Interview with AHF

I was interviewed by Alternate History Fiction Magazine this year. This is a great magazine full of things any alternate history buff will enjoy from poetry to interviews and reviews.

Wanting to know if the ghosts in Ghosts on the Prairies are inspired by real ghosts or if the legends in Legends on the Prairies are based on real myths? Or who inspired the heroines in my stories or even designed the incredible covers?

Be sure to check out the full interview at: AHF. It will later be available on their website HERE.
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Losing a Pet

Her first time with her feet in the water
She was not impressed that I did this to her.
Our family lost our St Bernard this year to old age. She lived an incredible life, but ran through it much too fast. She was with her pack, her alpha male holding her close, when she passed on.

One moment she was small enough to hold in two hands and the next her head filled my laptop.

I must say our home is extremely empty now. In the last twenty-two years we've always had a pet, adopting her when our first two babies were in their senior years. Every time we turn around, she's missing.

Her trying to figure out why my breath
smells like peanut butter.
She was not impressed that I didn't share.
Owning a pet is huge commitment. But I have to say she made it easy. What a wonderful writing partner she was, walking companion, pillow, and best friend. And her memory was incredible, making her a great and safe pet for small children.

As a family we watched her grow from her puppy stages. She picked us for her family. It was quite amusing actually, to see her leave her brothers and sisters and just decide she was coming home with us. Our daughter and her bonded instantly and really, there was no choice to be made, she was one of us. We got to visit her many times before we brought her home, and every time was the same. She didn't even look back when she followed us to the car and just jumped in like she'd been planning her get-away and wouldn't leave us go again without her..

I can't say she was much of  a guard dog, because really, she loved people. So if someone would have tried to break in, we used to joke that she would have probably met them at the door to show them around. Of course, the wonderful thing about a giant breed is that they look intimidating and not like the teddy bear couch potato they really are. So we were safe with her anyway. Plus, she made a lot of noise when she got up, because she was so big, so there was that.

Refusing to come down the steps on
 her own.
Really not impressed that I wouldn't even
try to carry her.
She had one weakness: cats. Not sure what she would have done if she would have ever caught one, but she would run her short sprint, ears flapping, tail wagging, just happy as can be to be involved in the cliché chase. At first she would drag me behind her, sometimes on my ass. I had to practice letting go of the leash because my instinct was to hold tighter and I pulled quite a few muscles. So, as a family we had training sessions on how to let her go. Not as easy as it sounds, and we still struggle with this. Thankfully, she wasn't a long distant runner and usually gave up chase proud of herself in moments. But! Then every time we passed that spot for months, she'd relive the moment of that chase.

She hated water. Her fear was ridiculous. She wouldn't even go near the bathroom. I finally had to ask other St Bernard owners if it was just her or a breed thing. Turns out many St Bernards hate water. It made baths interesting and I'm sure over the years we gave our neighbours many chuckles since bath day was a family affair that involved bathing suits, hoses, brushes, towels, and a lot of laughter.

Her reviewing my work.
Still not impressed with me.
Sometimes, I see a meme where these dogs are running up and down the steps and the St Bernard won't budge on them. Yup. That was her. What a stubborn gal. But never in a bad way. If anything, she just made us laugh.

I think the best was watching her roll in the long grass on our walks. She made it look like so much fun! What a nut.

Our neighbours got a new pup recently, so she spent her last days watching him play. It seemed to amuse her as she tried to rest, content with life, as if knowing these were her final days.

There's so much to write about, so much she did in her long yet too short life, but most of all she helped make our house a home and we miss her. Gosh. We miss her.

Tell me about a pet that changed your life.



Magic and Science

I see magic and science blending more and more in stories and it makes for an interesting effect, especially when done well.

I have noticed two moments when it stops working for me. And of course, this is all my own opinion and as always, I welcome your ideas on this.
  1. Magic is explained with science.  I actually let it go for several chapters but then every little bit of magic was explained in very painful detail with science I didn't understand. It wasn't magic anymore it was science from another planet or something, I kinda lost interest. Magic adds a sense of mysticism and creativity that lets the imagination soar. Don't place it in a box.
  2. Science is explained with magic. This creates the opposite problem. The world is very real, I am enthralled by the science when suddenly I am told there is no logical explanation for this, it's magic. What? Why? Magic is wonderful. I love magic, but it is not an easy way out of a scientific problem. I like science and the way it makes me think beyond what I know and do, don't make me feel stupid by telling me what I believed possible is now magic only.

So when do I really enjoy it?
  • When the magic and the science have their own beliefs that never waiver. Each is in their boxes and neither is over-explained.
  • When I am prepared for both. This takes work from the writer as they must build a foundation that explains the science and the magic about to happen.Sometimes this means special trigger words or a specific setting or character for each.
  • Each has its place. I know when to expect hover-boards and when to expect flying unicorns. Neither come as a surprise, and neither need explaining.
It's that simple to me. Magic and Science can exist in the same story, but know when to explain it scientifically and when to let magic handle it.

So what do you think about blending Magic and Science to create a Sci-Fantasy? Do you have rules you follow? Any books you enjoyed that blend them well or that you didn't enjoy because of one thing?

Here are a few other articles on the subject:
Blending science and magic I especially like the part about using words that work for each world.
Questions answered I like the answer that says not to get too deep in explaining how these things work and just let us know what it's used for. 

Free Cookbook

Click here to get your free cookbook
Solstice released a fun free cookbook. For those of you who liked tried-and-true recipes, yummy! I thought I'd share it since, ya know, I'm in it. lol. Enjoy.