Monday, September 14, 2009

How To Get Your Own ISBN, Independent Publisher

Go to, and you can find out all about ISBNs. Be sure and read up here before getting a free POD ISBN; you may still decide to go with the freebie, but know the facts first.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Don't Pay For It! Get CIP or LCCN For Free

Small Presses, Self-Publishers, Indies, Authors Who Use PODs, Unite!
Read up on Copyrights, Cataloging-In-Publication Data, and Library Of Congress Preassigned Control Number [PCN], formerly Library of Congress Card Number. Here, you can find out the difference between CIP and PCN programs, and see which you qualify to use.

 Some POD's charge you $50 for CIP or PCN...get it for free, with one easy application per book!
Some POD's charge you $50 to register your copyright with Library of Congress. Register it yourself for $35.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mom! The Computer Won't Come Up!

You're right in the middle of paying bills, and you realize you haven't got the money to take your out-of-warranty computer to a shop. Maybe you don't even know that labor for computer repair ranges from $50-100 an hour. Yikes! What do you do?

 Here's my handy troubleshooting list from my days in the Systems Department of GA Tech:
1. Is It Plugged In? Check from the wall outlet to the power strip [or surge protector], and from there to the back of your machine [or side, for some laptops]. Are the plugs tight? If a laptop, are the batteries run down? If plugging it back in overnight doesn't help, you may need a new battery, or there might be another problem. Write down what you already did.

 2. Is It Turned On? Most computers have a sleep function. If the computer is inactive, it may have gone into sleep or hibernate mode. Try jiggling the mouse, or hit the space bar. If that doesn't do anything, push the on switch in and hold it for the count of four: 1001-1002-1003-1004. Listen carefully. If you hear a small 'phew'-like sound, count to 30, then turn it on. Be sure to wait! Hard drives don't like you if you turn the computer off and on quickly. Think, shattered dinner plate. Don't do it.

 3. Can You Move The Mouse And See Something Move? Is the screen frozen? Is there a blue screen [for a PC] with an error message? If you see a normal-looking screen but the little arrow doesn't move when you move the mouse, it's probably frozen. Write down what seems to be going on. What software has screens up? What window is covering up the others? It's good to leave a notebook next to the computer to take notes on.

 4. Can You Close some Windows? Sometimes we open too many windows and overload the RAM [the computer's memory of all those windows, where they are, and what to do with them]. You might be able to reboot [start over] if you can close some windows. Be sure to give it time. It might not be frozen, but running very slowly. Click an X to close a window, and count to 30. Too many clicks can make a slow machine into a frozen machine. Be sure to save files before closing them.

 5. If Nothing Works, Turn It Off. Hold the On Button In for Count of 5 and let go. Hopefully, the machine will go 'phew!' and turn off. If not, unplug it for as long as it takes [up to overnight]. Never turn it back on without counting to 30.

 6. Run the Same Software Again. Does anything unusual happen? See an error message? Hear unusual noises? If so, turn it off and call your tech support number. Even after the warranty's out, there is usually a fee service with tech support. Be sure and write down all that you observed before you call, and be right at the computer. The tech will ask you to do these same steps or similar ones. He or she will ask you what was unusual, and if you saw any error messages; so be sure you wrote down the entire message you saw, if you can. When did you see the message? When you first turned it on? Or, when your Windows or Mac or Unix Operating System came up? How many beeps did you hear while the machine came up? Or, were there any? [there should be one beep on a PC]. Did something unexpected happen when you logged in, or clicked on your name to get to your programs? Was it fine until you tried to use a software? Were you running more than one software at once, and if so, does the problem happen only when certain ones are used together?

 If your machine seems to be running normally, you are probably ok. It might've been a loose wire.

 An easy way to remember these steps:
Plug On, Mouse and Arrow, Close the Window, Turn it Off, Wait 30. Then, do it again.

 Dannis was a help desk person in the GT Library for a year and a half. Because of the short staff situation, that year and a half gave her about three people's worth of experience. She didn't become a Guru, but that's ok. She still remembers how to speak Layese.

 Look for more Layese From An Almost-Guru.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Personas Site is Cool

Thanks to Aaron Zinman, who gave me permission to post my Personas. Get yours! Go to
I enjoyed seeing what came up as I searched both my names, my first name [which is some people's last name], my daughters, and my sister. Here is a comparison between my results the first time, and the second. Comparing two certainly proves his point: They are very different. If the search engine produced valid results, the first and second go would've been repeatable and identical. This is a glimpse of how a search engine tags me and targets me for custom ads. I added a few more runs, and you can see, each one is very different from the others!

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thanks To The Good Folks At Edenstar Books!

Edenstar Books now lists my book, Home Is Not Home, on their website, so I hope y'all will go see what other clean reading is available, too! Have fun!

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Monday, September 7, 2009

Press Release - Home Is Not Home

Announcing, Home Is Not Home,

A Therapeutic Science Fiction Novel

For Those Who Are Sick Of Low Morality: No Profanity, No Explicit Sex, No Sickening Gore

Cuthbert, GA - In this sleepy little farming town, Dannis has embarked on a mission. Therapeutic Science Fiction. She believes that a writer must take responsibility for the youth who might read her books and stories. She believes a writer doesn't have to resort to profanity, sex, and violence because "that's reality". She thinks fiction can be a major force for good in the world, and science fiction has always been a wondrous platform for exposing social issues. In 2009, Dannis decided to launch her mission with her first book in the Home Is Series, Home Is Not Home.

Librarians and concerned parents tell Dannis they want books that include good moral values. As a psychology major in college, Dannis studied books about healthy communication, healing of abuse, and relationships. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of this, she sets a high moral bar for her writing quality. If a story contains abuse, she gives it a label of PG-13 to warn parents that they might wish to review it before recommending it to their children. When writing about such difficult topics as sexual abuse, much is implied. The emphasis is on communication, support, and healing. Dannis hopes that a person who has been abused might find these stories healing. For those who wish to understand the abused, they might learn methods of helping the victim cope.

Home Is Not Home is the first volume in the Home Is Series, which has 13 books so far. Other novels and stories [54 in all] are available for Amazon’s Kindle reading device.

Adia, Scientist of Areon, researches the most volatile substance in the galaxy. Ryonne~, King of Ye~ and Most High Diplomat to the Emperor, is sent on the most difficult missions in seven galaxies as intergalactic war looms closer to their star system. Adia's love for Ryonne~ will save him, and possibly end the War, if she can just learn to control the balky Cube of White Light. Rated PG By Author

In Home Is Not Home, Ryonne~, strong, capable King of a tiny kingdom, must cope with loss of great skills due to brain injury. He acquires traumatic epilepsy. This book realistically portrays the recovery and adjustment process, though faster than it would be for an Earthan. Those experiencing similar trials might find it helpful to read this book. It is part of a long series, and so the help goes on. Through their strong faith, Ryee and his wife Adia keep going, though stranded on Earth. Laura, a nurse in a head-injury recovery center, secretly helps them.

   Other Novels and Stories Also Available

   Women’s Fiction But Appealing To Men, Too

   Science Fiction For Non-Nerds

   Good Morals, Real Heroes and Heroines 

   Simply Written For Non-English Speakers

Order in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, as an eBook in multiple formats, and coming soon as audiobook

DanniStories – Therapeutic Science Fiction

Write Dannis
Dannis is available to speak to your group about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, the writing life, science topics, social issues, psychology, transit, green living, and other subjects. She started her Indie publishing house while on Food Stamps and on a fixed income. She uses a power chair and is a single parent, mother of two grown girls.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thoughts on Funerals and Grief

I lost my uncle a couple weeks ago, so I got to thinking, and I saw a question on funerals and answered it, on the National Novel Writing Month Forum. Here's what I said, in case anyone's listening:

 I've been to several funerals, and of course, they aren't pleasant, but it helps to go through the ritual and talk to others who are missing the loved one, so it is therapeutic.

 Usually, there is a trip to the funeral home to make arrangements. You are shown caskets and clothes [that don't have a part below the waist; open casket funerals are just opened from the top half]. The family chooses the casket and may bring clothing from home for the body. The time of the service at the church or at the funeral home is set; there may be a church service with the casket there at the front, and a viewing at the funeral home where there may be a display of photo albums, awards, and life mementos of the deceased on the way up to see the body and speak a few words of comfort to the family. The viewing might be the night before the funeral, if I remember right.

 At the church, a minister will speak a few words, and the family may or may not talk about the person, and close friends may speak. There is usually prelude music and the family will specifiy which hymns are played. The congregation may sing a hymn or two, or someone might sing for the group, or there might just be organ music. I don't think piano music is traditional. I only heard of organ music at funerals. Then, the pallbearers, usually the six closest friends of the deceased if they are able to lift the casket, gently carry it out to the waiting hearse, usually a black Cadillac specially modified to carry a casket.

 My parents died in metro Atlanta and were carried down to Carnegie, GA for the burial. So, there was a viewing at the funeral home in Chamblee, a service at the same funeral home, the trip down to Carnegie, and a graveside service. We got the preacher from the church to speak, and it was just a simple thing. He didn't know them, so he couldn't really say much. The funeral home doing the burial had a tent, and folding metal chairs set up on a velvety carpet. We sat on the chairs, heard the service, and both my parents were WWII veterans, so they both had a flag draped on the casket for the graveside service, and it was presented to my father after Mama's service. Dad's flag was presented to my stepmother. There was no open casket there. If there is an open casket service, I believe that is done in the Church/funeral home service and not at the graveside, but I am not sure. I never remember many details about funerals, and this is common in the grief process. When someone dies, you go a little numb for the first several days and may not cry much. The body's way of protecting you from the shock. A friend of the family actually did go into shock when her young husband died and she got the news! They had to take her to the hospital! But, I digress. After the service, usually everyone leaves before they actually start the burial itself. We stayed to talk to old friends, and I saw them preparing to lower the casket. My sister gently pulled me away before they started lowering it. There's a frame set up over the hole, and a vault [a big concrete box] is put into the hole. The area is covered with that dark, velvety cloth and the casket is put into the frame before the family comes for the service, or is carried to the frame by pallbearers. Since we had to travel, all that was done before we got there. What I saw of the lowering, a machine lowers the casket. Later, concrete or a granite slab is laid over the grave. There is a funeral marker, a metal or plastic frame with a card that has the name of the deceased, birth and death dates. There may be metal letters with the info. Later, the monument company brings the gravestone. Veterans are eligible for a special veteran's marker that has which war they served in and what regiment, etc. that usually goes at the foot of the grave on top of the slab. My parents' graves have coping around them and gravel inside the coping, but the cemetery is now just planting grass with flat headstone markers of metal, for easy maintenance of the graveyard. Copings will not be replaced. Neither will slabs.

 You should be careful how you write about the grief process. From my experience, society gives you about 2 weeks to get over it. In reality, the grief process takes 6 mos to 2 years before you feel halfway normal again. What's needed is someone to listen, but what you get mostly are harmful comments like, "Oh, she's in a better place now!" or, "At least she's at peace!" Religious people usually have some idea that the person's spirit is still living, and that is a little comfort, but it doesn't take away the shock of losing a young person. Mama was only 59 and died of pneumonia. Your brain just doesn't register that someone young as that can die, so it adds the shock of a young death.

 Grief has stages, and this holds true for loss, or for loss of skills such as when someone is injured and becomes disabled.
First, there is numbness. You might think the person's a cold fish, or is handling it very well!
After the first few days, the tears flood, and the person feels despondent. People wanting to comfort tend to think they have to say the right words to make it all better. What the person needs, is someone to just listen. There ARE no right words.
Sorrow gives to anger. There might be sleep disturbances, hallucinations of seeing the loved one, violent behavior, sudden urge to do a big project. Everyone goes through grief a little differently, but basically, sorrow and deep depression alternate with anger. The person might feel pretty unlovable and emotionally volatile. This can go on for months.
Most people bargain with God. "I'll do anything if you'll bring her back! I'll be perfect! I'll give all my money to the church!" Then, there's anger with God when He doesn't bring the person back. Sometimes, the religious struggle brings a closer, more personal kind of religion. Some people turn away from God, feeling punished. Again, this is a very personal thing.
Finally, the person moves into Acceptance. The person is gone, and it's time to accept it and move into healing. Swings from sorrow to anger are shallower and less intense.
Holidays and anniversaries of the death bring a minor repeat of the grief. It's common to grieve every lost person at once during the holidays. This gets easier with time, but the first couple of Christmases, if the person was a Christian, are nearly unbearable without some understanding relatives and friends near!

 Remember. grief isn't all-consuming. A person grieving a sister might laugh at a joke, but not for as long as before the loss. She might feel guilty for laughing. She might feel fine until reminded of the grief; well-meaning friends that bring up the subject might ruin her day! It's possible to put off grief until you're alone.
You expect to lose your parents; nothing in life prepares you for the loss of a baby!
I lost my son at 16 weeks into the pregnancy. I refused a picture of him. They drugged me to do a D&C, to make sure I wouldn't get a bad infection [they scrape out the uterus]. Then, when I was still drunk from the anesthetic, in came the poor nurses with the papers. We weren't in any shape to make these decisions. The small hospital had no morgue. We had to decide, right then, what to do with my son's body. I decided to donate him to science. You may think that's horrible, but he was so small, and I was so stupid, I didn't even know you could have a funeral for a less-than full-term baby. Mama had told me of a miscarriage, and they buried him under a tree, or did they even do that? They didn't have a funeral.

 Later that day, when I woke up good, I regretted that decision. It's been 21 years, and I still regret it. Worse, 9 days after Jimmy's birth and death, I decided I wanted those pictures after all. I called the hospital. They threw out the file, they said. But, later, a nurse called me back. She had a birth certificate. I left that very minute and got it. On it, one of the nurses had spent a lot of time getting good impressions of tiny footprints. I photocopied the certificate, the footprints, and added an ultrasound picture, a fuzzy black and white one. After several reductions, I cut them out and pasted them on a sheet of blue paper, then cut it to fit a 5x7" frame. This, I kept on my desk. For a few days. But, I almost bawled every time someone asked me about it. Going back to work was torture.

 I worked in the Georgia Tech Archives then, and I was a very new employee. When I got pregnant, I told all 109 people in the library how happy we were, so as I went to other departments for various purposes, I talked about it. After the miscarriage, I didn't look any different. I still was wearing maternity clothes. You can imagine what it did to me, every time someone asked, "How's the baby?" I'd find some excuse to go down in the Archives where nobody worked, and I'd have a good cry while I did my work. Then, I'd straighten up in the ladies' room and make sure I didn't look as if I'd been crying.

 Finally, I went on the library-wide electronic newsletter and announced that I had the miscarriage, just so people would quit asking. I got a flood of sympathetic responses, which embarrassed me, but I was very grateful for the support.

 I found a self-help group. There, I learned about the grief process, and learned to forgive my husband for not being depressed. Husbands usually don't grieve the loss until about 6 months later, because they feel they have to be strong for the wife. Like us, a lot of couples end up divorced after the loss of a child. I had 2 miscarriages and one healthy daughter with my first husband. Then, I had this one, and one earlier one, then a healthy daughter, with my second husband.

 In the grief group, there was a couple I liked a lot. He was mild-mannered without a violent bone in his body. But, he put a fist through their wall once, and decided he had to do SOMETHING physical with all that anger. So, he built a deck. Other men in our group built things, or one man took a sledgehammer to a rock pile in the back yard. I became a Girl Scout leader, volunteered for PTA, gave blood and donated platelets, I nearly ran myself into the ground.

 One lady brought her grandmother, who had a miscarriage 25 years before. She hadn't grieved her baby's loss until her granddaughter lost her baby. We gave her lots of support. Back then, you didn't grieve publicly for a miscarriage. Ditto Mama's miscarriages [she had two, and one was full-term].

 I didn't have time to finish my grief process before having ANOTHER miscarriage a year later. I and my older daughter had just attended the SHARE Walk, a walk to let people know about the grief of losing a child, and they had planted a tree in a park on Ponce de Leon Ave in Atlanta. I think I miscarried the next day. I have a picture taken that day, with my sad smile.

 I often write about grief in my stories, and it is healing for me. I am hopeful that someone reading about a character who loses a close friend, or a baby, also finds it healing. Just my two cents' worth, that this is your chance to put in something about the grief process. It makes a good story. It might help someone who IS grieving.


Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Global Awareness

From tiny little Cuthbert, population 3700, to the Earth, population 6 billion [6,000,000,000], we are all people. Heavenly Father loves all of us, even though some of us call Him by different names, or believe in someone else, or don't believe. We are many colors, religions, cultures, have different standards. I believe most of us are good.

 Since I am a writer, I try to think beyond my tiny circle. What do people want to read? What do I want to write? How can I, with my tiny voice, do some good in the world?

 I certainly can't influence ALL 6 billion of us. If I were British, I would say, 6 million, and mean the same number of people. If I were from Germany, I would refer to men as Menchen and the whole world as "den ganzen Welt". If I spoke Irish Gaelic, most of the world would say, huh? A person from China can't pronounce the English word, "string". He or she would try to pronounce it "setering" unless exposed to English consonant combinations from an early age. We in the US take so many things for granted. We think everyone visits a fast food restaurant often, though there are certainly a good number of vegetarians in the US who would never, never eat hamburgers! We think everyone thinks as we do. We are often surprised when people in Third World countries are portrayed as happy and well-fed, because the news is full of images of the starving and unhappy [though there is great suffering in many places]. People can be happy without tech, and without our help. We are often shocked to find that in the Middle East, insects are sometimes served and enjoyed. If most Americans knew that Chinese restaurants are often equipped with a menu for Chinese customers that is very different from what we call "Chinese food", would they feel that it is as good? Nearly every ethnic restaurant has customers who want what they tasted at home, not the American version of it.

 So, how does a writer please 6 billion people? She doesn't. She picks her niche, and writes what she wants to write, because that's where her best writing is. The reader can tell if you are excited about your subject, or if you're just writing that kind of thing because you think it will sell. Honesty is the best policy. Nobody can live a lie.

 But, if you consider that there are world cultures radically different from your own, you can make minor little changes.
I used to use a huge thesaurus when writing. English has about a quarter of a million words. See
But, there is much argument as to how many words other languages have, to compare. No one seems to agree on the definitions of "vocabulary" or what counts as a separate word! Try a Google search, and you will see what I mean.
Now, I limit the idioms and words that I don't commonly use. In other words, I write more simply. That's why I claim that my work is good reading for non-English speakers. I hope to get my books translated into other languages [any volunteers?].

 A famous author I know said she gets most of her royalties from overseas sales. She believes it is because she limits profanity and sex. You would think, from Hollywood and the best selling book lists, that we in the USA are obsessed with foul language and sex! Not to mention extreme violence! Many parents and folks who live in small towns are sick of this. Many singles aren't really thinking about what is in what they read until they have children of their own.

 Case in point: I used to drive 5 mph above the speed limit, until my five-year old daughter learned to read my speedometer. It's amazing how fast I changed that habit to driving exactly the speed limit! Then, I read about a study that said teens pick up the bad habits of their parents behind the wheel. Nothing will motivate you to change like those innocent brown eyes watching you as you do something you know is NOT a good example!

 I was surprised to read a book titled "The Family Bed". In most of the world, families can't afford houses with separate rooms, so some share the bed. Children are shooed out when parents want to get intimate, and welcomed back when they want to sleep. These loving parents aren't perverts abusing their children, they are simply more physical than we in the US are, because they grew up sleeping in a small space. People from other countries have different concepts of personal space. We Americans want a lot of space between us and the person with whom we're talking, about 18 inches. Most will get closer, and we feel uncomfortable. European men kiss each other, they hug, and nobody thinks they're gay! Read Leo Busgalia, and he talks about that. American men are scared even to face each other in conversation. Go watch some men talking. Women tend to face each other, and they'll touch a shoulder or a wrist occasionally. Men stand side-by-side. If they touch, they'll shove each other or give a back slap. You rarely see an American man hug another, unless someone died, or it's a father whose son's been gone a long time. I think it's terrible. Men have feelings just like women do, and they should be able to express their feelings. Most women I know want to find a man who will talk about their feelings. Most men I've met would rather talk about something else! If I cry, I'm seen as manipulative, by men, and by some women. Let me tell you, if I cry, I've just been through something horrible, and believe me, I'm embarrassed to be seen crying! But, that's not the way I feel it should be. All someone wants, who cries, is for someone to quit giving advice or criticism, and just listen.

 There are certain generalities about the human race. Our emotions are shared. We hurt, physically or emotionally, or even spiritually. We laugh. We feel joy! We look almost the same, but we can enjoy the differences. We are all protective of our children. We all get hungry and thirsty. We all want to provide for our families. Most of us want to be friends. People don't make wars. Governments do.

 Do your bit for world peace! Try to understand someone's culture who is different from you. There are many sources on the Internet to help you gain a bit of global understanding, and some regional understanding.

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Know A Young Person In K-12 Who Likes To Write? Free Contest!

Send your young friend or relative to
Or, tell a teacher!

 National Novel Writing Month gives all sorts of freebies to a classroom that participates, to encourage young writers and teachers who adopt the project in class. If the class isn't participating, a youth can still sign up! It's free, and fun! Parents, would you like to see your child learn to like writing? There might be motivation in the number of young people that write 50,000 words every November.

 For you adults who always wanted to write a novel and never got around to it, join about 250,000 people who will attempt it [or more] in 2009! Like, me!

 "You?!" You might say. "Ah, but Dannis, you finished a book. You wrote 13 horse-chokers in one series, 6 in another, and no publisher will read 'em because they're so THICK!!"

 Well, er, I just keep on writing. So why am I doing it? For fun!!! But, most of us have never written one, and it's our first time. Most of us won't have a clue how to do this thing. But, we'll be doing it together with people from all over the world. Isn't that romantic? 250,000 of us, writing away after midnight on Nov 1st, 2009! There are forums, so if you get frustrated, there are plenty of folks who can give you that little bit of encouragement... "Oh, don't give up! I felt that way yesterday, but today I figured out how to get Mary out of that swamp...."

 If you try and don't make it, well, there are a lot of people who will try and not make it. Some decide they don't like the writing life [that's ok]. Some end up with a short story they thought would bloom into a book [that's happened to me, plenty of times! It may happen in November, but let's think positive, ok?]. And, some get a huge case of the dreaded Writer's Block. But, you'll never know if you don't try.

 Nobody has to read it. You can verify your word count by using Find/Replace to gibberize your manuscript before copying it into the Word Count Machine at, so even though the Word Count Machine forgets about it after it counts, you won't have any fears of someone mysteriously reading/copying/revealing your manuscript to All Those Who Might Laugh. [We're all scared of THAT crowd, aren't we? Even if they probably only lurk in the imaginations of writers].

 But, what if you do it? You stick it out until Nov 31, and voila!! The Word Count Machine tells you that you wrote exactly 50,000 words!! Then, Amazon [you know...., that HUGE online bookstore that also sells about everything else, but they started with books]-YES, Amazon, they'll email you instructions on how to get a FREE proof copy of your new book!!

 What's a proof copy? It's a real, perfect-bound [like a paperback book] book you can show to people and hold in your hands! There's no thrill like seeing it, holding it, and YOU wrote it! That feeling of awe, disbelief, and...pride [heaven forbid! Sin!!] washes over you, and you go around whistling and smiling all day until everyone who knows you thinks you went daft. If you like it, you can say yes and Amazon will put it on their web site. People can buy it. If they do, you get a percentage. You set the price your book will sell for.

 Now, if you do this, will you make a million bucks like a movie star?! No. I've made about $5 in royalties so far, including eBook sales on Amazon Kindle [another way to get seen for free]. But, if you do it, you can tell your friends and family about it, and they might buy it. My doctor and several local libraries did! I'm still traveling around to more libraries, and I plan to do a book tour in independent bookstores in a couple weeks! If I can do enough promotion, I might make some money, after all. You can, too!!!

 But, what's money? GET A MISSION. How can you help people with your writing? There is a very real need for CLEAN WRITING. Every librarian I talk to is hungry for good books with no profanity, especially in small towns. You don't have to get all sappy and preachy, just don't use profanity. If you ever want to sell overseas, no profanity and no graphic sex will help you. Also, skip the gore. Even if it doesn't make you sick, it does a lot of us. If you can tell a story about something that happened when you grew up, and your friends like it, write about it! Write about what you know. Grow up in a small town? Many people grew up in the city and never heard a cricket in the evening. Grow up in the snow? Some people have never seen any. Live in the city? People in the country have probably never taken a city bus. And, do you have your own little world populated by things/places that don't exist? Stories your grandparents told you? Imagine the romance that almost happened? There are more stories than there are huge numbers to number them. What do you wish your kids were reading?! WRITE IT DOWN!!

 NaNoWriMo is the chance to write for fun. No editing. Don't worry about your spelling, your grammar. You can't start until midnight Nov 1, but you can come up with a plot and an outline now, characters, define your universe, there's a lot you can research so you can just write in November. Save editing and polishing for Dec or Jan. You can get experimental. Some people write fan fiction [someone else's universe and characters]. You can't legally sell it or post it, but your family can read it, if you want them to, or you can just write out your fantasies. This is writing for the sheer fun of telling a story in words. You might have a writer in you yearning to write something fictional. Now's the time to find out.

 Go to and read in the forums. See who's doing it and why. There's a free eBook and one for sale on how to do this. Writing is a great catharsis, a way to get your feelings out in a safe and non-hurtful way. It makes a great hobby, whether or not you ever sell. But, it also makes a fun career if you find you can do enough of it. Nano is a good way to try it out, see if it fits, wear a different set of clothes, travel to a new place, be a different person! Characters you create take on a life of their own; it's something you have to experience to know what it feels like. They are not you. They are not people you know. They may have traits from you or from people you've known, but I have never created me or anyone I know. I get to know these 'new people' through writing about them and the decisions they make, some that I would never make. It's a great psychological experiment. What will they do next? If you're a religious person, you might pray for guidance so you write in a way that helps others.

 I invite all of you to join me, or encourage others to join me. The Dothan, AL Region is already planning some social events. Your local area may have others who are doing this, and may meet near you to discuss how it's going. I'm in the Georgia - Statewide area, so I might have to join the Dothan folks to see someone who's writing nano, too. But, the point is, you won't be writing alone. There's support, a mouse click, or a little drive, away.

 Hope to see you on the Nano forums! Spread the Word!

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

NaNoWriMo Needs Donations! Dannis Wants To Help!

Hey, Y'all,
  National Novel Writing Month needs donations! Will you take a min [and a spare $10 or so] and keep this wonderful thing going? I'm going to participate in November for my first time. I need sponsors!! Donations aren't required, but help everyone who's participating.

 To donate:

 To find out more about what NaNoWriMo is and why anyone would be crazy enough to willingly sit down and write 50,000 words in a month?!? Would it be Amazon's generous offer of a paperback copy of the book, free to all who reach the 50,000 goal? And, teens are welcome to try for this, up!

 Thanks for listening. If you can't donate, do you know someone who can? If you do, send 'em a copy of my email. Thanks!!

 Lots of Love For The World-It's Sunday-

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Saturday, September 5, 2009

DanniStories Catalog With Blurbs

Now at you can see my entire catalog of buyable stories! This will be updated as I add more, and I will put links for where they are available. Right now, I have one trade paperback, Home Is Not Home, and 54 Kindle eBooks from novels to short-short stories. I have plans to add collections of stories, and different formats. For example, I am recording Home Is Not Home as an audiobook. The Catalog page has blurbs, and the Excerpts Page will soon have long excerpts for you to read. Stay tuned for contests! Soon, I will have some stories up on private sites, for some lucky winner to read. Details to come. In the meantime, you may read chapters of Home Is Not Home at Adia's Posterous, through September. In October, I will password-protect this blog, and put the rest of the novel up. Then, October's contest will end with one lucky winner who can read Home Is Not Home, as the prize!

 Everyone, have a nice Labor Day Weekend!


Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Does This Dannis Sound Like, Anyway??

Posted via email from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

September Contest! Read Home Is Not Home -- Free!!

This one is only for you lucky Blogger DanniStories Readers! Follow the link above and read the chapters posted. At some point, by the end of September, I will password-protect Adia's Posterous, and there will be only one person allowed to read the rest, in October. But, I did say this was a September Contest.

Here's the deal. Read what's up when you go on the site, and give me your most compelling reason for wanting desperately to read the rest! Give a review of what you read so far. Or, write what you think will happen next. I will post the most entertaining answers here, and give you the password, too.

What's the catch? You have to agree to post your review [be honest] of what you liked, or details of what you didn't like, or both, on on the Home Is Not Home page after you have read the entire thing.

I need reviewers and you like to read. Hopefully, this contest will be fun for both of us! Clicking on the title of this blog post will take you to the latest chapter. Note: The first chapter is at the very bottom. I wish I knew how to sort this thing!

Watch for other contests to come.

Happy reading!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Home Is Not Home: Home Is... Vol.01 Chapter 1

Home Is Not Home
Home Is… Series Vol.01
By Dannis
©2009 Dannis Cole
©2009 DanniStories
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Similarities to any living persons are purely coincidental. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the writer’s imagination or are fictitiously used. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.

Posted via web from Adia's Posterous From DanniStories

Home Is Not Home: Home Is... Vol.01 Chapter 2

Home Is Not Home
Home Is… Series Vol.01
By Dannis
©2009 Dannis Cole
©2009 DanniStories
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Similarities to any living persons are purely coincidental. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the writer’s imagination or are fictitiously used. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art and Design By Dannis
Home Is Not Home : Home Is… Series Vol.01 / By Dannis. 755p. plus Appendix pp.A-N and Index pp.-1- to -41- = 818pp. 5.25‖ x 8‖ or cm.
CreateSpace ISBN – 9781448661015
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009934549
1. Science Fiction – Colonies. I. Title
PS 2009
813‘ 2009
Home Is Not Home : Home Is… Series Vol.01 / By Dannis. DanniStories Cuthbert, GA
ASIN – B002HMDGO6 (Kindle Edition -2009) - Kindle Book.
1. Electronic Books. I. Title.
PS 2009
813‘ 2009
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Dedicated To Susan S. Kyle, AKA Diana Palmer, who taught me everything I know about writing. My sister has encouraged me and believed in me all these years, and I hope her faith in me will not be in vain. To Susie, who took me with her to the library often when I was a child. Her passion for science made me love it. We used a telescope to look at Mars and the Pleades. We looked at ant stingers with a microscope she bought. Such adventures we had together!
I have fond memories of the model kits we put together, and of proofreading her first draft of The Morcai Battalion. Now, I am eagerly awaiting Morcai Battalion: The Recruit, which is yet to be released on Kindle from Luna Books under the name Susan S Kyle. If you haven’t read The Morcai Battalion, you should, and it is available on Kindle under the name Diana Palmer. I couldn’t put it down! I also enjoy Diana Palmer romances, published by Harlequin. My talented sister writes great
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romances, but I think her science fiction exceeds great!
This Home Is… Series is dedicated to Susie. She watched it grow. Now my dreams of sharing it with all of you are happening, and I want all of you who read this to know that my sister is my inspiration. I strive to learn to describe my scenes as well as she, so that you feel transported to another place for the time you spend reading. May you also enjoy my sister’s stories.
 Dannis, Cuthbert, GA, July 17, 2009
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Books In The Home Is… Series
Home Is Not Home
1st Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is New
2nd Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is Far Away
3rd Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is A Place Of Healing
4th Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is A Difficult Journey
5th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Change
6th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Unwell
7th Volume in Home Is Series Dovetail:
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series.
Home Is Refuge
8th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
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Home Is Memory, Home Is Illusion
9th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is A Dream Of Well
10th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is The Reign
11th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Not Ye~
12th Volume in Home Is Series Dovetail:
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Rainbow
13th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbows Growing,
Vol.3 in Rainbow Series
More To Come….
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Table of Contents
Dedicated To ii
Books In The Home Is… Series iv
Table of Contents vi
2. Hear An Otherworlder 28
3. New Partner, New Feelings 57
4. Disgrace 100
5. Exile On Ye~ 121
6. Desert Soul 191
7. Family Memories 232
8. Courtship At Last! 262
9. Dangerous Missions 322
10. Become Queen 367
11. War Training 461
12. Missing 470
13. The Ribbon Tested 486
14. Queen’s Work 500
15. Ryee’s Mind 507
16. Captured 523
17. Emperor of the Seven 534
18. Eriganh 542
19. Journey 550
20. First Galaxy Peril 568
21. Destination 583
22. Time Stops 604
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23. Ryee’s Help 613
24. Progress 637
25. New Routines 669
26. Off The Ship 718
Epilogue 744
Index -1-
Appendix A
Novels B
Home Is… Series B
Rainbow Series G
Other Novels J
Novellas J
Dannis’ Feedback Links M
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Home Is Not Home
By Dannis
I squinted through the mist at the boxy cluster of buildings ahead of me. It took me close to five mins to walk to them, but I needed this walk. I loved the colors of the bright flower petals; the multicolored foliage. No time after my day's work to walk, and I did not enjoy walking in the rain, even if I had time. My mind raced as my feet tried to keep up with my memories.
―Adia," my twin sister told me, "you should plan your time more carefully. Walks do not have to be squeezed in when you are already in a zip to be there." Her green eyes always glittered when she knew she was right.
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"Perhaps I am in a zip, but you know that the Emotion Detectors have just been refitted. I need the walk." I emphasized the statement with a toss of my long red hair.
―Become breathless, and the Emotion Detectors may take it for anger. You need the walk too much. If you were to slow down a little, like me..." I could never be like her. She was the quiet one, the 'good' one. Never set off an ED in her life.
"You got all the emotional control; I cannot just open a dimportal to the Spaceport and expect to hide my excitement from the EDs. Not today."
Maia rolled her eyes dramatically. Thank goodness gestures did not set off EDs, I thought. My sister kept perfect breath control through her favorite avocation: singing.
"Your excitement. You have only been speaking of it for weeks." My twin sighed. "Just because the government of Areon has given special permission for an
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Otherworlder scientist to share his research with us does not mean our colony is getting any less isolationist, despite your hopes to the contrary. Why should it? Remember, to allow other species on Areon might bring more problems. Especially here in Lilmerica where most of Areon's defense research is; the EDs are more sensitive here and we do not need any emotional species to come in, set them off and disturb our tranquility. Especially as emotional as the Yeff! How many times has the visitor set off the EDs and been questioned on his previous visits?" She paused for a long, slow breath. Green eyes studied me, and I wondered if she thought of the times I set off EDs. One hand gripped the cream-colored table next us, the dining set we barely used together in this time of long work hours.
"Perhaps we have too much tranquility. I am not the only one who complains about EDs and our rigid laws.
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Many of my coworkers have already found work off-planet."
"If I did not know better, I would think you might look off-planet as well. The government does not view off-planet employment as loyal, either. You know that. Most of them gain passage through unorthodox channels unless their records are exceptionally clean." She might well have added that mine was not, so many ED violations in my past five years on the Eicken Project.
"Maia, you do not understand, and I do not have time to extrap.‖ My irritation nearly escaped me. ―Excuse me, before I miss my weatherless interval." I turned quickly. Faced the cream-colored wall that had no features to differentiate it from the rest of our small deciplex. Other homes appeared much the same. Too much sameness.
As I stepped through the wallportal out onto the walk, mist rose from the lush
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vegetation. Beautiful red and orange flowers as large as my head towered over me on both sides in front of our house. Red and orange were Mom's favorite colors, and Dad had not cared. I would have had purple hues like the ones of our neighbors to the right. My eyes caught the ED hovering at the intersection of our walkways, about three meters off the ground. Such ugly devices, midnight blue dull metal cylinders with rotating circular fins. If I had comment on their design, the fins would be of a lighter color so the rotation would be visible. Also there would be, not angled circular fins, but rings so they would be pretty. Silver and gold and purple rings. In the right width, ridges to give some wind currents, made of terrilium alloy--calculations raced quickly through my mind--I smiled at the thought. My family would think me mad, wishing to decorate EDs! Except for the flowers, everything, from our clothes to the
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featureless buildings, were as plain as possible. Not practical to ornate things and people. Waste of valuable time and material. Our lives were as bland as the cream-colored buildings, the drab walks, the muted colors of furniture.
I walked faster. We ARE supposed to try to better each other. After all, we have no violence here in Lilmerica. Emotion Detectors and all, we live peacefully, as long as we all try to conform. Nitrogen saved from control over high emotion benefits all of us until our science can turn to terramods again. We could be out on the Ring where the War is. Our family enjoys many advantages since our parents and I work on the Eicken Project. I only wish we had time to know one another.
Better think about something else; concentrate on the sweet fragrance of the RosFlowers and the brilliant colors of the imported WWyez. Get my mind off the upset; concentrate on the tranquil. Do not
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get emotional. Conserve precious nitrogen. I passed the deciplexes. Looked at the Aud looming over the sand-colored buildings that comprised the Spaceport. Blue sky added color during our rainless times, but mostly, it was gray with clouds. Unseen collectors gathered energy from the clouds, so there was never thunder, as in the stories Mom told me as a child of the place our people left. She did not enjoy speaking long of it. Most of my questions lay without answer.
Beautiful flowers and fragrant fruits stretched all the way to the Spaceport. Bright colors that differed every day. They contrasted sharply against the low, almost-white boxyness of the rows of deciplexes, warehouses, trade offices and larger research centers. The Aud, in the middle of the Spaceport of Eicken, dwarfed all the other buildings that stood an easy walk from any of the outskirted residence rows. Paths of the same whiteness melted from
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the sands of the adjoining Barrens. Spread to and from all buildings around the city of Eicken.
Walks soothed me; most of the people I knew saw the mandatory twentymin daily walk as an unwanted interruption. But then, most of the people I knew here worked by the Spaceport: scientists like myself, engineers, info scientists, trade specialists, government workers. All of them serious and industrious. Their work supplanted the War effort. Most of them scoffed at recreation, leaving it to their children; not they did not wish time with their families, but how much life here could change if the War moved closer! I enjoyed the small respite from my rigid work schedule, but I took my work seriously. A breakthrough in the Eicken Project could protect our colony and increase trade. Someday the War will end, and perhaps EDs might become an ugly memory. I felt sure a solution to
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nitrogen would come easily with the bright scientists of Eicken!
Because of our ever increasing work hours, it seemed I had less time with my parents than I did with my sisters -- if only because Aronna was too young to work -- and Maia, an info scientist, worked from home. I saw both of them every day; some days my path and that of my parents did not cross. And the older I became, it seemed, the more my views differed from my family's. The ED's were a good example.
"Yes, EDs are bothersome, but necessary." Dad shook his silver head. "Most of us set one off perhaps twice in a Standard year, take our scolding from the DFs, and tighten up. It is not cause for rebellion." His blue-gray eyes seemed to tighten, as if obeying his words.
"I do not consider interrogation a simple scolding; words do not cause fainting -- "
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"The pain is brief, and does no damage." He gave me a warning look that told me Say no more. I almost set an ED off immediately; I barely calmed myself before my racing heart would bring the DF. Maia and Aronna sided with our parents; but all day long at work, we scientists discussed the things that frustrated us: Emotion Detectors foremost. None of us believed, from a scientific point of view, that a lack of them would cause us to take our work less seriously. Or use drastic amounts of nitrogen; use of our breathers did not set off EDs! We resented the expectation of increasing our workload until we got results. So many experiments to run to get one positive result that might lead to another; yet we also had to maintain discipline and worry over setting off the EDs. We were tired. We were disillusioned. And most of all, we were sick of the War and all the sacrifices it required. Had our forefathers not suffered enough through
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genetic alterations? I shuddered to think of their hardships: many changes had to be made to adapt their bodies to substitute nitrogen for oxygen. A bitter irony that the science of the time led them to believe nitrogen would always be more plentiful than oxygen here; both escaped from our atmosphere in large quantities through use of the Molecule Mill and so our wasteful past left us in peril. If the War did not end or pass us by, we would not survive another hundred years as a colony. The Core failure of sixty years ago almost ended us. Could we even resurrect the past knowledge of terramods that we needed to save our colony, if using all our resources to protect ourselves from the Kajarians?
My coworkers, they had dreams of romance, of marriage, of leaving Areon to find fortunes on other worlds. They cared not for saving our colony. Our future.
Me, I could not discuss my dreams with anyone. Too busy working to even
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consider finding time to spend with anyone I might later be courting. I did not want romance under these circumstances; and I certainly did not want to abandon my home. Yet, how would anything change if I lived out my life here? These things were too close to my heart to tell anyone. My coworkers would try to solve my puzzle by some scenario of applying to the Science Council or the Traders Service. Whatever means involved, it meant boarding a ship outward bound. And I did not have a perfect record of emotional control as they did. Such as I would never get Areon's permission to leave; truth by experience. I should merely be satisfied with my life as a scientist and admit my failure to keep my record spotless, accept this situation of my doing. So why, late at night, did I look at the stars with such longing? Lying to myself about wanting to stay? My home never felt as if it were truly home.
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"Adia! Walking again! Faster or we will be late." Citstasia Wilnes' impatience hovered on the brink of setting off the EDs. She stood in front of the Trade building, looking quickly from me towards her left, glancing at the Aud with her gray eyes as if it would sprout engines and leave. As she tossed her long auburn hair, it almost slapped a ped, who walked around her towards the left. Except for him, the walkways spread most deserted. My friend and I shared much discomfort over the red in our hair. Most Kajarians had red hair. Anyone with this curse faced avoidance and harsher criticism of work. My holos enjoyed trade despite three inquiries apiece; hers did not pass two, and our relationship seemed more distant with time. Citstasia spoke of little beside opportunity off-planet. Her work suffered greatly; I often did part of hers to save her more criticism, yet my effort had no effect to bring us closer. "We
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still have three mins, and it takes precisely two point eight to get to the Aud."
"Yes, but it will take point two to find Ossy, Vonn, and -- "
"There are Ossy, Vonn, and Derees by Hangar Four. Oh, and Tanda joins them now. See, Citsa?" I pointed to the nearest of the boxy white featureless buildings. On the other side of the cluster, slightly larger than the other four, stood the Aud. "You were saying?"
"So what do you know about the scientist who is lecturing?" Her voice lacked inflection or enthusiasm. A toss of her head did just that. Her straight auburn hair stayed in place, perfect strands in perfect layers. My hair constantly worried my eyes--
"He is Yeff, has done some interesting research, and is here to discuss his recent breakthrough in server telepathy and the psi particle." I tried not to smile.
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His holos—I found him very attractive—and he looked my age. Futile dreams!
"Infoserver telepathy. So he is giving the government a way to make EDs able to invade our thoughts? I thought the government of the noble moon Ye~ was on our side. Someone should tell him he is supposed to be helping us fight the Kajarians."
Why did I even think to speak? "The main purpose of the device is to try to help our pilots command more efficiently to save ships, and get information from captured Kajarians, very useful for espion. It might help us to catch up to them before they absorb us all." She knew that. So why did I bother telling her? I silently wished I had thought for a millimin before opening my mouth. She always teased me with those halfserious statements. I knew her and the others for the last five years, yet I did not feel that I knew them at all as far as predicting their reactions. How did she
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manage to stay one step ahead of the EDs while I-- No, not now.
"Director Pragate will begin the prez." Citsa ignored my embarrassment, as usual. "I hope he does not speak so long this time. Last week I most fell to sleep, waiting for him to finish." Her face seemed to carry only a few expressions, as if she were part Bisillip.
"You and I. But, he is new. Not experienced in speaking to groups--"
"Too busy increasing our work so we see less of our families, then he speaks to try to justify it. More of us are seeking work off-planet, so--" she stopped as we came to where the others stood and they joined us.
"Apparently you believe me now. I did say they would have to use the Aud since there are so many of us now." Ossy Koch spoke with a sweep of his sandy hair.
"Ossy. You are so glad when you are right, are you?" Citsa frowned at him.
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"Especially in the lab. Did you notice my brilliant breakthrough of earlier today? I discovered a complex organic to entice Adia's sister Maia to fall madly in love with me!" His light brown eyes seemed to sparkle with delight at our mocking reaction. "I will choose her green eyes over your blue ones any time. Her hair is even more copper than yours. And longer, too. Her serene manner--" he dodged my swat.
"Just wait till they clone your twin and see how I carry on about how much betterlook he is than you." Maia and I were nearly identical twins. Both of us preferred to keep our hair long; the same length and style, and our curls even curled under in the same places. Ossy always tried to persuade me to change mine, but Maia and I had no problem with looking alike. Why could he not leave me alone? My halfhearted attempts at the joking we once enjoyed brought me nothing but irritation. It seemed much of it left them laughing at me.
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Had I lost my ability to enjoy their company?
We all strode faster to keep up with him. In the distance, the yellow suns shone brightly in a blue cloudless sky. A few more mins in this beautiful scene would certainly improve things for me. The rain always destroyed the little pleasantries of my life. I loved the plant life on our colony, but the price of almost constant heavy rainfall exasperated me.
"Our guest has been detained by Otherworlder Authorities--" Ossy smiled, and I wished to slap him.
"Otherworlder Authorities? He is not in trouble, is he?" The thought of anyone having to answer to the government made me flinch.
"Well--I am not sure, but I heard he has set off three emotion detectors since he came here yesterday. I guess they want to make certain he is not half Kajarian or something." His voice was half-jesting as
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he winked at me. "He is probably a lot like you." He pulled at the back of his wavy hair.
I trembled at the thought of interrogation or--the Therapy. "That is more than I have done. I only set them off on special occasions." I smoothed out the front of my lab coat where the gentle breeze flipped up my pocket flaps. They had seen me set off EDs, and never let me forget. I felt so out of place with them now. Even the pockets of my lab coat marked me as a nonconformist; to be Areonian one must wear plain clothing and practice austerity. Under the lab coat I wore my usual purple dress, ankle length and featureless, although I progged the clothing formers to give me pockets on my dresses as well. It helped me to have somewhere to put my hands when my emotions threatened to bring me trouble: I kept several objects there to hold onto. Perhaps a childish need for something magical to protect me, but
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just wrapping my fingers around the smooth cube-shaped crystal I found recently somehow comforted me. I did not even know what it was. I appeased myself with the thought of my next trip to the Barrens where I had found it. So long since my last free day. Perhaps another would be announced soon.
"You need to be more careful. The Protectors are installing more sensitive EDs. You will not have but five seconds anymore to control your emotions." Ossy gestured towards the floating dark blue cylinder at the corner of the Aud. It looked different; slightly larger, and the rotating fins were thinner and angled more closely to the surface of the cylinder. I could see the DFs reforming an ED a good twenty meters on down the walk, the bluish glow of the tools' energy reflecting on the dull dark blue surface of their metal hands. Their shapes changed according to the work they performed and the tools needed. To me,
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they resembled floating disembodied arms with ever-changing numbers of fingers. Ugly, like the EDs. I would make them with heads and smiling faces. Maia liked to write personality progs; together we could make inorganic simulants to do maintenance and interact with people at the same time. Such insanity! The impact of Ossy‘s statement jerked my mind from its distraction. Five seconds! Could I slow my breathing so quickly?
"That is another refit this year." I took a long, slow breath.
"They are trying to make us into simulants." We stood before the small featureless boxy extrusion beside the wallportal. The light of the genescan read us silently. After it disappeared back into the beigeness of the wall, we entered the Aud.
Our eyes took a min to adjust. The Aud held one hundred of us and our colleagues filled most of the seats. These
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buildings aged two hundred Standard years, never updated. Looked like something out of the holograms of the Colonists; the floor sloped downward from back to front, although now that we had terminals at every seat, the antique configuration served no useful purpose. The seats arched in neat vertical rows from back to front, self-adjusting to keep each person sitting at a slightly uncomfortable straightness to encourage attention. Rows jammed together tightly to fit many of us into a small space. The seats themselves were dark blue crescents set onto a post, narrow even when at full self-adjusted width. No padding of any sort, typical of our austere seats. Once I sat upon an Otherworldly chair in the Trade Office, a gift from the Yeff King. It felt so comfortable, I did not wish to leave even though my business there was not pleasant. Why could we not have comfortable seats? And, what manner of species enjoyed chairs that emitted a
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warmth like that? I imagined them as more caring about the welfare of their workers, although my attitude probably did not reflect reality. I could not understand the attitudes of our blonde-haired Kleideu neighbors, their insistence on the differences of their language, their culture. How then, could I understand a species so radically different from my own? Somehow, I expected to learn something about the Yeff from this presentation, and yet I tried to convince myself that I would only have more questions, not more answers. My practicality failed to convince my imagination.
I leaned towards Ossy. "How do you pronounce it again?" He did a lot of trading for our section, which put him into a position to see the man in the Traders Circle. Ye~ supplied us with minerals for shipbuilding.
"Ree-OWN-nuh-ee. And make sure to make the 'ee' sound like you have
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suddenly run out of air." He pretended to be in deep space without a suit. I frowned at him. The Project officials would not approve of Ossy's attitude, even though common scientists like us would not have an opportunity to speak to him here and violate protocols. I wondered if the Otherworlder's manner would be as comfortable as his world's chairs. What would I say to him if I had the chance? Sadly, I knew I would surely offend him by my utter lack of skill with foreign languages. With a discreet motion, I pulled my breather from my pocket. Held the red cylinder to my throat and enjoyed relief. I seemed to need mine more often than--
"Hey, get your mind out of the Gerra Region and listen!" Citsa always seemed emphatic about everything. It surprised me the emotion detectors never went off when she spoke. Her auburn hair curled about her face like a crest, especially when her irritation rose.
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―What was that, Citsa?"
"Do not call me Citsa here, please. Keep nicknames for when we are working." Her gray eyes narrowed as she scanned the Aud. "I asked you if you had seen Director Pragate; he is so strict on punctuality, it is odd that he would be late." Citstasia Wilnes, the only person I knew who could use that irritated a tone and smile at the same time! "What is this fascination of yours with Otherworlders? Learning to pronounce an Otherworlder's name. An utter waste of time! I am not pleased about having to interrupt my work for this presentation, and he is the cause. Besides, our seats are near the back of the Aud. He will not notice us. Perhaps this will not take long." She gave a loud sigh. Citsa was slightly taller than I, but only two years older. I found her almost as difficult to understand as Ossy. She seemed to think of me as far younger than she and needing instruction. I turned my eyes to the front of
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the Aud. Forget my irritation. It seemed, lately, that I told myself not to think about everything now. A footnote haunting my thoughts; I wondered how long I could distract myself before I faced the Therapy, anyway? Perhaps I would have one triumphant discovery so that my holos in the journals would live on, if not on Areon, on other worlds I would never see. My popular research holograms probably kept me from the Protectors even now. Trade slowed dismally in Eicken Project holograms, yet mine traded exceptionally well for some unknown reason. Otherworlders interested in ANW?
I looked at the faces of my coworkers, complaining to each other about the delay in their work as we waited for others to find their seats so we could move forward. They would not miss me if I no longer worked with them every day. Who would think about me but my family? I waited for the EDs or the ANW to make an
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end of my short life, struggling against time for some miracle to help my research give meaning to it before it ended.

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