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Thursday, December 17, 2015

History of Children of Sophista via Kickstarter Video

I've put together a video that gives a brief summary of the Children of Sophista's story as well as a pitch for my upcoming Kickstarter, which will start sometime around mid-January. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review of "The Owl from Oblivion"

Here is a review of Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion" from Red City Reviews. You can either click on the picture below and zoom it up or follow the LINK by clicking here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Syon's Anxiety About Reality

Syon's #Imagination #OE increases his #anxiety. And Syon has a lot to be anxious about. He is wrenched from his magical, supernatural life and thrown into a life on the reality timeline where his alcoholic father beats him. His mind has lot of reasons to have dark thoughts. #scifi #HarryPotter #gifted #talented 

Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them for easier reading of the text.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Red City Review of Book #1

Here is the Red City Review for book #1. I have posted it in image form so click the image to enlarge it for easy reading. There is also a link after the image which you can click and read the review directly on their site.

Monday, August 31, 2015

"The Owl from Oblivion" Book Giveaway

This #book #giveaway runs until Sept. 14th, midnight Pacific time US or until all books (at least two, maybe more) have been given away. I am giving away the signed hardcover version of "The Owl from Oblivion". Even though this book is marked as the 5th book in a series, the book can be read without having read the previous books of the series. To read a description of the book, click here. To enter, use the contact form to the right to tell me you want the book. I will send you an email and if you respond, you will be a winner. As soon as I declare you a winner, the book will be shipped to you. I request that winners review the book on This contest is for the US and I will award one UK winner, if one applies.

This book is somewhat dark and intense so sensitive readers might want to give it a pass. You can click here to read a 6 chapter sample of the book (PDF format). If you would like to read a catalog of all the Children of Sophista Imprint of books, click here

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Strategic Crossroads

I'm asking myself right now where to go in terms of writing and the Children of Sophista Book Series. One of the goals I had early in the development of the series was to provide a bit of empathy for the difficulties of being a kid that is ‪#‎gifted‬ and ‪#‎talented‬ and to promote a bit of understanding between those inside and outside that community. A ‪#‎scifi‬ / ‪#‎fantasy‬ platform can be an excellent way to do that in that an entertaining story can be illustrative without pontificating in a boring way. I really haven't seen much of any support coming back from that community, and I wonder if I have made a tragic mistake and should have mainstreamed my writing to reach more people. To me, it would be a lot more boring to write mainstream stuff but sitting in the doldrums is not very fun either. So feel free to comment while I climb to the top of a tree to take my bearings on what should be done next. ‪#‎gtchat‬ ‪#‎OE

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Syon's Realistic But Terrible Life: Character Origin

In “The Owl from Oblivion”, I broach a number of difficult subjects that may make a few “polishers” of gifted students wonder why I would want to put such details into a book potentially read by gifted tweens and teens. One instance, in which the highly gifted character, Syon, is repeatedly brutalized by alcoholic parents, might shock some sensitive individuals. So why include it?

I took a journey discovering giftedness, specifically 2e giftedness, a few years ago. As part of that journey, I spent a few months as guest on an underground bulletin board for gifted teens. One thing I immediately noticed was how terrible life was for these gifted teens who were totally unknown in terms of giftedness by any school or gifted organization. Their life was bad not because of the stereotypical “not having enough challenging work”. They had that bit of trivia (for them) covered by loading a challenging problem into their minds before school to mentally work on during the school day. 

The problems they had ranged from parents who didn’t want to acknowledge giftedness (even their own) and thus tried to persuade them that they were not gifted to more dire situations, such as a divorced dad telling his son that his son’s “weirdness” was chasing away the dad’s girlfriends. After a few months, I decided to move away from that bulletin board, because the problems were too intense for me. One thing I did gain was an appreciation of gifted teens coming together to help fellow gifted teens who were suffering under more severe problems. In many ways, this formed the core of the narrative that I used with the character Syon in that though Syon was abused, his friends and some of their adult friends joined to help him escape his situation. Though Syon is a fictionalized rendering of a life that is hopefully more extreme than anyone really experiences, even through the science fiction tale and setting, some bits of his life ring true with reality. In a sense, Syon is the speaker for the gifted tween and teen who is undiscovered, living below the radar in a terrible situation.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fantasy into Reality: Harry Potter Inverted

A fantasy writer must find ways to suspend your disbelief when presenting you a fantastic yarn deviating from the mundane reality in which we are all affixed. The real goal, when not stated so abstractly, is to touch your heart in a way that vests your emotions in the characters so that literally your psyche rides the character’s wave through the entire storyline.

Harry Potter does this by using two common storyline tools: a child living in ordinary circumstances suddenly swept by magic and family history into a fantastical word, and the story’s contact with and relevance to the real world.  One of the key accomplishments of Harry Potter is that it maintains contact with the real world, giving it charm and relevance to the events many people experience in their lives. It is a stealth how-to manual of sorts, especially for young people, who have limited experience with the baffling world created by adults. Even adults can remember when they came in contact with their first real world event, stabbing their childhood, perhaps even inflicting a mortal blow on it. As adults, we often have unresolved issues from our childhood, and we long for that safe, protected refuge that Harry Potter provides, where we can once again examine the life choices we have made. 

When I wrote “The Owl from Oblivion”, I chose to take the reverse approach to this fantasy trope by watching the world through the eyes of immortal children whose lives come crashing down into reality, focusing on things that destroy their innocence. The children start out as immensely powerful, living in a fantasy-like approximation of the real world. As real world issues arise, including people feeling these children are a threat, the children are forced to make adult decisions they are ill-prepared to make, and their mistakes cause the destruction of their supernatural existence. In Harry Potter, one of the more moving threads occurred when the children had to erase their family existence in order to protect their families from the dangers of their magical existence. In a sense, they are running away from home.

By contrast, in “The Owl from Oblivion”, immortal, genius children come crashing down into reality, losing all but a few defensive powers. Just like real world children, they must face crushed expectations, the randomness of what family they are born or adopted into, and the outcast nature perhaps a talented child might experience. For these children, adulthood and its associated quelling of childhood issues will never come. What will they do about their mortal friends? Will they be forced to watch them die over and over again—generation after generation—as they live on to face whatever pleasures or horrors the future world will bring—remaining children and potentially stripped of their originating families by death? As these children embody immortality, the most sought-after elixir of humanity, what will humanity do to them to obtain it? Now that they are part of real families, those families all have dramas gripping them, sometimes with tragic consequences. What will become of the children when severe human tragedy hits? When extraterrestrials sympathetic to the children’s cause arrive, will they improve the children’s situation or simply call more attention to them as a threat to be dealt with? Can humanity ever be trusted?

For many of humanity’s problems there are no simple solutions. There are only strategies for coping and moving forward. Read “The Owl from Oblivion” to see how these magical, immortal children, gradually being crushed by reality, are able to cope with tragedy and perhaps survive human treachery

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Teaser from the chapter: "The Sun Gods Never Forget"

Here is a teaser from the chapter, "The Sun Gods Never Forget" in Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion". Click on the image to zoom it up for easier reading.

Confronting Doom

An excerpt from "Confronting Doom" chapter in "The Owl from Oblivion". Click image to enlarge for reading. ‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎fantasy‬ ‪#‎magic‬ ‪#‎HarryPotter‬ ‪#‎gifted‬ ‪#‎visionary‬ deeper than ‪#‎Marvel‬.

Publication Date for Book #5

The ‪#‎publication‬ date for Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion" is this Monday, August 3rd. Book #5 is different from books #1 - #4 in that if you haven't read the previous books of the series, you will still understand about 80% of the book. This book might be more intense than you expect. I didn't hold back much on this one compared to the previous ones. You can read the first 6 chapters here: Click here to read sample

Monday, June 22, 2015

Chapter 1 from Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion"

I thought I would let you read the first chapter from book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion" to whet your appetite for the August 3rd release of the book. These page images are from the prototype layout of the book so I have to apologize for the junk enclosed in << >> as those are directions to me on what to do when I do the real layout. To read each page, click on the page image to zoom it up so it will be big enough for easy reading. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What to Expect: Book#5, The Owl from Oblivion release Aug. 3rd

Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion" should be released August 3rd. It is designed to be read by both readers new to the series and readers of the previous books in the series. To new readers, they will understand about 80% of the story. I did it this way in hopes of attracting new readers to the book series.

This book will be a bit different than the previous books. For one thing it is about twice as long as the previous books. It is also twice as intense. I held back some in the previous books worrying that it might be too intense for kids. I didn't hold back much in this book because I wasn't sure I would get to write another one so I wanted one book where I wrote full throttle in my natural, uninhibited style, a bit dark. For example, Syon is beaten regularly by his parents; prostitutes even pity him and buy him food; and then governments come after him because they figure out he is the long lost gift to humanity from an alien race. Some aliens culture humans like we culture bacteria to experiment on them. Not only do you see through the eyeballs of these exceptional kids but you see through the eyes of government officials as they struggle to figure out what the right thing to do is given these kids exist --- what is the humane course of action given the limits of the political systems and the culture's science, and the need to protect people/prevent them from panicking. The story is the Nexus of a struggle of both humans and aliens trying to overcome the limits of their cultures to help these unusual children. By the time Book #5 is released I will have spent 2.5 years full time producing the book. I hope you will give it a try when it is released.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Syon Plays in the Time Lanes

#‎IllustrationOfTheDay‬ From Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion". 9 year old Syon wishes he could stay on the supernatural timeline, playing in the time lanes, running to different times. Instead has to return to the reality timeline to face his abuser, Leonard, as a twelve year old. He misses his magic wand when he returns to reality and kisses it goodbye. Still, even on the reality timeline as a twelve year old, there is something special about Syon.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lincoln Illustration for Book #5

#‎IllustrationOfTheDay‬ The last chapter of Book#5, "The Owl from Oblivion" involves Abraham Lincoln. I can't say more without giving away the ending. So here is an illustration for that chapter. Hope people like it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The New Federation of the Twenty Emblem

‪#‎IllustrationOfTheDay Here is the Federation of the Twenty emblem updated for book #5. The Great Sophistan took humans from Earth 300,000 years ago. They made genetic changes to humans, producing 20 slightly different variants. They deposited them on to 20 different planets to see what happened. Those humans evolved into humans much advanced from Earth that had telepathic, telekinetic, and jaunting talents. At the center of the 20 planets is the Federation Orb or space station, where the Federation ruling body lives and where Federation wide scientific research is conducted.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Teaser - Parents and Their Changes

#IllustrationOfTheDay Here is a teaser from the prototype layout of Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion". Click on the picture to zoom it up for easy reading.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Teaser from Prototype Layout - Death Zone Chapter

#IllustrationOfTheDay Here is a teaser page from the prototype layout of Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion". Click on the picture to zoom it up for easy reading.