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

For Laws of Nature - Jacqui Murray

Why do Lucy’s kind (and Xha’s) ignore their dead?

Lucy’s and Xha’s kind didn’t bury their dead. That symbol of respect and understanding of an afterlife came much later. Earliest man knew of no world or life beyond their own.

 What’s with the unusually bright star Lucy saw?

Lucy saw a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus and the bright star Regulus. Such an event occurs rarely but when it does, the resulting “star” is extremely bright. Historians suggest the biblical Star of Bethlehem was this sort of planetary conjunction. Recent history experienced another one on December 21, 2020, the first in 800 years.

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

 Summary

 In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

 Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

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

Excerpt: Chapter 1

Hunting

 

South Africa

Lucy

Fresh blood streaked Short-tooth’s muzzle, her golden eyes alert to every movement around her as she munched on Gazelle’s meaty carcass. Each movement made the Cat’s tawny fur ripple over the powerful muscles beneath her skin. She raised her head, chewing slowly while studying the grass field in front of her, especially toward the back where it blended into the forest. She couldn’t see Mammoth but smelled it, close to the Uprights, maybe protecting them. Despite being the size of a boulder, this pachyderm could outrun most predators and would think nothing of crushing them beneath its massive feet.

Short-tooth wasn’t interested in the Uprights. Their bodies had little meat and less fat. Gazelle was more satisfying.

Cat ripped a slab of fragrant meat from the hind leg. Snarling-dog—to the far side—slapped the ground. He was hungry but wouldn’t eat Gazelle until Short-tooth finished. Cat purred loudly, close to a snarl, and Snarling-dog withdrew, but not far. Carrion-bird overhead tightened its circle and a tiny shrew the size of Short-tooth’s paw waited patiently, out of Cat’s range, eyes bright, nose twitching. A shred from the carcass was all it needed.

None of these creatures mattered to Short-tooth. She was the apex predator in her savannah habitat.

 

Sticky yellow globs of Mammoth dung slid down Lucy’s back and plopped to the dry thatch. The dung coat was melting under Sun’s intense heat, exactly as Lucy planned. Its purpose was to confuse Short-tooth Cat. The hotter Sun became, the stronger Mammoth’s smell.

Lucy and her young pairmate, Garv, lay motionless, like Snake sleeping, bodies pressed into the prickly grass, oblivious to the feathery feet that scurried over their backs. She and Garv, too, wanted what Short-tooth didn’t consume. They were more patient than Snarling-dog but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t eat first. The first to arrive got the best of the leftovers.

Lucy rubbed her raw eyes, bleary from watching Cat bite, rip, and chew. If Short-tooth knew of their presence, it was not because she saw them. Lucy and Garv blended into the landscape. Their skin was the color of dirt and dry grass, impossible to find if you weren’t looking. No part of their bodies moved except their narrowed eyes as they scanned the surroundings, evaluating each new arrival to the feast. The dominant scents never changed—Snarling-dog, Short-tooth Cat, something decaying in the nearby forest, her pairmate Garv’s sweaty body, and Gazelle’s ripening offal.

Sun’s relentless heat washed over Lucy in waves. Sweat dripped down her face, over her pronounced brow ridge and into her eyes, but for reasons she didn’t understand, despite his fur pelt, Snarling-dog was dry. He reminded Lucy of Ump, her tribe’s Canis member. Even on the hottest days, Ump didn’t sweat. Instead, he panted more.

Today, Snarling-dog panted hard.

Short-tooth raised her feline head, inspecting her habitat as her jaws crunched through the fresh carrion. She reeked of malevolence which meant scavengers like Lucy and Garv willingly waited their turn.

Sun climbed through the cloudless blue sky. The morning haze had burned off long ago. The dew Lucy hadn’t licked off the leaves, Sun’s heat had. Her throat was dry, lips cracked, but that mattered less than securing scavenge. Her tribe was hungry.

Lately, unexpectedly, when Lucy sat quietly as she did now, a tingle deep inside her chest told her Raza, her former pairmate, was in trouble. The first time she experienced this tingle, what Garv called “instinct”, it churned through her body as a current does in a stream. She thought she was sick until Garv explained this was instinct and it warned of danger, not illness. He told her always to listen, but how was she to do that? Raza had been captured by the tribe’s worst enemy, a formidable Upright called Man-who-preys. She didn’t know where they’d taken him. As often as she brushed the feeling away, it returned, each time stronger than the last.

Cat’s yellow eyes snapped open and her methodical jaws slowed. Something caught her interest, maybe Snarling-dog’s impatience or Carrion-bird’s relentless approach. After a warning hiss, Short-tooth shook her big head and pawed her face. A swarm of black flies lifted, buzzed briefly, and then resettled where they’d started, again gorging on the blood and carrion that stuck to Short-tooth’s face

The flies are thicker than usual.

Short-tooth returned to her meal and Lucy sniffed, wondering what drew Cat’s attention. She didn’t expect to see Man-who-preys here, but took nothing for granted. The tall, big-headed, hairless enemy always carried a long stick which he used to kill prey. Sometimes, he didn’t eat the animal, just watched it die. This unpredictability, that he followed no norms, made him more treacherous than other predators.

She inhaled, but didn’t smell his stench so turned her attention back to the hunt.

Carrion-bird floated overhead, feet tucked beneath its sleek body. The longer Cat ate, the more of the huge birds arrived. They thought their powerful sweeping wings, sharp claws, and piercing beaks made them the mightiest among the scavengers. What they didn’t realize was that Lucy and Garv possessed an even greater weapon: They could plan. Before Carrion-bird or Snarling-dog got too close, Lucy and Garv would take what they needed and flee.

They always did.

In the edging forest, Cousin Chimp hooted, the pitch and length describing the location of a tree newly bearing fruit. Leaves rustled as his band raced away. Lucy hoped they would leave enough of the succulent produce for her and Garv.

She hunkered deeper into the tall waving stalks, tracking the other scavengers and noting again how far away the trees were in case she needed to flee. A snake slithered over her foot, through the thatch and out of sight. She and Garv had been motionless for so long, Snake probably viewed them as dirt mounds in its path.

Garv tweaked an eyebrow and Lucy motioned, hands a tight circle in front of her chest, well hidden, “Dull colors, no knobs on snake’s tail—no danger.”

Her kind—Man-who-makes-tools—used a sophisticated blend of communication including body language, hand gestures, facial expressions, mimicking, and vocalization. One of their greatest defenses in this brutal world was the ability to become part of their surroundings. Voices were unusual sounds heard nowhere in nature except from Uprights, mostly the big-headed Man-who-preys. Lucy’s kind occasionally whispered and Tree-men, like Boah who was part of Lucy’s tribe, rarely made any sounds beyond huffs, grunts, howls, and moans. Only Man-who-preys jabbered endlessly.

 

Lucy’s eyelids drooped. This hunt had started yesterday when Lucy and Garv found the fresh cloven prints of a Gazelle herd. Lucy’s kind ate copious amounts of roots, nuts, fruit, juicy stems, and insects, but only meat gave them the energy to survive their dangerous lives. Because they hunted only dead animals, they depended upon predators to make the kill. Gazelle’s fleshy body always attracted Cat and its cousins, like Short-tooth. They would pick off the injured, and Lucy’s tribe would eat what they left.

Because not enough daylight remained yesterday, Lucy and Garv set out today, at Sun’s first light. They followed the herd while the rest of the tribe—the Tree-man Boah, the child Voi, and the Canis Ump—stayed at the homebase’s cave. Before Sun had traveled far, a snarl and a screech told Lucy a predator claimed its prey. When Carrion-bird and its cousins started to circle, she and Garv knew exactly where to go.

 

Garv nudged Lucy, the movement so subtle the grass didn’t even move. “Short-tooth is leaving.”

Lucy bit her lip and shot a look at Garv. His face radiated excitement.

She studied Short-tooth, tried to see what Garv saw and finally gestured, “I don’t see anything. Why do you think she’s finished?”

He motioned, one finger moving against his palm, “Instinct.” Nothing else.

But that was enough. Garv had taught her to stalk prey, knap tools, hunt, and protect herself. Because of him, she became an accomplished hunter, never missed a print, a bent frond, the fragrance left on leaves or bark, or any other sign. As partners, they always brought meat to the tribe. Most hunters didn’t.

Garv’s instinct had found more prey than Lucy’s tracking skills or senses ever did. She had no doubt Short-tooth would soon leave.

 

Cat’s big tongue, as long as Lucy’s forearm, licked the bloody scraps from her muzzle, a sign even to Lucy that she had finished. Lucy shifted to her hands and toes, knees hovering above the ground, prepared for what must come next. Garv did the same, his body hard from the life he lived, senses alert to every noise. Carrion-birds cawed and tightened their circle. On the opposite side of the field, Snarling-dog’s pack bared their canines, tails stiff. Drool dripped from their jowls and their gaze bounced between Cat and the Uprights, knowing from experience the scrawny but agile creatures were vigorous competitors.

You are fast, Snarling-dog, but we are smart. We will always get there first!

Lucy tensed as Short-tooth pushed up to her massive paws, canines red with blood, saliva dripping in strands from her jowls. She yawned, her mouth a dark cavity vast enough to swallow Lucy’s entire head, and ambled off. Lucy and Garv exploded to their feet and sprinted toward the carcass. Their powerful legs churned while nimble hands pulled cutters and stones from the sacks strung around their necks. Lucy’s job was to delay Snarling-dog and Carrion-bird while Garv stripped the carrion.

“Argh!” Lucy roared, waving a leafy branch through the air to make herself bigger to Snarling-dog while Garv attacked the carcass. Ignoring the fetid stench of dung and urine, he swung the sharp cutter and sliced through the hide and then muscle and tendon.

Lucy flung a stone at the lead Snarling-dog. It hit his temple, hard, and he dropped with a squeal. His pack slowed to reassess the upright creature and Lucy threw another stone, this one at the new leader’s eye. He yipped and stumbled, shook his head, and pawed at the blood that oozed from the wound and dribbled down his muzzle.

“Lucy!” Garv tossed an almost pristine haunch to her and then swung his chopper at Gazelle’s ribs. Carrion-bird, well into its death dive, talons extended, screeched its imminent attack.

“Let’s go!” Lucy called, the unexpected sound of her voice meant to startle the scavengers.

She hurled a rock at the lead Carrion-bird. It squawked and withdrew, which slowed the rest of the flock. Lucy grabbed an almost-meatless leg bone. It would be filled with nutritious bloody marrow. Meat secured over her shoulders, she and Garv fled. No one chased them. Why abandon certain meat for an uncertain meal? Lucy raced past a termite mound, noted its location, rounded a boulder bed, and lost sight of the fracas.

Not the scent, though. The tantalizing aroma sailed through the air, announcing to every scavenger around the availability of meat.

Book information:

 Title and author: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

 

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

 

4 comments to For Laws of Nature – Jacqui Murray

Your Comments

  

  

  

Atlantis and the Supernatural Compass

 

Young Einstein learned through thought experiments he was able to go beyond his mind into joyful wonder. I had to go into my inner world of creativity to write the story of how an innocent young Jewish boy rose in his imagination to change the world. My novel began in 2014, published in 2019 and has won ten book awards. Now I begin a new chapter in my creative imagination with a novella based on the lost continent of Atlantis. Twenty thousand words of where our protagonist Arka and his evil brother Raka will embark on an adventure to initate the first supernatural Shamir Stone into the pryamids of Egypt. A new character Kyre, the high priest in charge of the light and energy crystals and Shamir will show us how the supernatural compass is created and used for the energy source for the pryamids and the world. Raka will do his best to interfere with the light workers. Are you ready to take an adventure to the original place of thought experiments, inspired creativity and spiritual light?

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. Of course, 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 good 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 begin to 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. Questions are encouraged. What do you have?”

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

“For the purposes of 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 are going to use a what-if, dreamy kind of imagination to allow you to let go and 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 starts to chatter, just acknowledge that then bring your focus back to your breathing.”

Albert sat with his back straight though he was relaxed, 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. A motion caught his awareness, and he glanced to the side. Next to him flew a graceful, towering, luminous being with flowing, golden hair. Somehow, Albert sensed it was an angel. The angel’s violet eyes gave the dreamer a loving smile, and Albert surrendered more fully to his experience. Archangel Michael offered Albert his hand, and Albert gently grasped it. The sound of angels singing “Glory to God in the highest” rang out over the universe.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

1 comment to Atlantis and the Supernatural Compass

Your Comments

  

  

  

How I Flourished During the Pandemic

There is nothing like a pandemic to put a plot twist into your life. Plans to Hawaii canceled because of hotels locking down. Travel insurance did not cover Covid related travel. How distracted had my life become with being busy out in the world? I wondered if Mother Nature was telling us, “Its time you stayed home and took better care of yourself”? Okay, how can I make this work for me? I have had times in my life when a crisis arrives to orient myself to my spiritual compass. To stay connected to my courage, confidence, and creativity, I focus on my spiritual heart. I redirected my focus on marketing my novel, “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure” by entering book award contests. Even in a saturated book market, I received more than ten book awards. To increase sales with the new visibility of book awards, I took out ads on Story Monster, IBPA and Kindle Nation targeting my audience of young adults. I took walks to a nearby park, used our elliptical machine, took online yoga classes and piano lessons. During the year there have been trials however, discipline kept me learning and in the future. My husband loves my new chicken soup and beef stew. Now I want a trip to a beach.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

Albert felt his compass tingle in his pocket when he entered the inner chamber. He drew out the etheric construct of the compass and studied the twelve glowing gems.

Arka glanced at the gems on the compass’s cover. “Hmm,” he said approvingly. “We will need that soon,” Albert responded to the comment with a puzzled glance but did not question Arka, who guided the boys to a hovering platform where they descended into a vast subterranean chamber housing the six-sided, twenty-foot, Blue Larimar Tuaoi Stone. As they entered the massive chamber, the platinum dome opened, allowing the stone to receive the energy of the sun.

Arka checked a holographic gauge that measured the energies of the power source. Then, glancing aside to Albert, who still held his compass, Arka said, “Your compass is responding to the emanations from the stone, which is directing the solar and terrestrial energies.”

Albert glanced at his compass, which was indeed glowing brightly.

“This stone,” Arka said reverently, “is the power source for the planet. It receives rays of light from the sun and the stars, then concentrates those energies. As the stone vibrates with our Earth’s frequencies, it broadcasts them to satellites that then rebroadcast them to power everything from our hovercraft to our great engines of manufacturing to the lighting in our homes.”

Albert was in awe. “This is amazing. Where do I go to learn? Who will teach me?”

Arka put his hand on Albert’s shoulder, saying, “We will not give you books to read, Albert. Instead, we will show you how to reach into the light source of your spiritual heart, so you can receive the inner knowledge and create with the divine moving through you.”

Albert nodded. “That would be wonderful. I have practiced doing thought experiments: I imagine the solutions to a problem.” He frowned. “However, I have been having trouble with my theory of light.”

Arka smiled again. “Yes, you are using your mind. But that will only take you so far. To truly gain understanding, you must expand into a greater awareness of the Light within your spiritual heart. That is why you are here.”

Albert felt a great sense of rightness with what Arka had told him. “I would be very grateful for whatever you can teach me,” he said with uncharacteristic humility.

Arka asked Johann to wait outside, then led Albert to a pair of mahogany chairs that faced each other and gestured for Albert to sit across from him.

Arka said, “Lay your compass in your open left palm, then close your eyes, sit back, and relax.” Albert did as he was told, and Arka continued with his lesson. “Take a deep breath and hold it. Now let the air go.” Albert did as he was instructed several times, then he heard Arka say, “Realize the love in your heart. Envision a presence of Light shining from deep within you. Imagine the sound of your spirit singing to you.”

Albert flowed with the sound of Arka’s voice as the priest-scientist guided him deeper and deeper into his self.

After an indeterminate time, Albert heard Arka say, “Now open your eyes and put your compass next to your heart.”

Albert, with a serenity that bordered on reverence, did as instructed.

“When you go into your thought experiments, hold the compass next to your heart, and it will reconnect you to this blessing. As that happens, you will be free to expand in a greater way to the inner source of your creativity.”

Albert’s skin tingled. His brown eyes glowed with a gentle light. He struggled to speak but could not, so he just relaxed back into his chair.

“In time, you will do this without the compass,” Arka said.

Albert just nodded in acknowledgment.

Arka respectfully allowed Albert to bask in this Light of his own essence and went to bring Johann back into the room. As Johann entered, he took one look at Albert and declared, “Albert, you look radiant.”

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

4 comments to How I Flourished During the Pandemic

  • I like the idea of reorienting. I didn’t do any of that because all I do is write! No change required! How did the marketing ventures go?

  • Grace A Blair

    Entering book contests “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure” won ten book awards. I want to be in bookstores and libraries so I entered with Story Monster and won four with “Story Monster Approved”. I advertised with the monthly Story Monster magazine . They created a wonderful ad which I used in all my social media. I advertised with Kindle Daily Nation twice. By far the best return as the sales soared and I was #33 in the top ten science fiction books. I advertised with IBPA International Book Publishers Association. They sent a list of librarians with email addressed and phone numbers who were interested in the book. Bublish created a bookstore with incentives to buy and review the books. With advertising Einstein’s Compass has greater visibility and better sales. The cost of advertising was not covered by the sales. However, sales did increase by double of what I did last year.

  • That is amazing, Grace. You tried everything I wish I would. How do you have time to do all that! It’s interesting the visibility increased but not enough sales to cover the cost.

    That’s an amazing amount of awards. I don’t know why that alone wouldn’t rocket you to the top. I just don’t get this stuff at times!

  • When Amazon controls the price of books like $2.99 or less for Kindle we have to sell more than 200 books in a month to break on one ad.
    Good thing my books are a business and I can write off my expenses at the end of the year.
    It does take time to advertise and money to advertise. Being retired helps.
    My hobby business of writing keeps me involved in a project I care about.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Relationships in Einstein’s Compass

Johanne Thomas Young Albert Einstein’s childhood friend

An excellent story needs conflict. In this chapter we see the dark characters Raka and Wilhelm vs the light Einstein and Johann. This is a turning point in the story. The quest for the compass drives Raka to manipulate Wilhelm. Johann’s friendship (he thinks) protects Albert and his compass. I created Albert’s character from his biography and the professorial mind from my husband, Dr. John Blair, who taught business management at Texas Tech. Johann is part of me and what I imagined Albert needed him to be. Raka is part Machiavelli and a sociopath. Because Albert is a powerful person, I wanted his nemesis to be larger than him. Wilhelm’s character is a lot like young boys I have known who broken from childhood turn into bullies. I had to be brave to hear the depth of darkness in Raka. His evil power made me want to take a shower. Johann’s unconditional love for Albert puts him in danger. He becomes the force who helps Albert. I have had to stand up to bullies in my life. There is a cost when you do. I have prevailed and with Johann’s love, so did our hero Albert.

December 1894
Twist of Fate

Bright umbrellas dotted the farmer’s market in central Munich, creating a rainbow of slightly faded but still festive colors. The shouts of buyers haggling for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats on the cold December Saturday filled the air. By mid-morning, tired patrons of the market, having been up since before dawn, shuffled into Munich Brau Biergarten for sandwiches and beer. Rows of people sat family style on long picnic tables, taking a well-earned break and enjoying their repast.

Johann was wiping down the bar with a damp rag when he saw Albert walk through the doorway. His immediate reaction was happiness, which was quickly replaced with fear. Johann frantically looked around to see if any of the boys, who often hung out at the Biergarten on Saturdays after a tough week at school, had noticed Albert’s arrival. Since their critical discussion the day of the Volkisch rally, Albert had been staying away from his friend—in fact, the whole Thomas family—to avoid causing them problems for associating with a Jew.

Albert couldn’t keep a smile from his face as he pulled up a barstool at the far end of the bar. Johann continued polishing the bar as he slowly made his way to where Albert sat. Glancing furtively around, Johann hissed at Albert in a whisper, “What are you doing here, Albert? You know it’s dangerous for us if you’re seen talking to me.”

Albert waved away his friend’s concern and leaned toward him. “My ‘problem’ is solved! And with it, our problem will go away as well.”

Johann frowned, appearing to rub at a stubborn stain on the bar. “Are you crazy? What do you mean?”

With a grin, Albert gave Johann a quick recap of his dinner with Herr Talmud and his hopes of going to Switzerland—which would effectively remove Albert from the local scene and keep him safely away from Johann and his family. As Albert laid out the situation, Johann wiped in slower and slower circles, and his frown began to change into a smile. By the time Albert finished his narrative, Johann had all but forgotten his concerns. “Albert, that would be wonderful!” he exclaimed, then clapped his hand over his mouth and looked around to see if anyone had heard.

Albert was grinning and nodding when a thought hit Johann, and he deflated like a punctured balloon. “But… Switzerland?”

Albert put his hand on his friend’s arm. “I know. But it’s not so far away. Since I will no longer be the center of attention, I think we will see each other when I come home to visit my family.”

“Yes. Maybe so,” Johann said, not entirely convinced as he went back to polishing the bar.

Behind Albert, the senior class boys were toasting each other. It filled them with the optimism and hope of young men preparing to make their way into the world in a few months. Johann drew Albert a beer, then excused himself from taking the overflowing garbage pail to the trash bin outside. As he was emptying the last scraps out of the bucket, Werner Von Wiesel rode up on his bicycle.

Hoping to avoid his classmate, Johann turned to walk away. But Werner called out to him. “Wait just a minute, Johann!” His back to Werner, Johann grimaced. He wanted nothing to do with the bully who had threatened him if he stayed friends with Albert. But the boy was becoming increasingly influential at school. There was no way Johann could ignore him without reprisals.

Walking up to Johann, Werner put his hand on Johann’s shoulder. “Johann, I want to apologize for what I said about you and Albert.”

Johann turned, his eyes widening with incredulity. “What?”

“No, really. I’ve been thinking about it. There’s no reason you and I can’t be friends.” Werner smiled and laughed nervously as he extended his hand to shake.

Johann wasn’t buying it. “What do you want, Werner?” he asked, ignoring the proffered hand and being as brusque as he dared to be.

Werner looked at Johann for a moment, and Johann could practically see the wheels turning in the boy’s head. Then Werner leaned toward Johann. “Okay, look,” he said conspiratorially. “I remember hearing you and Albert talking about this compass of his. I want to get a look at it.”

Johann frowned, thinking hard. “Compass? Uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about, Werner.”

Werner’s expression turned serious, his patience evaporating. He grabbed Johann by the front of his shirt and pulled him close. Through clenched teeth, he said, “Don’t play dumb, Johann. I want to see the compass, and I will see it.” Then he pushed Johann away roughly, so the boy fell to one knee. Werner turned his back on Johann and strode into the Biergarten while Johann dusted off his trousers and straightened his clothing. When he was satisfied with his appearance, he reclaimed his empty garbage pail and followed Werner back inside.

Meanwhile, Raka, astride a bicycle, had been tracking the smell of the Shamir. Attracted by a sudden spike in negative energy, he paused his quest to investigate. The negativity of any sort pleased him. Dismounting, he walked his bicycle toward the source of power at the back of the Biergarten and cautiously peered around the corner of the building. He was just in time to overhear most of Johann and Werner’s exchange about the compass.

The hatred in Werner’s consciousness tasted pleasant, almost sweet, on Raka’s tongue as he considered this development. A human boy with the same objective—though certainly not the same motive—as himself. And a boy in whom fear and hatred simmered, just waiting for something to bring it to a boil. This was just too good to be true. Raka relished the thought of turning the boy into a minion who would do his bidding. He would have to come up with a plan to pull Werner to his cause.

A dormant blackthorn bush at the side of the Biergarten gave him an idea. He broke off a short twig that held a hard, long spike. From a gland in his throat, he secreted a toxic venom, then spit it onto the thorn. Looking furtively left, then right, he affixed the lethal barb onto the outside of the handle on the right side of Werner’s bicycle. He knew that to some this secretion could be deadly. But to those who were steeped in hatred and negativity, it would have a different effect.

His plan set in motion, Raka left his own bicycle leaning against the wall and walked to the front of the building, where he entered and found a place to watch his target. He spotted Werner with his friends at the end of one of the large family tables.

Johann stood unhappily in the kitchen area. He didn’t much like the idea of Albert going to Switzerland, even though he could see it was probably a good thing. And he didn’t want that Werner was interested in Albert’s compass. But there was nothing he could do about either situation now. With a heavy sigh, he placed several paper-wrapped ham sandwiches and bottles of beer into a sack to take to his father, who was working nearby.

As he walked past Albert, he said, “I’ll be back in a few minutes. I want to talk more about your news.”

From his table, Werner was preparing to approach Johann once again. But seeing he was about to leave, he waited and tracked Johann’s movements with interest. As Johann made his way out of the Biergarten, Werner went to the back of the building where he had left his bicycle.

Out front, Johann put the sack into the wicker basket on his bicycle. He shivered in the December chill as he mounted his bike and began the short ride to deliver lunch to his father and the clerks.

In the back of the Biergarten, Werner wrapped his scarf around his neck and face to protect himself from the chill air as he rushed to mount his bike. He grabbed the handlebars, then yelped with pain. The bully stared at his hand and saw a thorn sticking in the palm of his hand. He plucked the barb out and angrily threw it to the ground as he began pedaling to catch up with Johann. He’d give the boy one more chance to get Albert to show him his compass.

As he pedaled, the venom from the thorn began coursing through his body. The effect was immediate. His face turned crimson. Nostrils flared, and his eyes bulged. His muscles and veins strained against his skin.

He felt a rush of hatred and anger toward Johann. “Who was he to say no?” he asked himself. Werner gripped the handlebars harder as he raced to catch up with Johann.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Imagination Changed The World

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Inspired by the words of the famous scientist in 2016, I wondered how a young Jewish boy who had a dream became the most important man of our time? Terrified of the monumental task I like Einstein went into my imagination and asked questions. What if Einstein’s soul was from the ancient land of Atlantis? What if he was a priest-scientist in Atlantis? Maybe he was trying to remember what he did back then? In my research of young Albert, I discovered his father gave him a compass when he was six years old. When the boy looked at the compass, the directional device became his life’s mission to know what is time and light. I wondered what if the compass had supernatural powers? Again in my research, I found King Solomon in the Bible used the Shamir Stone to build his Temple. I put the Shamir inside the compass. So I continued to weave Einstein’s history with historical facts and added a fantasy of supernatural beings who assisted him against evil forces. Creativity and imagination are powerful tools when creating stories. The message of Einsteins Compass is to use your spiritual heart, your imagination, to find your way.

Spring 1891
Triangles

Uncle Jakob found the twelve-year-old Albert sitting at the kitchen table, drawing triangles, again. Jacob was the youngest of five siblings.

Unlike Albert’s father, Hermann, Jakob had pursued higher education and had qualified as an engineer. Hermann had not resented his brother’s opportunity, and together the two brothers built a successful company providing generators and electrical lighting to municipalities in southern Germany. Jakob oversaw the technical side while Hermann handled sales. Perhaps more essential to the partnership, Hermann could secure loans from his wife’s side of the family.

Albert regularly put Jakob’s training and knowledge to the test, who had an inexhaustible supply of questions. One day he was asking for details on how the generators worked. Then he had to know about the capacity of the wires that ran to the lighting fixtures. Most of all, Albert wanted to learn about light. But recently, geometry had become his focus.

“I see geometric shapes have captured your attention, nephew.”

Albert nodded, his bright eyes eager. “Somehow, triangles seem to blend nature and science. I even see geometric designs in the flowers in the garden.”

Jakob raised an eyebrow as he pulled up a chair across from his precocious nephew. “Hmm. Well, have you ever heard of Pythagoras?”

Albert reflected for a moment. “The name is familiar,” he said hesitantly. “But I don’t remember who he is.” The look on Albert’s face let Jakob know Albert wanted to know more.

Leaning forward, the learned man explained, “Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician who lived between 569 and 475 BC. He is sometimes called the first mathematician, meaning he was one of the first scientists on record to have made significant contributions to the field of mathematics.” As Albert nodded, Jakob continued. “He was more than just a mathematician, though; he studied and worked with religion and philosophy. Also, he was also a musician; he played the lyre.”

Albert’s hazel eyes danced with curiosity. “Now that’s a man I would like to know more about!”

Jakob smiled and beckoned Albert to follow him to a nearby bookcase. After searching for a moment, he pulled a small book from the shelf and handed it to the boy. “When I saw you drawing triangles the other day, I knew it would not be long before you would want to explore the mystery of Pythagoras and his theories.”

Albert grabbed the book and marched back to the table. He did not even notice Uncle Jakob had left, smiling and shaking his head. “Give that boy a book, and it is like tossing a sponge into a pail of water. He absorbs every drop of knowledge,” he muttered to himself, walking out the door.

The house was quiet as a church as Albert lost himself in the book on Pythagoras. Warm summer winds blew the yellow cotton curtains, and they flapped through the open window over the kitchen sink. The young mathematician’s feet dangled from the wood-and-thatched chair at the rectangular table topped with butcher block. As he read, he realized that his uncle Jakob had given him his first real intellectual puzzle. Deep in thought, Albert was unaware that he had almost chewed through his pencil as he stared at the diagram of a right triangle. His eyebrows drawing closer and closer together as he read, Albert became determined to prove the Pythagorean theorem.

Losing himself in his contemplation, Albert absentmindedly began playing with his compass as he turned pages in the book. He would read a few paragraphs and then gaze at the compass face, letting his mind wander in speculation. There was no way for him to know that the energy of the compass took his mind beyond space and time. Albert was far away, and unaware of where he was as triangles of all shapes and sizes danced in his imagination. He was determined to meet this challenge and prove the theory. Albert did not tell anyone what he was working on.

By the second week of intense focus, Albert’s theories were swirling round and round in his head. Finally, on a Friday, wild with excitement, he sat filling a sheet of paper with cryptic drawings and numbers so furiously, the pencil lead broke. His hand twitching, he stared at the torn paper and broken pencil. He screamed, wadded up the paper with his shaking hands and threw it across the room. The budding scientist put his head down on the table and sobbed.

His mother, Pauline, rushed from the stove where she had been stirring the stew for the evening dinner. With a glance, she surmised what had happened. She knelt and put a comforting arm across her son’s shoulder. “Now, now, Albert. It’s okay.”

Albert turned and buried himself in his mother’s hug. “It’s not okay, Mama. There is a way to prove this theorem, but I can’t find it.” It still pinched his face with anger as he spoke.

Pauline thought for a moment, then brightened. “You need a break. Do something else.”

“Like what, Mama?”

Pauline shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe play your violin. You know how music soothes you and clears your head.”

Gently tugging at the frowning boy, Pauline urged him from his seat. “Come, Albert. Invite Johann. The two of you could practice the Mozart Sonata for the recital at school next month.”

Albert didn’t want to see anyone. He was stuck. He was getting nowhere. His mother’s words reminded him how the family loved the recitals the two of them played during the holidays and how music lifted his spirits. And he did enjoy it when Johann joined in from time to time. Sighing in resignation, the young mathematician surrendered. “Oh, all right, I will get Johann.”

* * *

“Wow, did your pet goldfish die or something, Albert? You look terrible!” Johann shook his head in disapproval as his friend led him through the front door.

Despite himself, Albert had to smile at Johann’s cheerfulness. “Ah, I’m just stuck on a problem and don’t know how to get out of it.” Albert waved his arm as if to brush away his vexation. He was still hiding his mission and didn’t even want his good friend to know what he was pursuing. Albert ushered Johann into the parlor. “My mother thinks taking a break will help. We need to practice for the recital, anyway.”

Used to Albert’s moods, Johann nodded. “Okay, I can practice for an hour. My father needs me at the alehouse to help serve the evening meal.” He wiped his hands on his lederhosen and sat on the wooden piano bench, his legs stuffed under the piano, and shuffled the sheet music on the music stand. Albert had already memorized the piece, so he readied his violin as he stood next to Johann.

After fifteen minutes of stops and starts to refine their duet, the notes sparkled. The music’s sweetness seeped into Albert’s troubled heart. He closed his eyes and, like fireworks, a burst of triangles within the notes flew in rhythm across his violin. His imagination blossomed and flowed with new ideas as Albert opened to additional dimensions inside himself.

After another thirty minutes of playing, Albert had regained a sense of peace—as well as a new enthusiasm for his project. Albert fidgeted with his brow. He urged Johann to his feet and helped him on with his jacket. “It’s good, Johann, we’re ready for our recital,” Albert pronounced, propelling Johann to the door.

Attempting to straighten his jacket amid the hustle, Johann said, “Well, I guess we are ready.” Then Johann dug in his feet and turned to Albert, hiding a grin. “But are you sure you wouldn’t like to practice a few more times? I could stay a couple more minutes…”

“No, no, I am certain we are ready. Hurry now, I don’t want you to be late for work,” Albert replied, almost slamming the door shut and utterly oblivious to the fact that Johann knew precisely what Albert was up to. On the porch, Johann smiled and shook his head as he turned to walk back to the alehouse. He had grown to love Albert and, truth be told, he was happy that his friend had regained his happiness.

With the breakthrough in awareness he had gained when he and Johann had been playing the Mozart piece, Albert became more confident as he worked over the next days. And with the confidence came serenity. The boy would awaken each morning with awareness of the music of the Pythagorean theorem dancing in his imagination. It was as if he was viewing the mathematics of it in its completeness from high above. And he knew he would find its temporarily elusive proof.

1 comment to Imagination Changed The World

Your Comments

  

  

  

Einstein’s Compass – The Right Pace

When pacing the story and controlling the rhythm of events in Einstein’s Compass, I chose a fast speed. Each chapter like in a movie has a beginning, middle and end often with a cliffhanger. In this chapter, evil Raka’s Transformation opens with a colorful scene in time. The revelation of a dead body in the snow. Next, Raka eating the young man. I like how Hemingway used brief sentences, so I used his technique of an explicit narrative. I listen to music as I write and ride the sound and beat out the words. Wrapping myself in the story, I follow intuitively where my characters want to go. Raka surprised me of how manipulative, lazy and evil he is. I could not hold back or question what happened with any of the story. I laughed, cried and felt myself in another world. Yet pacing was important to keep readers engaged to turn the page.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

Raka’s Transformation

The headline in the Stuttgart Zeitung newspaper read,

LOCAL MAN MISSING

A search is underway for a young man who has disappeared in the Black Forest community of Stuttgart, southeast of Munich. He was last seen walking to university. The Black Forest Police have mounted an extensive search, though an early winter storm is expected to bring up to two inches of snow and freezing temperatures.

With a contented sigh, Raka wiped the last of the blond man’s blood from his jaw. He had gorged on the bright, pure essence of a young human to step up his energetic matrix, which had degraded when he had become reptilian.

Raka had been surreptitiously observing the locals for weeks now, learning modern ways and studying their language. During that time, he had found an abandoned shack and furnished his cave with things inside of it that he would need when in human guise: a chair, table, and bed. In the dead of night, he had broken into the home of a well-to-do bachelor and relieved the puny human of some of his garments as he slept. Now, having consumed a human to regenerate the needed DNA, he was finally ready to make his transformation.

With a shudder, then a lurch, he began to shift. The claws of his feet became soft as human toes appeared. Hairy male legs replaced his stubby reptilian hind appendages, and his tail receded back into his body. Scales from his torso, arms, and neck melted into pink flesh. His long, slithery tongue withered until it could extend a scant inch or two beyond his lips. As he morphed, his airways constricted, and he grabbed at his throat, gasping for air. Writhing in ecstatic agony, then surrendering to the pain of bone, sinew, and flesh reconfiguring itself, he collapsed to the ground. Naked, he lay as motionless as death as he recovered from the ordeal.

Sometime later, Raka woke crunched in a fetal position and took in a breath. He had not been in human form for a very long time.

He slowly opened his eyes. The candlelight in the cave seemed dim to his human senses. Raka rolled onto all fours, then straightened his back, so he was kneeling on the hard rock of the cave floor. He explored his new weak and wingless form with soft, fleshy hands. He felt vulnerable. His appraisal complete, he gathered the strength of the anemic body and stood. The blood rushed from his head, and he stumbled sideways. He flung out an arm, seeking support, and braced himself on the cave wall, then staggered to a tattered armchair and sat with a thud.

The resulting cloud of dust set him coughing, and he cursed the frailty of humans. After a moment, he forced himself to stand again. This time, he maintained his equilibrium. No time to waste; he must dress and get going!

As a changeling, he was still able to keep the reptile glands in his throat. Rubbing them stimulated his adrenaline and made him feel powerful. He spat on his hand and smelled with delight the pungent reptilian saliva. “Potent as ever,” he assessed, somewhat reassured.

Near the chair was a single bed with his new clothes. Struggling to master the musculature of this form he had not occupied for so long, he put on the pants, shirt, and jacket “liberated,” and nodded in satisfaction as he slightly lengthened his legs and shortened his arms, so the garments fit perfectly. He also decided to alter his facial structure just enough that he would not be taken for the young man whose body he now inhabited. He had no interest in encountering people the fellow had known.

Completing his transformation and putting on the last of his clothing, Raka prepared for his first foray in this incarnation. He had no idea of how to knot the ridiculous piece of cloth humans called a necktie, so he stuffed it into his inside jacket pocket. Frowning, he muttered, “The dress of the Egyptians was simple. I hate these confining things.”

The thought of Egypt reminded Raka of how he had manipulated Pharaoh Akhenaten’s court. He smiled as he remembered deceiving the priests by promising them power if they would abandon the prophet of the One God. He recalled the delight he had experienced watching the duplicitous fools, Akhenaten’s closest friends, murder the Egyptian king while he meditated.

Bringing himself out of his reverie, Raka went over to a wooden chest that contained one of his most prized possessions. It was something he’d had fabricated in another time and place, during one of his earlier forays in human form. Opening the finely crafted box, he picked up an ornate walking stick. Its handle was a dragon head of pure gold. A pair of flawless rubies was crafted to make fierce, glowing eyes, not unlike his own when he was in reptilian form.

The stick not only steadied him as he walked but had a hollow chamber hidden in its tip. Should he press on the ruby eyes in a certain way, the stick would transform into a weapon that would eject needles coated with his reptilian venom into his victim. He nodded in satisfaction at the craftsmanship. He had paid a fortune for the piece, but it was well worth it.

By human standards, he was a handsome blond male in his early thirties. Donning an ebony Homburg hat, Raka gazed at himself in the mirror near the bed. Familiarizing himself again with the muscles of his stubby human tongue, he practiced the new language.

When he felt he had mastered the new words, he went through the entire performance. His charismatic blue eyes twinkling, he touched his Homburg with his right hand. In flawless German, he spoke the greeting he had observed. “Hello, my name is Rudolf. How do you do?”

Raka grunted in satisfaction with his accomplishment. He was ready for his mission. Tilting his head, the dark angel sniffed to discern the scent of the Shamir Stone’s power. In just a moment, he had identified the direction and set off at a brisk walk.

He reminded himself that his mission could take years. After all, there were cosmic laws that had to be observed. It wasn’t as if he could just locate the Shamir, murder its possessor, and walk away. No, the ways of the universe were not quite that simple.

No matter. Raka would amuse himself meddling in the affairs of these humans until he could manipulate things to his advantage.

He could be patient. After all, he had… all the time in the world.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Happy Birthday Albert Einstein – PI Day

Ebook on Sale $.99

Sunday March 14th is Albert Einstein’s Birthday. On Sunday, the eBook is $.99. Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”. Did you know Einstein was not always famous? I chose him because, like me, he had struggled in youth. When he was a teenager, his parents abandoned him. A Jew, he attended a Catholic high school and experienced anti-Semitism. At the end of his academic career, his professors refused to help him with a job.
When Albert was a boy, his father gave him a compass. Looking at the compass in his tiny hand, he gazed at the needle that always pointed north and wondered how it worked. The wonder became his vision to know what time is, what is light. With all his heart, mind, and soul, he began his quest. With compass in hand, no matter stood in his way, Albert stayed the course.
My novel covers twenty years of Albert’s life. What if young Albert Einstein’s soul was from the lost continent of Atlantis? What if he had a supernatural compass that transported him back in time? What if he had a jealous twin brother in Atlantis who through a botched DNA experiment became an immortal dragon?

Spring 1885
A Gift

The sun shone brightly, melting away the remnants of the dreary days of the Munich winter. From the arbor on the front porch of the Einstein home, fragrant purple wisteria blossomed. The garden was bursting into a riot of color with red tulips, yellow roses, blue cornflowers, and a multitude of other blossoms of various hues.

Albert had been down the street at his aunt’s house. It was 1885, and the family was celebrating his cousin Benjamin’s sixth birthday. Albert had turned six the month before and was therefore far worldlier than his “little” cousin, at least to his way of thinking. But he loved his cousin—almost as much as he enjoyed his aunt’s apple strudel. In fact, he loved the pastry so much, he ran home after dessert and got sick all over the purple crocuses in his yard.

Pauline Einstein, young Albert’s twenty-six-year-old mother, noticed him struggling to climb the porch stairs. Her brow furrowed as she opened the front door. His chubby cheeks flushed, Albert looked up with a sickly gaze and grasped his mother’s hand. “Mama, I don’t feel good,” he moaned. Pauline knelt and kissed his head, then paused, frowning. “Albert, you’re burning up!”

She pulled back her long muslin skirt, then scooped the boy into her arms and carried him upstairs to his bedroom. Albert had his own room, a pleasant chamber with tiny-blue-flowered wallpaper.

Albert fussed restlessly as Mama pulled off his necktie, ignoring the smell of sour vomit on his starched white shirt.

As Albert removed his pants, Pauline moistened a cloth from the washbasin and wiped Albert’s face and hands. She dressed him in a long cotton nightshirt and tucked him under the covers. Albert fell asleep the second his head hit the goose down pillow. Mama sat in the chair next to his bed and stroked his hair. “Sleep, feel better, mein liebst.” She stayed with him through the night, wiping his brow every few minutes to cool his fever. Albert slept fitfully, unaware of his mama’s loving ministrations.

The next morning, Albert did not join the family for breakfast. Hermann, Albert’s father, frowned at the dark circles under Pauline’s eyes. “Is Albert doing better?”

Picking at her food, Pauline gave a heavy sigh and shook her head. “I’m worried. Albert has not awakened since yesterday when I put him to bed. His fever is still the same. I’m going to summon Dr. Weiss to examine him.”

Upstairs, Albert lay unconscious, his spirit hovering over his bed. Disoriented, he saw his limp body below him. What’s happening to me? He wondered. He saw a tall, brilliant-winged being at the foot of his bed. “It’s all right, Albert. I am Angel Zerachiel.” Albert, stunned, struggled to find words. He felt a soft, warm glow from the Messenger of Light. The sick boy gazed at the luminous Being and said, “What is an angel?” Angel Zerachiel replied, “Angels are spiritual beings created by God to protect and guide humans. Each angel has a specific task or job.” Albert responded, “Oh, do you have a special job too?” Zerachiel smiled, “I am an Angel of Healing. I care for children like you when they get sick.”. Albert smiled and relaxed. His new friend was going to help him feel better.

* * *

Twisting the doorknob, Pauline ushered Dr. Klaus Weiss into Albert’s room. Albert’s spirit and Angel Zerachiel watched dispassionately as Dr. Weiss pulled his spectacles from the inside pocket of his tailored wool suit, pushed them up on his nose, and bent down to inspect the feverish boy.

After a couple minutes of gently poking, prodding, and listening, the doctor straightened and beckoned to Pauline. She moved toward him with a questioning look. “Albert is working something through his body,” Dr. Weiss stated.

“Is it serious, doctor?” Pauline asked, concern coloring her voice.

The doctor smiled reassuringly. “I don’t think so. Give him willow bark for the fever.” He took out a pad, uncapped his fountain pen, and spoke aloud as he wrote instructions for Pauline. “Steep about one teaspoon of the dried herb in two cups of boiling water for ten minutes, then strain.” He opened his leather medical bag and pulled out a small tin container marked “Willow Bark.” He handed the herbal remedy to Pauline. “You can also soothe his head with lavender and chamomile water.”

Later that afternoon, Hermann came home early from work. He opened the door, which creaked slightly, and poked his head into the room. Pauline sat in the chair next to Albert’s bed, spoon-feeding her son, who was propped up on pillows and looking better, but still quite weak.

Pauline turned at the sound and smiled at her husband. “The herbs Dr. Weiss recommended broke Albert’s fever.”

Hermann shared a wink with Pauline as he walked into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. He patted Albert’s leg under the bedding. “I am so relieved to see you feeling better.” Albert raised his tiny hand to acknowledge his papa. He did not remember the angel or leaving his body.

Hermann reached inside his moleskin pants and pulled out a round, brass object on a silver chain. The twelve gems on top glistened in the morning light. He dangled the unique object in the air in front of Albert’s face.

Albert’s eyes grew wide. “What is that, Papa?”

Hermann smiled, happy to see the illness was not severe enough to dampen Albert’s curiosity. “This is a compass, Albert.” A quizzical look came over the young boy’s face. Hermann opened the brass cover to show Albert how the strange device worked.

Hermann’s eyes glowed as he pointed to a thin arrow suspended above the face of the compass. “See this arrow?” Albert nodded, his eyes focused only on the object. “It always points north. This is because the tip is magnetic; it aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field.” Albert nodded, looking even closer. “The compass is for navigation, to help you find your way.”

Mesmerized, Albert reached out and grasped the unique device. It felt heavy in his little hands. He twisted, turned, and gently shook it. No matter how he moved it, the needle mysteriously only pointed north. “Where did you get it, Papa?” Albert asked, still staring at the needle.

Hermann smiled. “A new customer, Count von Baden, gave it to me to pay for installing lighting in his castle. The compass has been in his family for many years.”

“He must have been reluctant to give up such a treasure, Papa,” Albert said, finally tearing his eyes away from the compass.

Hermann shrugged. “It was among a bunch of items he gave us to reduce the price for his job,” Hermann said, his eyes twinkling. “And I thought you’d find it interesting.” As Albert grinned, Hermann pointed to the cover of the object.

“See the twelve gemstones on top? This is a unique compass. Be sure and keep it safe.”

“I will, Papa!” Albert said emphatically, his eyes drawn back to the device as if the magnetic needle pulled them. The excitement of receiving the new gadget gave Albert a spurt of energy, but it soon dissipated. Despite his best effort to continue examining his beautiful compass, Albert fell asleep under his parents’ loving gaze.

Pauline reached out and touched Hermann’s hand. “What a wonderful gift for Albert. He seems even better since you gave it to him.”

Hermann smiled, pleased he could lessen his wife’s concern.

In his sleep, Albert, too, smiled as he clutched the compass to his heart.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Thank You Ken Follett

The writer who has influenced me more than any other is Ken Follett. “Pillars of the Earth” grabbed my whole being. His storytelling mesmerized me. I could not put the novel down. He killed Tom, the chief character in the first act. I could not believe it. How he layered medieval history of building a cathedral with people of the eleventh century blew my mind. When Pillars was on the top ten list, Oprah had a book club featuring the Pillars book. I took part every day online in the book club. One day at work I received a telephone call from a producer of the Oprah Show. I received an invitation to be in the audience during the book club appearance of Mr. Follett. I flew from Dallas to wintry Chicago in late January 2009. I knew the novel backwards and forwards. The interview took about an hour. During the last five minutes, Oprah asked if the audience had questions. I raised my hand, and the producer signaled for Oprah to address me. I asked a question here is a link https://youtu.be/W6W4AEjQomo. It inspired me to write my novel, “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure” by how Mr. Follett creates historical fiction with history. I have read almost all of his books.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure.

Young Albert Einstein transports to Atlantis.

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 a metaphor 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 as well. 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 human race.”

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’m going to need some time to think about that,” Albert declared, rubbing his temple to try to alleviate a headache pounding 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 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.

It 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.”

1 comment to Thank You Ken Follett

Your Comments

  

  

  

Einstein Meets Galileo

Where does inspiration come from? In this chapter dreams reveal ideas to Albert.In May 2015 I visited the Cathedral in Pisa where Galileo made his discovery of gravity. The bronze chandelier still hangs where Galileo watched it swing back and forth, proving time. The Leaning Bell Tower stands next to the Cathedral where Galileo dropped the first stones to prove his theory of gravity. Then I imagined Albert meeting the ancient astronomer who shows to Albert why he must include time and gravity in his theories. Dreams and imagination provide hope to Albert on his quest to know what is time and light. Last Saturday Einstein’s Compass celebrated its two-year publishing anniversary. #historicalfiction #timetravel #scifi #Fantasy Www.einsteinscompassbook.com.

Chapter 21
December 1894
New Beginnings

Albert collapsed wearily into the train seat and let out a long, heavy sigh. It relieved him to find that he was the only passenger in the compartment. Sinking into a daydream, he wondered what it would be like to see his parents again. Albert had no idea how they would receive the news about his leaving the Gymnasium.

A gray-haired porter shuffled into the compartment and said, “Tickets please.” Lost in thought, Albert didn’t respond. The porter tapped the troubled teen on the shoulder. “Sir, ticket please.” Albert started, then smiled sheepishly. “Sorry.” He reached into his pocket, then handed the clerk his voucher, which the porter punched, shaking his head, and ambled on to the next compartment.

As the train rumbled along, Albert closed his eyes and fell back into his reverie. He began composing his story so he could tell his mother all that had happened since she and his father had left. Absently the runaway tugged on the silver chain of his shiny brass compass, then pulled it from his tweed coat pocket. Still lost in his thoughts, he smiled as he thought of his childhood companion, Johann. The last time he saw him was at the farmer’s market. Well, physically, at least. The last time he had “seen” him was after the funeral in his friend’s bedroom.

Albert had been laying on Johann’s bed after dinner, grieving for his friend. He had pulled out his compass, finding a vague comfort gazing at the jewels on its lid. From out of nowhere, a shimmering light appeared above the compass and Johann had materialized, his form shining and translucent. He was smiling, and Albert sensed a warmth and love emanating from his friend’s eyes. The ethereal form just held, and a sense of peace had descended over Albert. Somehow, in his heart, he knew all was well with his friend. As that awareness presented itself to Albert, Johann had nodded, then slowly faded. From that time on, the pain of Johann’s loss had become manageable, and there was even a sense of joy, knowing Johann was just fine.

Morning sunlight shined through the train compartment’s window and glinted in the twelve brilliant jewels as Albert swung his treasure back and forth, then lowered it to his lap. The stones shimmered like stars in a rainbow of light. A spiral of light seemed to project from the compass, and Albert floated up into it and into another dimension of time. Mesmerized, Albert drifted off.

The smell of frankincense woke him. He saw enormous flying buttresses and realized he must be in a Gothic cathedral. Seated next to him in the pew was a bearded, balding gentleman. He stared at the man, watching the swings of a bronze chandelier that hung from the ceiling on a long metal chain and swung back and forth at regular intervals.

After a moment, the man spoke. It was not a language Albert knew, but he somehow understood. “Most interesting, don’t you think?”

“Uh, I’m not sure what I’m looking at, sir,” Albert responded respectfully.

The man nodded, then said, “Put your hand over your heart for a moment, then touch your wrist with your fingers.”

Albert complied. “Your heart goes bump, bump, yes?” Albert nodded. “And your pulse does the same.”

“It does,” Albert confirmed.

With his arm, the man mirrored the swing of the lamp. “Young man? I have observed that no matter how large or small the arc, the chandelier will complete its back and forth in the same time.”

“Really?” Albert asked, suddenly fully engaged in the conversation.

The man nodded solemnly.

As the subject of the discussion sank in, Albert suddenly had a sense of whom he was speaking to. Awed, he hesitantly asked, “Would you be, uh, Galileo, sir?”

With a twinkle in his eye, the man affirmed it. “I must admit, I am he.” Galileo leaned forward. “Now, we have established that we can measure time, correct?” Albert nodded. “Then remember that and come with me,” he said, setting down a prayer book and motioning for Albert to follow.

As they strolled outside to a leaning tower nearby, Galileo picked up two rocks, one twice the size of the other. With Albert in tow, he climbed the stairs to the top of the tower. Leaning over the edge, Galileo said, “Watch. I drop them at the same time.”

The rocks fell, and both landed together with a distant thump. “See, gravity! You must use gravity with time.”

Albert nodded thoughtfully, leaning further over the ledge to stare again at the rocks. Suddenly he was falling over the crowning ridge of the tower… He came back to awareness in the train car compartment with a jerk.

I have been with the father of physics! Albert thought with awe as he put the compass back into his pocket and absently gazed out the compartment window, considering what Galileo had said.

His thoughts were nearly enough to distract him from his worry about how he would be received by his family.

3 comments to Einstein Meets Galileo

  • That’s a good piece from your book, Grace. Do you have another book in your future, about Galileo? I’d certainly enjoy that.

  • Good idea Jacqui. Maybe I could do a Galileo Compass book.
    Thanks for your question.

    • I am currently in research for my new novel, “Jesus Compass”. Joses and his Desposyni Brothers, descendants of Jesus are summoned on behalf of Emperor Constantine to Rome (318 AD) by Sylvester. The Brothers want Sylvester to revoke the Greek Christian Bishops in Jerusalem of their doctrine, money and power and return all to them. During the voyage the supernatural Jesus Compass from Atlantis is gifted to Joses to assist he and his Brothers to travel through time and space and find wisdom in other dimensions like the lost city of Atlantis but evil forces seek the power of the Compass including a monstrous shapeshifting dragon from a different age.

Your Comments

  

  

  

Audio Book Reviewer -Einstein’s Compass – Action Packed Adventure

Customer Review #AudioBookReviewer4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed adventure and time travel. Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2020.

Imagine Albert Einstein as an easily bored and extremely intelligent young boy, a supernaturally magic compass, a dragon and time travel all in one book! Gifted with a magical compass, Einstein travels through time and space discovering and growing his theories of light and time. Faced with forces of evil bent on obtaining the compass, Einstein is protected and guided by Moses and other beings of light and goodness from the Bible. The fallen angel forces Einstein to use his wit and the compass to remain safe and keep the powerful compass from falling into the wrong hands. Grace Blair and Laren Bright took a historical character and intricately blended this adventuresome fantasy.

I loved Einstein’s Compass completely. They based the different time periods depicted in this story on historical fact, mythology, and common belief which made the story richer. I loved the vivid imagery the authors created. The character development was smooth and complete. The plot twists were brilliantly executed. The narrator, Curt Bonnem was an excellent choice for the book. His German accent, cadence, and tonal inflections were spot on. His masterful voice kept the listener intrigued and the story moving forward. He projected the right amount of emotion – confidence, curiosity, snark, and more that aided in the development of the characters. Well done book and I look forward to more written by Blair and Bright!The audio production of this book was well done and clear.

1 comment to Audio Book Reviewer -Einstein’s Compass – Action Packed Adventure

Your Comments