Monthly Archives: August 2012

Spooky “action at a distance”

Photo provided by Melissa Bowersocks through WANA Commons.

As my knowledge of the world of blogging expands I have found other ways to communicate with my readers and to expand the types of knowledge I can bring to their attention.  I have rearranged a few things on this site to better utilize the category function and to free up “page space” for more static information.  Some of you have noticed the addition of information helpful to writers and authors.  Now we will add another subject line, science.

I am not a scientist.  I am an avid reader of science.  My husband introduced me to the principles of quantum mechanics and physics some years ago and, in the process, the philosophy of science.  Our interaction between his science (and philosophy) and my philosophy shaped the growth of many of my earlier writings.  So, it only makes sense to use this forum to introduce those ideas that most fascinate me and that tickle my philosophical bone.  As my books reach publication, you will, perhaps, recognize some of these thought patterns in the text.

So lets look at some of the concepts that help us understand just what kind of universe is it that we live in.  We will begin with “entanglement,” Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”

Wikipedia describes this term thus:  “action at a distance is the idea of direct interaction of two objects that are separated in space with no intermediating agent or mechanism. […]  More generally “action at a distance” describes the break between human intuition, where objects have to touch to interact, and physical theory. The exploration and resolution of this problematic phenomenon led to significant developments in physics, from the concept of a field, to descriptions of quantum entanglement…”

Originally it was thought that entanglement only lasted a brief instant.  In other words, shortly after two pared particles/systems were separated, what happened to one seemed to impact the other.  Evidently, when we measured some defining portion of a state (defined simplistically as position and momenta) of one particle/system,  then that portion of the definition of state would be reflected in the distant particle/system.  The example used in the below referenced article is that if one person tosses a coin the outcome is purely random.  Entanglement is when the results are duplicated exactly by a second person tossing a coin.  Later physicists determined that the phenomenon occurred no matter how far apart the particles or the systems were;  the activity of one impacted the activity of the other.  Now, through the work of a very young physicist, the mathematics are developing that the systems do not even have to be identical to impact each other.  This ability to communicate without any overt interaction is at the root of quantum computing.  It is also the foundation for a hoped-for encryption process that cannot be cracked for use in banking transactions.  It is really amazing stuff.  An article recently published by Wired, “Teen Solves Quantum Entanglement Problem” at least attempts to explain the process to us mere mortals.

Of course what interests me is what this theory could mean on a philosophical level.  Do we really know the impact of our actions on the universe?  Do we understand how the activities in some far distant reach of our home may impact things around us, in us?  The further we probe into the mysteries of our universe and our minds, the more interesting the fabric of our existence becomes.

Brian Greene, author of many books on physics and a narrator of a NOVA program on string theory was interviewed by NPR.  When asked about the philosophical side of the things he was working on it was clear that he was non-committal on his religious position.  He wasn’t pro or con, he just didn’t think about it.  He did, however mention that his brother was a Hindu.  Often, Brian would discuss the new and interesting things he was finding in his field with his brother.  The response?  These things were spoken of millennium ago in the Sanskrit texts.  So, “is it something we’ve left behind?”


Filed under Natural Sciences from the Observation Deck

Starting the conversation on writing.

So, it is time, I think, to start a spot to track the progress of a budding author.  There is not time, I hear, to make sure that your first endeavor reaches the masses (however small or large your own personal mass may be) one must soldier on and get those words out there.  One must let people know you are serious about this writing thing and will provide them with the sort of information (or entertainment) they are seeking for some time to come.   Well, at least that is the hope.

My blog will track my progress as I near the never ending edit cycle for the next work.   In the meantime, I will share information about the sources I find that help me most in the business of getting a book to production.  Today I found the most amazing blog with an articulate and clear post about The Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors.  Amazing lady, this one.  I intend to keep an eye on her!

This blog, Kristen Lamb’s Blog, is not only an inspiration, it is a must have bookmark for anyone hoping to become an author and even those who have been at it for some time.  I have purchased and read one of her best selling books, Are You There, Blog?  It’s Me, Writer.  (also available in Kindle).  Not only does she approach her writing with a personal, right-there-in-the-room type of narrative, she cuts to the chase to let you know what you need to do to create your platform and build a relevant fan base.  All that without spending all of your time sitting at your computer writing blog articles!  This is one amazing source of support, community and solutions to move you to that goal of “getting out there” with the message you so passionately wish to share.

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Filed under Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

Warning – This is a Promotion!

I have established promotional pricing for Who I Am Yesterday for one day only – Kindle version at Amazon.   The sale occurs on Sunday, August 26.  It has also been added to the Kindle Select program which means it can be borrowed for up to 30 days free of charge.   So, if you were thinking about it but not quite sure (or hadn’t found the time) grab it!

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Filed under Authored Works, Caregiving Backstage

People Finding People – Nominated for Blog Awards!

Celebrating being found AND liked!

I have just been nominated for the “Inspiring Blog Award” and the “One Lovely Blog Award!”  The fascinating thing about this nomination is that is comes from Jane, the author of In My Mother’s Room.  Jane found my blog most likely due to the recent publication of my own care giving experience, “Who I Am Yesterday.”  I am honored.  Jane is a graduate from Ohio State University with a degree in journalism.  She is among those new friends that I have found since hanging my “author” shingle out in cyberspace.   I encourage you to visit her blog where she has written about her experience with her mother, as well as her blog describing the adventures of an empty nester.  Both are hyper-linked above. So, according to those who pass the torch, there is a protocol that must be followed by each nominee.

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you (check)
  2. Post the award image to your page (working on it)
  3. Tell seven facts about yourself (check)
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs (check)
  5. Let them know they are nominated (next task)

So, Jane, here I go:

Seven things about myself.

  1. I am older than Jane but younger than the Queen of England.
  2. Beer is okay, but I prefer wine (see Jane’s page for more detail)!
  3. I am married to the love of my life and my soul mate.  Although his current mental state has driven the man I met far away from me, I still cherish every moment I can share.  We still find humor in life and we still find joy.
  4. I love music of all shapes and sizes, as long as I can understand the words and if the words have some vague meaning (if there are any).  I also don’t care to walk away with ringing in my ears or have my heart pounding at escape velocity.  I do like form so, well, heavy metal is off the plate.  I have, however, heard some rap that impressed me.
  5. I am a stepmother and step-grandmother.  My husband’s offspring are very bright and a joy to know.  I myself have never had children.
  6. I graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a BA in Business Administration and have never stopped “going to school.”  This means I have accumulated a number of miscellaneous licenses, professional certifications and courses relevant to real estate and accounting careers.
  7. I love writing.  I was hooked the moment I held that first published copy of a book I had written in my hands.  I love the community of artists and creative people I have found in the process of growing into my new career.  This nomination makes me feel as though I have found a home.


Now I get to nominate 15 blogs that I enjoy or that inspire me.  Some of these people have been unknowing mentors; some are relevant to my diverse interests and searching mouse.  THIS is going to be fun! (Even if it did take me forever).

Notifications to will be delivered this evening.

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Featured Title!

Just sharing another milestone!  Who I Am Yesterday is a featured title at WonderWorld.

This blog features various genres of ebooks of indie authors.  As it happens, my book made it to the front page!

This was made possible through friends at Facebook and community supporters.  Thanks everyone!  I really do appreciate it.

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Filed under Authored Works, Caregiving Backstage

Research – A Special Kind of Treasure Hunt

Photo by Kass Lamb and provided through WANA Commons

We are going to explore something a bit different today.  Don’t worry, book reviews will return; however it appears as though my developing fan base includes some history buffs and some writers so this topic will be of interest:  how to find stuff.

So, remember in school when we were assigned a report, taken to the library, and taught how to use the index card file, the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, encyclopedias and all sorts of other reference materials?  Sometimes, during a research project, you had to become great friends with the research librarian so you could find 100 year old texts and get to look at the thing through a rather prolonged and sometimes expensive process called, “Inter-library Loan.”  Well, those days are long gone and the intrepid researcher is no longer bound by what is available in the corner library (but don’t forget to support that library – we still need them)!

With the digital age upon us, finding source material is an adventure, but it can be done.  Even that classic, Readers’ Guide is on the ‘net!  So, now and then, I will share some of the treasure troves I have found.  Little corners of the internet that have something special to offer to those of inquiring minds.   Today’s stop: World Digital Library.

To provide a little background, in June of 2005 a librarian of Congress, James H. Billington proposed a “World Digital Library” to UNESCO.  It wasn’t until December of 2006 that working groups were formed in order to establish content and selection guidelines.  A prototype was developed by October of 2007 and in April of 2009 it was launched for public use.  There are now some 6,142 contributions from every member country of UNESCO (as of today).

This collection includes rock paintings from Africa dated to 8,000 BCE, maps, coins, paintings, photographs, objects and manuscripts from all parts of the world.  There is a slider timeline on the home page that allows one to reduce the search to a specific time period.  The data base can be searched by place, topic, type of contribution or contributing institution.  The digital renderings are fabulous.

So, for a fun afternoon of prowling through our history or when in need of strange and wonderful points of interest, try a visit to this online institution and be introduced to a world of incredible human ingenuity, art, and history.


Filed under Stuff about Writing ~ Research Tools, Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools

Who I Am Yesterday – Contents

In response to a few requests, I am posting the table of contents for my book, Who I Am Yesterday, A Path to Coping With A Loved One’s Dementia.   This information and more is available at where the title is listed.   If you are ordering from Canada I strongly recommend that you order direct from the publisher, CreateSpace, or download the Kindle version from Amazon.  Shipping through Amazon export is more than the cost of the book and takes forever.

Here then are the contents:

Acknowledgements (i)
Introduction (1)
Lost on a Civilized Island (2)
Seeing the Light in the Fog (3)
Short Course in Grieving & Therapy (4)
When I Became Legion (6)
Home Coming to Someone Else’s Home (7)
The Path to Mental Breakdown (10)
Adjusting After the Island (18)
The Visit (20)
Another Major Change – “We” Must Leave (21)
The Trail Back (23)
Finding a New “Normal” (27)
Show & Tell & Tolkien Languages (30)
Prodigal Pronouns (33)
Time is an Essence (34)
Stealing Mail (38)
The Magic Desk & Other Disappearing Acts (39)
Fixing the Coffee Pot (40)
Buying Clothes & Other Closet Adventures (42)
Personal Hygiene & Other Cleaning Guides (46)
Medical Issues & Playing Nurse (50)
Books & Magazines (57)
Movies & TV Shows (59)
Through Thick & Thin & Emily Post (61)
Grocery Shopping & Anything Goes (65)
Telephones That Translate & Other Tele-tales (68)
Ears & Other Removable Parts (71)
Unlearning to Drive (74)
Finances in Fantasy Land (76)
Legally Speaking (81)
Relationships with Real & “Real” People (84)
Becoming Who I Am to Him (90)
It is a real attempt to seek humor, keep sane, and meet the requirements of being a full time caregiver for someone who has no clue they need one.

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Book Review – More than a Scene in the Christmas Story

Revelation of the Magi, By Dr. Bret Landau.  Available for less than $20.00

This delightful book was acquired for Christmas one year, because I couldn’t resist.  The author received his Th.D. from Harvard University with an emphasis on ancient biblical languages and literature.  He knows his stuff.

Whatever your religious inclination, most folks are aware of the Christmas story including the part where the three kings of the east arrive at the manger to pay homage to the new born child.  Landau had a lifetime fascination with the story and while studying at Harvard, he read an article that referenced an ancient document that purported to be the story of the Magi – by the Magi.  When he started to ask about the document, no one knew anything about it.  Thus begins Landau’s journey to find the document and to translate it.

He found the only known extant copy in the Vatican Library.  The text is written in ancient Syriac, the language used by Christians throughout the Middle East and Asia.  The text was most likely ignored because it was considered apocryphal (not part of the accepted cannon) and scholars tend not to focus on materials on the birth of Jesus since there are conflicting narrations (even within scripture) and early Christians were far more focused on the death and resurrection.  Syriac is also not a particularly popular field of study.

Landau used his studies in Syriac, and his particular interest in the Christmas story, to look at the text, work out a possible date of writing, provide an English translation and an intriguing commentary.  Using his knowledge of the Syriac language and the usage within the text, Landau places the writing somewhere between the late 2nd and early 5th century CE.

It is a wonderful tale that provides and entirely different perspective on the visitors and their agenda.  It tells of ancient wisdom and interprets many Christian symbols in ways reminiscent of Paul the apostle.  If you are a biblical literalist, you may become uncomfortable.   However, with the study of ancient texts written by people of the times, we may also learn a great deal more of the depth and breadth of our religious heritage.  This little book is a delightful way to learn more about our shared literary history


Filed under Humanties for the Unbound Mind, My Bookshelf (and a movie or two), My Bookshelf ~ Current Era

Book Review – Outsourcing During the Revolution

Book Reviews – The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry.  Available for under $10.00.

In honor of a new follower to this blog, I thought that this week I would review something to do with American history.  As mentioned before, Steve Berry is one of my favorite historical fiction writers.  His research is impeccable and he always gets you wrapped up in the just-might-have-been.

The Jefferson Key is actually a cipher tool developed by Thomas Jefferson for coding messages.  It was so effective that the concept was used by the U. S. military from 1923 to 1942 (although that version was developed by a fellow named Commandant Etienne Bazeries (see Wikipedia).  Steve in his usual manner sorts all the facts and fiction out for you at the end of his story.

What I did find fascinating in this book is the author’s use of a clause of the Constitution to build his story.  The practice he mentions of the government use of merchant ships to engage in privateering  (not pirating) on the high seas during time of war was common in the time period.  Countries could not build vast navies and didn’t have the resources to man them and provide maintenance, so, they contracted with private persons (something like what we do today) with what is known as “letters of marque.”

This story is about a group of such families that held this position during the Revolution and some of who had a long history as pirates.  These families formed a society they called the “Commonwealth” and it became a powerful financial and political influence.  Each generation of each family had only one member that understood the real secrets of the society.   Berry ties in the presidential assassinations of our history and uses the Jefferson Key as a way of secreting the original “letter of marque”, the Commonwealth’s legal basis for privateering.  Without the letter they are nothing more than pirates and subject to the law.  Meaning, they could lose everything built up over the past two or three centuries.

This Cotton Malone adventure is a fascinating read and an interesting way to get introduced to American history and some of the lesser known aspects of our Constitution and the revolution!


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Filed under Humanties for the Unbound Mind, My Bookshelf (and a movie or two), My Bookshelf ~ Fiction

Wonderworld Variety

So, I have found another reliable link for writers and authors.  This is a lovely place to submit your ebook publication for exposure!  It’s also a good place to find interesting new books that just might not be on the NY best sellers list, but might become one of your personal favorites!

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Filed under Authored Works, Caregiving Backstage, Stuff about Writing ~ Tips and Tools