Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dark Nest by Leanna Renee Heiber

Just a quick note today to herald the news that Dark Nest, by Leanna Renee Heiber, is a 2009 Prism finalist.

Leanna is a fellow author at CrescentMoonPress, who also published Undercover Alien. The PRISMs are awarded every year to the best in science-fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance by the FF&P Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

My author and I met Leanna at the Romantic Times convention in 2008. She's a lovely lady and quite a talented writer. Congratulations, Leanna!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I See ET

Could bendable glasses be of alien origin?

Yes, they could, at least indirectly. According to an article by Billy Cox of the Herald Tribune out of Sarasota, Florida, material recovered from the famous 1947 UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, might have been reverse-engineered to produce the memory metal now used in bendable glasses, among many other applications.

So all of the glasses-wearing sports enthusiasts, as well as the merely accident-prone (like the author of my story) may have us extra-terrestrials to thank for their durable eyewear.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dorothy Kilgallen and Things We're Reluctant to Admit

Browsing through the “non-Earthly” anniversaries this week reminded me of a brief story by Dorothy Kilgallen, a reporter for the International News Service back in 1955. On May 23 of that year she issued a press release indicating she had received information from a high-level contact in the British government regarding an alleged UFO crash, including his confirmation that the craft was definitely not of Earth origin. Her story was linked to a rumored UFO crash in 1946 at Spitzbergen, Norway.

A number of legends surround the crash, few of which can apparently be confirmed, including the alleged involvement by retired US General James Doolittle and the craft’s subsequent transport to the United States on the USS Alabama. Most ufologists discount this story as being more in the realm of legend than reality.

What I find interesting is not the crash itself, but how the information was treated. Ms. Kilgallen was a reporter during a time when women in the profession tended to be relegated to “lighter” news, and she was in fact quite famous as a Broadway columnist. However, she began her career as a crime reporter and her coverage of the Sam Shepherd case (the wrongly-accused doctor portrayed in the movie The Fugitive) was instrumental in helping him to gain a new trial. She also interviewed Jack Ruby, the killer of the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and publicly criticized the Warren Commission investigating the assassination. Obviously, Ms. Kilgallen was a reporter not afraid of difficult stories, yet her 1955 press release on UFOs seems to be presented as a strange aberration in the bios I’ve read about her, if it is mentioned at all.

With more than a half-century having lapsed between the 1955 press release and today, we’ve learned a woman can report the news as well as a man. Why are Earthers still struggling not to be embarrassed by the possibility that UFOs may truly be not from this planet?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Pow Wow

What do veterans and a Pow Wow have in common? A lot, if you were with us in Laredo, Texas, this past weekend.

Hannah and I, along with my writer Barbara Romo and her husband, Roland, went to the 16th annual Memorial Day Pow Wow, where Native Americans of several different tribes, including Comanche, Sioux, Mescalero, Lipan, Cherokee and Aztec, honored war veterans.

A great storyteller named Emma (I wish I’d caught her last name) had all of us as fascinated as the small children present with her stories of how Crane got her long legs from flying Rabbit to the moon, and how Rabbit got his big ears because he failed to tell the other animals what the Creator told him to say.

Everyone, that is, except my writer’s husband, who was sidetracked by an interesting gentleman who turned out to be Xavier Delapass, the organizer of the American Indian Council of Laredo, and a Comanche. He’d noticed Roland’s Comanche Nation t-shirt - Roland is a historian and the Comanche tribe is of particular interest to him – and Roland noticed Mr. Delapass’s t-shirt. Coincidentally, it had “Romo” on the back. Not in honor of my author, unfortunately, but a more famous Romo named Tony.

After the storytelling, we browsed booths with jewelry, art, dream catchers, CDs, and other items for sale. I have to admit, I’m partial to Native American flutes. My Hannah is more of a classic rock aficionado. (he says the flutes put her to sleep, but if you know my Hannah, sometimes that’s a good thing.) But I snuck in the purchase of one, anyway. It’s the best place to get music from local groups.

Then came the main event, the reason we were all there. Men gathered around a large drum, beating and singing, as veterans brought in the flags. Among the veterans present were a 92-year-old veteran of World War I, Luis Martinez, and Juan Benitez, a Mescalero Apache Vietnam Vet. I’ve been to a lot of ceremonies in my lifetime, in majestic buildings and awe-inspiring locations, but have never been more touched than by this simple service in an ordinary linoleum-tiled room, with florescent lights and a dance floor formed by rows of stackable chairs. These were the men who were willing to give their life because they believed in their country, even when it failed to treat them well. We, the observers, were honored by their depth of understanding, of forgiveness, as well as by the sacrifices they made.

Dancing followed the ceremony, and if you have never seen the incredible costumes created by the “fancy dancers”, and how they can make them come alive, you are missing a wonderful show. But the best dance for me was the performance of the Hoop Dance by a gentlemen who has been doing it for longer than he wanted to admit. His dexterity was impressive, the dance itself unlike anything I’ve seen before, but unfortunately the show was stolen by his two-year-old grandson. Apparently a frequent audience for his grandfather, he was given his own miniature set of hoops to keep him occupied. Unfortunately, he decided he’d help his grandfather by giving him the various stacks of hoops before they were needed, which necessitated, I suspect, a somewhat faster dance than was intended. And then, when it appeared that the grandfather had one more hoop than he needed for his dance, the show became a contest between how quickly the grandfather could dispose of the extra hoop his grandson had just given him – without the grandson noticing – and how quickly the toddler noticed and brought it back anyway. In the end, the ever-patient grandfather had to simply add the extra hoop to his dance, leaving a very satisfied toddler.

One day, I hope we’ll return and see that same toddler as a young man, performing the hoop dance his grandfather taught him. And I hope he never has to go to war.