Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Blogger_Importer has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/blogger-importer/blogger-importer.php on line 44
Grace Allison Blair Blog « Grace Allison Blair

How I Learned Leadership in School

When I went back to school in the seventh grade, my teacher Mrs. Harrison taught four weeks on the human body. We learned the names of the bones and how they worked. When we ate, how the organs and cells in our bodies operated. How the blood flowed through our veins. The class was fun and easy for me. In the ninth grade my science teacher Mrs. Lopez specialized in meteorology and technical sciences, but she did not have a lesson plan for the human body. I shared with my teacher the pages of notes from my class with Mrs. Harrison. With a bright smile, Mrs. Lopez asked me to teach the class about the human body. Exhilarated with the help of my teacher, I went to work and wrote a lesson plan. Once a week for four weeks I taught the class how the human body works. Today I am a nutritional consultant specializing in balancing the endocrine system with a holistic diet, supplement and lifestyle program. Thanks to my teachers who had trust in my abilities I can help people take care of themselves through a healthy lifestyle.

Chapter 6
Spring 1894
A Miracle

Deep in thought, Johann watched the twilight sky all but oblivious to the cookie he was slowly munching on.

The fresh summer breeze fluttered across the azure canopy of the Bavarian Alps. It was that ethereal moment when day transformed into night. Space and time seemed to expand as the sun made its steady, stately descent. Pastel purple clouds gave way to gray against the darkening skies. Like diamonds, thousands upon thousands of tiny sparkles—planets and stars—slowly made their evening appearance, emerging with the fading light.

From the bright field of stars, Johann’s eyes sought the constellations in the Milky Way. He spotted the belt of Orion overhead, and then he found the Big Dipper, which led him to the North Star. Brightest of the lights, Polaris pointed the way to the true north. On the gas-lantern-lit porch of the inn, the dreamy young sky watcher, lost in the vast night, slowly put his cookie to his mouth and took another barely noticed bite.

Two monks walked by on their way to evening Mass at the Andechs Monastery Brewery. Summer was a favorite time for the people of Munich to visit the Hermitage. They would hike or take the hour train ride up the mountain. The tenth-century beer garden was a beautiful destination in the warm weather. A liter of beer and a lunch of roast pork with sauerkraut gave visitors an added something to talk about when they got back home.

The door of the inn slammed behind Johann, jarring him out of his reverie. Albert had an inquiring look on his face as he strode over to his friend. “Are you going to the church service with your parents?”

“Um, no… I don’t know. Maybe. Do you want to go?” replied Johann, who struggled to gather his thoughts.

Albert frowned, sensing something was going on with his friend. “What’s wrong, Johann?”

Johann brushed cookie crumbs from his chin. “Nothing,” he said as he examined his shoes.

Albert kept his mouth shut and just stared at Johann, patiently waiting.

Johann squirmed for a moment, then sighed. “When a boy in the Thomas family reaches sixteen, he has to do a month-long apprenticeship at the brewery in this monastery. The monks have been brewing beer for centuries, so I guess the idea is that we can learn a lot.” He paused and looked up at his friend. “And you know I turned sixteen last month.”

Albert thought for a moment; then he got the picture. “Oh, it’s like when Jewish boys turn thirteen and have a bar mitzvah. It’s a rite of passage into manhood.”

Johann looked away into the distance as if he was looking for his future. “Yeah, but what if I don’t want to work for my father in the brewery? What if I want to do something different?” Realizing what he’d just revealed, Johann quickly turned to Albert. “You won’t tell anyone, will you? I mean, I feel I have to do this apprenticeship for my family, but…”

Albert shook his head. “Of course not.” He plopped himself onto the bench next to Johann. “You never said you didn’t want to work in the family business before. What’s changed?”

Johann turned away from his friend, searching for another cookie in his pockets. Food made him feel better when he was anxious. Food made him feel better on almost any occasion. “I don’t know,” he mumbled around the new cookie he was stuffing into his mouth. Albert’s gaze hardened.

“It’s just that… well… I’ve been thinking…”

Albert nodded encouragingly, and Johann blurted out his dilemma. “I think I might want to pursue religious studies.” Johann waited expectantly as Albert digested the surprise revelation.

After a moment, Albert smiled. “If that’s what is calling to you, I think you should talk to your parents about it.”

“Really?” Johann said, visibly relieved. “You don’t think it’s crazy?”

Albert shook his head, a severe look on his face. “I don’t know what I’d do if my parents insisted I go into the family electronics business. I mean, I know they’d like me to do that, but they are very tolerant of my curiosity.”

“Well, you’re sure lucky. I don’t think my parents are ready to hear that I may not want to get involved with the brewery.”

Albert gave Johann’s arm an encouraging squeeze. “The good news is, you don’t have to make a final decision now. I’d say just to go ahead with your apprenticeship, so you get an excellent taste of what being in the business will involve.”

Johann considered his friend’s advice as Albert continued. “You might find you learn something that captures your interest. But at least you’ll know from your experience, and not just what you think it might be like.”

Johann started nodding. “You’re the best, Albert. That really makes sense. I’m delighted you came with us,” he said, smiling for the first time in the entire day. Relieved of his worry, at least for the present, Johann perked up. “Hey, did you bring your compass?”

Albert brightened at the question. “Of course, I have my compass. Why?”

“The monks at the brewery have their annual treasure hunt tomorrow. Guys our age will be competing, and I signed us up. There’ll be a lunch buffet afterward, too,” he added, never one to pass up a good meal. “I bet your compass will give us an edge!”

“Could be,” Albert said thoughtfully. “A treasure hunt, eh? Interesting.”

Your Comments

  

  

  

My Ode To Joy

With finger paints I was excited and happy at five years old in kindergarten, creating a picture for my mother. The smell of swirled tacky paint from my tiny fingers onto the white slick paper felt fun. Creativity means fun for me. Music is like finger paints in my mind. When I wrote “Einstein’s Compass a Time Traveler Adventure”, I listened to Pandora Radio. Words would fly as the notes of piano music soared. The beat and rhythm of the music gave the story phrasing. When I finished Einstein’s Compass my creativity needed a new direction, so I signed up for piano lessons. Each week for the last fourteen months I have met with MS. Donna Fischer, who for thirty minutes directs me in how to use five fingers over eight keys. There is a piano app, “Piano Maestro”. When I play a song, the app hears what I play and gives me feedback on my performance. When I play the music perfectly, I receive stars and applause. This week, while having my music lesson, Ms. Becki Tapia Laurent owner of The Music Studio announced I had won Student of the Week from Piano Maestro. In one-week, Piano Maestro helped me master Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. My inner five-year old is happy now playing with black and white keys.

Chapter 9
A Dream (Or Was It?)

Albert loved to walk. It made his mind fresher, and he would snap his fingers with the fast rhythm of each step. Humming a tune to keep pace with, he breathed in the crisp, fall air. The concern he felt from the letter he had received from Herr von Achen had withdrawn into the recesses of his mind. Before long, Albert found himself in Marienplatz, the heart of Munich.

Young couples and families milled through the streets of the city’s downtown. The crowds gathered to watch the glockenspiel show. Albert gazed up at the towering Gothic clock, with its thirty-two carved figurines. They seemed to touch the sky. Every day at 11:00 a.m., the Glockenspiel chimed. It reenacted the sixteenth-century marriage and celebration of the local duke, Wilhelm V, to Renata of Lorraine. The clock displayed a joust with life-sized knights on horseback, resplendent in their local colors: white and blue for the Bavarians, and red and white for the Lothringian champions. The Bavarian knight won every time. The clock’s dance lasted around 12 minutes, and at the end of the show, a tiny golden bird at the top of the glockenspiel chirped three times.

As the marvelous spectacle came to an end and the people began to walk away, a small, almost hidden door at the clock tower’s base opened soundlessly. The movement caught Albert’s eye, and he frowned. For all the times he’d walked past the clock tower, he’d never noticed a door. Noting that no one else seemed to be paying attention to it, he turned and walked toward the opening.

Gazing into the dark entryway, Albert saw an engraved metal sign: “No Entrance.” But the open door beckoned, and he stepped over the threshold. Once he was inside, the door slowly swung shut. Albert reached out and pulled the gargoyle-shaped wrought iron handle, but the door seemed firmly closed.

He began to struggle with the door, but the tick… tock… tick… tock of the clock’s inner workings caught his attention, and he stopped tugging. What could be inside this magnificent timepiece? He wondered as the possibilities began running around in his mind.

Following the internal beating of the clock tower’s heart, Albert moved toward a spiral staircase. The only light in the hallway came from high above him. Tick… tock… tick… tock.

Albert stepped to the beat of the clock and round and round he rose. Time seemed to stand still as he climbed. He stopped at the top of the steps, then the shining light drew him to a massive, carved wooden door and Albert approached it.

The door was partially open and, peering into the room, Albert’s gaze landed on a large mahogany desk. Then Albert noticed the man seated at the desk. He looked to be around 50 years of age and had soft-looking, silver, shoulder-length hair. He was dressed in a white, long-sleeved peasant shirt and dark-brown leather breeches. Arrayed on the desk in front of him were quill pens with pots of ink, stacks of paper, and on the right corner of the writing table, an apple. The entire back wall of the room was lined with shelves stocked with ancient-looking volumes and several brass candlesticks holding candles that cast a soft glow about the place. In the ceiling of the room was some sort of skylight through which a beam of sunlight streamed.

The man at the desk held a triangular-shaped crystal up to the beam of light, and the refracted light of the polished glass threw a rainbow of colors onto the wall. The man smiled with satisfaction.

Albert saw the rainbow and murmured to himself, “Newton’s theory is that white light is a composite of all the colors of the spectrum.”

The man looked up from the rainbows and smiled at Albert. “Well said, Albert. So glad you made your way in here to visit.”

Albert’s jaw dropped. “How did you…?”

The man held up his hand and smiled. “All in good time, my boy.” He rose from his chair and walked to Albert, holding out his hand. “My name is Isaac. Please, sit down.” Speechless, Albert, managed to make his way to a chair in front of the desk as Isaac returned to his seat.

“I know who you are, Albert,” Isaac said with a kind smile. “You must not concern yourself too deeply with what you are learning now. You have grasped the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Let that be the foundation of your work that is to come.” Isaac picked up the apple on his desk and gently tossed it to Albert. “Gravity, the universe, space, distance, and motion are your future.” Catching the apple, Albert nodded as the ticking of the massive clock pulled at his awareness. Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Tick… tock… Ringgggggggg. The alarm clock next to Albert’s bed screamed at him. Albert sat bolt upright and struggled to reorient himself. Vacillating between the dream and waking reality, Albert let himself fall back onto his pillow. He turned his head to see what time it was. There, on the table next to the alarm clock, sat an apple. “What the…?” Albert groaned.

Albert pulled himself from his bed and began dressing as he considered the implications of what he had dreamed. The more he thought about it, the more excited he became. Buttoning the last button of his shirt and throwing on his jacket, Albert dashed out of the house. He had to investigate the glockenspiel.

He jumped on his bike and pedaled as fast as he could to the clock tower. The sun met him as it rose in the early morning over the city. He raced to the scene of his dream, thinking, I must be going crazy! He found the center of Munich still asleep. He dismounted and walked to where he’d entered the tower in his dream. There was no door. Albert felt the cold stone with his hands, seeking a crack or a hinge; anything that would reveal the presence of an entryway. He encountered nothing but the rough stone surface. He looked up and found no windows or radiating light other than the sunlight that glistened in the early dawn.

Disappointed, he turned away from the tower, went back to his bicycle, and slowly headed back to his home. As he rode away, the tiny golden bird at the top of the glockenspiel chirped three times.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Was Einstein a Mystic?

Einstein performed thought experiments to create his theories

Was Einstein a spiritual person on a quest to understand the universe?

What if he was a modern mystic in his time?

Moreover, what if he had help from spiritual beings to understand the universe?

Through physics, he found his answers. My book of fiction follows his biographical history from age six to twenty-six and adds a new level of mystical spirituality where he had help from mystical beings who assisted him in his heroes’ journey and his miracle theory.

Einstein believed that we have to go beyond what we can see and measure in the physical world.

My book, “Einstein’s Compass” goes beyond what we know and adds a possible fictional explanation for how he came up with his miracle theory and changed the world.

Einstein’s Compass A YA Time Traveler Adventure

Chapter – Interlude

In the dimension closest to Earth, sometimes called the astral realm, Moses, Ezekiel, Jesus, and Akhenaten floated in deep meditation. Known to those initiated into higher realms of Light as Mystical Travelers, they had gathered in the halls of the Crystal Temple for a sacred purpose.

The thread of Light of the Mystical Travelers on planet Earth dates back from the beginning of time through Egypt and into millennia to come. In the eighteenth dynasty through the reign of Akhenaten, hundreds of years before the time of Christ, evil practices had spread into many of the temples. Akhenaten, with great wisdom, endeavored to wipe out the deception through the worship of one God. Unfortunately, the great Pharaoh met his fate at the hands of Egyptian priests who were not eager to have their power diminished.

The next Mystical Travelers who came to influence events in the world, Moses, and Jesus, had prepared to endure tests of higher initiation. In Light centers and mystery schools around the planet, they studied and taught peace and compassion. The common man of the day could learn while still on Earth how to manifest Christ-consciousness.

As these four travelers meditated, the vibration of Ezekiel’s Lux Crystal Portal interrupted the sublime moment, and they paused in the melodic sound of their chanting.

Bringing his awareness to the present moment, Ezekiel frowned and said, “The supernatural power of the Shamir Stone has been activated! How could that be? We contained the Ark of the Covenant at the fall of Jerusalem.”

Leaning toward the image in the Portal, Ezekiel saw Albert and Johann playing with a round brass object. Above the relic floated the number 33.

“I think we have a situation to discuss,” Ezekiel said thoughtfully. He touched his Portal, and the image of the two boys appeared on the larger screen in front of the room. The four looked at each other in surprise when they saw the 33.

Jesus reflected on the image. “Thirty-three, the number of a master teacher. He will need to develop a sincere devotion to bringing spiritual enlightenment to the world.” Jesus could see into Albert’s intense, dark eyes and read his essence. “He is a rare child who will be difficult to handle. He will need time and considerable effort to integrate his gift into his personality.”

Through the Lux Crystal Portal, Ezekiel searched through the records of time for Albert Einstein. He saw the chaos and confusion spread across the planet as the world struggled with its transition into the industrial age. “Could this be the one to bridge across time and space and bring the theories of Light to mankind?” he wondered.

Ezekiel spoke again to the other travelers. “Albert Einstein was born on the day of infinity, March 14, 1879. Yes, he has the master number 33.”

Moses considered the scene with the boys. “And he has a Shamir Stone? I thought we possessed the only remnant of that. What happened?”

On his Lux Crystal Portal, Ezekiel replayed his mission to rescue the Ark of the Covenant for the travelers.

Moses scrutinized the images on the Portal. In a moment, he pointed. “There, did you see a bright flash? Something fell out of the Ark.”

“It looks like the same object that this boy has,” Ezekiel said. “What is it?”

Moses cleared his throat, and the Light masters turned their gaze to him. “When I took the Ark from the temple, I found a round object with twelve gems on its top. I had no time to investigate it, but it was resonating with the relics in the Ark I had built.”

Jesus raised his eyebrow. “Resonating?”

Moses nodded, “Yes. I didn’t know what it was, but I believed it best to keep with our holy treasures.”

Akhenaten’s eyes widened in surprise. “Did you investigate this object?”

Moses shook his head. “I meditated on it from time to time, but it was not emanating the energy of the Shamir.”

Jesus nodded. “Well, it is radiating a form of that energy now.”

Ezekiel turned from his Portal with a sigh. “Apparently, there is a dormant fragment of the Shamir hidden in this compass device. It would only come awake when in contact with a being who was destined to have it.”

Now Akhenaten frowned. “But the supernatural power of the Shamir Stone comes from those who live in the dimensions of Light far beyond Earth or this realm. The secret of building the mighty pyramids is within such a precious stone. This is not something to be taken lightly.”

Jesus nodded. “We need to watch and protect the stone—and this young Albert Einstein.”

Ezekiel agreed. “The forces of darkness will become aware of this, as we have. There is a being who has dedicated himself to acquiring the Shamir and using its power toward his own ends. Should he succeed…” Ezekiel knew he did not have to tell the travelers how disastrous that would be.

Your Comments

  

  

  

What Gives My Life Meaning

Supernatural Compass

What gives my life meaning? To make a difference, using my creativity to uplift and inspire. “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure” is not just a story to me. It’s a mission to share with the world what one young not so famous young boy did with his determination and courage. I chose Albert Einstein’s story because like him I too struggled with family issues, abuse, and thrown away. Yet he used his creative imagination and followed his dream to know what time is, what is light, and changed the world.  People who dream inspire me. We need everyday people who become heroes to remind us to dream. A compass Albert’s his father gave him when he was a boy was more than a direction finder. It became a dream, his moral code to stay on course. Albert had courage, the heart to continue his journey, no matter who stood in his way or what tried to stop him. In this time of darkness, find your spiritual compass. Maybe you too can change the world.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure – The Spiritual Compass

Johann flushed with the praise. Then his face became serious. “Why is Albert’s compass so important, Moses?” Though a relative newcomer to the astral realm, Johann had acclimated quickly. He no longer stared wide-eyed at the celestial beings who visited this place often, and he had come into acceptance of his new life with remarkable ease thanks to the compassion and abundance of love accorded him by all he met.

Moses directed him to the bench next to the oak tree and gestured for him to sit. “What do you know about the compass, Johann?”

The novice sat and considered the question. Johann tapped his lips with one finger, then, after a brief pause, said, “Usually a compass is used to find your way. It points to the magnetic north of the Earth so you can get your bearings.” He paused again. “But I have seen Albert’s compass do magical things. So, I’m guessing this is no ordinary device.”

Moses smiled and nodded. “It is indeed quite unique. Albert’s compass, when used with love, can create supernatural occurrences.” Moses smiled again at Johann and said, “Think back to when Albert first showed you the compass and you saw the number thirty-three projected from it into the air before you.”

Johann’s eyes glimmered at the memory. “We were just young children when that happened. In fact, we had just met. How did you know about the number?”

Moses smiled, “Let’s just say that I have been aware of you and Albert for a long time. Now think of what Albert did that caused the number to appear.”

Johann’s face lit up as the memory returned. “I think Albert put the compass to his chest. He said he loved his papa for giving him the compass. Then it happened.”

“Yes, yes that’s it,” Moses said approvingly.

1 comment to What Gives My Life Meaning

  • That is true, Grace. I can’t imagine life without creativity, the opportunity to solve problems, think outside the box. I don’t think I’d do well if only instinct guided me.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Albert Einstein Visits Atlantis 10,000 B.C.

Have you wondered what it was like to live on the lost continent of Atlantis? My research of Atlantis came from the prophet Edgar Cayce. Atlantis was one of three islands in Posedian. Atlantis had the Atlantean technology of light workers, DNA experiments, reincarnation, time travel and hover crafts. Our planet’s energy source was a Larimar Firestone Crystal the size of twenty foot square room. The Atlantean held secrets of how light and energy transport vehicles and transmit air signals for communication. On Aryan Island were the fallen angels of Atlantis who wanted to control the world with power and force. They formed a military style government with bloody animals sacrifices to scare their population into compliance. The dark angels sought the energy Crystal for control of the world. Read Einstein’s Compass and discover the struggle of darkness vs the light.

Chapter 28
Atlantis 10,000 BC
Arka

Arka was preparing for his morning meditation when he noticed a messenger striding toward him from across the garden. Dressed in black linen trousers and shirt with the Black Sun symbol on each collar, the female soldier from Aryan came to a stop in front of the priest-scientist and stood at rigid attention.

“Sorry to interrupt, sir. General Tora-Fuliar ordered me to deliver this to you immediately.” She extended a paper bearing the seal of the Aryan High Command. Arka thanked the soldier and dismissed her. His eyes widened, as he read the message from his twin brother, Raka, who had been missing for some weeks.

My Dear Brother,

I expect you may wonder what has become of me since my recent disappearance from Atlantis. I assure you; I am fine… no, better than fine. In fact, I am prospering on Aryan in my new position as Supreme High Commander of all Aryan forces.

You might wonder how I could accomplish such a feat considering your low (and inaccurate) opinion of me. Let’s just say that I had a little help from the Draconian DNA. (I presume you know that I had taken it.) With my innate intellect and savvy, I could “convince” the Aryan leadership that I was the man (loosely speaking) for the job. I am so much more than a man now.

Please accept this letter as notice that, under my leadership, the Aryans will assume control of the temples and power crystals of Atlantis. I look forward to our next meeting, where you may kneel at my feet out of respect for my accomplishments and in awe of my power.

Your loving brother,

Raka

Arka’s face went pale. His brother had fallen from God’s grace into the darkness of greed and power. Not only is Atlantis in danger, but the entire planet is also doomed if Raka gets ahold of the Firestone Crystal. As he folded the letter and put it in his tunic pocket, Arka tried to hold back his feeling of fear. Before he could consider next steps, he needed to center himself and align with his higher self. Despite his brother’s revelations, he was eager to prepare for the day. He recently had been made aware through meditation that he would be receiving an exceptional guest today.

* * *

As Albert and Johann clasped hands, Ezekiel uncloaked the Atlas, exposing its Light from the Holy of Holies. He touched the screen of the Crystal Lux Portal. The holographic gateway opened, and the illumination beam pulled their etheric bodies into the vessel.

The silver-haired pilot, focused on manipulating the craft’s holographic controls, motioned for his passengers to sit behind him. Albert was trying to look everywhere at once. Then he heard Johann cleared his throat. “Uh, Albert.”

“Yes. What?”

With a wry look, Johann pointed to their still-clasped hands.

“Oh, right,” Albert laughed, letting go. “But… look at this… whatever it is,” he said, gesturing to the glowing interior of the craft.

“This is an energetic vessel called an Ark, Albert.” Ezekiel completed his course setting for the ship as he spoke. “It is something of a metaphor, actually, and allows us to travel through the constructs of time and space.”

The pickup accomplished, Ezekiel gestured over the control panel, and the golden ship disappeared into another dimension of time.

“But… How?… What?…” Albert tried to formulate a complete question.

Ezekiel held up a hand. “Easy, my friend. Let me try to make sense of things for you.”

“Yes, that might help.” Albert tried to relax

Johann leaned forward to listen. While he had a fair amount of experience being on the inner realms of Light, this travel through time was new to him.

“Okay, let’s see,” Ezekiel said with a serene smile. “First off, my name is Ezekiel. Like Moses, Jesus, Akhenaten, and others, I am what’s called a traveler, or Mystical Traveler. We have a specific role to play in the spiritual evolution of mankind.”

Albert’s eyes widened. “Wait, Ezekiel, as in ‘Ezekiel Saw the Wheel’ Ezekiel?”

Ezekiel’s laugh was friendly. “Yes, that would be me.”

Having now worked with several spiritual masters, Johann was not surprised. Albert was still working on it. “Uh, o-o-o-kay…” he said, trying to process it all.

“You, Herr Einstein,” Ezekiel continued, “also have a part to play in the unfolding evolvement of humanity. That’s why you are here.”

“I think you’ve made a mistake,” Albert interjected. “I’m just a student.”

“Yes, that’s what you’re doing now…well, at least at this moment in your present time and space. But you have a destiny, Albert, and they assign us travelers to assist you in realizing it.”

“Destiny? I’m not so sure I believe in that.”

“Reasonable enough,” Ezekiel responded, “but let me ask you a question. What is consuming you? I know it’s not studying outdated science.”

Albert rolled his eyes. “Of course not. I am working on proving certain theories of light, time…” Albert was suddenly struck by where he was and that he was moving in a dimension other than his own. “…and space,” he concluded haltingly.

Ezekiel smiled as he watched Albert’s realization unfold. “So, do you know why you have such a burning interest in these things?”

Albert could only shake his head, his mind still struggling to grasp the immensity of what he was experiencing.

“Well,” Ezekiel said, “like destiny, this may challenge your scientific beliefs and your typical demands for tangible proof in the material world.”

“Go on,” Albert said.

Ezekiel chuckled again. “Well, suppose—just suppose—that you are getting glimpses into a past life you had.”

Albert started shaking his head, but Ezekiel continued. “And in that life, you were a scientist working with light, time, and space. Suppose you have been having memories about what you learned in that lifetime.”

“I will need some time to think about that,” Albert declared, rubbing his temple to try to alleviate a headache beginning to pound in his head.

Ezekiel felt only compassion for his new student. “Take all the time you need. I know this challenges your analytical mind. But I think you’re getting a sense that there’s a lot more going on than what the mind can readily grasp. Why don’t you relax for a bit and digest everything?”

It relieved Albert to retreat into his thoughts and consider everything he had heard. After about twenty minutes, the pilot beckoned Albert and Johann over to watch as millennia of time passed on the Crystal Lux Portal.

It struck Albert with a thought as he watched. “If things are as you say, then shouldn’t we be able to move through time instantaneously?”

Ezekiel nodded approvingly. “Excellent, Herr scientist. But remember, this craft is only a metaphor. It would be too distressing to the conscious mind to have things appear simultaneously, so we operate with the constructs that the conscious mind accepts.”

It satisfied Albert for the moment, and Ezekiel announced that they had arrived at their intended destination; Atlantis 10,400 BCE, by his reckoning. Albert watched as the traveler manipulated the holographic controls of their craft and it came to rest in a luxurious botanical garden with flowering trees, a lily pond, and water fountains. As the craft’s port opened, the smell of jasmine greeted Albert’s senses.

Ezekiel remained in the craft as Johann and Albert exited and looked around. For Johann, Atlantis was not all that different from the inner realm school environments where he had been studying. But the scene awed Albert in front of him. In one location, tall Atlanteans walked a labyrinth in devotional reflection. In other areas, people walked and talked as they made their unhurried way to the temples of learning and healing that dotted the landscape. An aura of peace and tranquility pervaded.

They drew their attention to a blond fellow in a short emerald tunic who was sitting in a meditative posture in a grotto near where they were standing. As they watched, the man’s etheric body extended from his physical space and approached them. He waved, saying, “Welcome to Atlantis. My name is Arka.”

Albert scratched his perpetually unruly brown hair and looked up in awe of the Atlantean.

Remembering his assignment, Johann pulled himself together. “Thank you for coming to receive us. My name is Johann, and I am studying with the travelers.” Urging his friend forward, he said, “May I introduce Albert Einstein?”

Arka extended his hand and looked Albert in the eye. When their palms and gaze met, Albert felt a gentle jolt. “Nice to meet you, Arka…. But I feel like I already know you.”

Arka smiled and inclined his head as he guided the boys to a nearby bench. “I understand, Albert. And I need you to listen to what I have to say with an open mind, as best you can.”

Albert shook his head ruefully. “I’m getting that a lot today.” He took in a breath and said, “Just go ahead, and I’ll see how I do.”

Arka launched into his explanation. “Do you accept reincarnation—well, re-embodiment, actually?”

Albert shrugged. “I have heard the concept. I can’t say I believe it.”

“Fair enough. Now then, many people who think of such things believe we are a body that has a soul. But the fact is, we are souls having a human experience. Our souls extend into human bodies throughout time to gain knowledge. Can you, for the time being, accept that?”

Albert looked at Arka and considered the question. “Until today I would have said no. But I feel like the entire foundation of what I believe is being shaken, so, for the moment, let’s say that I will entertain this idea.”

Albert could only nod and retreat into his thoughts to consider what he had heard.

“Okay, good.” Arka rewarded Albert with a smile. “So, here’s the situation: our souls are gaining experience through us while we are alive, and it is gaining experience through you when you are alive.”

Albert blinked as he silently absorbed what Arka had said. “So, you’re saying…”

“Yes, we share this soul. And it is bridging ideas from your past to your awareness in your time.”

Despite Albert’s dazed look, Arka continued. “Before a soul reembodies, a spiritual plan is agreed upon. It includes many things, like which experiences the soul will need to progress, and which parents will be able to provide those experiences.”

Johann, who had been studying these things, knew his friend was having a hard time coming to grips with all this information. He had confidence, though, that Albert would come to see the truth of it all.

“I believe we have brought here you, Albert, to quicken your awareness of the principles of light, space, and time,” Arka finished.

“So,” Albert said, “this is like a class for me, so I can bring the information to my time and then expand on it?”

“Well, yes… and no,” Arka said. “We are discussing all of this in our etheric bodies. I am doing it consciously, but, as I understand it, you are not doing it intentionally. So, what you will learn here will go into your unconscious and subconscious mind, where it will present itself to you from time to time. You will experience it as inspiration or intuition.”

Arka was struck with an idea. “I know all of this is challenging for you, Albert. How about I demonstrate some work we are doing here on Atlantis. Would you like that?”

Albert nodded. “Something tangible would help.”

Arka reached out. “May I see your arm, Albert?”

Albert slowly extended his damaged arm toward the priest-scientist. “It’s pretty badly burned, so please be careful.”

Arka tenderly unwrapped the gauze bandage. “While I work with your etheric body, Albert, the results will filter down to your physical body in your own time.” Arka could now see the large, crusted scab forming on Albert’s scorched arm. It was clear there would be quite a scar. Arka closed his eyes and quietly prayed, “I call forward the Light of God and the Masters of Light and healing.” The priest-scientist was fully relaxed as his love poured forth from within his sacred heart and he held his palm over Albert’s damaged arm. “I ask if it is for the highest good for Albert, that his arm be healed.” Almost immediately, the angry red skin under the scab took on a healthier pink glow. Arka gently touched the crust and saw that it was no longer attached to Albert’s arm. He carefully lifted it to reveal utterly normal skin underneath.

Bewildered, Albert looked up at Arka. “Oh, how did you do that?”

“Love is the healer. I made a request.”

Albert looked at Johann. “Unbelievable!”

“Believe it, Albert.” Johann smiled. “You are enough of a scientist to observe evidence, even when it goes against your beliefs.”

Buy Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure
Wins Finalist
2020 Rone Book Cover Award

Your Comments

  

  

  

Einstein's Compass Relaunch Using Zoom

Adapt and change are key during this time of Covid. When Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure won Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention in 2019 the novel received a free three-month relaunch from Allen Media Strategies in Washington, D.C… Instead of in store book signings Burke Allen and his team are planning presentations with Zoom into Books Webcast with Headline Books. Zoom into Books is fun and educational video presentations. There will be an opportunity to purchase an autographed book and watch the author personalize it to you or your child. EIN Presswire release on Einstein’s Compass multiple news outlets will carry that on their website. Burke Media will share the links with me, which I may use to promote on your social media platforms/website. Pitch/Email blast on importance of Science and how to get kids excited about Science as schools in more and more states decide whether to open online lessons in the Fall. Burke Media will contact schools and libraries for zoom presentations. I am on Story Monster website as a professional speaker, “Increase Your Personal Power of Thought and Imagination. Go Inward, Trust Yourself”. This is how Albert Einstein’s mind experiments and creativity helped him hold on to his dream to know what time is, what is light. #Covid #Zoom

Spring 1895
Thought Experiment

Six male students in their mid-teens dressed in wool suits, starched white shirts, and blue-and-yellow neckties sat two by two in a single row, anxiously awaiting the start of class. Albert had enrolled in Aarau High School after his unsuccessful attempt to enter the Polytechnic. He had passed the math and science section of the exam with flying colors. Yet the test showed Albert needed more study in languages, biology, literature, political science, and botany. While somewhat disappointed with the test results, he saw it would only take a year at Aarau before he could get to the Polytechnic, and he was okay with that.

The smell of fresh white chalk stimulated Albert’s mind. He focused on the three Hs the headmaster, Professor Winteler, wrote on the blackboard; the principles of teaching the school followed.

Heart – to explore what students want to learn. To develop their moral qualities, such as helping others.

Head – to understand objects, concepts, and experiences.

Hand – to learn the craft of doing excellent work and develop their physical skills.

Completing his writing with a flourish, the teacher turned to face his class. His brown eyes twinkled, and there was genuine warmth and enthusiasm in his voice as he said, “I have found that people learn more easily accessing their intuition, their inner powers than they do through their minds.”

In the front row, Albert relaxed. For the first time in his school life, the reject from the Gymnasium in Germany felt connected.

The wise professor put down the chalk and rubbed his hands together. He adjusted his spectacles and said, “Our first exercise will be a thought experiment. It will assist us when we want to consider a hypothesis or theory when the purpose is to think through by steps to its consequences. This practice will increase your personal power of thought and imagination. What’s more,” he said with a smile, “by going inward, you trust yourself.”

A sandy-haired student raised his hand, and the professor acknowledged him. “Yes, Gregory, you have a question?”

“I do, sir,” the boy said as he stood.

The professor smiled. “Good. I encourage questions. What do you have?”

“In this mind experiment, do we have our eyes open or closed?”

“For our first experiment, you will have your eyes closed. Though I am sure sometimes during the day, you find yourself in a daydream where your mind is drifting in space even with your eyes open.” Gregory nodded as the professor continued. “We will use a what-if, dreamy kind of imagination to allow you to create possibilities.”

As Gregory sat down, the professor instructed, “Now I want you to remove your jackets, loosen your ties, and sit up straight with your arms and legs uncrossed. Place your hands on your thighs, palms up.”

The students did so and waited for the next direction.

“Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath,” Winteler said. “Inhale, then slowly let go of all the air in your lungs.” He paused for a few seconds. “Again, this time breathe in more slowly.” As the students did this, he paused, then said, “Hold the air inside.” He paused again. “Let go of all the air, slowly. Allow your body to relax. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breath going in and out. If your mind chatters, just acknowledge that, then bring your focus back to your breathing.”

Albert sat with his back straight, though it relaxed him, surrendering his mind. Lost in the experience, the dreamer did not even hear what the teacher said next because he found himself enveloped in a warm glow, and he felt like he was rising above the Earth.

Buy on Amazon

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure
Wins Finalist
2020 Rone Book Cover Award

Your Comments

  

  

  

To Dream An Impossible Dream?

To dream of an impossible dream? What is time, what is light? Albert gave it all, his heart, mind and soul to know the answers. The budding scientist wanted a professorship after graduating from the Polytechnic. However, his professors refused to write letters of recommendations. Instead, his friend Michael Besso found him a job at the Swiss Patent Office. He was not excited at first, but saw this was his best opportunity for his experiments. At the Patent Office Albert helped and co-authored many inventions. He had the freedom to come and go as he pleased. With full reign of his creativity he could understand the unforeseen forces of the universe.Reaching past known knowledge he pieced together fragments of scientists before him and took a leap of faith into the unknown.

 

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure – Chapter 23

Albert threw the letter down on his desk and began pacing. “Fools!”

He was referring to professors Weber and Pernat of the Physics Department at the Polytechnic. They had declined to recommend him for a teaching position now that he had graduated. Albert had sought to locate Professor Meiss who had, at least at first, seemed to understand Albert’s passion for innovative work. But he had become distant and then mysteriously disappeared.

As with most of his education, the general physics classes he took at the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School did not engage Albert. As a result, he had alienated mainly the professors there when he embarked on a course of independent study to learn firsthand from the masters. He wished his idols, James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, the pioneers and founders of the kinetic theory of matter could have taught him.

Albert had often skipped classes, studied the latest research, and then naively wondered why the school’s faculty turned him down when he sought a referral to teach. The fact was, his professors understood his genius, but would not tolerate his lack of respect for them or the traditional theories of physics that they taught.

After four years of study, by the end of October 1900, Albert was no longer a student, and he was jobless. He had churned out job applications and letters, and by 1901, had a truly impressive stack of rejection postcards. Albert wondered if anti-Semitism played a role in his inability to land a job. The jury was out on that.

Nearing desperation, Albert reached out to his school friend Michael Besso, who had wandered around for a while after graduating and then became an engineer in Italy. Of all the people Albert knew, aside from his fiancée, Besso was his closest friend. But friendship or not, even he could not help.

Feeling thwarted at every turn, a ray of hope came through his former classmate and college friend Michael Grossman, with whom Albert would often ditch class and go to the cafes to debate “real” science. Michael had learned of an opportunity at the Swiss Patent Office. Michael’s father knew the director of there and offered to recommend Albert for the position. Although it was not anything close to what Albert had dreamt of as his first position after graduation, he was now at the point of entertaining any possibility. Albert hoped to hear soon whether he was accepted for the job.

* * *

The sun would not rise for another three hours, but Albert was awake. Dressed in his bathrobe and slippers, he was bleary-eyed from too much coffee and not enough sleep. Anxious about his cash running out and still without a job, he sat at the kitchen table piled high with notebooks that were crammed with math equations. In pursuit of an answer to his life’s predicament, he drew his twelve-jeweled compass from his bathrobe pocket.

As it often did, the compass triggered memories of the day when his father offered him not just a brass direction finder but also awakened him to the quest to discover the unforeseen forces of the universe. Albert brought the compass closer to his heart and closed his eyes. As Arka had taught him, he repeated the blessing to activate the compass.

Almost as soon as he completed the prayer, Albert heard a guitar playing and a man with a Scottish accent singing a Robert Burns poem, “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” As the music became more explicit, an image formed. It shocked Albert to see James Clerk Maxwell, who had studied and reported on electricity as early as 1855. Maxwell’s work on electromagnetism, kinetic theory, and thermodynamics won him every scientific honor of his time. His most significant discovery, though, followed his equations for electromagnetism, which were called the second grand unification in physics, following the first from Sir Isaac Newton.

A devout evangelical Presbyterian and elder in the Scottish Church, Maxwell completed his song, then said to Albert, “Aye, boy-o, what you seek is beyond math. What principles of the many disciplines you have learned have you mastered? The Lord sees the universe in harmony. Find the unity in all.”

As the first light of dawn hit his eyes, it startled Albert awaken from his reverie, the compass still gripped securely in his palm. Inspiration struck him like a physical blow, and he exclaimed, “Oh, I understand how to merge my work on capillarity to Boltzmann’s theory of gases!” Albert hurriedly put the compass back in his pocket and started scribbling away in his notebook.

* * *

The senior Grossman’s recommendation did the trick, and they hired Albert at the patent office. While it relieved him to have an income, science was still Albert’s first love. As a patent clerk, he analyzed technical designs and often collaborated with inventors by making recommendations on their experiments. Oddly, since Albert was fresh with contemporary theories and a fresh approach to step outside the box and plan a new direction in physics, the Swiss Patent Office became the ideal laboratory for his experiments.

Buy on Amazon Now

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure
Wins Finalist
2020 Rone Book Cover Award

Your Comments

  

  

  

Improve Your Sleep - Keep Anxiety at Bay

By: Jennifer Scott, Guest Post Writer

A good night’s sleep can be a powerful thing for managing your mental and physical health. But achieving enjoyable sleep can also be a paradox. Many issues that prevent enjoyable sleep are worse by a lack of sleep. If you have ever found yourself in this vicious cycle, you know how stuck it can make you feel. Luckily, starting fresh lifestyle changes can help get you back on track for better sleep.

Exercise Your Way to Better Sleep

Exercise helps you relax, but there are also scientific reasons that it can improve your sleep. Here are some facts to consider.

  • Yoga can manage anxiety while also lessening pain and inflammation. Doing a daily session can help you get better sleep.
  • Doing cardio an hour or two before bed might help. Exercise releases endorphins and causes your body temperature to rise. Once endorphins wear off and your body temp returns to normal, it may trigger sleepiness.

Reevaluate at Your Diet

Your diet can have a profound effect on how well you sleep at night. Here are a few dietary choices to consider.

  • Being well hydrated throughout the day can help you sleep at night. However, drinking too much right before bed can disrupt your sleep.
  • It’s best to avoid having any caffeine for at least four to six hours before going to bed.
  • Alcohol affects how your brain releases the sleep hormone melatonin might. It makes you sleepy, but it can lead to a foggy head the next day.
  • Similarly, excess sugar can wreak havoc on your sleep, as it increases inflammation, causes energy crashes.
  • Overall, it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat. Having a meal too close to bedtime can cause heartburn and indigestion, which makes it harder to sleep well.

 Practice Nightly Rituals

Exercising and eating well during the day will help set you up for a good night’s sleep. However, having a healthy nighttime ritual is also important.

  • Get in the habit of not looking at screens for at least two hours before bed. Studies show that blue light from these devices can disrupt your sleep by suppressing melatonin.
  • Drink herbal teas with valerian root like Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer.
  • Try going to bed at the same time every night. Not only does consistency make it easier to sleep, it is also better for your mental health.
  • Be sure to meditate on your fears and worries with intention during the day so that your mind is less likely to wander to what’s bothering you at night. Connect with Grace Allison, graceallisonauthor@gmail.com for more information and insights into developing your spiritual wisdom. Check out her book, “Do You Have a Dream Workbook 5 Keys to Realize Your Dream”.

If you are having trouble sleeping and managing mental health conditions, there’s hope. The same steps you can take to improve your sleep will benefit your mental health, such as exercising and making healthy diet choices. It is incredibly frustrating when you cannot sleep well, but luckily, there are many ways to change your sleep patterns through lifestyle alone.

Jennifer@Spiritfinder.org

1 comment to Improve Your Sleep – Keep Anxiety at Bay

Your Comments

  

  

  

Against All Odds - Book 3 - Crossroads Trilogy - Jacqui Murray

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough, but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

 The Crossroads trilogy 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the last chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

 A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

How to Add Drama to your Writing

By Jacqui Murray

Sometimes I read my WIP and even I get bored. Where’s all the excitement I stuffed into the plot, wrote and rewrote, thought was perfect? Excitement may be difficult to define but I know it when I read it. I ain’t reading it here.

If you have that problem, here are some suggestions from efriend writers:

  • Look at your scenes. Is the drama predictable, or unbelievable? Is it a bridge too far or a euphemism too short? Or something else?
  • A football fan friend of mine who’s also a writer explained what you want out of drama: Let’s say it’s the end of the season, and Notre Dame’s playoff hopes rest upon Penn State winning their final game (and they’re 0-11) — nothing else could help the Irish get in, no other combination of wins or losses, plane crashes, plague outbreaks, anything. I still want Penn State to lose. (Not intended to trigger Notre Dame or Penn State fans–just fun)
  • If your drama is around romance, you need to make someone love the other like the devil loves sin.
  • One friend says she throws in a fight when the plot bogs down.
  • Leave more to the imagination. Don’t connect all the dots. Let the reader ponder over them.
  • If you can’t get the drama to ratchet up, work on your characters. Daniel Silva is one of my favorite thriller writers. Here’s what he said about creating characters that are as interesting as the plot:

“Boswell … was one of those Americans who formed their impressions of life in the United Kingdom by watching reruns of Masterpiece Theater.”

I’m completely wrapped up in how Boswell sees the UK now.

  • Writers Relief says this about the juxtaposition of characters and drama: “Amp up your character’s desires.”
  • Build a character that sees rules as suggestions then have him break one every time things slow down.
  • If you can’t get your readers to gasp with horror, at least let them chuckle. Add some humor.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Winter 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

              

Against All Odds – Book 3 – Crossroads Trilogy – Jacqui Murray

 

Excerpt: Chapter 1 

The foothills of the Pyrenees

 

They came out of the mountains, hair frozen in sparkling strands, hands and feet wrapped in shredded pelts, ribs etched against their skin under ragged hides white with snow, faces haggard with fatigue. Blood crusted scrapes and gashes, many recent, others almost healed, reminders of the violent struggles endured on their journey.

Though their steps flagged, not one of these upright creatures exhibited a hint of defeat. All males and a few females carried at least one spear, some two, many with warclubs strapped to their backs. Despite the anxiety and fear of entering this foreign land, hope energized them today, that their migration might be at an end.

All of them—Xhosa and her tribe, Pan-do and his, Wind, Zvi, and Seeker—had been chased from their homes by enemies. In their flight, they found each other. It took time to work through their differences but now they traveled side by side, respected ideas not theirs, and called themselves the People.

Their charismatic Leaders—Xhosa, Wind, and Pan-do—were known as reliable friends to those who earned their trust and dangerous enemies to those who opposed them. Two wolves—Spirit and Black Wolf—journeyed with them. Though the People lacked the animals’ sharp claws, dense fur, and piercing teeth, each considered the other “pack” and would defend them to death.

The exhausted group straggled down the gently sloping flank, feet shuffling carefully over the slippery scree. The ground changed from talus to stunted tufts of grass, sparse and brown which made walking easier. Optimism shone from their faces even as their tired eyes flicked side to side in search of unexpected movement, ears strained for out-of-place noises, and noses sniffed.

 Rather than continue across the meadow, Xhosa led the People into the shade of the edging forest.

“Do you smell it, Wind?” Anticipation filled her gestures.

She and Wind, pairmates and Co-Leaders, stood quietly, absorbing their surroundings. Light filtered lazily through the canopy, the shadowed ground dappled with patches of warmth. She sniffed in the essence of wet earth and rotting leaves, the mustiness of moss, and something else much more enticing.

“It’s there.” She pointed and strode forward, lengthening her stride.

An icy gust whipped down the hillside through the shadows and raised bumps on her arms but she ignored it. The forest gave way to open sky and searing heat. It was too hot for her thin pelt but she didn’t stop to remove it. Green stalks swayed as far as she could see, edged on one side by more mountains and the other by some sort of leaves and branches. Sunlight glinted off the rippled surface of a distant river as it curled over the terrain.

“Dung!” The scent overpowered every other odor.

Wind huffed to her side. “It’s been a long time since we smelled dung that wasn’t frozen.”

“We did it, Wind.” Her eyes glistened with relief.

For most of a Moon, dread gnawed at her courage and left her wondering if following the guidance of Seeker—a boy barely a man—was a mistake. But Seeker assured her in his ebullient way that once out of the hills, their new homebase would welcome them. Xhosa wanted to believe him because she wasn’t sure what else to do. Nor did she know what to do if it didn’t work.

Wind motioned, arms inclusive, “It’s beautiful, Xhosa.”

Siri, Pan-do, Ngili, the wolves Spirit and Black Wolf, and the rest of the People gathered around Xhosa and Wind, eyes locked on what lay in front of them.

Pan-do whispered, “We made it.” His eyes were moist, mouth open.

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, hands close to his body. “With all this grass, Gazelle or Mammoth must be nearby.”

Dust, the Lead Scout, trotted up, coming from a tall cliff far ahead on their forward path. “I think there are caves there.”

The People hadn’t slept in a cave since leaving Viper and the Mountain Dwellers. It would be a treat if true.

Xhosa looked behind. Shadows already stretched as far from the bottom of the rocky slopes as sunlight to the top. Daylight would soon end.

“We have little time. Let’s rest and then see if those are caves.”

Ngili, the People’s Lead Hunter, motioned, fingers spaced out, palms up, “I’ll go with Dust to check.” He added a swift spread-fingered swipe with first one hand and then the other, followed by a quick bob of his head and a puff.

Xhosa brushed both hands down her sides. Go.

The People spoke with a complex combination of hand motions, facial expressions, body movements, and sounds augmented with chirrups, snaps, hisses, and whistles. By the time Ngili finished talking, Xhosa knew how many would join him, where they would go, and how long they’d be away. The People’s communication was sophisticated but quiet, a precaution especially in unfamiliar areas. Unusual sounds—voices, for example—stood out. All animals made noises, but few as varied as the People’s. Why alert Others who lived here to their presence? Xhosa would do that in her own time, in her own way.

Dust, Ngili, and two scouts soon receded into the landscape, the only evidence of their passage a slight disturbance in the slender waving stalks. Despite the dung scents, the abundant plant food, and the glisten of a faraway river, Xhosa crossed her arms over her chest and paced.

Something is wrong.

She searched the forests and the rippling field that had swallowed up Dust and Ngili . Xhosa possessed the ability to see great distances in sufficient detail to find trails, footprints, movement, or the glitter of sun off eyes.

She saw none of those and that made her more uncomfortable.

With this wealth of food and water, Others should be here.

Wind motioned, palms flattened against his chest, “The mountains we crossed touched Sun. They’re cold and barren. Few can do what we did to get here, Xhosa. We are safe.”

Xhosa could hear in his voice, see in his gestures, that despite his bravado, Wind too felt uneasy about what they didn’t see and hear.

But she grinned. “I don’t know how I survived without someone being able to read my thoughts.”

She trotted over to a stream that fed into the river she had noticed. She stretched out on her belly, flat on the soft grass at the water’s edge, and took a long, satisfying drink of the sweet liquid. Thirst quenched, she collected handfuls of the tender shoots of new plants growing along the shore, ate what she wanted and tossed the rest into a communal food pile that would be shared with all the People. It was already filling up with fat fish speared from the slow-moving pools beside the river, tasty reeds and cattails, and even a handful of eggs plucked from nests not hidden well enough along the shore and in the roots of trees. The wolves snapped birds from the air and swallowed them almost whole, coughing up feathers.

Xhosa leaned back on her hands, sniffing the unique fragrance of each groupmember. Zvi was sweaty from wrestling with Spirit. Siri smelled sourly of hunger, but she wouldn’t eat until Honey’s bleeding foot was wrapped in mulch and leaves. The females with new babies exuded the pleasant aroma of milk. Some scents jumbled together, making them impossible to identify. When Xhosa became Leader of the People, before it merged with Pan-do’s and Hawk’s, the People had been small enough that she could recognize everyone by their odor. Now, she kept track of her tribe while Pan-do did the same with his. Wind helped everyone.

Done eating, the People sprawled on the warm ground, soaking up Sun’s remaining rays, chatting contentedly with gestures and the occasional sigh. Water dripped from their thawing bodies, soaking into the thirsty ground, as the remaining ice and snow on their pelts and in their hair melted away.

Xhosa and Wind sat apart from the others, on a log long ago softened by rot. She uprooted handfuls of grass and wiped the sweat from Wind’s body, as he did hers. The soft scratch felt good and the earthy fragrance reminded her of times long gone. When he finished, she harvested chunks of green moss from the log’s decaying bark and stuffed them into her neck sack. All the People wore one of these around their necks. Even the wolves did when they were migrating.

Finished, she leaned against Wind and closed her eyes. In a group of Others, her pairmate stood out. A Big Head, the People’s traditional enemy, the ones who drove Xhosa and her tribe from their long-established home, Wind had earned Xhosa’s trust by saving her life more than once and then, as a member of her People, sharing Big Head spear tricks and warrior skills with her Leads. Before long, each of them individually told her that thanks to Wind they could now defeat an attack which they couldn’t have done in the past. Whatever distrust her People harbored toward him faded away.

“Xhosa!” Dust panted up to her. “I found a cave. And we found trace of a herd. Ngili is tracking it.”

By the time Sun settled into its night nest, it ensconced the People in the cave Dust found. They had to squeeze together to fit, but it thrilled all to sleep without waking to frozen toes and numb fingers. Stone and Zvi—the burliest of the People—lugged rocks in and Siri built a fire that quickly warmed the interior. The subadults gathered kindling to feed it and arranged who would be responsible throughout the night for keeping it lit.

Usually, the wolves slept scattered among the People, but with Black Wolf close to delivering her pups, she dug out an opening in the back and claimed it as her den. Then she settled to her belly, one leg forward, the other bent back, eyebrows twitching.

Xhosa strode toward the nest she would share with Wind but stopped at the sight of Seeker, weight on his bottom, legs crossed in front of his body in the uncomfortable position he preferred. His pairmate Lyta curled next to him with their best friend, Zvi.

Xhosa approached Seeker. “You are not outside.”

Every night as long as Xhosa could remember, the enigmatic male lay on his back, gaze fixed steadily on the star-dotted sky, spouting what to Xhosa sounded like gibberish to whoever listened. Intermittently, he leapt to his feet and spun dizzying circles or bounced from one foot to the other, huffing and chirping. Lyta and Zvi would either join him or watch. He once explained to Xhosa that this was how he studied the changes in the night sky—the appearance and disappearance of particular stars or their movement in relation to each other—so he could guide the People accurately. This nightly process was how they had moved from the distant start of Endless Pond to this cave where Endless Pond seemed to end.

He didn’t respond to her statement, didn’t even acknowledge her. That worried Xhosa. She hadn’t been able to shake the feeling that danger lurked around them, somewhere. Seeker’s anxious look didn’t help.

She squatted at his side and added a question to her declaration. “The stars aren’t talking to you?”

To the side, Lyta wriggled, not comfortable in the seated position Seeker preferred but determined to try because Seeker liked it so much. Zvi crouched on the balls of her feet, the more traditional pose. She’d tried to sit on her bottom, legs crossed in front, but kept falling backward. Besides, it took her too long to rise from that position, which meant if Lyta needed help, she couldn’t respond quickly. Squatting, for her, made more sense. Seeker didn’t care. He expected all to do what worked for them. Both his best friend and his future pairmate were long accustomed to his eccentricities.

Finally, Seeker offered Xhosa only a confused frown.

That’s not a “Yes, they are,” and that raised the hair on her neck. Before she could ask more, Ngili scrambled through the thistle barrier the youngsters had placed around the cave’s mouth to prevent the entrance of intruders and hurried toward Xhosa.

He motioned, “I lost the herd’s trace in the dark. I’ll try again tomorrow,” and then raced toward where the hunters had gathered. They were all tired. Some would mate before sleeping but not Ngili. He hadn’t given up hope that his pairmate, Hecate, would come back.

After a last glance at Seeker, Xhosa joined Wind in their nest. She squatted behind him and teased the dirt and debris from his long head hair, occasionally focusing on a difficult tangle until her fingers could move easily through his hair. When she finished, he did the same for her.

As he groomed, he said, “I’ll join Ngili tomorrow. If there are herds, we will find them.”

“Pan-do and I will continue with the People.”

They said nothing more, both enjoying the calming feel of nails scratching on their skin and the intimacy of someone they trusted implicitly. Done, both fell asleep.

The first rays of daylight filtered into the cave. Black Wolf was already outside, padding back and forth restlessly, huffing uncomfortably. Wind left with Ngili and a handful of scouts, knowing Xhosa would leave a trail to wherever they settled when Sun’s light ran out. Though Spirit usually went with the hunters, today he stayed with Black Wolf.

Xhosa and Pan-do led. Dust copied their pace and direction, but a distance away. With Ngili and Wind searching for meat, Xhosa focused on finding a cave large enough for the People. They strode onward, gaze sweeping the landscape, everyone grazing on berries, roots, and worms as they walked. Sporadically, Xhosa heard a faraway squawk or glimpsed a covey of birds as they exploded into flight, fleeing an unknown threat. It was the direction Ngili and Wind had told her how far they’d gotten.

The People rested by a waterhole. They searched its shoreline for prints but found none. Wherever the herds lived, they didn’t drink here, so the People moved on, through copses of young saplings and around a bed of haphazardly strewn boulders. The air tasted of flowers, warm earth, and the mild tang of salt, but the dung they found was hard and old.

Xhosa touched Pan-do’s hand, and both stopped, eyes forward. “Do you smell that? It reminds me of Endless Pond.”

He pointed to his powerful side and the direction they were walking. “From there and there. How can it be on two sides?”

Xhosa tingled. One of her People—Rainbow—had abandoned them long ago, taking many males and females with him. Others she and her People ran into while migrating here told her Rainbow traveled the same route she did but along the opposite shore of Endless Pond. For him, as for her, this was as far as he could go without a folding back on himself.

If they got this far. If any survived.

She pushed aside those thoughts. Before searching for whatever remnants remained of Rainbow’s group, the People must find a home base. All they suffered to get here—the interminable walking, losing Hawk, the death of group members, Nightshade’s treachery—was for naught if they didn’t establish a home.

Spirit bumped her leg. Black Wolf panted at her mate’s side, her belly almost touching the ground.

Xhosa motioned, “Your mate’s pups won’t wait much longer. We will find a den for her.”

Spirit took off, his movements graceful and fluid with Black Wolf lumbering after him.

Not much later, Pan-do squinted ahead. “I think Spirit found a cave.”

Xhosa leaned forward, narrowing her gaze, and finally saw where Spirit stopped. He sat on his haunches at the base of a cliff, facing her, nose twitching, tail swishing the dirt behind him.

It took the rest of the day to cross over the craggy scrubland, up and down the deep ravines, and around the occasional spot of slippery ice. The cave proved too small for the People but not for Black Wolf’s needs. With much scuffling and panting, she created a nest for her pups and disappeared into the cool black hole. The People settled outside, under an overhang that would protect them from rain and predators, and far enough away to not bother the new mother. As soon as Ngili and Wind arrived, shaking their heads they hadn’t found a herd, they left again to search for signs of a trail left by former inhabitants of this cave.

Xhosa’s chest squeezed, and her stomach knotted. Spirit padded up to her side, hackles puffed, nostrils flaring. He agreed. Something about this area made her tingle but for now, until Black Wolf finished, they must stay.

 

Book information:

 Title and author: Against All Odds

Series: Book 3 in the Crossroads series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipmanhttps://i0.wp.com/ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?zoom=1.5&t=askatectea-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0978780086, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

 

Social Media contacts:

 

Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

20 comments to Against All Odds – Book 3 – Crossroads Trilogy – Jacqui Murray

Your Comments

  

  

  

Einstein’s Compass wins Finalist 2020 Rone Book Cover Award

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure
Wins Finalist
2020 Rone Book Cover Award

 

 

“…a riveting fantasy about soul-searching and growth which will keep young adult readers engrossed to the end.” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

How did Albert Einstein come up with his wondrous theories of light and time?

In Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure, a young Albert is gifted a supernatural compass that allows him to travel through time and space. He finds wisdom in other dimensions, like the lost city of Atlantis, but evil forces seek the power of the compass, including a monstrous, shape-shifting dragon from a different age.

Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

 

1 comment to Einstein’s Compass wins Finalist 2020 Rone Book Cover Award

Your Comments