Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I am the Goddess of Light

...but it may not be exactly as glamorous as it sounds.

As the second book in the Stella Steinar series is releasing (author: me) and as I type this post, I'm feeling a teensy bit overwhelmed.  A total type A personality, well known for my superior ability to super-duper multi-task, I absolutely refuse to admit I've taken on too much.  Even now.  What I do instead is embrace the challenge and thrive on juggling tasks that may seem stressful to the average gal.

Now...if I were to add children into this equation I'd be totally screwed.  It might change my whole attitude about the situation.  I need to give props to the parents out there who manage to do anything outside of raising their kids and make it look easy.  But I don't have kids, only a dog-child, so let me get back to the point.

I used to call myself the Princess of Power, a name borrowed from one of my favorite tough chics,  She-Ra the warrior princess.  Well, I've given myself a new title: T., Goddess of Light.  I know...has a ring to it, right?  Sounds a little ethereal and 'Game of Thrones-ish'.  Could be why I love it so much (total G of T nerd, here).  But, it's not what you think.  Let me explain.

See, aside from working a full time regular gig job, and aside from writing, editing and promoting a new book, I've got my hands a tad full with another project.  A really big one.  I'm building a house.  Okay.  I know what you're thinking...'Oh, must be tough.  She's slaving over choosing cabinets and paint colours.  Boo hoo.  Poor thing (not)'.  Oh my dears, you are soooo mistaken.  And unless you've actually built a home from architectural concept through to the end, you will never comprehend how it consumes your life.  I haven't touched a piece of clay in over four months and as a dedicated amateur potter it's killing me.  I haven't made a single appearance at my book club and let's not even suggest the idea of reading a book.  I miss my friends!  I haven't had my hair cut in four months--come on!  Who has time to sit still that long?  I've resorted to self-snipping at home which sounds like a very bad idea but, hey! It gets rid of the really frizzy bits that show the most.  Sorry Rita.  Rita is my hairdresser and probably thinks I've abandoned her for another stylist.  Totally not the case.  My dog gives me sad eyes every time I rush him through a shortened walk only to breeze out the door to meet a contractor. Poor Chico!  My husband and I lay awake at night discussing roofing, siding, tools and budgets now instead of planning holidays or Sunday meals or whatever else we used to talk about (or do--ahem).  In fact, I'm beginning to forget what my life used to be like while I also wonder what's going on in the world outside of my little book/build bubble.  News?  What is that?

Breaking Bad was my only escape--60 minutes every week.  Even though I did sneak in book and house stuff during commercial breaks (yay for iPad).  But now that BB is finished forever (*sigh* Farewell Mr. White.  I freaking loved that show), I fear I may slip away from reality completely.  Okay.  I might be a bit dramatic here.

But when things seem bleak I remind myself: I am T., Goddess of Light!  I have the power to control electricity.  Now you're thinking, 'Okay, I get it.  She's really psyched up over her light fixtures.'  Um, stop right there. It's way more than just that.  I have POWER!  Real power.  Where do I want this light to be?  Do I want it moved an inch or two, this way, that way?  Perfect!  How bright do I want it to be?  Maybe I should add another light here.  Why not?  Heck, make it two, make it three.  Give me light, man!  But wait.  How will I control this light?  Where do I prefer to place the switch?  I can put it anywhere I please, ANYwhere I tell you!  And not just in one place.  Oh no, no sir.  I can control this light from multiple locations.  Single switches are for the powerless.  I need more switches!  I can turn any light in this house on or off from the cozy comfort of my bedside.  (I might be exaggerating again, but it sounds cool, right?). Who needs the Clapper when I have the power of LIGHT!?  On.  Off. Bright or dimmed low.  Dim a few or dim them all!  I merely think of controlling any given light  and it is done.  The power is at my fingertips.  I say "light" and there is light.

*slowly return to the present moment...slowly, now*

I'm an electrician's daughter.  So I know things.  I know what's possible and impossible while wiring a home.  My electrician loves me (or hates me?).  I create work where work should not exist.  Yes, I feel a little guilty about it.  A little.  Being the Goddess of Light is a thankless job.

Oh, did I mention that Volume 2 in the Stella Steinar series, Stella Nova: Defender of the One, has just released?  Please excuse the tangents.  This is how my mind works.  You can find my book(s) at the following links.  Please contact me for questions, comments, interviews, whatever.  I'll make time for you.  You may, however, be asked to visit my job site and wear a hard hat and steel toed boots.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book 2 Cover Art Sneak Peek

My cover artist has done it again.  He's created a masterpiece.  I begged him to let me preview the new cover for Stella Nova, book 2, because I was so excited I just had to share it with you.  He may do some minor fine tuning before it goes to print and he's still working on the back cover and spine.  I am so amazed by his talent.  He is able to take my vision, add his own style, and bring it to life.  Incredible!  I can't thank him enough.

So enjoy....and give me some feedback!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Re-Release Date!

Official Release Date
MONAD The Awakening of Stella Steinar
(new edition)
Book 1 in the Stella Steinar Series

Saturday, March 9, 2013
8 a.m.

Links will be posted later to find your favorite way of reading.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

365 Days of Truth

Day 365.

It’s the last day.  I hope you’re not expecting some kind of grand finale.  If you were, I’m sorry.  I'd considered it, but I just couldn’t come up with anything spectacular or highly insightful.  I don't mean to disappoint you, but the truth is, I’m not much closer to finding the truth than I was 364 days ago.  It’s elusive.  It’s constantly morphing.  It’s subjective.  And while it may set you free, it might also lock a ball and chain around your ankle and throw away the key.  

I’ve discovered a few things about myself during all this.  Telling the truth is easy, but sometimes requires a significant amount of restraint to preserve the sanity of others.  I’ve told some untruths in my day, as we all have.  At times over this past year I've been overcome with a desire to come clean and ask for forgiveness.  But at what cost?  Sure, it might ease my own conscience, but afterward, would it even change anything?  Does the past really need reconciling?  Probably not.  Probably best to take what I’ve learned and move forward.  I have grown more aware of truth and the times at which it can be used in a constructive manner.  I’m more able to step back from a situation and remove emotion to see what the truth of the matter is in a given moment.  Not always, mind you, but better than I was able to before.  Yes, I know I may seem scattered to others, but the truth is I see things more clearly than ever and hope to continue this progression long after this.

So now to the ultimate question.  What is truth, you ask?  After 365 days of devoted studying and searching for it…the truth is, I don’t know.  It’s a concept.  A personal and intimate look into one’s soul to know what is at the core of your being.  It’s different for everyone.  So don’t expect me to tell you what it is or what it means.  If you’re interested enough, maybe you should begin your own search.  But I’m warning you…it’s often times maddening and will most likely become an obsession.  Be ready for what you'll discover because it has a slight potential to reveal a dark side, a part of yourself that might be difficult to face.  But most of the time, the search for truth is enlightening.  Seductive.  And beautiful.  Beautiful enough for me to never give up the hunt.  The truth is out there.  I will find it in the end.

If you'd like to review my 365 Days of Truth, you can find all the posts at this link to my facebook page.  One post for every day of the year!

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Edition of MONAD Set to Release!

No, you're not imagining things.  The title of Book 1 in the Stella Steinar Series was originally called MONAD 12.21.12: The Awakening of Stella Steinar.  But hey, we're still here.  Time to move on.

Taking the advice of my publisher, we decided to edit Book 1 and release a new edition.  If you've read the story, I think you'll agree it's strong even without the date.  Most of the reviews have been focused more on the reincarnation theme, where the hook is the strongest.  I took the opportunity to polish up the writing and develop some of the scenes that were lacking in the original.  I think you'll find it a smooth, easy read.

MONAD: The Awakening of Stella Steinar is set to release by early March, followed shortly by the long-awaited sequel, Stella Nova.  Look for updates here or on the Facebook Fan Page.  In the meantime, you can admire the work of my artist, Corrie Gray.  And you can read the back cover revised synopsis, then let me know what you think.

I still have some hard copies of the original Book 1 for signing.  It will become a collector's edition.  You can follow the link to my website if you'd like to place an order.

Friday, December 07, 2012

12.21.12 Two Week Countdown!

December 21, 2012 is only two short weeks away.  What will you be doing?  Have you thought about it?  Take my poll at the Facebook fan site.  If you don't see an answer that suits you, make one up!  Have fun with it!

Click the link here:  (and "like" my page for publishing updates if you haven't yet)

I would also like to mention that Book 1 in the Stella Steinar series will soon become a new edition.  The 12.21.12 edition will not be around much longer.  If you've got your own copy, keep it safe.  If you'd like a collector edition, go to my website (link is here on my blog) and order a signed copy or explore other ordering options.

A contract for Book 2 has been signed.  Stay tuned for timeline details regarding release date.  Thank you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Join Me for Some Holiday Cheer!

Sandbox Obsession

Pottery by me (T.) 
Unique Ornaments & Gifts

@Preston Public School
Candyland 2012
Saturday, December 1st, 2012 10am-5pm
Bring your skates to enjoy the new synthetic ice skating rink! Cookie stacking, marshmallow toss, horse drawn trolley rides, ice building blocks, gingerbread houses, sweet treats and Santa and Mrs. Claus!!

Live entertainment by Robert Davis, Splash 'n Boots and more.
Location: Central Park - 615 King Street E., Cambridge, ON

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let It Snow!

Not only am I busy wrapping up the second book in the Stella Steinar series, but I'm also preparing for the upcoming holiday season.  I know, I's not even Halloween yet!  But as a potter, I'm actually a little behind schedule.  Most potters are way ahead of me!  Let me explain.  To create something as "simple" as a little ornament takes time.  Lots of time.

You have to remember that the cute little glazed bobble you see for sale at the art shows and fairs once started as a wet hunk of clay.  From the mud, I first give it shape, then allow it to dry slowly while meticulously cleaning and perfecting through various stages of drying.  These flakes are in different stages of drying.


Next I put it through the first firing (bisque), then glaze it and put it through the second firing, hoping to lose very few pieces through cracking and explosion.  I usually account for at least a 10-15% breakage rate.

After the final firing, I finish with trims and ribbons or whatever else to dress it up, add any packaging, etc. and then voila! A miniature, one-of-a-kind work of art ready to add sparkle to your home.  I'm hoping to participate in at least one or two shows and sales this season.  I'll keep you updated when each one is confirmed and finalized so you can find me.  I make these intricate snowflakes you see here, but I also make lots of other festive winter shapes--in between editing books and everything else I do, of course!

It's a blustery one out there with Hurricane Sandy unleashing her wicked winds today, but I'm certain the rain is about to turn to something else soon.  Let it snow!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Geek Glitter Review

"If you have not read The Awakening of Stella Steinar yet, what are you waiting for?! This is one of those books you can't pass up! I guarantee you will not be disappointed!"--Holly, Geek Glitter

Click to read the full review:
Geek Glitter Review: MONAD 12.21.12

Friday, September 28, 2012

I am a Creator

A few months ago, Alison DeLuca and I swapped blog posts.  This is the piece I wrote for her blog.  Sometimes I'm asked why I do the things I do and this is the best way I can describe it, so I thought I'd share the post in full on my page as well.  It's like a private look inside my mind....

I am a Creator.
It’s in my DNA.  The way my mind is always three steps ahead, how my eyes focus on the smallest of details, the deftness that resides in my sensitive fingertips.  It’s been passed on through my gene pool and governs every cell of my body.  There is no way to escape it, and even if there were, I would never consider doing so.

Creating, for me, is an intoxicating drug.  It soothes me and brings me back from the chaos in other parts of my life to a place where I always remember who I am.  Creation is my home and I am the master of my domain.  And I know this for certain: when I begin to lose my wits, if I become blind or my hands are suddenly useless, destroyed in some freak accident, my soul will still find a way to satisfy this need to ‘make’.   Like a mouse dropped into a maze or a wild beast on the hunt, the primitive artist in me would take over and (ironically) create a new means to survive.
As an artist, I have experimented with and enjoy every medium I literally lay my hands upon—paint, photography, fabric…  But, I must confess, for the last ten years I’ve been possessed by a particular love affair with dirt.  The very idea of feeling something as deconstructed and basic as clay—squeezing it between my fingers, sensing the raw earth and its hidden potential—and knowing I have the ability to shape it into any form my heart desires, is an inexplicably magical sensation.  I feel like a sorceress wielding an ancient secret.   Sometimes I hear the clay speaking to me, whispering what it wants to become.  Other times the clay is shy and submissive as I take all control.
As an author, I see letters of the alphabet as I do grains of sand.  The letters form words, and the words become my medium of expression.  Just as I can imagine a beautiful finished bowl before I even spin my wheel, I can also see the story I want my words to tell.  And just as my clay might guide my hands, at times my characters decide their own fate.  Although so very different, pottery and writing, to me, are one in the same.  Making something from nothing.  The end product, an extension of myself.  My creative offspring.

Self-satisfaction is not my only motivation to create.  Like any parent, there is no better feeling an artist can have than sharing their work with others, to send their offspring out into the world—to know my bowl has graced another family’s table, that it serves a purpose, that its beauty might give pleasure; or that a reader has become a prisoner, gripped by my tale, flipping pages long into the night—is the greatest reward.
This is how Creation represents the human connection.  During these brief moments, we share a unique bond, become part of each other’s lives, the loops of a knot reaching further and growing stronger.  We share the human experience.  It has always been that way, from the beginning of time and will be ‘til the end.  Without this symbiotic relationship, we would simply become…inhuman. 
And so, because it is in my blood, because it is my calling, I follow in the footsteps of those before me, leaving behind pieces of myself to be studied, admired, cherished, critiqued, dismissed and even destroyed long after I have left this earth.  I do this because I am a Creator.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

We Have Winners!

Congratulations to Holly and Bethany, winners of the Goodreads Giveaway!  *confetti*  Thanks to all 965 readers who entered and thanks for your interest in my book.

I just completed the last chapter of Book 2 in the Stella Steinar series on the weekend.  In author lingo, this means that the editing process now don't get too excited yet.  There are still several steps to complete before you'll be reading the next installment.  Patience, my dears, patience.  I guarantee it will be worth the wait!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book 2 "Working" Prologue

Book 2/Part 3/Last 4 chapters to write.  I'm at the point where I feel it might be appropriate to leak the short working prologue for this book.  It might still change and I might regret doing this, but oh well...I can barely contain my excitement and I want to share it with my fans.  So, enjoy!


I have come to accept that nothing is ever as it seems.  The world is not so simple.  It has never been and it never will be.  Just when you think you’ve solved the riddle, you only find the opposite.  Certainty does not exist and fate is never absolute.  The only thing separating light from darkness is truth and even that is subjective.  There is only one truth I know.

I am Stella Nova.
Defendor of The One.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recent Updates

Stella speaks to me when I least expect to hear her.  Sometimes I'm able to ignore her and get on with my day.  Other times, she demands attention.  Today she said, "Okay, T.  I know you've had a lot going on.  I know you're a busy person, juggling many things in your life right now, but come on.  Let's finish this!  People need to hear the next part of my story!  So sit your ass down and start typing.  I'll tell you what to write, it's like taking dictation.  Easy-peasy."

All right, Stella.  Let's do this.  But before I get going, I'd like to share some stellar reviews from a reader that popped up on Goodreads and Amazon this week.  I'm guessing it's the same person, but I could be wrong.  The reader is my perfect target audience and it absolutely warms the cockles of my heart that I was able to share Stella's story with them.  Thanks for reading and leaving ratings/reviews!  It really helps boost exposure to other readers.  Now I'm off to write!

This review is from: MONAD 12.21.12 (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely extraordinary book. I finished this book in a day - I never do that! You get some Norse mythology, spirituality, toss in some religion, a little science and you have a really great read. If you have an open mind to spirituality, reincarnation, past life regression, and have a quest for knowledge this book is all that and more. Written very casually you are easily swept up in Stella's life. I felt a very real connection to the characters. This book is in no way preachy or judgemental. The only problem with this book - it ended! Far to soon! I am anxiously awaiting the next one to come out.......

Jul 18, 12
5 of 5 stars false
Read from July 16 to 18, 2012

WoW! Absolutely loved this book! This had all the elements in it I love. Spirituality, religion, a little science, fate, reincarnation - extraordinary.
It's the story of Stella's reincarnated life - but can she change fate? Stella is the product of a scientific group seeking the ability to reincarnate people. Wouldn't life be better if we could remember our past lives? or would it? It's about changing your fate - or can you? The book was well written in an easy style, the characters are real and the ending was well - frustrating!! It ended!! I cannot wait until the next book comes out. I got Monad from ENT for $0.00 - I would purchase the next book - it's that great!!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Latest Review by Erika from Suddenly Books

Since the close of 2012, there have been a number of books published that deal with the end of times, mainly that prophecy based off the Mayan calendar. This is one of them.

I have read three books in the past year whose plots are based off this prophecy. T. Anderson's version dealing with a conspiracy and the reincarnation of Stella Steinar, is so far the smartest, most down to earth approach. You wont find any shape-shifters or crazy disaster scenarios. There are no blow-em up, shoot em down scenes. If you're looking for that I'm sure there are plenty of books out there. This one however, deals with a group of people and the clandestine efforts they put into sorting out a conspiracy that puts all their lives on the table. Perhaps there are also a few crazy scientists. But, that's besides the point.

I enjoyed The Awakening of Stella Steinar and there were a few things that really stood out for me. For one, is the relationship between Stella and Aron, two twins who until they begin college and are roomed together have never met and didn't know about each other's existence. This relationship is really what grabbed me at the start of the book and made me keep reading. I connected with both of them and enjoyed watching them work together and figure out what was going on all while simultaneously trying to "throw off" the bad guy. It did bother me a little that they both got along almost immediately. I don't know how I'd react if I suddenly found out I had an identical twin. I do think though that their relationship was fun to watch and that was more important to me while reading the book.

The second aspect of the book that really worked for me was the reincarnation aspect and how that played into Stella's "awakening". What the group finds out at the end of the book was a twist I didn't see coming. Either the author really knew how to divert my attention from what was really going on or I am not as an ostute observer as I believed to be. Either way I thought it was pretty cool.

This book was really interesting and had a lot of things that might pull a reader in - the 2012 Mayan prophecy, religion and reincarnation, conspiracies, relationships. It's all there. This is the first book by T. Anderson and although I felt the author still has room for improvement with regards to writing style it was a good start and very well thought out plot with some interesting characters to throw in the mix.

Suddenly Books: Book Review: MONAD 12.21.12 by T. Anderson: Publishing Info: Title - MONAD 12.21.12: The Awakening of Stella Steinar Author - T. Anderson Publisher - Sunbury Press Date Published...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Katy Perry - Wide Awake

Starting the playlist for book 2 in the Stella Steinar series.  Is Stella dreaming or awake?  Stay tuned to find out...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Past Lives & Phobias: a Theory

from MONAD 12.21.12 The Awakening of Stella Steinar

"He placed the long, thin needle meticulously on the tray with the other sterilized instruments.  It had to be at least a foot long.  I tried to look away, think of something else.  I was about to die.  Again.  It wasn’t the first time—and it wouldn’t be the last.  A new life was waiting for me.  I was faced with many uncertainties.  There were only two things that I was certain of. 
My name will always be Stella.
And my fate will always be the same."

Whether you’re a believer or not, and for the sake of this exercise, let’s just assume for a moment that past lives are real and that you’ve lived many, many lives before this one.  Come on, humor me and play along. 

Now, follow me as I derail to another topic: phobias.  Not the obvious kind of phobia that results from a bad childhood trauma, but the unexplainable kind, its origin peculiar and unknown.  Aha!  You see where I’m going with this, right?  No?  Well, let me explain a little further and I promise it will make sense.  

I have a theory.  I’ll choose a generic, common phobia as an example—acrophobia, a fear of heights.  When you break it down, the phobia ultimately manifests as a fear of death—that the risk of being high above the ground will result in an accident, a slip or fall or some other freak way of plunging helplessly downward to your untimely demise.  You don’t know why, when, or how you developed this primal fear—you’ve never fallen like this before and obviously you’re alive now, so it didn’t originate in this lifetime.  So perhaps you fell to your death in a previous life.  You with me so far?

This idea is not original, by any means.  Many have explored and treated phobias based on this very thought process.  But I’ve got something else to add here.  Something for you to ponder, and it might just save you time and money spent in hypnosis and regression therapy sessions, or it may simply allow you to enjoy life a little more—phobia free.

My theory is this:  Stella Steinar is unique (and fictional!).  The chances of dying the same death you’ve already experienced in a past life must be…astronomical!  It would be a pointless step in our soul’s evolution.  So, even though you may harbor this wretched fear of heights (or whatever it may be), you can rest assured it won’t be how you actually die this time around.  Voila!  You see?  You’ve been wasting precious time, fretting over the wrong things! 

So as you climb that ridge and shudder at the thought of peeking over the edge of the cliff, the beads of sweat forming on your brow while your heart pounds like a locomotive in your breast, remind yourself, “This is not how I am destined to leave this earth.”  It may put things into perspective and allow you to appreciate the view.

But beware!  It will be the thing you expect the least, the thing you don’t fear, that will creep up on you when Death comes knocking on your door.  Does this mean we should start to fear everything?  That we can avoid death by abusing the theory?  “Oh, I’m afraid of…today, so conveniently, I won’t die.”  Sorry, Charlie.  It doesn’t work like that.  My theory only applies to real phobias.  Faking is not possible and either is immortality.

What I’m saying is, it’s plausible to overcome your fears if you try this advice.  Recite this mantra the next time you find yourself catatonic, unable to pry your white-knuckled grip from the railing six floors up:  “I recognize that I have this ridiculous phobia, that it’s always been with me even though I don’t understand it.  I have it because I may have died this way in a past life.  But this is a new life and it’s not how I am meant to leave this earth today.”  Good luck!

T. Anderson has not personally tested the theory
described above and assumes no responsibility for the
safety of those who attempt it.  This theory was written purely
for entertainment purposes only.  Use at your own risk.

What kind of phobias do you have?  Funny, weird, obscure, bizarre?

Do you believe your phobia is the result of a past life experience?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

365 Days of Truth: Day 46 : Contributing guest author, Alison DeLuca

The Truth about the London Evacuation Program

My father and his sister grew up in London in the late thirties. They lived in a small row home with their parents, an Irish laborer and a countrywoman from the North. The family was desperately poor, but they were happy enough, and my dad won a scholarship to go to a real school, in order to learn a “proper” English accent. In those days, no one with a Cockney accent got a banker’s job or became a gentleman.

All of that changed when the bombings and air raids started. Houses were turned to rubble overnight. Families were wiped out.

In order to prevent the worst atrocities, the government came up with a program to get children out of the city and into the country during summer of 1938, away from the worst of the air raids. In their defense, the people who came up with the evacuation program were acting in good faith. And for some children, perhaps the great evacuation was fine.

But the program was put into place so quickly, and for so many people, that at times it was very disorganized. Nearly a million and a half people were “displaced.”

Children were put onto trains by parents who had no idea where their kids would end up. Brothers and sisters were split up. Country towns that were told to expect two hundred children received nearly a thousand.

For my father, being an evac was disastrous. The people who took him in considered him to be a “dirty Cockney.” He was put out of the house each morning and not allowed back in until the evening.

With nowhere to go, he used to sit in the church every day. The vicar noticed him, a small boy in the back pew who stayed after everyone else went home. The man began to talk to him, and later my dad became a preacher himself.

In the interests of truth, I must say that my father never was able to speak of any of this. I only learned the truth myself a few weeks ago. And I’d love to say that he became a strong, fine person after that experience, but he didn’t. After all that privation, once he returned to normal life he looked at life as a banquet, and one that he was unable to stop himself from sampling. Food, wine, women – he was simply unable to resist any of them. Now, at last, I can understand why.

I’ve used the evac experience in my current work in progress, “The Gramophone Society.” I want to imagine what children went through after being displaced. As I am a steampunk author, I’ve added in fictitious elements. Still, I do want to confront what the great evactuation program was and wasn’t.

That is coming from a position of truth, after all. 

Alison Deluca is a unique author of steampunk fiction.  She and her books can be found at the following links:  

Watch the video book trailer for the Night Watchman Express!

*Many thanks to Alison for taking time to write this post for my 365 Days of Truth blog.  If you can't find what you're looking for or have further questions, please feel free to contact us.  --T. Anderson

*You can find a post called 'I am a Creator' that I wrote for Alison's blog here:  Fresh Pot of Tea

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Guest Post for Carrie Nyman's Blog

Carrie Nyman, author of 'Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?' and contributor to my 365 Days of Truth project graciously asked me to write a guest blog post on the topic of "setting" for her blog.  I decided to discuss setting in fiction and some different ways it can be used to benefit fictional storytelling, using examples and quotes from my book.  You can read my post, Creative Use of Setting in Fiction, by clicking this link to Carrie's blog.  I'd love to hear what you think!

--T. Anderson

Saturday, March 10, 2012

365 Days of Truth: Day 32

365 Days of Truth: Nothing is more powerful than an idea  -Guest post by author, Carrie Nyman

In a world where the importance of the individual seems paramount, it is refreshing when a cause pulls us from the comfort of our own heads and helps us consider others before ourselves, to appreciate the suffering of others so that we can help. The KONY 2012  campaign that has brought international attention to a Ugandan murderer also brings attention to the Invisible Children charity, but whether or not you agree with the legitimacy of this organization or its cause does not matter (after all, Invisible Children itself confirms that Kony and the LRA has not been active in Uganda since 2006). The important thing is that thanks to social networking, a 30 minute YouTube video has garnered the modern world's attention. This idea is powerful and if you haven't seen it, it's worth your time:

Yes, it's true that liking a Facebook status will not change the world, but it can change how we approach the world and repositions our focus from our little part of the world to those who do not have the power to speak for themselves.

-Carrie Nyman 

Author of Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?
(historical fiction based on a true WWII love story)

Many thanks to Carrie for taking time to participate in my 365 Days of Truth project!  If you'd like more information and are having trouble finding what you're looking for, just send a note and we'll help!
You can find the previous 31 posts about Truth on my Facebook fan page, and if you "like" the page, you'll receive updates through your Facebook feed as I continue my journey for the remaining 333 days!

Friday, February 10, 2012

365 Days of TRUTH

The word "truth" has become an obsession of mine.  I often find myself asking what it means to me and to others.  There is a fine line between what is true and what is not, and the line can change at any moment for any number of reasons.  I'm drawn to quotations and observations by others about truth because they seem to throw me even further into the search for it.  I decided to begin a daily post exploring truth, hoping to share some wisdom, heighten your curiosity and let you in on my journey as I seek the truth.

The truth about what, you ask?  Well, anything!  From daily interactions with friends, family, and co-workers to reflections of the past and personal quotations that pop into my head to philosophical ideas from historians and authors, to...well, I'll decide as I go!  There are no rules here.

Follow the link to my Facebook fan page and remember to "like" the page to get your daily dose of truth.  And feel free to comment...

T. Anderson

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12.21.11 PRE-anniversary Giveaway!

Had your eye on my book, MONAD 12.21.12 The Awakening of Stella Steinar? Well, it may be your chance to score a free signed copy! Melanie at Melanie's Book Addiction will be hosting a giveaway on her blog. The contest kicks off first thing tomorrow morning 12.21.11, in honor of the prophetic date of 12.21.12--a significant date for Stella Steinar, the mysterious main character in my book. Here is the link to Melanie's blog. Check it out tomorrow for details!

Melanie's Book Addiction Blogspot

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Excerpt: sneak preview from MONAD 12.21.12 The Awakening of Stella Steinar

It was just before midnight and Petra was certain that her husband would be at MONAD, along with his wicked sidekick, Myra.  She knew they would be hiding in their secret lab, doing horrible, ugly things.  It was December 19th, the week before Christmas, and they would have lured some desperate creatures there who needed cash to buy toys for their kids or jewelry for their spouses.  Her blood boiled as she pulled through the gates at the security station.  She lowered the icy window and the cold air poured into the car.  The guards knew her and she easily slipped through when she flashed her designer smile.
She parked, flipped her fur-lined hood up over her head and hustled to the building.  She opened a door at a side entrance, using her own MONAD badge…how silly that Erling trusted her with one.  He was overly confident, as usual.  From memory, she quietly made her way through the halls.  She decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  She took off her shoes and silently descended three stories underground.  She peaked through the small glass pane in the door that connected the landing to the hallway.  A light from further down the corridor signaled that she was in the right place.  Her source had proved to be reliable.  It should be--she'd paid the agent enough for the information!
Retrieving the small handgun from her purse, she took a deep breath.  The years of target practice were about to pay off.  After setting her shoes and purse down on the bottom step, she gently opened the heavy steel door.  The well-greased hinges assisted in her stealthy advance.  Although her heart was pounding, she took her time.  No need to rush.  There was no room for error.  No mistakes.  She tiptoed toward the light at the end of the hallway; it came to a "T."  After peeking around the corner to the right, she rounded it, sticking close to the wall.  Each step was methodical and deliberate.  As she crept toward the lab, she tightened her grip on the gun and kept it steady out in front of her, waist high. 

            The frosted glass door hid the activities that took place behind it. Ignoring her own heartbeat and controlling her breath, Petra listened intently. She heard them talking, but couldn’t make out words, only voices. The heavy glass door muffled the sound. If she moved swiftly, she could save not only Stella, but she might be able to save these poor souls tonight as well. She counted backwards from ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. She was ready. Three. Two. One! With one hand, she flung her MONAD I.D. badge at the sensor. It beeped, but did not turn green. Red. She tried once more. Red. Panic began to set in. This lock must only be authorized for Erl and Myra. Shit! Why hadn’t she thought of that? Then she heard footsteps rush to the other side of the door. Someone was going to open it. She backed up and braced the gun out in front of her, pointing at the opening door.    ........

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Not-so-Near Death Experience

I know I said I wouldn’t be writing blog posts while I was busy writing the second book in the Stella Steinar series, but if you know me, you know I can’t help myself from pursuing an idea when it refuses to leave me alone.  And this has everything to do with completing Stella’s story, so I need to just get it out there and release it from my mind.  After reading this, some of you will have questions that I may not be able to or willing to answer.  I’ve sporadically spoken of this to a handful of friends over the years so it will sound familiar to some.  But here, now, I’m officially putting the rumors to rest.  This is the story of my not-so-near death experience.  My account of a mysterious and everlasting memory.  A trip into the unknown.  The waiting room.

I was 20 years old.  Old enough to know things, but still na├»ve nonetheless.  At that time I knew nothing of chakras.  But I knew that I was endlessly and consistently plagued with stomach issues which were a direct result of anxiety shadowing all aspects of my life.  At this particular time I had, what I perceived to be, a lot going on and a lot to worry about.  Now I laugh at what I used to think was stressful and my third chakra is much happier for it.  Ha! 

Anyway, I’d spent a few days in the hospital for a simple reason, nothing major.  Just needed some TLC for a sensitive tummy that wasn’t getting better on its own at home.  To give my stomach a rest, I had an IV and received fluids and medicine through it.  Turns out, I was stricken with an unexpected allergic reaction to one of the drugs I was given.  It started slow.  Some muscle spasms, a strange pulling sensation in my neck and eyes.  Then as my back began to uncontrollably tense and arch in a slow rhythmic pattern, panic set in.  It was late at night and I called a nurse to my room.  She suggested I should try to relax.  I could not.  Terrified, I managed a quick phone call to home just before I was completely consumed by a full-on seizure.  Now, I’d never had one before, so I had no idea what was happening to me.  The problem was compounded by my fear as I complicated the episode with hyperventilation.  Feeling I couldn’t move, talk, or breathe, I was convinced I was dying.   To be clear, I was not. 

As the nurses and doctor discovered me and checked my vitals, etc., I heard them talking and was assured my oxygen levels were normal.  I was aware they were injecting me with something to counteract the reaction.  Within seconds, as the seizure unleashed me from its grip, my body melted out of it and I slid into a drug-induced sleep.  Just before I drifted off, I slurred out loud, “I’m dying.”  I really, truly felt like I was leaving my body, drifting helplessly away.  Different than sleeping, I was unable to control where I was actually going.

This is where I went.  The beginning of it was loose, distorted, finding my way.  Then I steered into a constructed version of reality, I think a place that made sense to me.  Another dimension maybe.  It was a room.  A waiting room.  Bright, but fuzzy and foggy.  Empty, save for chairs lining the four square walls.  Instinctively I sat in one, waiting—for what, I wasn’t sure.  For my name to be called, I guessed.  For death, I suspected.  A girl materialized next to me in the chair beside.  One moment not there, there the next, not having entered through a door.  There was only one door.  The way out.  The exit. 

The doorway was even brighter than the room.  So bright it was nearly blinding.  I was unable to see past the light in the doorway, but I was completely unafraid of it.  I was indifferent to it.  Not happy, not sad, not fearful.  I just “was.”  Waiting.  The girl sat too, waiting.  I knew her face.  Someone I recognized.  I didn’t know her, not personally.  But I knew of her.  I’m purposely leaving out her name for reasons I’ll explain later.  She’d been sick a long time.  It was common knowledge around my small town.  She had cancer.  Too young, much too young.  But when is it ever fair?  Young, old, never.

We sat together for a while without speaking, and her presence was comforting to me.  Soon her name was called.  She made no rush to leave, lingering beside me a few moments.  She placed her hand on top of my hand, resting on the arm of the chair between us.  She looked at me, her face alight with serenity and joy, spirit, confidence.  “I’m leaving now.  But you aren’t leaving.  Go back,” she said.  Her smile penetrated my very existence.  ‘I must listen to her.  She knows,’ I thought.  ‘She knows better than me what we’re doing here, in this place, the waiting room.’

I don’t remember seeing her leave through the exit because I had already woken up, my consciousness shifting timelessly from there back to my hospital bed.   So real.  So vivid.  So many years ago, but still clear.

I’ve spent all these years since trying to decide what happened that night.  My need to know the truth doesn’t stop me from living a full and happy life.  It’s just always there, always present, a bit beyond my reach.  A gentle torment .  You will see fragments of this experience littered throughout my writing.  I draw inspiration from it as I attempt to find the meaning of it.  You may choose to diminish my experience by shaking your head and calling me a “crack pot.”  However, I’m not claiming anything as fact or true.  On the contrary, I would love nothing more than to know the truth, for the truth is what I seek.

The waiting room as a dream symbol has obvious meaning and makes sense for the situation and the particular stage of life I was in.  But that has never been the focus of my search.  It is the girl.  Why her?  Why then?  How did she make her way into my subconscious at that particular moment?  And is there more to this story than I am ready to know?  The possibilities are endless.  Did I hear people discussing her while I was asleep?  Did my fear of death conjure her image?  And other questions looming in the shadows have somehow seemed inappropriate.  Would talking of this experience be disrespectful to the girl or her family?  Would they find peace if they heard the story or be enraged that I should mention such a thing?  And what if I dug a little deeper and found records from that night, anything that might support an alternative source of the truth, something no one wants to talk about?  And if I did find something, would it even matter?  She is at peace and has been for a very long time now.  Not only is she at peace, but the kindhearted physician who was on call that mysterious night is also at peace, moved on through the waiting room.  Why can’t I let this go?

Since I was a child, I’ve always felt I possessed a touch of "the witch"--a seer of things unseen by others.  I say this with equal parts humor and seriousness.  Maybe it was my name.  Maybe I identified with that particular archetype.  Whatever the reason, I have always questioned and have never accepted any explanation of the unknown with a simple answer.  To me, there is much that we do not, cannot, and will not ever know about our world and how we function within or outside of it.  My experience in the waiting room is just another of those unknowns.  But I sure hope one day to find out.  That would be an amazing prize at the end of the journey!

This is the most honest and true account of my not-so-near death experience I can describe.  I welcome comments or questions from those who know me along with those who don’t, and will do my best to answer.  Thank you for reading!