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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

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.

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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,


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.

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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.

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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 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.”

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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

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.

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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

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What Inspired Me To Write Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

I have always thought of Einstein as a fascinating person. Young Albert received a compass from his father when he was a boy which gave him the inspired vision to know what is time and what is light. The compass and his quest made me create the story. I researched twenty years of Einstein’s life and added a science fiction fantasy to create an alternative history of how he created his miracle theory. The compass was more than a direction finder instead a vehicle of the supernatural which Albert uses to discover his world-changing theory.

He lived during the horse and buggy days where the light bulb was the most advanced technology. How did he come up with his miracle theory given the circumstances of his life? I asked myself the what if question? What would happen if? Albert was a modern mystic in his time?

What would happen if? Einstein was a star child from Atlantis? What would happen if? Albert was trying to remember what he did as a priest-scientist during his lifetime in Atlantis? What kind of place was Atlantis? Who lived there? What were the people like in Atlantis? Maybe in Atlantis, he had an evil twin brother. Maybe there was an advanced civilization in Atlantis. What if our hero had spiritual guides to protect and direct him in his quest to know what is time, what is light?

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

Chapter: The Spiritual Compass

Johann jerked back into awareness in the Garden of Remembrance and gasped, “I was there, at school. With Werner!” He shook his head as if to clear it, then frowned, puzzled. “He was holding a… a gun. I think I scared him.”

Standing next to the bewildered journeyer, Moses smiled. He reached his arm around the boy’s shoulder and drew him closer to his side. The brown-eyed sage gazed down at Johann.

“You did well. Your appearance prevented Werner from making an unwise choice.” Moses glanced at the crystal viewing Portal that sat on the grass nearby. “What was it like for you, traversing through time?” he asked.

Johann’s eyes misted. “It was a lot like you and Jesus told me it would be. The HU sound surrounded me, and I was filled with… joy. I floated on purple light through what felt like a door. It was like moving to another room.” Johann furrowed his brow as he worked to remember. “Suddenly, I found myself back in Germany. I was riding a bicycle.” Johann’s gaze took on a faraway look as he reflected. “It seemed like a dream, and I told Werner to forget the compass and leave Albert alone.” The boy snapped himself back and looked at the master. “The next moment, I was here.”

Moses smiled, “Excellent. Sounds like your first return to the physical world was reasonably pleasant for you.”

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.

Johann became quiet. He thought back to when they used the compass at the monastery on Mary Magdalene’s feast day. “We won a relic scavenger hunt at a monastery once, too. Albert saw Saint Mary Magdalene, and she helped us find our way. Was that the compass too?”

Moses nodded. “Albert’s compass is for finding true spiritual north, for showing the direction in the realm of the spirit as a physical compass does in the natural world.”

As they were talking, Jesus approached, and Moses motioned for him to join them. “Young Johann had some questions about the compass, my Friend. Perhaps you can add some explanation.”

Jesus smiled as he eased himself down on Johann’s other side. “Ah, an interesting topic, indeed.” He stroked his beard as he considered what to say. Arriving at the angle he wanted, he asked Johann, “Do you know the story of the Ten Commandments that Moses received from God?”

Johann nodded. “Of course. Moses went up onto a mountain, and God delivered to him a stone tablet upon which were written ten rules to guide people’s lives. Things like not to steal, or murder. Not to lie. Things like that.”

 “Right, the Ten Commandments were rules to guide men. You might say they were like a compass for men to use to make good choices.”

“So, Albert is learning to find his way, and his compass will help him.”

Jesus and Moses smiled at each other. “Yes… that’s exactly right. And it has other powers as well—almost incredible powers—which we will discuss at another time. But for now, you have the basic idea.”

Then Moses became serious. “But some forces would use these powers to set humankind on a different course. They have made it their mission to acquire the compass.”

As the impact of what Jesus said sunk in, Johann jumped to his feet. “I have to tell Albert. I have to help him!”

Great loving radiated from Jesus’ eyes, and he reached out and gently grasped Johann’s arm. “Easy, Johann. We were hoping you would want to help Albert, and we will assist you in doing just that. Albert has an important mission for the world—and you are destined to play a part in it as well.”

Moses nodded. “However, there is more you must learn before you can help your friend. There are rules and boundaries—for both sides—that must not be crossed.”

Jesus nodded. “And so, you can see, my friend, we have work to do.”

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Young Einstein Against The World

Did you know? Young Albert Einstein faced enormous obstacles? As a boy, Albert’s father gave him a compass. The directional device gave him his faithful path for life. The budding scientist held onto his dream to know what time is, what is light, no matter what. Albert was a Jewish boy in a Catholic school who experienced bullying and antisemitism. At age fourteen, his parents abandoned him. After graduation from college, his professors refused to recommend him for the job. BUT, he overcame it to become one of the most important scientists in modern history. In the five-time award-winning historical fiction fantasy novel, “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 doppelganger from a different age.Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

December 1894
Confronting Authority

Albert’s leaden footsteps echoed through the deserted halls of the Luitpold Gymnasium as he trudged to the direktor’s office. He was most definitely not looking forward to this meeting. He had little respect for the teachers who insisted he waste his time going over elementary rote information. Of course, if things went as he hoped, he wouldn’t have to be here much longer. But for now, he had to put up with the formalities.

Arriving at the office, he was greeted by Miss Schmidt, a pleasant forty-something woman dressed in tweed, with dark hair plaited tightly to her head. Sitting at her small desk in the anteroom outside the direktor’s office, she welcomed Albert with a sympathetic smile. “Good morning, Herr Einstein. Please sit down,” she said, indicating the small settee across from her desk. “The direktor will call you after he has reviewed your situation with the Academik Committee.” She looked at Albert, her expression not unkind. “We know your parents are not in Munich, so the direktor requested that Colonel von Wiesel and Frau Thomas serve in their stead. Your instructors, Herr von Achen, and Herr Hamlin are also in with them.”

Like a helpless animal caught in a snare, Albert felt trapped by the situation. But putting a good face on a bad situation, Albert mustered a smile and made a slight bow. “Thank you, Miss Schmidt, for your kindness.”

Inside, he was not smiling. Why is Johann’s mother here? She is fragile and has been through so much. Albert remembered her compassion.

After the funeral, she had taken him aside and, despite her loss, had offered words of advice about his school situation. “You must treat your teachers with respect, even if you know more than they do. I know it must be hard for you, Albert, but doing otherwise will only get you in trouble.” That scene faded from his mind as he thought about the other adult who was supposed to advocate for him at this meeting. That anti-Semite von Wiesel is supposed to take my father’s place? What did they think when they chose him?

Albert stared at the tall mahogany doors to the direktor’s inner office, wishing the ordeal was over, and he was walking back out through them heading home.

On the other side of the doors, Albert’s future at the school was being decided by the direktor and the group he had assembled.

Frau Thomas was once happy and vivacious, but the loss of her son, Johann, had shattered her life into a million pieces. She looked frail and lifeless. It was as if the light of living had been extinguished in her. Still, she had come to the meeting to support Albert. Johann would have wanted her to be there for his best friend. But it had taken all the determination she could summon merely to get out of bed in the morning. Nonetheless, Christine had bathed and washed her ginger hair with pleasantly scented castile soap, then wrapped it in a soft, graceful knot secured with a Spanish comb. Declaring herself presentable, she made her way to the Gymnasium.

She sat at the table, clutching a monogrammed handkerchief in her hand, a birthday gift from her son. The soft cotton made her feel as if he were somehow there to give her comfort. She prayed for strength to get her through this. She hoped Albert would comport himself with respect.

Earlier, Headmaster Braun had welcomed her and sincerely thanked her for standing in support of Albert. He had said that he knew she would be an excellent advocate for the boy. Her spirits lifted slightly at his compliment. Then he had commented about how remarkable her son had been and how much he regretted what had happened. His well-meaning condolences only reminded her of her loss, and the gray fog of depression, her constant companion since the funeral, settled once again around her.

The headmaster, Stefan Braun, had a reputation for being fair. Personable and intelligent, the fifty-ish man had plenty of experience, and could himself have made the decision regarding young Einstein. But he wanted the views of the teachers and other adults who knew Albert in hopes that he could find something that would be more in Albert’s favor. He thought Albert was basically a decent boy, though perhaps a bit too smart for his own good. So far, he didn’t see how he could resolve the instructors’ complaints in a way that would allow Albert to continue at the Gymnasium. And that troubled him.

The five-person panel sat around a circular table. Colonel von Wiesel sat on the direktor’s right side and Frau Thomas on his left. Von Achen, the physics teacher, sat next to Frau Thomas and Hamlin, who taught history, sat next to the colonel. An empty chair for Albert sat across from the direktor.

“I want to thank you all for coming,” Direktor Braun had said, opening the meeting. His quiet gaze touched each person. “I have invited you here to determine whether Herr Einstein is to continue as a student in our school.” Hands clasped on the table, nodding to the two teachers, he continued. “Our teachers have brought to my attention the issues surrounding the boy in the classroom. And I have heard gossip of behavior that has me concerned. So, I would appreciate each of you sharing your experience.”

Von Achen jumped right in, his feeling clearly expressed in his frown. “The boy is insufferable. He’s arrogant. He thinks he knows more about mathematics than I do.” The man’s anger grew, and his volume increased with each word. “I ask him to repeat what he has read in the textbook, and he goes off on a tangent not only unrelated to the topic but making no sense to anyone.” His chest heaving, the instructor, paused. Then, as if his words had spewed all the anger he held, the balding man seemed to deflate into his chair.

Colonel von Wiesel shook his head. “Insufferable is a good description.” His face turned bitter. “Those Jews think they are better than anybody else!” he spat. The man’s piggish eyes swept the assemblage as if daring anyone to contradict him.

Herr Hamlin responded calmly in contrast to the colonel’s vitriol. “Excuse me, Colonel, but I am Jewish. I think it’s more accurate to say we of think of ourselves as determined, not better.”

He cleared his throat. “Be that as it may, it’s true that young Einstein doesn’t follow the rules. He thinks he can do whatever he pleases. He stares out the window and will not cooperate with the plan we have established for the class. I have tried all the techniques I know, and I’m afraid I just don’t know what to do to keep his attitude from disrupting my class.”

Frau Thomas came to Albert’s defense. “I know it must be upsetting for you when you are just trying to teach our children. But remember, Albert becomes frustrated and doesn’t understand why other people are not as smart as he is. He doesn’t follow the rules because he doesn’t understand their value or why they have been imposed.”

Von Achen pounded his fist on the table, and Frau Thomas flinched, nearly bursting into tears. Red in the face, the teacher shouted, “The rules were not established for him to understand! They were put in place by those who know better, and he must follow them whether he comprehends them or not!”

Direktor Braun raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Please, let’s stay calm.” He looked to each participant as he spoke. “I agree with Herr Hamlin that being Jewish is not the issue. And Frau Thomas makes a good point that Albert’s conduct is founded on his not understanding.” He turned his gaze to the two teachers. “However, your comments are also valid, gentlemen. Perhaps Herr Einstein himself can give us some sense of a solution.” The colonel sighed, surrendering to the necessity of being in the same room as the boy, and von Achen frowned.

The headmaster rose from the table. He strode to the office door and turned the brass knob. Looking into the adjoining room, he nodded to Albert. “Please, Herr Einstein, would you come in?” Albert stood stiffly and straightened his clothing. With as much dignity as he could summon, he walked into the direktor’s office. The animosity in the room was palpable to him.

The Advisory Council members kept their silence as Albert entered the room. Frau Thomas smiled in vague encouragement at the boy, and Hamlin maintained a neutral expression. Von Wiesel and von Achen openly scowled. The headmaster gestured to a chair for Albert, but instead of taking his seat, Albert remained standing and pulled an envelope from his coat pocket. He extended it toward the headmaster. “If you would, Herr Direktor, please consider this in your discussion.” With a puzzled look, the direktor took the proffered envelope.

Frau Thomas shook her head and held her breath as Direktor Braun opened the envelope and read the letter aloud.

Dear Direktor Braun,

I have examined Herr Albert Einstein and have concluded that he is suffering from nervous exhaustion, exacerbated by the death of his friend Johann Thomas. It is my professional recommendation that he be given a leave of absence from his classes at the Gymnasium for an unspecified period.

Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.

Dr. Joshua Talmud, MD

Munich University Clinic

Thoughtfully, the headmaster neatly folded the letter and placed it back in the envelope, relief clear on his face. He turned to Albert and said, “We will undoubtedly factor this into our deliberations, Herr Einstein. Do you have anything else to say?

Albert shook his head. “I do not.”

The direktor took in a breath and slowly exhaled. “Well then, thank you for coming in today. We will let you know what we decide.”

Albert nodded to the direktor and then to the others seated at the table. He spared Frau Thomas a brief smile, then walked from the room.

As the door closed, the direktor eased himself back onto his chair. “Well, this changes things a bit.” He read the letter to the group again and then said, “With your agreement, I will write a letter to Albert and his parents confirming that it is in the best interest of the school and Herr Einstein for him to be excused from his studies. I will suggest that during his time of recovery, they find a school that better suits his educational needs.” At the nods of the others, he said, “Then it is settled. Since we have a doctor’s diagnosis of nervous exhaustion, I can make sure his school record does not indicate any misconduct so it will be easier for him to find acceptance in another school.”

There were more nods around the table, though Colonel von Wiesel did not look happy. He had been expecting a more severe punishment for the Jew but decided to hold his tongue. At least for the time being.

As Albert made his way home, all he felt was a relief. He was confident that he would never return to the Gymnasium. Max’s letter gave the direktor the out he was no doubt looking for, and it released Albert from the stifling insipidness of the classes he had been forced to endure.

For the first time since Johann’s death, he began to hope that there might be some brightness in his future. Despite the gray day and biting cold, as he considered Switzerland and what the school there might be like, Albert slowly began to smile.

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Compass Magic Lights Up a Treasure Hunt

In my writing process, I sit at my computer and compose whatever appears in my mind. When I run out of words, I get up and do chores, wash dishes or walk.  In meditation, I send loving thoughts and bless the story. Usually a character or a theme of the narrative will appear to me in pictures. When writing “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure”, I was working an episode in the mountains outside of Munich, Germany. Albert and his companion Johann visit a monastery. Using Albert’s supernatural compass, the boys take part in the annual treasure hunt of Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day. Unexpectedly, in my mind, Mary Magdalene appears to me. She wishes to be in the story. The heavenly saint advises me to compose the chapter. After I write the episode I learned in my research, she remained the last thirty years in a cavern in the south of France. My husband and I were traveling on a Mediterranean cruise in a few weeks and would be near her last resting place. I arranged for a guide to take me to the Grotto where Dominican Monks have a sanctuary dedicated to Mary Magdalene. In the sanctuary, I pray to her and seek a blessing. To my right, a golden light appears I hear her voice, “Welcome Sister”.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

A Miracle

Though they were as eager as the rest of the boys to start their search, instead of rushing off aimlessly, Albert and Johann trotted over to the green lawn next to the monastery’s central walkway and sat down. Albert wanted to approach the hunt rationally. He laid the map on the grass and took out his precious compass.

“What are you going to do with the compass, Albert?” Johann wanted to know.

“I’m not sure, but I felt like it might help us focus on the clues and where we want to go,” he replied as Johann settled himself next to him, watching with interest.

Albert opened the top of the gem-encrusted compass and set it on the map as he considered the layout. The morning rays were reflecting on the device’s face. Looking at the map and then the topography of the surroundings, Albert tried to determine where they needed to go. He pointed to the chart and said, “The first set of coordinates is 47.58 north 11.118 east, but it’s not clear exactly where that is.”

As Albert spoke the coordinates, a beam of violet light suddenly shot out of the compass, extending to a point on the map. Both boys gasped in shock. They could not believe what they saw!

Johann gulped and whispered, “What was that?”

Albert could only stare as the light disappeared. Then he closed his eyes and rubbed his temples as if he was trying to ease an ache. “I have no idea. It’s scientifically not possible.”

Johann regained his wits and grabbed Albert’s arm. “Yeah, but it happened. If it’s scientifically impossible, then it must be magic!”

Albert shook his head as if to clear the thought from his mind. “I can’t say it’s magic…” Then Albert brightened. “But whatever it is, it’s given us a destination. Let’s go!” He scooped up the compass and the map and scrambled to his feet.

Spurred by their desire to win the competition, the two adventurers scampered down from the mountain church into a grove of fir trees. As they walked, Albert’s gaze was drawn to a young woman dressed in a red cloak near the edge of the trees. Her dark eyes radiated pleasant warmth as she beckoned him to follow her. For a moment, Albert’s eyes met hers, and Albert jerked as if he had been jolted by a bolt of electricity. The woman smiled and motioned again.

Albert could only stare for a moment, speechless. Then, gathering his wits, he pointed and said to Johann, “I… I think that woman wants us to follow her!”

“What woman?” replied Johann, looking around.

To Albert, Johann was looking right at the woman. He paused, then said, “Never mind. Just follow me,” as he started off after the woman.

“Uh, right,” Johann agreed, a very puzzled look on his face.

The boys hiked through a meadow of brightly colored flowers and thick wild grasses. Their mysterious guide glided ahead of them, then stopped at a whitewashed picket fence. She pointed to a cluster of white, purple, and red roses inside the enclosure. “She wants us to go in there,” Albert said. His heart seemed to swell as her gaze crossed over him.

Frowning in bewilderment, Johann swung open the garden gate and stepped onto a pathway that led to the center of the rose garden. There was a red flag on a thin pole that reached over the rose bushes. Near the marker was a single gold rose laying on a mahogany bench, the sun’s rays glistening off its metal petals.

Albert approached it, making sure he didn’t disturb it. “Looks like we’ve found our first relic,” he said, handing the map to Johann. “Which of the clues does the gold rose to go with?”

Johann scanned the clues. “Hmm. I’ve been studying the relics of the monastery, so let’s see if my work was worth it.” Moving his finger down the clue list, Johann suddenly stopped. “Here!” he said, poking the paper. The clue read, “The founder’s prize.” Johann nodded to himself. “The gold rose belonged to the founder of the monastery, Duke Albrecht,” he said, writing: “Albrecht’s gold rose in the rose garden” next to the clue.

“Good work, Johann!” Albert said approvingly.

Johann nodded and looked up from the map. “Thanks. But your compass sure played its part. Have you used it for directions before today?”

Albert shook his head. “I don’t need a compass to get around Munich, so there’s been no need. That’s one of the reasons I was looking forward to this trip—to test it out. Uh, and of course, to spend some time with my best friend,” he added with a grin. “This treasure hunt is a fantastic exercise—a real experiment in a controlled environment.” Albert scratched his head. “But I have to say, I was as surprised as you were when I opened the compass and that beam of light shot out of it.”

“So that’s not what usually happens with compasses?” Johann asked, pretty sure he knew the answer.

“Not by a long shot,” Albert responded, his dark eyes sparkling with delight.

“Well, let’s open the map and see if the compass helps with the next clue,” Johann suggested.

“Right,” Albert agreed his curiosity now in high gear. This time, he was ready to observe the phenomenon, if it happened again.

Albert carefully opened the map on the opposite end of the mahogany bench from where the golden rose sat. He laid the compass on it and picked another set of coordinates at random. “How about 47.964 north, 11.202 east.” For a moment, nothing happened, and Albert thought the first instance must have been a fluke. Then, the compass lit up and projected a thin beam of violet light to a point on the map.

“Oh. My. Gosh,” Albert gasped.

Johann shook his head in awe. “How does it do that, Albert?”

“I have no idea! There isn’t a power source, yet the light radiates out when I say the coordinates. That’s…just…not…possible.”

“Yeah, but it happened…again!” Johann tugged on Albert’s arm. “Come on. We’ve got a scavenger hunt to win!”

Carefully closing the compass, Albert let his friend lead him toward where the compass had indicated the next relic would be. As the two adventurers made their way through the countryside, Albert saw the woman in red nearby. She appeared to be waiting for them. Albert closed his eyes and shook his head. He opened them to find her still smiling, inviting them to follow her. As before, Albert felt a tingling all over when the woman in red was nearby. It was hard to describe—a sort of joyfulness that overcame him upon seeing her. “Johann, there’s that woman in red again. She wants us to follow her.”

“Really? Where?” Johann turned left, then right, following Albert’s lead.

“Over there.”

“If you say so.” Johann headed in the direction where Albert was pointing.

“When we get back to the hall, I’m going to ask one of the monks if there’s a woman that looks like her living around here.”

“Good idea,” Johann nodded. “She sure seems to know about the treasure hunt and where the relics are.”

Johann stuck close to Albert as they followed the woman through wheat fields and lush, green grounds. Finally, they came to a pristine, crystal pond. Tall, willowy pine trees and wild blueberry bushes lined the shore on its far side. Johann pointed to a blue flag near one of the trees. “There!”

“I see it,” Albert responded, his heart racing and picking up his pace, not registering that the woman in red was now nowhere to be seen. Next, to the flag, they found a miniature pine decorated like a Christmas tree. Albert scratched his head. “A Christmas tree in July?”

Johann read the clue on the treasure map: “What did St. Nicholas adds to the celebration of Christmas?” Looking at Albert with a smirk, he said, “That’s easy! St. Nicholas started using a tree in the holiday festivities. There are several relics of his in the monastery.”

“Hmm, interesting,” Albert said clapping his partner on the back as Johann wrote the answer: “St. Nicholas’s tree near the pond,’” next to the clue.

“Thanks to the compass and your invisible lady, we’re two for two.” Johann reached for a piece of cake he’d stuffed into the pocket of his lederhosen before they left. He unwrapped it from its cloth napkin and offered his friend a bite “So, what do you say we stop for a minute and rest?”

Albert firmly grasped Johann’s wrist and shook his head. “Not until we’ve spotted all the relics. You can rest,” Albert emphasized, “when we have completed the course and beaten everyone back to the hall.” He placed the map atop a boulder near the sandy shore and carefully set the compass on it. Picking another set of coordinates, he said them aloud.

Nothing happened. Johann and Albert both blinked and stared at the compass. Albert spoke the coordinates again—this time more slowly and clearly. The boys waited. Nothing. The compass did nothing.

“I guess we’ve lost our edge,” Johann shrugged.

“Wait, Johann, the abbot, told us not all the clues were useful. Let’s give the compass another chance.” Albert scanned the map and picked another set of coordinates. “Find 47.968 north, 11.194 east.”

After only the briefest pause, the compass beamed a tiny light to a point on the map. Johann’s face lit up. “You were right! Come on!” Johann yanked Albert’s sleeve. It was all Albert could do to snatch up the compass and map before Johann had him hurrying off in the new direction.

As the boys marched past the tree line, Albert once again saw the woman in red a short distance away. She pointed to a farmhouse down the road, but as Albert and Johann stepped closer, she evaporated into thin air. Albert froze in his tracks, but Johann just kept walking as if nothing had happened. Of course, Albert realized, Johann can’t see our mysterious guide…only I can.

The boys walked down a narrow, dusty road toward the farmhouse. It was a long, red-brick-and-timber-framed house about 15 meters long. Behind the house, several chickens scratched in the yard. A green flag stood next to the chicken coop. As the boys approached the flag, they saw a short, wooden stool. On the seat, in a woven basket trimmed with fresh moss, sat a single red egg.

Albert smiled to see the flag. “Okay, this must be it.” He paused and wrinkled his brow. “But what kind of relic is a red egg?”

Johann smirked. He liked knowing things Albert did not. It was undoubtedly a rare occurrence. “The red egg was a present Mary Magdalene gave Emperor Tiberius. She brought him a white egg to signify the birth of Christ. When he saw the egg, he laughed and said, ‘I will believe it represents the Christ when the egg turns red.’ As Mary Magdalene extended the egg to the emperor,” Johann continued, “it turned red.”

“Really?” said Albert, not quite sure what to make of this story.

“Uh-huh,” Johann nodded, taking the map and writing: “Mary Magdalene’s red egg in farmyard” next to a clue that said, “What convinced Tiberius?”

“Well, I don’t know about the story,” Albert said, “but I’m sure glad your secret studies included the relics of the monastery. I would have had no idea which relic matched what clue.”

Johann blushed at the praise, “Thanks for saying so, Albert. But let’s keep going with the hunt.”

Albert agreed and spread open the map. He placed the compass on it. Johann pointed to one of the coordinates, and Albert read the numbers aloud. Nothing emitted from the compass. Albert repeated the coordinates, and when there was no response again, he quickly learned through the few remaining coordinates. Each time, the compass remained unresponsive.

Johann frowned. “Do you think the compass is broken, Albert?”

“Could be, but I think it’s more likely that we have found all the clues.”

“That sort of makes more sense, I guess,” Johann conceded. “If that’s the case, then let’s head back to the dining hall.”

“Right.” Albert carefully folded the map. “We did this together, and I want us to win.”

Johann smiled. “We did it together.”

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