Tag Archives: friends

Bearing the Unbearable Truth


The novel I’m working on, Magda’s Mysterious Stranger, addresses this horrendous issue of child soldiers. My heart aches for these kids.
Magda and her friends, Brent, Jo, Shauna, and Rowan, encounter a man that has a lot of anger and behaves suspiciously. Their suspicions and their actions create a major problem for the man but also for the residents of Mayne  Island.
Life has more horrors than they knew about, though. They are confronted by the nearly unbearable reality of child  soldiers!
Art is often a strategy people use to cope with incomprehensible situations. These five friends use their music to do something constructive to help deal with what they’ve learned.
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Beta Reader


I write primarily for kids between 9 and 12,  and my books are mysteries and adventure stories.  I never read or write Sci Fi.  But I’m reading a friend’s first novel to look for things that don’t work.

Why am I doing this?  I’m helping out a friend and fellow-writer, someone who has done the same for me, in fact.  I’m doing it out of friendship and gratitude.

What are my qualifications?   I write.  I can spot grammar and spelling mistakes.  I can tell when the flow in the novel is bumpy.  I can sense when a character does or says something that is “out of character.”  And I know when there is too much telling and not enough showing, which brings me to my next question.

How am I unqualified?  I don’t know how much explaining of technology is acceptable in a Sci Fi novel.  I don’t know how much explanation of the fictional society’s peculiarities is enough.  I don’t know if I can skip over the technical details that I can’t understand.

Please give me feedback if you’re a Sci Fi writer or reader, or if you’ve ever been a Beta Reader for someone’s Sci Fi book, on any other genre of novel, with which you’re unfamiliar.

I look forward to your comments.

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Saying good-bye – the burial of the placentas


Mother carry me,

          Your child I will always be,

          Mother carry me,

          Down to the Sea

In a sacred grove overlooking the ocean, with cedars overhead, and sheep grazing on the hillside, a circle of children, young parents and elders, celebrated with the four children whose placentas were reunited with Mother Earth.

          We are the weavers, we are the woven ones,

          We are the dreamers, we are the dream.

Everyone helped dig the four holes, north, south, east, and west.

Rose petals, acorns, cedar, and birch bark were sprinkled as the placentas were lowered into the ground, to return to the earth.

Placentas are buried in the circle of the sun

          Circle of the sun on their burying day.

          Babies are born in the circle of the sun,

          Circle of the sun on their birthing day.

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