Category Archives: Blogs

Discovering Aberration Part 2!*

scbarrusvintage_medium

I am very proud to present to you, my wonderful and generous hearted readers, the second part of my guest host’s presentation about his exciting new novel.  Thank you thank you all for being so wonderful in reposting and spreading the word.

It started with a dream

Over the course of the last two and a half years I’ve been working late nights and lunch breaks on a novel entitled Discovering Aberration.

But it didn’t begin as a simple idea for a novel. It began as a dream.

In this dream I was a part of an expedition on a remote island with my cousin searching for a lost  civilization. Through the thick jungle we trekked, pressing through walls of great leaves and hanging vines. We pressed on and eventually hacked our way through the foliage. The world opened up around us, and before us was revealed a great lake; a crater with a  shimmering light submerged deep below the surface.

We rejoiced at finding the light below the water, it was the first sign of our discovery. But as we peered into the depths of the lake, our hearts sank as we saw a horrific sight. Within the lake was a massive beast, a dragon like creature which  swam about our discovery, protecting it over the centuries.

Immediately we set to work, building a device, a rocket strung to the ground with massive rubber bands. We climbed inside and the strange device shot us up into the air, and then, when we reached the point at which the rubber bands were stretched to their limit, we were hurled back down towards the lake to speed past the great and terrible beast.

It was a silly, adventurous dream. Most of it didn’t end up in the  novel other than as a little inspiration, but something about this dream stuck with me and eventually a novel only just barely related was created.

About Discovering Aberration

Discovering Aberration is a character driven steampunk adventure story taking place in  the era of budding steam and clockwork technology. The country of Victoria is in the  midst of a socio-economic divide, and in this divide, crime and villainy has festered. In this world lives our protagonists.

Freddy Fitzgerald is an esteemed adventurer/travel writer. His good friend, Thaddeus Lumpen approaches him on cold spring day with the discovery of a life time, an ancient map he’s stolen from under the nose of a notorious gangster.

Convinced this map will lead them to a long lost  civilization, they immediately build a rag tag team of explorers and archeologists and set out on a dangerous expedition. But in this world of villainy, news of the map leaks and suddenly they are up against a small army of competition.

Vengeful  archeologist, dangerous mercenaries, manipulating scarlets, and more  seek to head them off seeking the fame, the fortune  this discovery can offer them.

When they get to the island, all is not as it should be. People  are going mad, and what’s more, the island hides a deep, dark secret,  lurking in its heart.

Writing Discovering  Aberration has been perhaps the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of. I’m  so pleased with how it’s turned out. The novel has become so much more  than the dream ever was.

Indie Publishing

I’ve decided to publish Discovering Aberration myself, so I’ve become not only a  writer, but a publisher, an entrepreneur, a publicist and a marketer.

It’s a strange and competitive world I’ve stepped into. But unlike the  violent competition in my novel, my competition is other writers who  have proven to be some of the most helpful, supportive people in the  world.

I am taking the first step towards publishing  Discovering Aberration by launching a Kickstarter campaign. For those  of you who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform that enables artists like me to bypass  traditional corporations by seeking out funding from everyday people like  you who want to contribute and support.

For as little as $5, you can pledge your support for my novel and in return you’ll receive a professionally edited and  designed copy of the novel before it’s released to the general public. The more you can pledge, the  greater your rewards, including having a character named after you at  the $500 level, and even more in between.

If you’re interested, or want to learn more, please visit my  Kickstarter page which explains the process in detail.

But before you invest in my project, take some time to read the novel itself.  The first 28 chapters  is currently free to read on Wattpad.com.

If you enjoy reading Discovering Aberration as much as I enjoyed writing it, then please consider a small pledge, and be a very real part of this project.

Finally, I’d like to thank Chris for giving me this opportunity to share my  story and my project with you. She has been incredibly gracious and an  early supporter of mine (perhaps the earliest). And I look forward to  meeting and thanking every single one of you who choose to back my  novel.

Cheers,
S.C. Barrus

About S.C. Barrus

S.C. Barrus writes strange and thrilling literary adventures. He’s published short stories, essays and poems in print and online. Born in Canada,  S.C. Barrus grew up near Seattle in the pacific north west where he  lives to this day. He received his degree in creative writing from the  University of Washington.  You can learn more about him at his website Away and Away

Links:

Visit the Discovering Aberration Kickstarter

Read Discovering Aberration on Wattpad

The Question on at least 1280 Minds This Morning Is: Where is Miss C

Miss C as most of you know is Celi or Cecilia is a petite, tiny enough thing so you’d think the wind would knock her over, never mind those animals, who lives an exciting life on the prairies creating a self sustaining life in the most remarkable way.

We find her every morning at The Kitchen’s Garden and she always gets there first because while we mere mortals languish in our beds soaking up several hours sleep, this wee lady and already done a day’s work.

She paints the drama and comedy of her life daily and much like the readers of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers series in the eighteen hundreds, we wait, breath held, fingers crossed, for news.  We cheer successes, lament losses all the while persevering and all the while giving thanks for every moment of life; the Good, the Bad… well you know what I mean.

News of what you may ask?   Is there sustaining dramatic entertainment anywhere in this world to keep folk interested in events, in lives?

You betcha!  And if Miss C’s stories sold even for a penny as Dickens’  did one hundred and fifty years ago she would no doubt have great monetary wealth, for once you find her it is pretty hard to let her go.

But this drama, this suspense can hardly be tolerated, and it began on July 1st, just a few short days ago.  The link above will take you to the start of this tale for I am overcome at the very thought of each step along the way to even try to relate to you the surprise, the angst, the trepidation, the hopes for welcome resolution.

The last word I had yesterday was from FB in which it seemed successful resolution had once more escaped.  Where or where are you Miss C?

It isn’t just me and The Cast, and 1280 others, …okay wait …maybe it is just us, but probably many more who need to know:

DID YOU MAKE THAT PLANE?  Our hearts and minds are in a suspension until we know!!

Cecilia G

STICKS AND STONES

English: A graph showing where electronic aggr...
English: A graph showing where electronic aggression occurs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STICKS AND STONES

My mind has been occupied lately thinking about the power of words.  Words are wonderful when giving expression to how we feel, but there is, I think a dark side to words.  Somewhere along the line we, the people, have allowed words to hold an unimaginable strength, the strength to hurt us.  And we allow it.

The news is full of young people committing suicide from the strength we give words.

The term Bullying has become so closely defined that a comment, any comment can be taken as Bullying if it does not meet our approval.

Whenever I hear a celebrity says, ‘I was bullied.’ I wonder if it truly was bullying or just something they slanted to look that way, because after all it is the IN thing.

I find myself wondering why it is so deadly to us now.

Let’s face it – Bullying in one form or another has always existed.

Bullying when I was young generally meant a couple of people, or more,  physically bullied others.  The cowards of all cowards were bullies.

But it seems most of what is happening today is happening on the internet, social pages, or verbal attacks and the problem is that for some reason we are allowing – yes – ALLOWING – what others have to say affect us.

How has it come about that we are raising generations so easily affected by words?

When I was young, and yes, that was last century, we had a regular chant heard pretty much every day that left us impervious to taunts.  It protected us and made us stronger.  Why is it that today people flinch at words?

When did we stop believing –

STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK OUR BONES

BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT US.

When did we allow someone else’s words to have the power to hurt us?  Why do we allow ourselves to be victimized by words?

How is it our children of today cannot stand up and shout out the chant that may seem silly to some, but confirms within we have strength.  We are strong.

We have so many committees and governments working on stopping bullying – which I don’t think will happen completely – but has anyone considered attacking the other end?  The part inside each child that screams in defiance –

STICKS AND STONES WILL BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME.

It’s time for all of us to realize we are the ones that allow words strength.

And just maybe it is time we work to change attitudes of the victims and future victims.

Go ahead.  Say it to yourself a few times.  You will feel stronger.

We need to be stronger.

 

 

 

 

IS WANT DESIRABLE?

IS WANT DESIRABLE?

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Want’ lately.

The most frequent definition is similar to Merriam-Webster 1. To be needy or destitute.  2.  To have or feel need.

Thefreedictionary.com says it is – to desire greatly; wish for.

Wiki.answers.com goes a little further and says ‘Want refers to what you absolutely have to have and ‘need’ refers to something that you don’t really lust for – but you just need it.

Answers.yahoo.com says – DESIRE is when you want something you can’t have.  WANT is when you don’t need it but you get it anyways.

I always thought that reaching a point where one says, ‘I want nothing’ was a sign of happiness, an expression of gratitude.  I don’t think it means you have everything you could want, it just means that you are grateful and appreciative for what you have.  I disagree with M-W that WANT means being needy or destitute and agree whole heartedly with the second part – To have or feel need.

There are many, perhaps too many, in this day of materialism who WANT, not because of need, unless you count the need to possess as much as possible.

I think there is a much more positive side to WANT.  Because of want we set goals and move ourselves and society forward.  Want is not always about self, but the accomplished goal is indeed personal.  WANT is an acknowledgement and from there comes our plan, our goal.

This is a very narrow positive because wanting and not receiving affects us.  So then what happens?

We can accept the ‘not having’, we can I suppose change the WANT, although if the wanting is part of our need it is not easy to give up.  Some who WANT change nothing and live, I believe, half a life never being able to get past that thing and move on.  These are the bitterest lives immersed in anger and every form of negativity.

There are special people out there who WANT and accept the not having and chose to live in joy.

WANT AS A SOURCE OF HOPE OR BELIEF

This weekend a young man died.  I only met him a couple of times but my sister was a friend.  He was born on the other side of the world in a country where his mother had to hide him so he would not be killed.  Eventually they came to live in Canada, where despite my occasional groans about politics and institution is an excellent place to live.

Here he was loved by many.
Every day he went out about the town in his electric wheelchair.  Malls were one of his favorite spots to hang out where he cheered so many with his smile and laugh.  He loved people and they in turn loved him.

In the summer he loved to go to a local park where he got out of his wheelchair and sat by the lake on a rock.  Just like everyone else.  He had wants and was never embittered by them.  He had joy for others and his want was a dream that could not be allowed on this plane of life.

It was just a few days ago when he spoke, as well as he could speak, and he told her that when he got to heaven someday  he would be able to walk, would be able to run and jump.  And his belief gave him joy.

He never resented others for what they had, he was just happy for them.

He died, this man loved by so many, somehow falling or rolling from the rock into that lake and drowning.  And as my sister spoke of him yesterday she softly said, ‘He just wanted to be normal.’

And for a time I thought of WANT and the people whose lives are ruined by it and I thought of people like this man who in the ‘not having’ enriched everyone else’s life. And I blushed through my tears as I drove home, ashamed that my Wants have at times been negatively flavored and I found a gratitude and overwhelming joy at what I do have, and found myself wondering what I can do to enrich other lives.

You see I met this man perhaps twice and if this is the impact he had on me you have some idea of others and the value of their tears.

R.I.P.

I Give to You and You Give to Me

The actual lyrics Cole Porter‘s ‘True Love’ is …will I give to you, would you give to me.. the message is more appropriate as titled above. This is an age of such sharing and it isn’t always True Love. In this house for the present it is the sharing of bugs, flu bugs to be more precise between G1 and G2, or is it flu virus?  Could be.  I am not sure it matters much anymore, the result is unwell children, and yesterday was the strangest day in a very long time of my relatively long past.

But quickly I must say I come not to just share bad or sickly giving, but a couple of lovely givings also, but first the matter of the children.

G1 at 9 has run a fever off and on for a couple of weeks.  The doctor diagnosed ear infection and all the appropriate liquids and drops, and he got better.  This past week about Thursday he began with some unpleasant gastric symptoms, the specifics of which you do not want to know and by the weekend became very febrile, febrile meaning high temperature.  Off to the family doc in the morning who said, ‘Get him to the hospital right away, it could be appendicitis.  Off parents and child go while this granny nanny stays home with G2 who is 5.  All morning the wee guy seems just a little off but his usual happy self.

By late afternoon, while the hospital waits for lab and x-ray results, exact mirrored events unfold on the home front.  At first I wonder if this child could possibly be tuning in to what is happening with his brother, but the symptoms seem to be a little more extreme than empathetic expression would allow.  About the time the physician in the ER confirms G1 has a virus, G2 is in full bloom, lethargy, emesis (vomiting) and severe abdominal pain and a fever that medication would not break for a few hours.

And so they shared and gave, not true love, but something almost as intimate.  THE FLU.  Today they are still recovering and it will  be another day or two at least.  I must say the flus of today are far more severe than in days of old.  Well except for the plagues and pandemic flus which gave death as well as illness.  But generally we are experiencing a swing to the more deadly end of illness pendulum for sure.

NOW for some good giving.

SCBarrusPortraitsOriginals0050

In the beginning, say about 17 months ago, ( you didn’t really think I meant THAT ‘in the beginning was the Word‘ beginning?) when I first started blogging I discovered a world of wonderful talented writers.  It was like a combination of the best Christmas, birthday, anything gift one could have, and most of you are part of my inner circle yet.  What a rush!  Especially when I read,  made comments, and people actually answered.

I had been reading and loving one particular gent and much to my surprise one day I find this.  Now tell me true, does your heart not flutter a bit? Eventually S. C. (or Cody as we of the inner circle call him) moved onward and upward.

NOW there is a surprise coming the last week of this month and I won’t reveal it except to give you a couple of hints.

http://awayandaway.com/

 

http://www.wattpad.com/story/4607066-discovering-aberration/

See?  I give to you and you……dear readers allow yourselves a true treat and follow the yellow brick road, – uh I mean the links.

MORE TO COME!

I tell you, the inmates are running the asylum… again

Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV.
Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister
English: Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canada has a Prime Minister named Stephen Harper.  In case you misunderstand, I do not say that with any pride.  But there he is.  He has a chief of staff named Nigel Wright who it seems has more money than brains.  We also have a Senator named Mike Duffy.  Now Mike is a proven liar and crook who claimed more than $90,000.000 in expenses for a primary residence which was not, and apparently the government (dear dear Mr. Harper), said that if Mikey paid back the 90 grand ‘the government would go easy on him.)* CVT News.

When Mikey repaid the dough the ‘ government praised him for showing leadership.  Now just what has all this proved?

*You can lie, cheat, and steal and as long as some other guy – no not ‘guy’ but the Chief of Staff pulls out his wallet and pays you will be lauded a hero.  A fine specimen of a human being.

*One must wonder just what ethics Nigel used in accumulating his fortune.

*Young up-and-comers to the political scene have now learned honesty no longer exists -did it ever in politics? – just make sure you have the right friends with money and power.

Nigel Wright has taught us that money rinses of the stench of thievery and one must then wonder exactly what did Mikey have on old Nigel.  Or perhaps old Nigel did it to ensure future favors.  Such a circle.  Such an insanity.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photos/harper-s-chief-of-staff-nigel-wright-slideshow/nigel-wright-appears-house-commons-ethics-committee-tuesday-photo-20101102-145222-488.html
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photos/harper-s-chief-of-staff-nigel-wright-slideshow/nigel-wright-appears-house-commons-ethics-committee-tuesday-photo-20101102-145222-488.html

Now I must dash off to send my dear friend Nigel a letter.  I do hope he remembers how close we once were because He could pay off my existing debt although since I did not accumulate it illegally he may not want to help.  Damn.  How can I make it look like a crime?  Oh yeah – he is the crime.

BTW 2 other criminal senators are big time po’d that they couldn’t give Nigel what he wanted cause they have been left out to dry.

A Sad Day in the Neighbourhood

Image representing Kijiji as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

About a week ago, on May 6, 2013, Timothy Bosma 32 took 2 men out for a ride to test drive his truck he was selling.
He never returned. One ‘suspect’ Dellan Millard is in custody identified first by a unique “Ambition wrist tattoo.

Tim’s truck was found on Dellan’s mother’s property, his cell phone found, and sadly this morning Tim’s burned body was found on one of Dellan’s properties. The man who police report is remaining silent, no doubt feels his wealth will protect him, and in this very unjust life we live, it very well may.

Tim leaves behind a young wife and young child.

Now this is important – Tim was selling his truck on Kijiji.  There is currently an advert by Kijiji running on TV that says ”’so and so sold his truck on Kijiji”’ and what a wonderful way to do it.

If you must sell anything, please take precautions.

Take a photo of potential customers and their licences and do not ever go with them.

Always have someone else with you when making direct contact.

It is preferable if  you do not meet them at your home.

I have never sold anything on line yet so please do tell me of other safety measures I can follow.

It seems it wasn’t that long ago that someone on Craigs List lured men to his garage where he killed them.  It isn’t always the buyer that can be dangerous.

By the way, Kijiji continues to run the ad.

Oh, and the lawyer for the accused says his client is 100% innocent.

 

 

 

The Sheldon Board

big bang theory new season
big bang theory new season (Photo credit: Heavybm)

 

There are all kinds of boards; the mother board, the ironing board, the board of directors, shuffle board, leader board, but there is only one Sheldon board.

 

I have an addictive personality so I become enthralled, perhaps even obsessed with books, authors, movies and the odd television series.  ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ has been an addiction for sometime, and I suppose it is somewhat pathetic that when my friends and I meet we always find some part of a long conversation dwelling on the antics of Penny, Amy Farrah Fowler, Bernadette, Howard, Leonard, Raj, and of course Sheldon. And, even worse we can -well I can- quote the script with great accuracy resulting in gales of laughter, not to mention the theme song, the best ever, by the BareNaked Ladies.

 

Some of my favorite scenes take place in the laundry room, where amongst great wit and humor we find Sheldon folding laundry as only the iconic obsessive compulsive can, complete with a board that ensures every item comes out in exact identical specifications.

SAM_0839

And we find ourselves saying, ‘I want a board like that.’  I remember them as an item back in the sixties or seventies, but short of contacting Chuck Lorre directly we couldn’t find a single one. Until one day.  The day.  My sister who likes to peruse Dollar Stores came across one.  I think in the end it had to cost her a fortune because she bought not just one for herself, but a dozen others for our group.  It’s not blue like Sheldon’s but it does the job.

Perfect  fold every time
Perfect fold every time

Others in this house find their laundry missing for short periods of time.  I have to do it since I do not have enough foldables to get fair use from this miracle.  By the time said missing items are rediscovered they have all been obsessively folded.  Just like Sheldon.

My sister lives in an apartment building with a laundry room and I drove her crazy each time I visited begging her to ‘let’s go to the laundry room and play Sheldon and Penny’ but she has a strong sense of propriety so she has declined. So far.

 

 

Spummer

SAM_0819Hey It’s Spri..uh no ..it’s Summ..Nope since it is May it must be Sprummer!

We seem to have bypassed actual spring, which is much better than last year when we had a false early spring, and the buds all responded to warm temperatures just to be hit with more winter that killed off a huge percentage of our crops and flowers. I sadly mourned (I know how can one mourn unsadly?) the particular loss of our magnolias. So close to bloom then frozen and dead, never to recover, at least in that year.
So today I am happy to change that wintery header of mine to our beautiful magnolias – alive and just shouting life and color. It seemed to be a long long winter although it was not harsh. Perhaps due to the false spring. We felt cheated somehow.

It was fun to get the patio ready first with the power wash that cleansed the soul of grit and dirt as well as fences and patios.

Daddy teaching our future patio cleaner
Daddy teaching our future patio cleaner

He who took great pleasure in water, force and strength.  Made him feel like the Hulk!

SAM_0793

Now that’s the way to start the season!

sam_0814.jpg

Creativity takes a swerve

I have been wonderfully busy these last few weeks – being creative that is – however none of it is writing.  I have done a lot of thinking about writing and spent some time pondering if there are any new stories to tell.  Of course there are.  New twists and turns to entangle the mind of the reader in a web of intrigue and interest.

I have not come to any great conclusions because after all there might not be any great conclusions at least for my mind, in the here and now.  So I took my focus elsewhere and the idea was to create something that required concentration and to complete the task (I am a great non completer).

We took walks
We took walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of us
All of us
I began to knit - fancy dancey scarves like this
I began to knit – fancy dancey scarves like this
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater

Creativity thrives and now as I am almost finished the last sweater I will do for awhile (it is for a 95 year old friend – so I must not dally), it is time to think about words, stories, and adventures.   Have a wonderful weekend all!