine wrote in her blog. Thank You so much, Jessica. 
                                                          

 
 
2.    Get rest. Yeah, I know, how can you rest when you have so much to get done? Delegate, Delegate and while your little elves are helping out, get some meditation time to yourself. 

3.    Don’t place that heavy cloak of family drama upon your shoulders. I always ask myself this, “If I died today, would they have to learn to solve their own problems without me?” The answer is yes. Surprisingly, the world still turns without us; the sun rises in the east; life goes on.

4.     Let go of the small stuff. If your family or friends are acting weird, it might be that they are overwhelmed and don’t know how to handle the stress. Don’t add to it by acting the Prima Donna and demanding their immediate attention. Let it go!
                                                           


5.    Don’t watch the news during the holidays because: politicians get dumber for some reason as the holidays get closer; wars still happen; the economy still sucks and, our sports teams still lose. Don’t watch the news, don’t talk politics and don’t engage in any type of negative behavior.

I told my mother and father that they are not to bring any more victims of ISIS to my home. I can’t do anything to help these poor souls, but maybe the dead can. The dead can go after ISIS. Just a thought, but I don’t think the universe will permit it.
                                                           



     I am spending time with friends that I haven’t seen for a while. I’m spending time with the grandkids. I’ve lowered my vibrations to keep the spirits from dropping by and telling me their stories. I don’t want to hear them right now. I’m blocking all negative energies from my space. I’m feeling energized by doing this. You should try it.
 
 
                                                              
                                                         
 
Happy Holidays, and for me...be happy

 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Granny's Review of Fargo S02 Finale: Palindrome

                                                              

I'm a little late with this recap, but here it is. I have to say that this season was freaking amazing and sometimes funny as hell. The mob is alive and doing well in the Midwest part of the states, but shit happens to both good and bad people. The Coen Brothers have a gift in that they weave a tale that is both believable and mystic.
What did the flying saucer signify other than our fate is sometimes not our own. Did the aliens mesmerize Rye Gerhardt (Kieran Culkin) after he shot the fleeing waitress in order for him to get hit by the car driven by the flaky Peggy? Did the aliens come to Lou Solverson’s rescue when Bear was close to strangling the life from his body?
                                                         

All I know is that the Coen Brothers are expert at introducing characters and plots that keep you thinking long after the film or series is finished. I will never forget Peggy and Ed Blumquist. I actually have a friend that is the mirror image of Peggy, who was played stunningly by Kirsten Dunst.
Run
The finale starts with the Blumquists running for their lives from a very pissed off Hanzee Dent. Ed is seriously injured with a bullet to the chest and an innocent driver is killed when the couple flags him down for help. Hanzee is like a hound dog with a bone to chew. He won’t stop.
Fleeing to a nearby supermarket, Peggy and Ed hide in a meat locker. Peggy is still dreaming big dreams and not realizing that Ed might not make that trip to fantasy land with her.
                                                             

The King in the North
While Peggy and Ed hide and Betsy awakes from her faint with a dream of a magical future, Mike (Bokeem Woodbine) and his sidekick sociopath take over the Gerhardt home. He claims himself king. As an act of kindness, the king allows the housekeeper to live and the act of cruelty is the killing of Ricky G (Ryan O’Nan).
Hanzee
While Lou and Ben (Keir O’Donnell) chase after Hanzee, he makes his way to the supermarket in hot pursuit of the woman who threw boiling water onto his face. Hanzee is just as much a killer and sociopath as Mike and the Gerhardt family, but there is something honorable about Hanzee, or I’m just feeling sorry for the character because he and his people have gotten the worst end of the stick by the invading Europeans; maybe it’s both.
                                                          

We hear banging on the door, then nothing. When smoke begins to fill the room, Peggy panics at first and tries to get Ed on his feet to stop the smoke. Ed is dying and this clueless woman hasn’t gotten it into her head that it’s all over. She remembers the film she was watching when Dodd escaped his restraints.
In Operation Eagles Nest, the hero and heroine escape. Peggy grabs the ice pick in her hand ready to go out fighting Hanzee...but he isn’t there.
Conclusion
I was shocked to realize that there was no smoke seeping into the meat locker. It was all in Peggy’s demented imagination. Ed is dead and Peggy is now riding back to justice in the back of Lou’s police car. There’s a manhunt going on for Hanzee.
                                                         
When Peggy babbles on about picking out a prison that would suit her needs; California by the bay, Lou, who has held his tongue over the entire season, lets loose with an event from his days in Vietnam when Saigon fell. I think you should watch this episode just to hear Lou recount what happened on the U.S.S. Kirk..
Patrick Wilson’s Lou Solverson has been the rock of this series. In his quiet and observant ways, he has represented the majority of us; people doing their job even when it hurts. He is a loving family man who knows that his wife’s time is short on this earth. He will have to raise his daughter alone.
                                                             
 
Hanzee is given a new life by a mysterious man who gives him a new identity; Moses Tripoli. Hanzee will still need major surgery to change his face, but I’m not so sure he’ll change his ways. The scene fades with him going after two bullies on the baseball field.
                                                                 
 
Last, but not least we return to our new king, Mike. Did Mike move up in the ranks of the crime syndicate? The syndicate, if you haven’t realized by now, has gone legal. They’re in the business of making money. They are corporate. Mike is offered a job in an office working nine to five. The hit-man is now a desk jockey for the mail room. Watching the confusion in Mike’s eyes when he realizes what his reward is was Karma at its finest.                           
 
There is a happy ending for now, until the cancer wins all the poker chips. Lou and Betsy are safe in their own bed, in their own home.
“Goodnight Mrs. Solverson and all the ships at sea.” I second that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fargo S02 E09: The Castle

                                                            
 
On this next to the last episode of Fargo, all the dots connected in one straight line that led to a night of betrayal and amazing good luck thanks to some aliens. No, I’m not talking about illegal immigrants but the green-bug-eye kind of alien, but I digress, so let’s start at the beginning.
UFO
Everything went to hell for the Gerhardt family when Rye looked up to the sky and saw a UFO. If he wasn’t so mesmerized by the alien fly by, he probably wouldn’t have found himself embedded in Peggy’s windshield. What the spaceship has to do with the story, we’re not given any clues, but since this is a Coen Brother’s creation, I know it has to be something important. On episode 9, lots of people get to see the spacecraft as it flew over the motel where Peggy and Ed were being held. That damn spacecraft may have very well saved Peggy and Ed’s life.
Lou
I love Patrick Wilson’s portrayal of Lou Solverson, the small town cop with more brains than the entire South Dakota police department. Lou tried to tell the corrupt officers that it wasn’t a good idea to use Peggy and Ed as bait to capture the Chicago mob, but not only didn’t they listen to him, they ran him out of town and that’s after he tells them than Hanzee killed the shopkeeper. Lou could have driven home. He should have, because unbeknownst to him, wife collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Something stopped him. It was the entire Gerhardt family riding to do battle at the motel. Lou, who wants to protect Hank, Peggy and Ed, follows them.
                                                             

Hanzee
I think something made Dodd’s right hand man want to do in the Gerhardt family once and for all. His lie that Mike Milligan was holding Dodd at the motel worked in bringing the entire family down. When the shootout begins, Peggy and Ed are ready to fight for their lives. They not only escape the slaughter by the Gerhardt men, but Peggy outwits Hanzee with a boiling pot of water.
I don’t think Hanzee wanted to kill Floyd, played brilliantly by Jean Smart but he knew she’d hunt him down if he didn’t. He most likely would have killed the Blumquists if it wasn't for the aliens. 
Conclusion
Episode 9 begins with a bookcase and a book titled, “The History of True Crime in the Mid-West”. We had the usual opening disclaimer that ran throughout the series, but now we had a narrator, Martin Freeman.
                                                               

Bear Gerhardt would have strangled the life from Lou Solverson if it wasn’t for that spaceship that hovered above their heads. The distraction gave Lou time to reach for his gun and put an end to the massive Bear. By the time Mike Milligan shows up: all the Gerhardts are dead; Peggy and Ed are on the run with Hanzee on their trail, and the space ship is long gone. Next week is the season finale and I am going to miss this show
This was the best of the series and all I could think of was that damn UFO and the reason it was in the series.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fargo S02 E08: LopLop

                                                       

I can’t state it enough how much I’ve been enjoying this season of Fargo. The Coen Brothers have created a show with one of the best scripts in town and actors who hit a homerun with each episode. My favorite characters are the husband and wife team of Ed and Peggy Blumquist. Kirsten Dunst should receive an Emmy for her portrayal of a person with a major personality disorder who leads her poor devoted husband (Jesse Plemons) down a rabbit hole of no escape. While Ed and Peggy go on a road trip with Dodd tied up in the trunk, Hanzee, Lou and Hank are on their trail.
                                                              

While Dodd, who is acutely aware that Peggy is the more dangerous of the duo, sits in a cabin bound my ropes, Ed is trying to make a deal with the Gerhardt family, but he isn’t having much luck reaching the big boss. Ed comes home to find Dodd bleeding from Peggy poking him with a knife. Peggy’s explanation: Dodd needs to learn some manners.
Hanzee
Zahn McClarnon’s portrayal of Hanzee is close to brilliant. He doesn’t say much this man who works for Dodd. He doesn’t have to. His soulful eyes reveal the years of pain and disgust he's had to endure. Hanzee is treated horridly by both Dodd and the patrons of a bar in Sioux Falls.
                                              

This is an American Indian who served in the military and fought in Vietnam. He’s received medals for bravery, but to the patrons of that bar, he’s just a half-breed. Racism at its most insidious because it is aimed at a proud people who are legally the rightful owners of this land we call America. Hanzee and Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) are no strangers to the double standard of equality and maybe this is why I feel protective towards them even knowing that they are cold-blooded killers.
                                                            

Conclusion
Peggy lives in a world of make believe, but now she’s on the right track. She’s been actualized. She’s going to grab the world by its tail and tame it. Peggy actually gets her more common sense husband to invest in this fairy tale. While Ed offers Dodd on a silver platter to Mike Milligan, Dodd somehow escapes his ropes and knocks out Peggy.                                                  
 
Ed walks into the cabin and is almost killed when Dodd tries to hang him, but Peggy as usual comes to the rescue making Dodd very sorry that he ever met the Blumquist Duo from Hell. Dodd is played by actor Jeffrey Donovan.
                                                             

What was interesting about this episode is that Dodd, a brutal, chauvinistic bully, is played in a more comedic role and it added the needed humor to an otherwise bloody scene. Hanzee shows up just in time to do away with his boss and ask Peggy for a favor. Hanzee has left trail of bodies in his search for Peggy and Ed, but now that he’s found them, he needs Peggy to work some hairdressing miracles with his hair.                      
 
Ed and Peggy have one hell of a luck streak going for them. They always escape death at every turn. Hanzee’s gun refuses to shoot when he points it at Ed. As Hanzee takes off through the rear door of the cabin, Lou (Patrick Wilson) and Hank (Ted Danson) bust in through the front. I can’t wait to hear Peggy explain the dead Dodd on the cabin floor.

The Coen Brothers have done it again.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The World of Artist, Cynthia Cain-Bilbow

                                                           

On December 7th at the Saxby’s Coffee Shop on 34th and Lancaster Ave. my good friend and artist extraordinaire, Cynthia Cain Bilbow will be doing her Solo Art Show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. I will be there to support her and maybe purchase one of her beautiful drawings.
Cynthia and I worked together at the Academy of Natural Sciences before I retired and although I thought I knew everything there was to know about this amazing young woman, there was so much I didn’t know. It was time for Steampunk Granny to do an interview.
Granny: Thank you Cynthia for taking the time from your busy schedule to chat with me and I’ll start off with my first question. How did you get involved with art? What was the moment that you knew?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: My brother and I use to have coloring contests. He would tell me, “If you can color better than me, I’ll let you watch TV.” He used to bribe me. It was my brother who influenced me because he was an artist, once upon a time.
                                                         
Granny: Was your brother older than you?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Yes, he is eleven years older than me. Once I started drawing, I actually got better than him, but I hadn’t realized that it was my gift until I entered into a contest. I was around seven years old and won a mini scholarship for two hundred dollars, which I used at an art supply store. It showed me that I could draw. It was something that I could do and I took it further. Art is therapy for me.
Granny: How do you use art as your therapy?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: When you grow up in a house where there is verbal abuse and your parents don’t really get along, art was my way to go down the rabbit hole.
Granny: I’m guessing that you didn’t receive much support for our art.
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: No. I didn’t get any support from my parents when I was younger. The support from my mother didn’t happen until I was about thirteen or fourteen. My father never supported my art. He always said that it was better to be a doctor than it was to be an artist. He is still that way.
Granny: Despite the lack of support from home, you didn’t listen. You kept going.
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Right.
                                                       
Granny: Did you receive support for your art in school?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I did receive support from school. My first elementary school teacher to push me to do art was June Washington and my first art teacher to encourage me was Linda Keels from the George Worton Pepper Middle School in Southwest Philly, but they’re closed, now.
Granny: Didn’t you also go to Moore’s College?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I went to Moore’s College when I was twenty-four. I was there as a part-time student and also worked part-time in the education department. I had a mentor while at Moore. His name is Moe Brooker. He is like a father to me and gave me my first teaching position and I am forever grateful to him.
Granny: Where else did you go to further your art?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I left Moore when I became a single mom and I didn’t return to Art College until around five or six years later. I then went to Community College of Philadelphia for their art department. I completed CCP’s program in the spring of 2015. I’m now currently applying for Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Granny: So excited for you. When will you hear from them?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: They’ve already given me approval and a scholarship, but I appealed it for a full scholarship. Right now, I am competing for a full scholarship.
Granny: I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Thank you.                                                     
Granny: How hard is it balancing work, children and your art? Aren’t you also teaching classes?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Yes, I’m teaching art at five different schools, Monday to Thursday, but because it’s part-time this allows me to be a full-time artist, full-time wife, and a full-time mom to a two-year-old and an eleven-year-old. I have so many job descriptions, but it’s the same job.
Granny: I know that feeling. Have any of your children inherited your artistic talents?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Both of them have. McKenzie definitely does and Madison likes to tag along because she has fun being messy.
Granny: Your brother has certainly passed down this gift to you. Do you still see your brother?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I do, but he hasn’t done any art in maybe thirty years.
Granny: Is he proud of what you’re doing, especially, because he started you down this path?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Yes, he is very proud of me. I give my brother most of the credit because if it wasn’t for him...I probably would have recognized my talent at a later age, but it was he who brought it out in me.
Granny: Beautiful. Tell my readers more about your upcoming art show on December 7th at Saxby?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I’ll be showing a series of art that are done in water color. There is a piece called “The Giving Tree” which is a four to five piece series of my rendition of a book called “The Giving Tree.” This piece is dedicated to my late baby that I had miscarried.
                                                      
Granny: I remember when it happened. It was only last year.
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Yes, it was last year. I illustrated two faces; one younger and one older. The little nook inside the faces is the baby. This is dedicated to our baby. The most recent piece is called “A Peacock Never Asks.”
I dedicated this piece to women because we always look validation on if we are beautiful and a peacock doesn’t ask if it is beautiful. It just is. I focused on the cockiness the peacock has when it walks around. I illustrated it as a woman instead of it being a male peacock.
I also have pieces done in charcoal that cover periods in my life; when I felt unwanted and pieces when I felt loved. It’s the many emotions of an artist. This is pretty much what the show is about. It’s not one thing, but many emotions.
Granny: What is the name of your art show?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I haven’t titled my show, but if I had to, then I think it would be, “The Many Emotions of an Artist.”
Granny: You also do sculpturing?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: Yes, I work the wheel. I do pottery; bowls and vases
Granny: Will any of your sculptures be in the show?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: I will only have a couple of pieces during the show, but it won’t be there after the show. The pieces that I have during the show will be for sale. I also designed a coffee mug wrap, and the coffee mugs will be on sale for the show.
                                                             

Granny: What advice would you give to upcoming artists who may or may not have support from their family, especially since you didn’t receive support when you were young?
Cynthia Cain Bilbow: The first thing I would tell them is: don’t be afraid of your talent because there will come a time when you’re not going to be sure which way is up. When you realize which way is up, don’t look back. Keep on doing what you love. Don’t do everything someone else wants you to do. Do what makes you happy. If you can get up every day and, be proud of you and your work, then that is everything.
Granny: Thank you so much for your time, Cynthia.
Cynthia Cain Bilbow will be having her show on December 7th. Mark it down on your calendar and come out for a wonderful night of art. I’ll be there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shadows of the Forest Indigogo is Live

                                                           


Exciting news for all my friends who ever wondered what's involved with making a film. Shadow of the Forest is Director Chris Eilenstine's creation.
                                                        

Shadows of the Forest is a dark fantasy and stars Edward X. Young, Nicolette Marie Davis, Mak Lowrey, Lori Reed, Brandon Allentoff, Sharon Smith, Bob Cleary and Michael Kay. Check out the IMDb page to see all the actors and actresses who will be in the film. Here is the link to an interview that I did for the film

"A best friend can enter our lives at any time. They can come from anywhere...and in any form."

I am so honored to be part of this film, but we'll need your help to make this happen.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fargo S02 E06: Rhinoceros

                                                               

I’ve become a big fan of the Coen brothers. I’ve watched most of their films with “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” being my number one favorite. They have not disappointed me with their series Fargo.
Question: “What do you get when you pit the Kansas City Mafia against the Gerhardt Goons?”
Answer: “An hour worth of hit the ground action and suspense.”
Mike Milligan’s (Bokeem Woodbine) reciting of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky was just the tip of the iceberg on what was going down in episode 6. Ed Blumquist has been arrested and taken to jail. This poor man is really heading down the famous rabbit hole and it’s because his wife, Peggy, is a freaking nut job. Ed refuses to rat out his wife. Also in jail is young Charlie Gerhardt. Charlie should have been on his way back to college, but he thought he was Michael Corleone.

 
While Lou (Patrick Wilson) is talking to Ed, Hank (Ted Danson) is at the Blumquist house with Peggy. It doesn’t take Hank long to realize that Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) is missing a few days of the week, but he’s got bigger trouble riding towards him. Mike learns from Simone that her dad and his men are going after Ed, so he heads to the Gerhardt farm.
                                                           
Conclusion
 Jean Smart’s Floyd is so enjoyable to watch on the show. Floyd’s braggart son, Dodd, insists that he’s in charge because he’s the man and women are stupid, but it is Floyd who quietly gives the orders. Floyd suspects that her granddaughter is playing sides against her father and Floyd tells her, “This is our time and there is no such thing as men’s work and women’s work anymore.” Her speech for equality is cut short when Mike and his gang show up guns-a-blazing.
                                                            
Peggy may be crazy as a loon, but she has the survival instincts of a rattlesnake. This is a woman you want watching your back during a zombie apocalypse. Dodd and his men are able to knock out Hank, but Peggy uses Dodd’s cattle prod against him.
                                                           
With the help of Ron Swanson, who convinces Bear (Angus Sampson) to let him defend Charlie is court, Lou is able to sneak Ed from the jail and send him home. What no one realizes is that Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon), a quiet, loyal hit man for Dodd Gerhardt, knows where Ed is going.
                                                             
I am hooked on this crime show. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the writing is excellent and the cast top notch professionals who make you care about them. Fargo comes on at 10p.m. on the FX channel every Monday night.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mutiny

                                                     
                         
                                                   
I’m not talking a ship’s mutiny or a revolution, but as every author will tell you, writing is a collective project. Many writers have Beta readers (other writers) who critique your manuscript as you continue working on it. I have my editor, who questions, prods and directs my work until it's the best it can be. Thank you, Patti O’Brien.
I knew what my "Roof Oasis Series" would be about before I typed the first word and that is because my science fiction/apocalyptic romance series is based on dreams that I’d been having since I was a child. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a psychic and many of my dreams come true.

The story was already formed inside my head and I just had to put it to paper. But, something happened on the way to publishing my first manuscript, "Beware the Harvesters." There was a mutiny.   
 
It wasn’t me or my editor who had edited my original manuscript that had second thoughts. No, it was one of my characters to be exact. Emele wasn’t ready to present herself, so she encouraged me to write off-shoots of the manuscript which I did as a weekly serial on my blog and later as a short story called Roof Oasis. My intention was to have Roof Oasis as part of our South Jersey Writer’s Group’s first anthology, “Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. It was too long for the anthology and our editor Amy Hollinger asked me to wait for the second anthology, using two of my shorter stories instead.
                                                               
 
But Emele balked at being in an anthology. “Write a series,” she demanded.
Could I? Would it work? Would I eventually be able to tie in the first manuscript with the short story that had grown into two books? I've learned through experience that when I listened to my characters; gave them freedom to direct the story, the writing was better. I wrote and self-published the first two books of my "Roof Oasis Series" which include book one, "Roof Oasis", and book two, "Saving Solanda."
 
                                                       
From the very start of my writing "Roof Oasis", my characters began to voice their opinion as new people were added to the story. Each character that was added wanted the spotlight, which I tried to deliver, but it was never enough. There needed to be a second book and then a third, all the while, I was trying to give each character an opportunity to tell their story.            
 
With the second book, "Saving Solanda", which came out this summer, I found myself traveling back and forth from Earth to the three moons of Paleos in order for Lucy, Michael, Bird, Razhep, Potate and, last but not least, Patty the robot to tell their story. My editor loved how seamlessly the story flowed.
I am working on the third installment of the Roof Oasis Series, called "Beware the Harvesters" and yes this is the original manuscript. This time, Emele is ready to tell her story, but what she hadn’t foreseen is that her story is tied to Bird’s.

Emele isn’t sure if she wants to be dragged into a battle that is being fought in another solar system, but what she doesn’t know is that the enemy she is tracking down as a special agent is the same one that Lucy and Bird are fighting. Emele is not aware of her real identity. Not yet, anyway.
                                                              
 
My biggest nitpicker for book three is Patty. She wants more power. She has evolved from a plaything and protector of a child to a sentient being. She has evolved into more than just a robot and we can thank Princess Bird for this. Bird had changed Patty without my knowledge.               
 
I have my story outlined, but only to keep all the people, planets, demons, angels and aliens organized. I was updating my outline when Patty demanded that she have more say in book three. “I’m a robot!” I’m stronger and smarter than the others,” Patty pointed out.    
 
I promised Patty that I would try to better accommodate her needs in "Angels in the Mist", but I have this sinking feeling that she has other plans for book four.