Word Usage in Your Writing.

Proper word usage

How well you use words can make a lasting impression on people. Wield those words skillfully and people may perceive you in any number of positive lights–as intelligent, poised, persuasive, funny, to name a few. But even one little grammatical slip can have the opposite effect.
It’s a topic that worries lots of people. Inc. columnist Jeff Haden recently pointed out 30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Bad, which readers shared more than 75,000 times on social networks. Here are 10 more to add to the list.
Irregardless and unthaw
These are not words. “Regardless” and “thaw” are sufficient and don’t need any senseless prefixes mucking them up.
Bring and take
When using these words as commands think in terms of direction. People bring things toward you and take things away from you. Correct examples: “Please bring your report to my office;” and “Please take this report to the receptionist.”
Alot and a lot
Fortunately spellcheck catches this one most of the time, but know this: If you’re trying to say you have an abundance of something there should be a space in “a lot.”

I, me, and myself
The question of how to refer to yourself along with other people is commonly misunderstood. Most people know to say the other person’s name first when it happens at the beginning of the sentence; “Mark and I went to the meeting.” But when this same phrase happens at the end of a sentence people get confused, often thinking the same usage of “I” is appropriate, which it isn’t.
Instead, it should be “The CEO met with Mark and me.” The easy way to remember this one is to imagine removing the other person’s name. It would sound weird to say “The CEO met with I,” right?
As for “myself,” only use it if “me” or “I” would sound awkward in its place, such as “I kept the secret to myself.” Saying “Mark and myself will attend the meeting” only makes a speaker look silly when a simple “I” would have sufficed.
Impact, affect, and effect
Using “impact” as a verb has become so ubiquitous I’ve pretty much given up on this one, but if you want to say things like “The cutbacks greatly impacted the bottom line” know that the grammar geeks of the world may cringe. Why? Because “affected” is what you really mean and once upon a time “impact” was used strictly as a noun. Maybe you’ve never mastered the difference between “affect” and “effect” and use “impact” just to be safe. If that’s you, it’s time to understand these words now. “Affect” is a verb that means to do something that causes an “effect,” which is noun. Just think of the “a” in “affect” also is used in “action,” which is what verbs do.
Loose and lose
The first one means your dog escaped his kennel, your change is clinking in your pocket, or your clothes are too big. “Lose” is what happened to you when you can’t find your keys, you have to settle a bet, or were beat in a game.
Overuse of apostrophes
Apostrophes indicate one of two things: Possession or letters missing, as in “Sara’s iPad” and “it’s” for “it is” (second “i” missing). They don’t belong on plurals. When you have more than one of something there’s no need to add an apostrophe. Same thing with your last name. If you want to refer to your family but don’t want to list everyone’s first name write “The Johnsons” not “The Johnson’s.” Years also shouldn’t have apostrophes. For example, “1980s” is correct but “1980’s” is not.
Principle and principal
These words are easily confused. One definition for “principle” is “a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions,” according to Merriam-Webster.com. As for “principal” think of the person who presides over a school–someone who’s first in rank. Here’s a trick for keeping the two straight: The “a” in principal is first in the alphabet, just like a principal is someone who’s first in rank.
Lay and lie
Generally, if you can replace the word in question with some variant of “put” or “place,” use “lay.” If not, use “lie.” So, it should be “I need to lie down” and “He laid his keys on the table.” “Lying down” gets confusing when you’re talking about doing it in the past, however. For example, it should be “Mark lay on the bed after coming home from work yesterday.” Take heart, even Grammar Girl has a hard time with this one. Check out her advice for navigating this minefield.
Borrow and lend
Some people incorrectly use the word borrow instead of lend. It would be wrong to say “He borrowed me his car for the afternoon” or “Can you borrow me a dollar?” The correct way: “He lent me his car” or even “He loaned me his car,” although be warned that some grammar snobs take issue with using loan as a verb.
Someone doesn’t borrow something to someone, but from someone, as in “I borrowed her calculator.” Likewise, lending is something only a giver does. Just remember, the person doing the giving lends and the person receiving something borrows it.
Enough for now, but if I get requests, I will consider doing another one of these.

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The Stepping Stones ( Hurdles?) to Self Publishing

The Stepping Stones ( Hurdles?) to Self Publishing

The vagaries of self publishing can be both confounding and expensive. The first I will take on is the dreaded cover. Both front and back. These just happen to be required even on Amazon and even for Ebooks. That means either you are good enough to do the front cover art yourself or you need an artist to create one for you. Money. My first attempt at finding a cover artist was a dismal failure. They all seemed to want over $1000.00 for a simple picture that I could insert into a pre-designed cover. So I went back to my old standby- research. I found an interesting site that solved my problems. The site is just Elance.com On this site you are able to state your budget (mine was way below a $1000.00 as I am far from rich) and define exactly what it is you want. Be careful here. I, not being familiar with the terminology, asked for a graphic artist. Not a good decision on my part. I did find an artist , but I had to keep refining my parameters to be sure I found an artist that could pick up some brushes or coloring pencils and actually draw! I did get several proposals all within my stated budget range and even some below that! All provided samples of their work and most could be eliminated at that point. The rest were more difficult in that regard, but worth the effort. If this cover thing is one of your hang-ups, give that site a try.
The back cover is also important, but requires more thought than money. This is where the scan code and the ISBN is placed. At the bottom. Yes, that one does cost money More on both of those later.
The typical back cover is used in one of three ways. Some simply put an attention getter from the pages of the book. Something that will have the effect on the reader that makes him/her WANT to read the book. Others place a short autobiography and etiology for the book. You might mention a forthcoming book that is soon to be released. If you are lucky enough to have a professional review, definitely put that here. Were you able to convince an established author in your genre to read your book? Get a comment for your back cover from that writer. Did your local paper do a review? (Did you ask them to review it?) That about does it for the back cover with your own frills and flourishes.
It looks like that is a fairly good segue into promoting your hard work. One of theThe Stepping Stones ( Hurdles?) to Self Publishing

The vagaries of self publishing can be both confounding and expensive. The first I will take on is the dreaded cover. Both front and back. These just happen to be required even on Amazon and even for Ebooks. That means either you are good enough to do the front cover art yourself or you need an artist to create one for you. Money. My first attempt at finding a cover artist was a dismal failure. They all seemed to want over $1000.00 for a simple picture that I could insert into a pre-designed cover. So I went back to my old standby- research. I found an interesting site that solved my problems. The site is just Elance.com On this site you are able to state your budget (mine was way below a $1000.00 as I am far from rich) and define exactly what it is you want. Be careful here. I, not being familiar with the terminology, asked for a graphic artist. Not a good decision on my part. I did find an artist , but I had to keep refining my parameters to be sure I found an artist that could pick up some brushes or coloring pencils and actually draw! I did get several proposals all within my stated budget range and even some below that! All provided samples of their work and most could be eliminated at that point. The rest were more difficult in that regard, but worth the effort. If this cover thing is one of your hang-ups, give that site a try.
The back cover is also important, but requires more thought than money. This is where the scan code and the ISBN is placed. At the bottom. Yes, that one does cost money More on both of those later.
The typical back cover is used in one of three ways. Some simply put an attention getter from the pages of the book. Something that will have the effect on the reader that makes him/her WANT to read the book. Others place a short autobiography and etiology for the book. You might mention a forthcoming book that is soon to be released. If you are lucky enough to have a professional review, definitely put that here. Were you able to convince an established author in your genre to read your book? Get a comment for your back cover from that writer. Did your local paper do a review? (Did you ask them to review it?) That about does it for the back cover with your own frills and flourishes.
It looks like that is a fairly good segue into promoting your hard work. One of the priorities for publishers when it comes to considering new authors is a thing called “Presence”. There is a reason for that so we should cover it here.
Simply stated this means your visibility. Do you have a web presence for instance? Have you made your self know to the local media and social groups such as the Moose or Lions or Toastmasters? Do you have a viable visibility that can be exploited to help sell your book? Are you establishing such a presence? A word to the wise here.
Once your book is out consider whether you want to donate a book to your local library or a book club that discusses fiction regularly? Offer to present your book and answer questions as well as sign a few first editions for them. Have you made any contacts with local media outlets? Are you able to worm your way onto a talk show to discuss your book? If your local newspaper doesn’t have a book reviewer, how about the paper at your state capital and/or largest near city?
Last and this is a biggie: READ YOU OWN BOOK! Do this prior to self publication. Even if you have an editor. You will surprise yourself at the number of typos spelling errors and just plain bad sentence structure you will find among many other things you will wish you had caught or changed prior to letting the public haev the opportunity to call you a wide variety of ignorant.
priorities for publishers when it comes to considering new authors is a thing called “Presence”. There is a reason for that so we should cover it here.
Simply stated this means your visibility. Do you have a web presence for instance? Have you made your self know to the local media and social groups such as the Moose or Lions or Toastmasters? Do you have a viable visibility that can be exploited to help sell your book? Are you establishing such a presence? A word to the wise here.
Once your book is out consider whether you want to donate a book to your local library or a book club that discusses fiction regularly? Offer to present your book and answer questions as well as sign a few first editions for them. Have you made any contacts with local media outlets? Are you able to worm your way onto a talk show to discuss your book? If your local newspaper doesn’t have a book reviewer, how about the paper at your state capital and/or largest near city?
Last and this is a biggie: READ YOU OWN BOOK! Do this prior to self publication. Even if you have an editor. You will surprise yourself at the number of typos spelling errors and just plain bad sentence structure you will find among many other things you will wish you had caught or changed prior to letting the public have the opportunity to call you a wide variety of ignorant.

The First Five Pages

The First Five Pages

There is a book out there that I highly recommend to all writers. The title is, appropriately enough, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. Mr. Lukeman was a publisher and, at the time of writing this book was the Editorial Director of Kirkus Reviews. Allow me to quote two short paragraphs from the first page of that book: “Agents and editors often ignore synopses and outlines; instead we skip right to the manuscript. If the writing is good then we will go back and consider the synopsis. If not the manuscript is discarded. A great writer can produce an amazing piece of writing with virtually no plot at all. To underline its relegated importance for the purpose of this book, you’ll find that we’ve deliberately omitted the chapter on plot.

Instead, as a way of emphasizing the importance, first and foremost of the individual word, the craft of writing, we begin by first considering the preliminary problems that can be found in prose.”

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Here is another way of suspecting the value of an editor or agent. If they don’t ask for a few pages to accompany your query, you might want to pass.

The first five pages are critically important to to you as a writer. This it where all of the decisions about your book are made by almost everybody it will come in contact with whether it be critics, editors, publishers, agents, even your readers. I am going to go over some of the common errors writers make in those first five critical pages.

The first page is the most important, obviously. If you can’t grab the reader’s attention immediately, you may have a lost cause on your hands. Remember, first impressions count.

These are in no particular order as they are all important. First let’s discuss word usage and spelling. You must read your own work before anyone else. I have attempted to read some works where the misuse or misspelling of words is a great distraction from my enjoyment of the piece. You may have a great story line, but bad spelling and bad English can and frequently is the harbinger of disaster. One of the things you will be looking for are places you use the wrong or misspell words. Did you write there when you meant their or use principle when it should have been principal or typed lay when the proper word is lie? Just in case you don’t know the proper use of some of the most common mistakes writers make I am going to attempt to familiarize you with a few of the most common mistakes.

The word alot is basically non-existent in today’s usage. It used to be used to grant something as in “I will alot you five minutes.” If you are intending to tell the amount of something it is a lot. Two words.

One of my favorites is the interchange of principle and principal. A principle is “a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions,” according to Merriam-Webster.com. A principal is a leader. Think of the leader of a school, the principal. One way I remember this one is a is the ‘leader’ of the alphabet, the first letter.

The use of the apostrophe is widely misused and even infuriates some. The apostrophe is mainly used to indicate possession or to replace letters with a contraction as in isn’t. (replacing the o in not.) It should not be used in the case of plurals. The Smiths went on vacation. They took the Smith’s car.  A clumsy example, but you get the idea.

Affect or Effect? Affect is the verb. It denotes action. Effect is a noun. I must assume you know the difference when it comes to usage. The effect of the A bomb was to affect the entire world.

The point here is to know what you are saying to your readers. If you don’t know which word to use either look it up in the dictionary or drop by the Grammar Girl on the web.

This is a short blurb, but one you will see continued.

 

Self Publishing – Why and How

Self Publishing – Why and How

So you have now been rejected several times by agents, editor and publishers or you have heard all of the horror stories about the time involved in finding one that doesn’t reject you out of hand. Out of desperation, you are looking to self publish your tome. The big question becomes … How?

The how may be more involved than you think; however, it is not really all that hard. I will not discuss the printing of hard cover. The research I have done tells me that the expense involved compared to the potential return for the unknown writer makes this option very risky, in my opinion. Let’s look at paperback. The average for a first printing of a reasonable number of paper back books will cost you in the neighborhood of $3.00 each. The more copies you print the less per copy, but a thousand will get you started and if these sell you will have the money to print more and be fairly sure it isn’t wasted money. Unfortunately that isn’t the sole cost. You have to consider the cost of things such as cover art, distribution costs, giving copies to a few libraries and perhaps travel for book signings. (I do suggest that you consider a few of these as they are very valuable in the long run.) If all of this is a go for you then just find a printer and have the presses roll while you find retailers willing to put you book on their limited shelf space. Understand that, for the most part, you will be working on a consignment basis. You don’t get paid until they do. Of course, local outlets are your best bet to start. More people will recognize your name and might buy it just because you are a local and book signing events are easy to set up. It is easy to obtain a contract with retailers such as Amazon, etc. if you are willing to supply the shelf space and do the shipping. If you have questions on how this is done, let me know. Let’s leave this and move on to ebooks.

Ebook formatting is rapidly becoming acceptable to the reading public and is certainly a viable way to begin making sales. You may even make enough to put it out in paperback if that is your desire,

Once you have the completed manuscript in an industry acceptable format; ie. Microsoft Word, Libre Office or PDF you are half way there. More on converting to the reader formats coming.

An ebook is easier to market and to get retailers to “stock” your book. Setting up Amazon and Barnes and Noble accounts to offer your books is straight forward because they have little investment. Just a few lines of code to make your book available through their site. They don’t have to stock anything. They just let you know when a book has sold and you make it available to the buyer, you collect the money, or they do, depending on your contract with them. The retailer gets their fee and the rest is yours.

There are some caveats. Look at the ebooks books available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Notice that they all have the cover art and that can be a sticky wicket, but it needn’t be for you. I contacted several professional cover artists who gave me prices ranging from $1200 to $3300. I decided to try creating one of my own and was able to come up a with a credible one using Libre Office. The same thing can be done in Windows Word. Give it a try.

Another caveat is how you get paid. I find that pay pal is great for this. You are able to accept most credit cards or just use the Pay Pal native format. It would be nice to have your own web site to sell your titles and be an aid in collecting your money. They can be created for very little money even if someone else does the creating for you.

A little about formatting for ebooks. There are several requirements here. It seems every reader has their own little quirks and format requirements. Far and away the most popular these days is Amazon’s Kindle, but some use the Epub format and Apple Itunes uses their own unique format and require you to have access to an Apple Ipod. I am told that Kindle will read PDF, but that the format does undergo some unusual changes when opened in the Kindle so you might want to obtain a “converter” to give you a wide range of choices. Give Calibre and/or Okular a look. They are both free ware and really quite good at converting word possessing files to most of the current formats.

Comments please.

 

An Authors Look at Publishing

The Author’s Look at Publishing

I have spent the last several weeks in front of my computer writing emails, of all things. I have been on a quest. A publishing quest. I have written and called agents, editors, established authors, publishers and last, but far from least, book retailers. It has been a learning experience to say the least. You see I have spent several agonizing months writing a novel and strange as it may seem to some, I would love to see it actually published. Yep, a publishing quest.

I am going to share some of the results and my own indubitable ( LOL maybe not quite) opinions on each of the above searches. Not all in one blog, of course.

Agents

Agents have been the ‘must have’ for a writer to achieve success. Notice the past tense. Most, if not all of the good ones have become so self-satisfied and/or egotistical that they have no time for the new writer. The best I could do with them was a brief conversation with a low level assistant. I found some that would read a small portion of my work for an up front fee. No guarantees offered. Every single publishers rep that I talked with advised against using these people as agents. It seems many are not what you would call ‘savory’.

So are agents a real necessity in todays writing world. Only if you insist on going the traditional route to publishing and sometimes not even then. For my money, a neophyte trying to find a reputable agent is a waste of valuable time.

Editors

This profession is a different cat. Unless you have extensive formal education in the use of English, or whatever language you write in, you need an editor. There just doesn’t seem to be any way around it IF you want to go the traditional route to publishing. I was once rejected for a few errors in punctuation. A good editor is able to make many helpful contributions to your effort. Besides correcting your language usage and punctuation, a good editor will have advice on phrasing, style, even content. A good editor becomes an unseen collaborator, polishing your work to a high sheen. Careful, because you will note that I have used the adjective ‘good’ here. There are those that are not so good. Do the research on every editor BEFORE you contact them. Find out what books they have edited and if possible, contact the authors of at least two of them about the experience they had with those editors.

There is one aspect of the editing process you must accept going in. They are not there to hold your hand or to massage your ego. Their job is to find errors of many different kinds and tell you about them. If you can’t take constructive criticism perhaps you should think about become an accountant or something. Another thing many beginning authors fail to do is read their own work. Several times. It is amazing the number of errors you can catch this way. You meant to use the word their and typed there of its instead of it’s. You might have left the ‘r’ off of your. The kind of mistake that your spell checker will not alert you to because it is spelled correctly, but is not the right word. Or maybe you end sentences with prepositions? 🙂 The less of what I call laziness errors you make the more time any editor can spend on the important stuff. Reading your own work will also help you discover weak phrasing, indifferent descriptive passages and plot errors. I cannot stress this point enough. Trust me it is very important. If at all possible, ask family and friends to read it also if you can count on them to give you honest criticisms. Let’s face it a “Great Job” comment is good for the ego, but of no real help to the serious writer.

Publishers

Publishers are a difficult lot to penetrate by the novice or the unpublished author. They have many legitimate concerns. They have to pay for printing, promoting and many times granting the author an advance as well as pay for book tours, etc. Not all of the books they do publish are monetary successes so they are forced to make that loss up from somewhere and the only way they see to do that is by giving writers a smaller royalty than perhaps they deserve. This is also the reason they are leery of the untried writer. The dreaded slush pile is the result.

I was informed by one lady that is responsible for recommending manuscripts from the slush pile that less than 20% of them are actually scanned for recommendation and of that 20% less than 2% are ever considered. She also informed me that many time the decision is made from the first five or ten pages. I will be doing a blog on the importance of the first five pages another time. I think that one will surprise you.

Book Retailers

My next blog will be built around the topic of self publishing and book retailers are important to both the self and traditional book publishing efforts. This is the easiest market to get into if you are willing to do the work. Most of the big retailers make use of outside sources to sel their offerings. Go to Amazon.com and buy a book and you will see what I mean. Most of the books are actually carried by specialist in the field. They may have the book on the shelf or they might obtain them from the printer for each order. Amazon does not seem to have many of the books in stock, but that is an opinion. The reason I point this out to you is this makes it easy for them to say they will offer your work for sale on their site. It only means adding a few lines of code. No cash outlay for them and no floor space devoted to a possible bomb. This becomes very important to the self publisher. If you offer it in Ebook format then you are the reseller of your own work. Can you say increase in royalty percentages? You guarantee Barns and Noble or who ever, a fee for each book sold and keep the rest. That is over simplified, but you get the idea. You might want to catch my next blog about self publishing and perhaps get started on making money after you see what the process is. It is not really simple, but it can be done even by you!

Questions or comments are always welcome and even encouraged.

Till next time.

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! Short Story Anthology

Hay any writers with short stories – Here is an opportunity!

Bri Bruce Productions

SUBMISSIONS WANTED FOR SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY!

Submission Deadline: July 1st, 2014

Tayen Lane Publishing is looking for short stories for its upcoming anthology.

Submission Guidelines:

Tayen Lane seeks short stories across all genres. All short stories must be original, unpublished fiction, double spaced, and less than 3,000 words in length. The stories submitted should in PDF format as an attachment to the cover email sent HERE.

The cover email should include the following: the writer’s name, story title, a brief two-line summary, the word count, the writer’s complete mailing address and phone number.

Submissions should be sent no later than July 1st, 2014 (deadline), as the anthology will be published in September 2014, in both hardcover and eBook format. Writers will maintain ownership of all copyrighted material.

Writer Guidelines:

Submission for inclusion in the anthology is open to writers from all countries; however, the submissions should be in English.

We look forward…

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A Little About Agents

This is a re-blog of the Indie Hero http://indieheroblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/agents-qualified-literary-gatekeepers/

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller. It pretty well says it all about agents.

 

A few years ago, Samuel Moffie submitted The Perfect Martini to 100 literary agents. Actually, he submitted 90% of the first twenty pages of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions disguised as The Perfect Martini. Any guesses on his success rate? 100 out of 100, right? No. Only one agent responded positively, but that’s because the agent recognized the original author. 99 agents declined. Just to be clear, yes, the critically acclaimed, award-winning, nationally revered Kurt Vonnegut. Rejected.

Agents are concerned with commercial viability, that’s first and foremost. Period. Literary quality is a secondary bonus, if present. Now, if Vonnegut wrote a novel where a dominant vampire becomes master to a naive, submissive, shape-shifting werewolf, I’m sure he would have fared better.

Here’s the point. Why spend months, or even years, writing and submitting queries to agents who are clearly looking the other way? If they passed on Kurt Vonnegut, what chance do you have?

Agent, defined: 1. a person who acts on behalf of another, in particular. Do agents really represent authors (unknown or established) or do they represent their own financial interests and those of Big Publishers? In terms of quality, perhaps the guards are sleeping at the gates. 2. a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect. Be that person, be your own agent of change. You, not someone else. You, the person that isn’t so concerned with profit. You, the person that cares about the future of literature, not the 15% commission.

During the course of one year, I queried over 300 agents, followed all their silly and varied submission requirements, I know, no attachments, got it, waited to hear back for weeks sometimes, other times, didn’t hear back at all, even with partial or full manuscript requests, read all their canned responses, I’m not taking on new authors at this time, the work doesn’t fit with my list. Blah, blah, blah.

Query tip: don’t send any more. Take your work straight to the reader.

Within one month, I built a platform, designed my cover, formatted my ebook, published, promoted, marketed, and advertised.

Made sales.

 

The Publishing Process

The Publishing Process

Let’s talk about the publishing process for a moment. How does it all happen? Will it make you rich if you do get published? How do you find a publisher? An agent? An editor? Do you want or need an editor?

I am going to tackle just the first two in this post and the last three next time.  If anyone has any experiences they want to share on any of these topics let me know.

I don’t have all of the answers and hope that we will get enough feedback to fill in the gaps and any misconceptions I may have, but here is what I have learned about the process.

There are three roads to becoming a published author: Self publishing, where you pay all of he expenses involved including, but not limited to printing and promoting. It costs roughly $3.00 per paperback for the printing or $3000.00 for every 1000 books you want printed. Now if you have one of the online companies that ‘Self Publish’ your books they will charge (in one case I know of) $3600.00 and print 500 books. Sale price probably $5.95 so you lose $600.00, But you might price it at $8.95 or even $9.95 so you could make a little. $1400.00 if every one sold.

OK, that is one method, but let us look at the traditional way. A publisher agrees to publish your book. Now let us say that you actually do a pretty good job and sell 30,000 books at the $8.95 price. And let’s you are getting a 10% royalty. 8.95X30,000=268,500×10%=$26,850.00! Now were talking! I had a friend that did get her book published after receiving 7 rejections. She finally accomplished this stunning feat by hiring an agent that charged her 30% of her royalties. I am told that the 30,000 copies for a first timer is a little optimistic and by her experience it may be it may be, she was happy. Oh, it took her almost a year to find an agent that would accept her without paying an up-front fee. It may not be a good idea to have an agent that demands an upfront fee. I am sure there are reputable ones out there that make a practice of this. I just have never been able to find any. Research any agents history. Most reputable publishers will give you their track record with agents. There is much more to be discussed in this vein,but let’s come back to the subject in a future blog.

There is one other way to have your book published that is gaining immense popularity. Crowd Funding or CF. There are quite a few agencies that have moved over to this method. Crowd Funding means simply that you have other people pay the publishing costs for you and the companies that do this offer many services that make it attractive. More on these in a moment. You still have a lot of work ahead of you. First there is locating the CF publisher that is interested in your particular niche what ever that may be. Writing a cookbook? Or a children’s story? Science Fiction? You still need to find a CF that is interested in your particular genre. Trust me they are out there. Just do a web search for a CF and you will be amazed at the number of them. I like one in particular – Inkshares at, oddly enough, http://inkshares.com

They offer quite a range of services once they accept your project. Take a look at that home page and you will see they offer a lot of help from helping you raise the funding all the way through publishing your project. Oh. The percentage they pay? Paper back or Ebook = 70%. There is a page that shows just what percentage they pay on each type of publishing. There are even some established authors that are going to this method. Your project isn’t quite finished yet? That is ok in many instances. Yeah, I like this way of getting my work in front or the reader.

One of the things you need to do is get your name and writing out via social media. Hype your work! Brag a little. Don’t over do this, as nobody likes a braggart. However a little horn tooting is in order.

Enough for this time. Let me know if you have any questions and I will see if I have the answers. If I don’t I do promise to make an honest effort to find one for you.

Comments?

 

The Beginning

The opening of any fiction writing is all important to me. I want it to grab my eyeballs and rivet them to the words on the page in front of them as well as engage my brain in possibilities. It should establish the “suspension of disbelief” that is required for most fiction, but is of particular importance to the writer of science fiction. I feel that it is so important that I will spend considerable time just thinking of the opening line to say nothing of the opening paragraph. If these things have not been accomplished by the end of page one you are probably going to lose the reader, your audience.

Lets talk about that audience for a minute. Just who are you trying to attract to your opus of literature? For me that question has three answers: Science fiction fans, Adults rather than children, and the curious. I write what I hope is that category of science fiction known as ‘hard’ science fiction. In other words, I try to use the science of today and extrapolate the progress that might be made in that area of science in the future. I want it to be plausible. Maybe it isn’t probable, but it could happen. I don’t just violate Einstein. I try to find a possible way around him. Some method of FTL that is, at the very least, suggested by today’s science.

I digress into the realm of the pedagogue which is a failing of mine. Back to that first opening. Perhaps the best way for me to demonstrate what I mean is to share with you the first chapter of the book I am now seeking to have published. Please offer any comments, and I do mean any. The critical as well as the kind. The kind makes me feel good and the critical helps me be a netter writer. Sometimes.

I offer Chapter I of An Android in Cygnus for your perusal:

Chapter I: WANTED: DEAD AND ALIVE

“Doctor! It moved!”

Dr. James Weil smiled at his nurse’s comment. ‘When would they learn that one of them couldn’t move?’ He turned toward his patient (#773714), eradicating the smile and donning his professional demeanor. He quickly reviewed the case history in his mind, as he looked toward his extant patient – Female, 33 years old, brain removed for grafting and repair -if possible- of damage incurred during an autoflyer accident, body currently maintained by a motor brain from the library. This particular brain had several grafts during the years of storage and duty. It had been used several times as a motor with no evidence of cognitive function.

“Judy, I hope you are wrong about that. After all, it has never happened in the hundred and thirty-seven years we’ve been using this procedure. By the way, how is that new fella of yours? The rumor mill is having a field day and reports are floating around that you may actually go the lawbond route with this one. Come on; fill me in on the real story. What th…… Holy Chaos! It IS moving! Nurse, get me the EEG trace for the last 10 hours, Stat!”

Judy thought (not for the first time) how strange it was that this highly skilled and modern surgeon still wanted some things in hard copy. The station comp was ready at the sound of his voice, but no, he had to have the paper in his hand rather than looking at the same thing on the vid screen.

Jim literally snatched the yards of trace from his startled nurse and began to examine it. Everything was normal ten hours ago because he had checked this one just before turning in the night before. He saw no aberrations during the next four hours. Then he saw it. There were definite signs of increased significance in the Delta, Theta, and Beta waves. About two hours ago the Alpha waves came into play with corresponding increasing definition in all others! Hmmmm. Better get a hold of dad on this one. Thank Chaos, he is the Chief of Service and not me! “Computer! Find Dr. Richard Weil and inform him that Dr. James Weil needs an immediate consult in this room.” Dr. James’ mind was racing with unsociable thoughts. If he could bring this brain to consciousness the experimental potential was boundless! If he did, and the original brain survived, he would be tried for some crime or other and convicted and executed within a week. At least he would be given an extended leave of absence. Still … I wonder if the brain could integrate the various grafts successfully. Could that brain become a useful member of society? Could it learn and accept that it had memories from … hmmm how long ago? He asked for the station comp and called up the chart on the motor brain. He seldom looked past the first page of one. As long as it said that the brain was certified for motor use on the out side, the history contained on the inside was of little interest. The first injury was one hundred seven years ago. Since that time there have been four grafts done, one major and three minor … more than fifty percent of the brain has been replaced. Wait a minute. What the hell is this? The original biochips on the interfaces of the grafts were replaced with experimental 4 terabit bio-chips!

In 2108, a descendant of William James, a twentieth century psychologist, with the unlikely and uninspired name of James James, had experimented with increasing the intelligence of rats then monkeys by using the biochips. He discovered that he could repair massive cerebral trauma with transplants using the biochips as interfaces. Since they are powered with electrochemical stimulation from the neurons, they could be used as permanent implants. The biochips could be grown via a biologically neutral medium and when implanted took on the characteristics of surrounding tissue, thus negating the possibility of rejection.

So new and improved four terabit biochips had been used on this supposedly normal motor brain. The results are listed as inconclusive with the note that it remained capable of motor function. It exhibited no apparent improvement over a three-month period of cybernetic stimulation so it was restored to the motor library with no further action! The idiots! That was two years ago. It has been sitting in nutrient fluid with normal stimulation until used for this caretaker function as of two days ago. Damn! FOUR terras. That’s eight times the normal for a motor brain and four times the standard live brain graft chip. And these biochips had been grown right here at the center.

Jim heard a faint sound behind him and turned a startled face to find his father, Dr. Richard Weil, standing behind him. Dr. Richard Weil was of average height, just a shade over six three, with penetrating, lucent blue eyes and the Weil nose that gave away their Mediterranean heritage. It used to amuse James that he had to explain to people that his multi-great grand sire and founder of the current Weil line was Welsh. Seems all the males in his immediate ancestry including his venerable grandfather were enamored of the Italian female.

Mindful of the monitors, he addressed his father formally.

“Doctor, we have an anomalous situation occurring with this patient and her motor brain. Here, look at the EEG tracing beginning six hours ago. …. Please, just look at this then I’ll fill you in on the other unusual items that might clear up some of your questions”

‘But I’ll bet it brings up a lot more’, Jim thought.

After Jim had finished filling his father in, they decided to check on the progress that the parent brain was making in the CNS grafting lab. This inquiry informed them that there were several hours of programming to do on the biochip interface implant, so there was nothing to do but wait. The motor brain had not reached sentience and there were little if any further changes in the EEG. They decided to do nothing except record the EEG progression with the comment that it might be related to increased stimulation on the electro-chemical level.

It seemed that the life of one chief neuro-surgical resident was about to go from dull to … to what? Adventurous? Well unusual at least. What ever happened to the motor brain of patient #773714 he would have a hand in it. His father had promised him that much.

Jim contacted a friend of his that worked in the Central Nervous Systems (CNS) lab. Since the brain was the central part of the CNS that was where all of the work on cranial trauma cases were done. He needed to be kept up to date on the progress of the brain in question. His chum had told him that there had never been more than a 50-50 chance for this one from the beginning. If that held true there was a good chance that he could do some really original research.

His thoughts returned to patient #771734 throughout the day. He finally sought out his father and asked him to go to dinner that night. It was raining when he met his father at the Medical Club provided by the government for doctors and nurses. Four hundred years had been spent studying weather control and they still didn’t have the bugs worked out. The forecast had promised a cloudless sky tonight. Well, at least they had learned to control hurricanes and tornadoes. Quite an achievement, really.

They ascended to the fifth floor restaurant that was reserved for GS20s and above. His father qualified. It would be twenty years before he could reach those lofty heights. Unless this new opportunity gave him a significant boost. Well, he could dream a little longer. Until his father put the kibosh on the plan, or the original brain recovered, or the beginnings of sentience in the motor faded again, or any one of several other possible impediments to his plans.

The table the maitre`d led led them to was in a secluded corner. The privacy light glowing unobtrusively. They would not be disturbed by any human. Jim looked over the menu carefully. You could actually get real beef here. Since the cattle herds had been restricted and forced into buildings that collected all of the methane that was so damaging to the ozone, beef was in very limited supply. You had to be a very high GS to afford it. His father ordered a surf and turf (with real beef and real lobster!) Jim had the same. They were enjoying a cocktail when both their wrist comps flashed an incoming call at practically the same instant. They activated their earpieces and throat mics to take their calls.

Jim’s friend in the CNS lab told him that the original brain would be ready to place back in the host in six hours. Jim’s dreams shattered with an almost audible sound. He couldn’t believe that he had hoped for the death of one person so that he could attempt to give an unknown a chance at life. He felt an unfamiliar twinge of guilt.

His father looked at him with an amused expression. “They told you?”

“Yes.”

“I think you should enjoy your meal and then I will tell you about some comp calls I made today.

“What comp calls? I’ve been thinking all day about what to do if the host brain survived. There is no out! If we push this we’ll end up doing unauthorized research using MedCo’s equipment and personnel. The very least that we could expect is to be reduced in rating and probably impeached out of the profession just for good measure.”

“Cheer up! We’re not finished with this yet. You forget that your father is a very famous and well-connected man. I have been making plans and expect to hear any moment about the results. So enjoy this meal. I intend that it be a celebration.”

His father refused to say more so the conversation drifted into the mundane.

The lighting was from the latest bio-engineered algae tubes and required no electrical power what so ever. The tubes over their table (soft, luminescent blue) tended to relax and soothe the doctors after a long day with patients. The room was a maze of booths with walls around them for privacy. It was said that you could come and go and never see or hear another human except the Maitre d’.

His father was talking about his sister’s work in physics. It appeared that the new line of work was beginning to show results. It was amazing how the field of informational matrix theory of the universe had grown over the last hundred years. It was a field of physics derived from the Bell Continuum that had actually been suggested by a twentieth century futurist and physicist by the name of Greg Bear in a fiction book called Moving Mars. Everybody in the sciences was familiar with the story. His sister was working in the area of descriptor alteration to provide instantaneous travel. It seems that Bear’s imagination had been wrong in several areas, but right in many of the more important ones. It did look as though they might be able to move a fairly large ship to any point in the informational universe then “translate” it back to normal space time, whatever that meant. At least it was beginning to allow people to think about the stars again.

After they finally got the limit placed on the terms of politicians and a supreme court that was constrained to strict constructionism of the constitution things began to smooth out. The depression at the turn of the twenty first century and the voters revolt of 2016 and again in 2031 that led to the replacement of over half of the people in both houses of congress had led to a two year concentration on the repeal of laws rather than the enactment of new ones. Now they had a world government, The United Earth Confederation that was a loose confederation empowered to provide for the common defense, the world court, oversee the World Bank and provide health care for everybody. This gave them the power to fund scientific research for a wide range of endeavors. Based on its own land on and in the Antarctic, and Geneva of course, it was effectively constrained from interfering in the orderly functioning of any of the nation-states with one important exception. Every nation on earth had completely disbanded their war (defense?) departments in favor of the U.E.C. Along with this had gone a pledge of sixty percent of their war (defense?) budget to the U.E.C. This sole contribution had proven sufficient to fund the earth’s new confederation.

The medical profession had gone through a massive upheaval with the new United Earth Confederation. They were all made employees of a completely nonprofit corporation chartered by the Confederation and received generous salaries with good perks and the old system was dead. And surprise, surprise, the corporation was self-sufficient.

Everybody in the world paid the same fees and if they couldn’t pay those fees why then they paid what they could. The doctors did not participate in the setting of those fees or pocket any them. Yet the individual participants could aspire to the good life by simply continuing to learn and performing their jobs with conscience and care. GS rating increases were not easy but were attainable for the honest and sincere MD. Health care had finally become a universal fact within the reach of all Earth peoples without the unwanted intrusion of government into private lives.

They had finished the main meal and were waiting the dessert and an after dinner drink when Jim decided to broach the subject of patient #773714.

“Dad, you’ve kept me sitting on this time bomb long enough. Talk!” Jim growled with a smile.

“OK! OK! I haven’t received that call yet, but I’ll let you know what I’m planning. I’m sure that you are aware of the Azimov Androids developed in the last century. They are marvelous machines that remain too expensive except for the very rich and some of the world’s largest companies. I hope to use these new four terra bio-chips to interface this motor brain of yours into one of those bodies and create a truly independent, humaniform cyborg.”

Jim was quite literally stunned. The problems with the law had been averted, but the scientific problems had just multiplied by a factor of a thousand. The brain had to sit in nutrient fluid that was replaced like the human body’s. It had to receive the proper electrochemical stimulation, a constant and renewable source of oxygen and endocrine chemicals and and and. ….. Truly mind-boggling. He’d have to get transferred to a pure research team. Hell, he’d have to create a pure research team!

“Wait a minute, dad. Just for starters, where are we going to get the android and the permission for this research?”

“That is the call I am waiting for. We have just stepped out of the federal matrix and into the world matrix. We are now working directly for the U.E.C..

I hope to be empowered to create any research team that I feel is of significant importance to science and fund it out of discretionary accounts set up for that purpose. If the research proves its worth after a year the World Medical Board will take over funding and replace my discretionary account. The people I called can supply a functioning android so we can trace all of the pseudo-neurons and program the bio-chip interface when we replace the android brain with our human one. I have attempted to convince them that the research is of such vital importance that the android will not cost us a penny. That is what I want for now. I had hoped that they would have a decision by this time, but that hasn’t happened. Sooooo, I arranged a little surprise for you. It is waiting in the foyer right now. ”

Richard Weil spoke to the table mic asking that the Jim’s surprise be brought to their alcove. It was Ginny. Jim smiled as his father left instructions for the bill be put on his account and that both he and Ginny were to be his guests for the rest of the evening.

Richard turned to the couple and said good night and that they would be talking as soon as he received word.

Ginny sat next to Jim and the social part of the evening began with a warm and passionate kiss. Jim knew he would not have to sleep alone on this night and Ginny was skilled enough that he actually forgot the events of the day and the hopes he held for the future.

His father called with good news at 0431 the next morning. Ginny was still asleep as he left for the hospital. He had no way of knowing that he would see less and less of her during the ensuing months nor that she would end up lawbonded to a member of the most disreputable of so called professions… an attorney for chaos sake!

When he arrived he found that it was time to restore the host brain to patient #773714 and place the motor back in nutrient storage. He hated the thought that this might permanently stop the progress toward sentience; however, this was such a new phenomenon that he knew of nothing that would be better.

It was August 18, 2204, his thirty second birthday and almost seven months after that dinner with his father, that he first spoke to his new female person. They had received the android body of a functional female so she it would be. She had a body that was quite pleasing to the eye and virtually indistinguishable from any human. Approximately 6’ in height with blond hair that would actually need all of the attention of any woman’s. It would grow naturally and was in fact real hair growing from real hair follicles. Her body was slightly less voluptuous than he personally preferred. The face was much prettier than could be described as beautiful with startling hazel eyes that held no sparkle at the moment.. There were subtle flaws in it that gave it a look of carefully cultivated character. Her eyes were set just a fraction too wide and her nose was perhaps too long and full. Her lips were perfect according to Jim’s way of thinking; not too wide but pleasantly full. Her teeth were straight and white. No one would guess that they were duralloy with a coating of bonded enamel. Her breasts were a nice 34 C with rather large nipples. He noticed that she was an “innie” at the navel. The designers were really very thorough. This was a nice female body that would never betray its artificiality by mere stares of passersby.

His patient awoke after a long and tortuous climb to sentience, and spoke the expected and yet very startling first sentence of all people regaining consciousness after a coma, “Where am I?” Then … “My God, WHO am I.” Then the indestructible diamasteel window shattered. This was obviously impossible. Jim and his technician could not help but stare at where the window had been. That window was made of the strongest transparent material known to man. It would stop an armor piercing shell from point blank range.

Jim recovered enough to walk over to his creation with a smile on his face and say, “You’re in a hospital and you’re doing fine. You’ve been sick for a very long time, but it looks like you’ll recover completely and be able get up in a few days. I don’t want you to be alarmed at what you see here. You are hooked up to many machines that allow us to monitor your progress and know when you need our help. Now listen to me carefully and let me ask some questions that might seem strange. I need to ask them and you need to answer them carefully and completely. Do you understand?”

“Where am I? Who am I? What is this place? It doesn’t look like a hospital!”

“What does a hospital look like?” Jim asked in an attempt to stop the flow of panic oriented questions.

“I … I … I don’t know”, came a small and frightened reply. I just seem to remember a hospital room is white and sterile but I seem to picture a hospital that is very homey with earth tones and pleasant smells. Oh my god, what’s happened to me? I’m so confused. My memory is all mixed up, as if I were several different people all at once. Please, please, please help me. I feel I’m losing control of myself.”

The patient lost consciousness. One second she was crying and the next she was asleep. The EEG traces showed the activity of a person who should be awake. She wasn’t.

The patient opened her eyes. “What happened? How did I get here? And what the hell happened to my voice!? And just who the hell are you?”

“I’m Doctor James Weil. You are in an intensive care unit following your accident. Can you tell me your name?”

“Lieutenant Commander Charles Cameron Blaylock, United Earth Space Force, currently detached”, she said with some irritation. “What accident? Have you notified my wife that I’m all right? Where is she? And WHERE AM I? I order you to give me some answers!”

“Sorry, Sir, but you see I am a civilian and you can’t give me an order; however, I am a doctor that has been placed in charge of your case by your superiors and therefore can give you orders that have to do with your medical well being so listen up soldier. My orders are that you calm down and you will be informed after you have answered some questions for me, Commander. Now that that is settled, tell me how you feel. Any pain or disorientation?”

“Lots of disorientation. I seem to feel the thoughts and emotions of more than just myself, only I don’t really know whom I am. There is some woman around here that is frightened and wants to talk to you. I’m dizzy and lightheaded and have to fight to maintain consciousness. Can you tell me what happened to my voice? I have a good, commanding baritone and this voice sounds downright effeminate.”

Jim noted that the voice was getting much weaker and the focus of the eyes seemed to be off. The patient slept again.

Jim had put out the call for Dr. Charmaine Delios. The psychiatrist assigned to the case. He was really going to need her here to handle the integration as well as the interrogation of this patient. He had already seen both a male and a female personality. He had looked at the ancient and sketchy records of the two major brain grafts of this brain. The female had been a prostitute who had apparently been abused as a child and then again by her pimp, whatever that was. The male was a lawbonded naval officer who was aggressively heterosexual. The woman had died one hundred and two years ago from irreparable body damage.

The brain had been preserved but damaged sixty years ago and the right hemisphere replaced with the right hemisphere of the Lt. Commander he had just met. That meant there was two generations of social differences between the two and at least three generations of social evolution between them and today.

The medulla and pons had been grafted on about twenty years ago. It had always amazed him that they had learned to halt the degradation of aging in the cerebrum and cerebellum; however, in the more primitive areas of the pons and medulla they still had to graft new ones on every hundred years or so. The disease of aging had never been cured but the process had been slowed considerably by genetic engineering and one hell of a lot of biochemical research. The one big stopping block to life spans of five hundred or more years was the basal portions of the brain.

The maintenance personnel were cleaning up the debris from the shattered window and replacing it. The foreman was obviously curious but was not bothering him with questions. He knew that he is going to be stopped in the cafeteria or accosted in the doctor’s lounge and asked some very tough questions. Questions to which he had no answers. But then he had a couple of questions of his own he wanted to ask.

Dr. Delios arrived and he brought his mind back to his patient. She was still sleeping. Charmaine had been studying the history of the brain and knew the problems they would most likely be facing.

“What happened when she awoke? Can you play the vids for me?”

“Sure. Mark, put the vids of our patient on the wall screen, will you?”

Charmaine was thoughtful after they had watched them. When she spoke, it was as if she were just mouthing thoughts as they occurred to her. “We have seen glimpses of the two dominate portions of the brain. There will be minor problems with the rest of the grafts, but those will be similar to the difficulties we experience with everyday patients. These two personalities are going to be the challenge. They are totally dissimilar. I want her started on a neoparadine drip and I think that we might get some help from reprogramming the chip interfaces between those two portions of the brain. Can you get a chip programmer assigned to you for a while?”

“I don’t think that will be a problem”, Jim stated, “Mark here is a first class biochip programmer as well as a very competent neurological assistant. Can you give me your preliminary impressions of what we have here? And, off the record, Char, what do you think of our chances?”

“Hmmmm, well, we have an android with a duralloy body that is covered with a skin grown in the biolabs. If she cuts her finger, it will bleed for a short time before the wound closes and heals itself. She literally can’t be hurt. Her cardiac function is controlled by a biochip and is one best artificial hearts we can manufacture. It could last for centuries. The filtering system that is incorporated into the vascular system will act like a set of kidneys to the point of necessitating her using the rest room approximately once a day to empty her ‘bladder’. She has oxygen supplied by either on-board generating tanks or a lung like apparatus that requires breathing. That supplies good oxygenated, organic blood to the brain and skin. Of course blood wears out and she will have to have fresh cell transfusions occasionally. There is even a chemical processing plant, of sorts, that will act like a stomach in a natural human. She will feel hunger and have the ability to satisfy that hunger which will require elimination of the unused portion of her meals. The body and the brain could have a literally immortal life span.

The one remaining question is the operation of that brain. Will it be socialized or not? That question I can’t answer. Have you given any thought to what we do with her if we do integrate her personalities and she becomes not only viable but socialized? The council will never accept her as a human. She will end up either as a slave or cyborged to a defense computer or the order to terminate her will come down when we have all of the data they think we need.”

A look of fierce intensity came over Jim’s face. “I have given that some thought but no real answers yet. I do know that while I live she lives. I swear that.”

‘I can see only one out. We will have to get her declared a citizen of Earth. Bypass the federal government and go straight to the U.E.C… At least we have a precedent. The first person born on any of the space or extraterrestrial planetary colonies is formally given dual citizenship in his colony of origin AND the U.E.C… WAIT a minute! Suppose she gets lawbonded? Would that give her a defacto citizenship and thus recognition as a human or at least a sentient being?

The patient was stirring again and Char was standing next to the bed signaling him to let her handle the situation.

Their patient quietly opened her eyes and looked around the room. She looked at the life monitor with its multiple readouts and passed on to the computer stations then the wires leading from her to them. She saw the restraints that had been added to keep her from moving. That last was a rather paranoid addition insisted upon by security. She couldn’t move on her own. Her voluntary muscular systems were shut down to prevent injury during her waking period. She was, after all, in an android body that possessed some thirty times human strength. Wouldn’t do to have her pat you on the back until she learned to control that strength. When she saw the restraints they shattered and a suspicion formed in Jim’s mind. Just what HAD they created here?

Give Char her due. She recovered in an instant and smiled at the patient.

“How do you feel?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Doctor Delios and this is Doctor Weil. Can you tell me your name?”

“I seem to have more than one name. I mean when I think about whom I am both the name Michele R. Jackson and Lieutenant Commander Charles Cameron Blaylock. I’m very confused. I can’t seem to control my thoughts. Is this a mental institution? Am I crazy? I can’t be both a man and a woman! Please, help me! Oh, God, Help Me!”

Char activated a switch that fed a measured amount of neoparadine and trithorodiaxiden to help relax the patient and give her a feeling of mental control. She was very grateful that most mental problems had been found to be chemical imbalances and those that weren’t could usually be controlled by chemicals. The big remaining problem was paranoid schizophrenia. And guess what! That was just the problem they were going to have to deal with. And to make matters worse this patient didn’t just have the repressed personalities of different phases of her life floating around in her mind with the concomitant emergence of two different people. She really was two different people!

“No, this isn’t a mental institution, but you do have a minor problem and we are going to fix that with your help. Now I don’t want you to worry about that because we have learned how to deal with these things very well and you will be fine in a few days. OK?”

“Why can’t I move? Was I paralyzed in the accident?”

“Yes, you were, but not permanently. You have several surgical procedures to go through yet but you will be fine. You really will. Dr. Weil is one of the finest neurosurgeons in the world and he tells me that you will completely recover. Now, if he isn’t concerned even a little bit why should you be? Now, I would like to have you think about this Commander person you mentioned and tell me everything you can about him.”

The patient remained awake for more than an hour with both personalities dominating for varying periods and worked with Char the entire time. Finally Char saw her smother a yawn.

I want you to rest for a while and we will talk more later.” Char activated a cranial probe to electrically place the brain in REM sleep.

She turned to Jim. “I think that we should tell her that she was cryogenically stored for over a century so that her future could repair her. Tell me which personality you want to have dominate as soon as you are sure. I can have the biochips programmed to assist in the sublimation of the other personality and help to integrate the right and left hemispheres. That may not be a total solution, but it is a good start and I think that we can solve the remaining psychological difficulties. The biggest problem that I see is going to be exactly the one we have been discussing since I was assigned to this project. That of getting her used to the idea that she doesn’t have a human body. It also seems that she may have developed some telekinetic abilities. I wonder if that means that she has telepathic ones also. I also wonder if she can control those impulses. We have months of some very fascinating discovery ahead of us and if this gets out we are going to have the U.E.C. defense people all over us to make this into a weapon. OK, Boss, how do you want to handle this? Oh and Jim, Thanks for co-opting me for this one! I think this is going to be very interesting!”

Dr. James Weil was lost in thought for a moment before he replied. “No mention or even suggestion of extraordinary mental capabilities. “Mark, I’m afraid that you will have to undergo hypnosis to forget that entire portion of your work. We can’t afford even the possibility of a leak on this one. I sure am glad that we had the monitors turned off by the U.E.C…”

Char, I suppose that the female personality is the logical one since we have it in a functioning female body; however, we need as much integration as possible. We must end up with a personality that can be socialized to this century. I am thinking out loud here not issuing orders yet. Tell me your thoughts and your professional opinions also where you agree or disagree.”

Jim, at this point I have only a few answers for you and perhaps some speculations, if you’re interested. First, yes, it will have to be a female personality, but one built out of both halves of her brain. You won’t see either her ‘Michele’ or her ‘Charles’ persona in any clear detail. What I am sure will emerge is an amalgam of both. I will give her a new name to suit her new character. It will take months and many sessions of hypnotherapy coupled with chemical support. Since she doesn’t have the normal infusion of hormones and other endocrine secretions, some of those will have to be supplied in either her diet or by injection. We might be able to concoct a form of oral supplementation, but I won’t know that until we decide what she will need. That means we will have to bring in an endocrinologist to help us out.”

Jim started to say something when Char cut him off. “I know, Jim. We can’t let too many people in on this yet and the more we do the greater the chance it will leak prematurely. Just remember that Drs. are used to keeping their patients secrets as a part of their professional obligations. So help me find one we can both trust.”

We have the second man in the endo research lab in our poker club. We are having our next game tomorrow night. I can try to sound him out a little and let you know. You say this will take months. How many do you figure,” Jim asked her?

Dr. Delios answered him in reverse order. “I have no real idea. At a guess, I would say between 12 and 60 months. And that guy in endo research would be perfect if he is any good at his job.”Chapter I: WANTED: DEAD AND ALIVE

“Doctor! It moved!”

Dr. James Weil smiled at his nurse’s comment. ‘When would they learn that one of them couldn’t move?’ He turned toward his patient (#773714), eradicating the smile and donning his professional demeanor. He quickly reviewed the case history in his mind, as he looked toward his extant patient – Female, 33 years old, brain removed for grafting and repair -if possible- of damage incurred during an autoflyer accident, body currently maintained by a motor brain from the library. This particular brain had several grafts during the years of storage and duty. It had been used several times as a motor with no evidence of cognitive function.

“Judy, I hope you are wrong about that. After all, it has never happened in the hundred and thirty-seven years we’ve been using this procedure. By the way, how is that new fella of yours? The rumor mill is having a field day and reports are floating around that you may actually go the lawbond route with this one. Come on; fill me in on the real story. What th…… Holy Chaos! It IS moving! Nurse, get me the EEG trace for the last 10 hours, Stat!”

Judy thought (not for the first time) how strange it was that this highly skilled and modern surgeon still wanted some things in hard copy. The station comp was ready at the sound of his voice, but no, he had to have the paper in his hand rather than looking at the same thing on the vid screen.

Jim literally snatched the yards of trace from his startled nurse and began to examine it. Everything was normal ten hours ago because he had checked this one just before turning in the night before. He saw no aberrations during the next four hours. Then he saw it. There were definite signs of increased significance in the Delta, Theta, and Beta waves. About two hours ago the Alpha waves came into play with corresponding increasing definition in all others! Hmmmm. Better get a hold of dad on this one. Thank Chaos, he is the Chief of Service and not me!

“Computer! Find Dr. Richard Weil and inform him that Dr. James Weil needs an immediate consult in this room.” Dr. James’ mind was racing with unsociable thoughts. If he could bring this brain to consciousness the experimental potential was boundless! If he did, and the original brain survived, he would be tried for some crime or other and convicted and executed within a week. At least he would be given an extended leave of absence. Still … I wonder if the brain could integrate the various grafts successfully. Could that brain become a useful member of society? Could it learn and accept that it had memories from … hmmm how long ago? He asked for the station comp and called up the chart on the motor brain. He seldom looked past the first page of one. As long as it said that the brain was certified for motor use on the out side, the history contained on the inside was of little interest. The first injury was one hundred seven years ago. Since that time there have been four grafts done, one major and three minor … more than fifty percent of the brain has been replaced. Wait a minute. What the hell is this? The original biochips on the interfaces of the grafts were replaced with experimental 4 terabit bio-chips!

In 2108, a descendant of William James, a twentieth century psychologist, with the unlikely and uninspired name of James James, had experimented with increasing the intelligence of rats then monkeys by using the biochips. He discovered that he could repair massive cerebral trauma with transplants using the biochips as interfaces. Since they are powered with electrochemical stimulation from the neurons, they could be used as permanent implants. The biochips could be grown via a biologically neutral medium and when implanted took on the characteristics of surrounding tissue, thus negating the possibility of rejection.

So new and improved four terabit biochips had been used on this supposedly normal motor brain. The results are listed as inconclusive with the note that it remained capable of motor function. It exhibited no apparent improvement over a three-month period of cybernetic stimulation so it was restored to the motor library with no further action! The idiots! That was two years ago. It has been sitting in nutrient fluid with normal stimulation until used for this caretaker function as of two days ago. Damn! FOUR terras. That’s eight times the normal for a motor brain and four times the standard live brain graft chip. And these biochips had been grown right here at the center.

Jim heard a faint sound behind him and turned a startled face to find his father, Dr. Richard Weil, standing behind him. Dr. Richard Weil was of average height, just a shade over six three, with penetrating, lucent blue eyes and the Weil nose that gave away their Mediterranean heritage. It used to amuse James that he had to explain to people that his multi-great grand sire and founder of the current Weil line was Welsh. Seems all the males in his immediate ancestry including his venerable grandfather were enamored of the Italian female.

Mindful of the monitors, he addressed his father formally.

“Doctor, we have an anomalous situation occurring with this patient and her motor brain. Here, look at the EEG tracing beginning six hours ago. …. Please, just look at this then I’ll fill you in on the other unusual items that might clear up some of your questions”

‘But I’ll bet it brings up a lot more’, Jim thought.

After Jim had finished filling his father in, they decided to check on the progress that the parent brain was making in the CNS grafting lab. This inquiry informed them that there were several hours of programming to do on the biochip interface implant, so there was nothing to do but wait. The motor brain had not reached sentience and there were little if any further changes in the EEG. They decided to do nothing except record the EEG progression with the comment that it might be related to increased stimulation on the electro-chemical level.

It seemed that the life of one chief neuro-surgical resident was about to go from dull to … to what? Adventurous? Well unusual at least. What ever happened to the motor brain of patient #773714 he would have a hand in it. His father had promised him that much.

Jim contacted a friend of his that worked in the Central Nervous Systems (CNS) lab. Since the brain was the central part of the CNS that was where all of the work on cranial trauma cases were done. He needed to be kept up to date on the progress of the brain in question. His chum had told him that there had never been more than a 50-50 chance for this one from the beginning. If that held true there was a good chance that he could do some really original research.

His thoughts returned to patient #771734 throughout the day. He finally sought out his father and asked him to go to dinner that night. It was raining when he met his father at the Medical Club provided by the government for doctors and nurses. Four hundred years had been spent studying weather control and they still didn’t have the bugs worked out. The forecast had promised a cloudless sky tonight. Well, at least they had learned to control hurricanes and tornadoes. Quite an achievement, really.

They ascended to the fifth floor restaurant that was reserved for GS20s and above. His father qualified. It would be twenty years before he could reach those lofty heights. Unless this new opportunity gave him a significant boost. Well, he could dream a little longer. Until his father put the kibosh on the plan, or the original brain recovered, or the beginnings of sentience in the motor faded again, or any one of several other possible impediments to his plans.

The table the maitre`d led led them to was in a secluded corner. The privacy light glowing unobtrusively. They would not be disturbed by any human. Jim looked over the menu carefully. You could actually get real beef here. Since the cattle herds had been restricted and forced into buildings that collected all of the methane that was so damaging to the ozone, beef was in very limited supply. You had to be a very high GS to afford it. His father ordered a surf and turf (with real beef and real lobster!) Jim had the same. They were enjoying a cocktail when both their wrist comps flashed an incoming call at practically the same instant. They activated their earpieces and throat mics to take their calls.

Jim’s friend in the CNS lab told him that the original brain would be ready to place back in the host in six hours. Jim’s dreams shattered with an almost audible sound. He couldn’t believe that he had hoped for the death of one person so that he could attempt to give an unknown a chance at life. He felt an unfamiliar twinge of guilt.

His father looked at him with an amused expression. “They told you?”

“Yes.”

“I think you should enjoy your meal and then I will tell you about some comp calls I made today.

“What comp calls? I’ve been thinking all day about what to do if the host brain survived. There is no out! If we push this we’ll end up doing unauthorized research using MedCo’s equipment and personnel. The very least that we could expect is to be reduced in rating and probably impeached out of the profession just for good measure.”

“Cheer up! We’re not finished with this yet. You forget that your father is a very famous and well-connected man. I have been making plans and expect to hear any moment about the results. So enjoy this meal. I intend that it be a celebration.”

His father refused to say more so the conversation drifted into the mundane.

The lighting was from the latest bio-engineered algae tubes and required no electrical power what so ever. The tubes over their table (soft, luminescent blue) tended to relax and soothe the doctors after a long day with patients. The room was a maze of booths with walls around them for privacy. It was said that you could come and go and never see or hear another human except the Maitre d’.

His father was talking about his sister’s work in physics. It appeared that the new line of work was beginning to show results. It was amazing how the field of informational matrix theory of the universe had grown over the last hundred years. It was a field of physics derived from the Bell Continuum that had actually been suggested by a twentieth century futurist and physicist by the name of Greg Bear in a fiction book called Moving Mars. Everybody in the sciences was familiar with the story. His sister was working in the area of descriptor alteration to provide instantaneous travel. It seems that Bear’s imagination had been wrong in several areas, but right in many of the more important ones. It did look as though they might be able to move a fairly large ship to any point in the informational universe then “translate” it back to normal space time, whatever that meant. At least it was beginning to allow people to think about the stars again.

After they finally got the limit placed on the terms of politicians and a supreme court that was constrained to strict constructionism of the constitution things began to smooth out. The depression at the turn of the twenty first century and the voters revolt of 2016 and again in 2031 that led to the replacement of over half of the people in both houses of congress had led to a two year concentration on the repeal of laws rather than the enactment of new ones. Now they had a world government, The United Earth Confederation that was a loose confederation empowered to provide for the common defense, the world court, oversee the World Bank and provide health care for everybody. This gave them the power to fund scientific research for a wide range of endeavors. Based on its own land on and in the Antarctic, and Geneva of course, it was effectively constrained from interfering in the orderly functioning of any of the nation-states with one important exception. Every nation on earth had completely disbanded their war (defense?) departments in favor of the U.E.C. Along with this had gone a pledge of sixty percent of their war (defense?) budget to the U.E.C. This sole contribution had proven sufficient to fund the earth’s new confederation.

The medical profession had gone through a massive upheaval with the new United Earth Confederation. They were all made employees of a completely nonprofit corporation chartered by the Confederation and received generous salaries with good perks and the old system was dead. And surprise, surprise, the corporation was self-sufficient.

Everybody in the world paid the same fees and if they couldn’t pay those fees why then they paid what they could. The doctors did not participate in the setting of those fees or pocket any them. Yet the individual participants could aspire to the good life by simply continuing to learn and performing their jobs with conscience and care. GS rating increases were not easy but were attainable for the honest and sincere MD. Health care had finally become a universal fact within the reach of all Earth peoples without the unwanted intrusion of government into private lives.

They had finished the main meal and were waiting the dessert and an after dinner drink when Jim decided to broach the subject of patient #773714.

“Dad, you’ve kept me sitting on this time bomb long enough. Talk!” Jim growled with a smile.

“OK! OK! I haven’t received that call yet, but I’ll let you know what I’m planning. I’m sure that you are aware of the Azimov Androids developed in the last century. They are marvelous machines that remain too expensive except for the very rich and some of the world’s largest companies. I hope to use these new four terra bio-chips to interface this motor brain of yours into one of those bodies and create a truly independent, humaniform cyborg.”

Jim was quite literally stunned. The problems with the law had been averted, but the scientific problems had just multiplied by a factor of a thousand. The brain had to sit in nutrient fluid that was replaced like the human body’s. It had to receive the proper electrochemical stimulation, a constant and renewable source of oxygen and endocrine chemicals and and and. ….. Truly mind-boggling. He’d have to get transferred to a pure research team. Hell, he’d have to create a pure research team!

“Wait a minute, dad. Just for starters, where are we going to get the android and the permission for this research?”

“That is the call I am waiting for. We have just stepped out of the federal matrix and into the world matrix. We are now working directly for the U.E.C..

I hope to be empowered to create any research team that I feel is of significant importance to science and fund it out of discretionary accounts set up for that purpose. If the research proves its worth after a year the World Medical Board will take over funding and replace my discretionary account. The people I called can supply a functioning android so we can trace all of the pseudo-neurons and program the bio-chip interface when we replace the android brain with our human one. I have attempted to convince them that the research is of such vital importance that the android will not cost us a penny. That is what I want for now. I had hoped that they would have a decision by this time, but that hasn’t happened. Sooooo, I arranged a little surprise for you. It is waiting in the foyer right now. ”

Richard Weil spoke to the table mic asking that the Jim’s surprise be brought to their alcove. It was Ginny. Jim smiled as his father left instructions for the bill be put on his account and that both he and Ginny were to be his guests for the rest of the evening.

Richard turned to the couple and said good night and that they would be talking as soon as he received word.

Ginny sat next to Jim and the social part of the evening began with a warm and passionate kiss. Jim knew he would not have to sleep alone on this night and Ginny was skilled enough that he actually forgot the events of the day and the hopes he held for the future.

His father called with good news at 0431 the next morning. Ginny was still asleep as he left for the hospital. He had no way of knowing that he would see less and less of her during the ensuing months nor that she would end up lawbonded to a member of the most disreputable of so called professions… an attorney for chaos sake!

When he arrived he found that it was time to restore the host brain to patient #773714 and place the motor back in nutrient storage. He hated the thought that this might permanently stop the progress toward sentience; however, this was such a new phenomenon that he knew of nothing that would be better.

It was August 18, 2204, his thirty second birthday and almost seven months after that dinner with his father, that he first spoke to his new female person. They had received the android body of a functional female so she it would be. She had a body that was quite pleasing to the eye and virtually indistinguishable from any human. Approximately 6’ in height with blond hair that would actually need all of the attention of any woman’s. It would grow naturally and was in fact real hair growing from real hair follicles. Her body was slightly less voluptuous than he personally preferred. The face was much prettier than could be described as beautiful with startling hazel eyes that held no sparkle at the moment.. There were subtle flaws in it that gave it a look of carefully cultivated character. Her eyes were set just a fraction too wide and her nose was perhaps too long and full. Her lips were perfect according to Jim’s way of thinking; not too wide but pleasantly full. Her teeth were straight and white. No one would guess that they were duralloy with a coating of bonded enamel. Her breasts were a nice 34 C with rather large nipples. He noticed that she was an “innie” at the navel. The designers were really very thorough. This was a nice female body that would never betray its artificiality by mere stares of passersby.

His patient awoke after a long and tortuous climb to sentience, and spoke the expected and yet very startling first sentence of all people regaining consciousness after a coma, “Where am I?” Then … “My God, WHO am I.” Then the indestructible diamasteel window shattered. This was obviously impossible. Jim and his technician could not help but stare at where the window had been. That window was made of the strongest transparent material known to man. It would stop an armor piercing shell from point blank range.

Jim recovered enough to walk over to his creation with a smile on his face and say, “You’re in a hospital and you’re doing fine. You’ve been sick for a very long time, but it looks like you’ll recover completely and be able get up in a few days. I don’t want you to be alarmed at what you see here. You are hooked up to many machines that allow us to monitor your progress and know when you need our help. Now listen to me carefully and let me ask some questions that might seem strange. I need to ask them and you need to answer them carefully and completely. Do you understand?”

“Where am I? Who am I? What is this place? It doesn’t look like a hospital!”

“What does a hospital look like?” Jim asked in an attempt to stop the flow of panic oriented questions.

“I … I … I don’t know”, came a small and frightened reply. I just seem to remember a hospital room is white and sterile but I seem to picture a hospital that is very homey with earth tones and pleasant smells. Oh my god, what’s happened to me? I’m so confused. My memory is all mixed up, as if I were several different people all at once. Please, please, please help me. I feel I’m losing control of myself.”

The patient lost consciousness. One second she was crying and the next she was asleep. The EEG traces showed the activity of a person who should be awake. She wasn’t.

The patient opened her eyes. “What happened? How did I get here? And what the hell happened to my voice!? And just who the hell are you?”

“I’m Doctor James Weil. You are in an intensive care unit following your accident. Can you tell me your name?”

“Lieutenant Commander Charles Cameron Blaylock, United Earth Space Force, currently detached”, she said with some irritation. “What accident? Have you notified my wife that I’m all right? Where is she? And WHERE AM I? I order you to give me some answers!”

“Sorry, Sir, but you see I am a civilian and you can’t give me an order; however, I am a doctor that has been placed in charge of your case by your superiors and therefore can give you orders that have to do with your medical well being so listen up soldier. My orders are that you calm down and you will be informed after you have answered some questions for me, Commander. Now that that is settled, tell me how you feel. Any pain or disorientation?”

“Lots of disorientation. I seem to feel the thoughts and emotions of more than just myself, only I don’t really know whom I am. There is some woman around here that is frightened and wants to talk to you. I’m dizzy and lightheaded and have to fight to maintain consciousness. Can you tell me what happened to my voice? I have a good, commanding baritone and this voice sounds downright effeminate.”

Jim noted that the voice was getting much weaker and the focus of the eyes seemed to be off. The patient slept again.

Jim had put out the call for Dr. Charmaine Delios. The psychiatrist assigned to the case. He was really going to need her here to handle the integration as well as the interrogation of this patient. He had already seen both a male and a female personality. He had looked at the ancient and sketchy records of the two major brain grafts of this brain. The female had been a prostitute who had apparently been abused as a child and then again by her pimp, whatever that was. The male was a lawbonded naval officer who was aggressively heterosexual. The woman had died one hundred and two years ago from irreparable body damage.

The brain had been preserved but damaged sixty years ago and the right hemisphere replaced with the right hemisphere of the Lt. Commander he had just met. That meant there was two generations of social differences between the two and at least three generations of social evolution between them and today.

The medulla and pons had been grafted on about twenty years ago. It had always amazed him that they had learned to halt the degradation of aging in the cerebrum and cerebellum; however, in the more primitive areas of the pons and medulla they still had to graft new ones on every hundred years or so. The disease of aging had never been cured but the process had been slowed considerably by genetic engineering and one hell of a lot of biochemical research. The one big stopping block to life spans of five hundred or more years was the basal portions of the brain.

The maintenance personnel were cleaning up the debris from the shattered window and replacing it. The foreman was obviously curious but was not bothering him with questions. He knew that he is going to be stopped in the cafeteria or accosted in the doctor’s lounge and asked some very tough questions. Questions to which he had no answers. But then he had a couple of questions of his own he wanted to ask.

Dr. Delios arrived and he brought his mind back to his patient. She was still sleeping. Charmaine had been studying the history of the brain and knew the problems they would most likely be facing.

“What happened when she awoke? Can you play the vids for me?”

“Sure. Mark, put the vids of our patient on the wall screen, will you?”

Charmaine was thoughtful after they had watched them. When she spoke, it was as if she were just mouthing thoughts as they occurred to her. “We have seen glimpses of the two dominate portions of the brain. There will be minor problems with the rest of the grafts, but those will be similar to the difficulties we experience with everyday patients. These two personalities are going to be the challenge. They are totally dissimilar. I want her started on a neoparadine drip and I think that we might get some help from reprogramming the chip interfaces between those two portions of the brain. Can you get a chip programmer assigned to you for a while?”

“I don’t think that will be a problem”, Jim stated, “Mark here is a first class biochip programmer as well as a very competent neurological assistant. Can you give me your preliminary impressions of what we have here? And, off the record, Char, what do you think of our chances?”

“Hmmmm, well, we have an android with a duralloy body that is covered with a skin grown in the biolabs. If she cuts her finger, it will bleed for a short time before the wound closes and heals itself. She literally can’t be hurt. Her cardiac function is controlled by a biochip and is one best artificial hearts we can manufacture. It could last for centuries. The filtering system that is incorporated into the vascular system will act like a set of kidneys to the point of necessitating her using the rest room approximately once a day to empty her ‘bladder’. She has oxygen supplied by either on-board generating tanks or a lung like apparatus that requires breathing. That supplies good oxygenated, organic blood to the brain and skin. Of course blood wears out and she will have to have fresh cell transfusions occasionally. There is even a chemical processing plant, of sorts, that will act like a stomach in a natural human. She will feel hunger and have the ability to satisfy that hunger which will require elimination of the unused portion of her meals. The body and the brain could have a literally immortal life span.

The one remaining question is the operation of that brain. Will it be socialized or not? That question I can’t answer. Have you given any thought to what we do with her if we do integrate her personalities and she becomes not only viable but socialized? The council will never accept her as a human. She will end up either as a slave or cyborged to a defense computer or the order to terminate her will come down when we have all of the data they think we need.”

A look of fierce intensity came over Jim’s face. “I have given that some thought but no real answers yet. I do know that while I live she lives. I swear that.”

‘I can see only one out. We will have to get her declared a citizen of Earth. Bypass the federal government and go straight to the U.E.C… At least we have a precedent. The first person born on any of the space or extraterrestrial planetary colonies is formally given dual citizenship in his colony of origin AND the U.E.C… WAIT a minute! Suppose she gets lawbonded? Would that give her a defacto citizenship and thus recognition as a human or at least a sentient being?

The patient was stirring again and Char was standing next to the bed signaling him to let her handle the situation.

Their patient quietly opened her eyes and looked around the room. She looked at the life monitor with its multiple readouts and passed on to the computer stations then the wires leading from her to them. She saw the restraints that had been added to keep her from moving. That last was a rather paranoid addition insisted upon by security. She couldn’t move on her own. Her voluntary muscular systems were shut down to prevent injury during her waking period. She was, after all, in an android body that possessed some thirty times human strength. Wouldn’t do to have her pat you on the back until she learned to control that strength. When she saw the restraints they shattered and a suspicion formed in Jim’s mind. Just what HAD they created here?

Give Char her due. She recovered in an instant and smiled at the patient.

“How do you feel?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Doctor Delios and this is Doctor Weil. Can you tell me your name?”

“I seem to have more than one name. I mean when I think about whom I am both the name Michele R. Jackson and Lieutenant Commander Charles Cameron Blaylock. I’m very confused. I can’t seem to control my thoughts. Is this a mental institution? Am I crazy? I can’t be both a man and a woman! Please, help me! Oh, God, Help Me!”

Char activated a switch that fed a measured amount of neoparadine and trithorodiaxiden to help relax the patient and give her a feeling of mental control. She was very grateful that most mental problems had been found to be chemical imbalances and those that weren’t could usually be controlled by chemicals. The big remaining problem was paranoid schizophrenia. And guess what! That was just the problem they were going to have to deal with. And to make matters worse this patient didn’t just have the repressed personalities of different phases of her life floating around in her mind with the concomitant emergence of two different people. She really was two different people!

“No, this isn’t a mental institution, but you do have a minor problem and we are going to fix that with your help. Now I don’t want you to worry about that because we have learned how to deal with these things very well and you will be fine in a few days. OK?”

“Why can’t I move? Was I paralyzed in the accident?”

“Yes, you were, but not permanently. You have several surgical procedures to go through yet but you will be fine. You really will. Dr. Weil is one of the finest neurosurgeons in the world and he tells me that you will completely recover. Now, if he isn’t concerned even a little bit why should you be? Now, I would like to have you think about this Commander person you mentioned and tell me everything you can about him.”

The patient remained awake for more than an hour with both personalities dominating for varying periods and worked with Char the entire time. Finally Char saw her smother a yawn.

I want you to rest for a while and we will talk more later.” Char activated a cranial probe to electrically place the brain in REM sleep.

She turned to Jim. “I think that we should tell her that she was cryogenically stored for over a century so that her future could repair her. Tell me which personality you want to have dominate as soon as you are sure. I can have the biochips programmed to assist in the sublimation of the other personality and help to integrate the right and left hemispheres. That may not be a total solution, but it is a good start and I think that we can solve the remaining psychological difficulties. The biggest problem that I see is going to be exactly the one we have been discussing since I was assigned to this project. That of getting her used to the idea that she doesn’t have a human body. It also seems that she may have developed some telekinetic abilities. I wonder if that means that she has telepathic ones also. I also wonder if she can control those impulses. We have months of some very fascinating discovery ahead of us and if this gets out we are going to have the U.E.C. defense people all over us to make this into a weapon. OK, Boss, how do you want to handle this? Oh and Jim, Thanks for co-opting me for this one! I think this is going to be very interesting!”

Dr. James Weil was lost in thought for a moment before he replied. “No mention or even suggestion of extraordinary mental capabilities. “Mark, I’m afraid that you will have to undergo hypnosis to forget that entire portion of your work. We can’t afford even the possibility of a leak on this one. I sure am glad that we had the monitors turned off by the U.E.C…”

Char, I suppose that the female personality is the logical one since we have it in a functioning female body; however, we need as much integration as possible. We must end up with a personality that can be socialized to this century. I am thinking out loud here not issuing orders yet. Tell me your thoughts and your professional opinions also where you agree or disagree.”

Jim, at this point I have only a few answers for you and perhaps some speculations, if you’re interested. First, yes, it will have to be a female personality, but one built out of both halves of her brain. You won’t see either her ‘Michele’ or her ‘Charles’ persona in any clear detail. What I am sure will emerge is an amalgam of both. I will give her a new name to suit her new character. It will take months and many sessions of hypnotherapy coupled with chemical support. Since she doesn’t have the normal infusion of hormones and other endocrine secretions, some of those will have to be supplied in either her diet or by injection. We might be able to concoct a form of oral supplementation, but I won’t know that until we decide what she will need. That means we will have to bring in an endocrinologist to help us out.”

Jim started to say something when Char cut him off. “I know, Jim. We can’t let too many people in on this yet and the more we do the greater the chance it will leak prematurely. Just remember that Drs. are used to keeping their patients secrets as a part of their professional obligations. So help me find one we can both trust.”

We have the second man in the endo research lab in our poker club. We are having our next game tomorrow night. I can try to sound him out a little and let you know. You say this will take months. How many do you figure,” Jim asked her?

Dr. Delios answered him in reverse order. “I have no real idea. At a guess, I would say between 12 and 60 months. And that guy in endo research would be perfect if he is any good at his job.”

 

The Purpose of this Blog

I have the hope that this will become am avenue for writers to discuss their work and the problems they are facing as well as helping each other over the hurdles we face. Hopefully both novice and and established authors will be the contributors. It is open for critiques, writing samples, advice, even editors, agents and publishers.

Should you want to contribute please leave a comment with your contribution. If that doesn’t give you enough room just send me an email at dukea98@gmail.com and use new blog post in the subject. Also PLEASE make sure you have used your spell checker and read your post prior to submitting to eliminate embarrassing typos.

My next post will be a sample of my own writing and some comments on what I was attempting to accomplish. I ask, nay, pray for comments and critiques.