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A surprising three-months

Greetings everyone.

Of course I know I should be posting on my blog every day or so, but I have been busy. Life is crazy. I have finished three short screenplays and a short story during the three months since I posted last. I also reviewed a good friend’ screenplay, Jay Scharfenberg is a great screen writer with a wicked sense of humor, who I expect will either get the screenplay optioned if not bought outright. You go Jay. Remember I want to attend the red carpet premier.

Oh yes,some news of import. Lisa became pregnant. Yay! So while this is a short post, it has some tidbits in it. Since we just got back from St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands, I am hoping to devote more time to my blog. But if I don’t post as much as I hope to it is because I am working on the house for the baby’s room, working on a feature length screenplay and doing more short stories.

I find short stories easier to do, provide me a sense of accomplishment and allow me to express myself when I need to. If you have written screenplays you know it is sparse in the descriptions.

Until tomorrow, be well.

Well it has been a busy three months since my last post. I know, I know. I should work on keeping my blog posts up as much as I can. I have been busy though in the last few months. Taking a huge leap into the unknown I set about learning how to write screenplays.

I didn’t take this undertaking lightly. I focused on the mechanics of screenwriting. Which to be honest is both fun and difficult at the same time. Having only written short stories or novel length works, it took some time for me to recognize the serenity of white space.

A page is a wonderful canvas for a writer to paint the wonderful pictures that dance inside their heads. That same page for a screenwriter must be limited in text as much as possible. The vision the writer has must be pared down to powerful words that hopefully convey that vision to the director, cinematographer and actors.

After a few hard starts and frustrating moments where the entirety of the screenwriting style became my mortal nemesis, I had my ah-ha moment.

Alright, to be honest it came from my wife. She heard me complaining. Putting down her book she looked at me; “Do screen writers make good money?’

“Well. Like anything else it depends on how good you are. But I suppose five and six figure paydays are not unheard of.”

“You haven’t sold any of your short stories. Your novel has gone through three revisions.”

As I started to argue, she held up a hand.

“But this screen writing can net you a nice payday if you apply yourself.”

Well that brought me up short, taking away my bluster about craft and art. She was of course correct.  Tucking my tail between my legs I buckled down to learn the craft.

Now don’t get it in your head that screenwriting is easy. It is not. But over the last few months I have developed a decent working knowledge of the craft and in the process wrote three shorts. I also managed to crank out a short story in my Aesr universe.  The short story I have posted. The screen plays, well I am still working on those to get them polished.

On a side note, I also managed to review the screenplay of a very talented screenwriter named Jay Scharfenberg.  I fully expect to see something of his on the big or little screen soon.  Being a talented writer and having a wicked wit, Jay is one of the two people who nudged me towards looking at screen writing seriously.

Well what a rush the last moth has been.

It has been a hectic New Year so far. I had planned to post again after my December 7th musings on the ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ incident. But I quickly became consumed with the rush of the Christmas season, followed by a rough bout of the flu, obtained on Christmas day, which I am still fighting.

But in all that I received a great little gift from a friend, Jay Scharfenberg, who besides being a good friend is a great screenplay writer with a wicked sense of humor.  After reading the script, I want to let everyone know keep an eye out for his name, I think it would make a great, ala Sharknado, Syfy original movie.

Since this being the New Year and I haven’t made my resolutions for the New Year, I suppose I should do so now. I resolve to grow my freelance writing/ writing coach business. I resolve to publish my novel(s) (either traditional or self-publish). I resolve to finish my master in English (although I think this may trickle over to 2016.)

To all my writing friends I resolve to make time to guest blog, critique works for you, share and expand on the ideas we share and in general continue on the path of a writer we have all taken.

December 7th, 1939…What?

December 7th, 1941.

A truly terrible day for America when, as a country we were pulled into the Second World War after Japan, by virtue of a time and communication error attacked Pearl Harbor before their ambassador could formally issue a declaration of war on the United States.

But that’s not the December 7th I want to share with you. No, I want to share December 7th, 1939, two years before the dreadful attack by Japan.

But why you ask.

On December 7th, 1939 in Owensville Indiana someone painted “Remember Pearl Harbor” on the sidewalk in front of the local elementary school.

I had to do a little research on this because I had heard mention of it before, but never really looked into it. There are a slew of theories of what or who could have predicted the attack two years to the day.

The most straight forward and believable explanation surrounds a student scrawling the message as way to let his teachers know he got it. Whatever that ‘it’ is probably surrounds the territory of Hawaii as a lesson plan.  Hawaii was not to be admitted as a state until 1959, twenty years after the message was left in front of the school.

So the speculation of the lesson plan regarding the ‘territory’ of Hawaii is logical but not satisfying, at least not to a sci-fi writer. Apparently it didn’t satisfy the conspiracy and ancient alien crowd.

There are some who believe that time travelers came back and left the message. My response is why there? Why did someone who has the ability to travel through time and space, pop up in Owensville, (I have never been there but am assured that their Watermelon Fest is a great time with friendly people) to leave such a cryptic message?

Hawaii and Indiana are separated by 4694 miles, so the question is why did the vandal place the message there? And why not elaborate?

There is another theory regarding synchronicity, that the message was written after 1941, and somehow appeared in the same location, in the past. This at least makes a little sense logically.

One of the most outrageous is the idea that aliens, The Watchers, Annunaki or angels left the message as a warning. Perhaps it was a warning of the horrors of the world war ramping up in Europe and China? Maybe it is a warning that Pearl Harbor would lead America to the atomic bomb.  Frankly I don’t see why they would leave the message and once again I have to question why in Owensville? Once again why such a cryptic message?

I suspect that the simplest explanation is the correct one, but the truth behind the mystery of who and why they left the message is one I am leaving to you.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, my family and I wish to all of your families a wonderfully, uneventful day. While not celebrated in all countries, and if you are not familiar with this holiday, it has changed much since its inception, but for modern Americans each year on the fourth Thursday in November, we gather for football, family and food.  I’ll hoist a pint and toast you all:

Sláinte

It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow

than to spend tonight like there’s no money!

My friends are the best friends

Loyal, willing and able.

Now let’s get to drinking!

All glasses off the table!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.

A quick death and an easy one.

A pretty girl and an honest one.

A cold pint– and another one!

Here’s to a temperance supper,

With water in glasses tall,

And coffee and tea to end with–

And me not there at all!

When money’s tight and hard to get,

and your horse is also ran,

When all you have is a heap of debt,

a pint of plain is your only man.

Here’s to being single…

Drinking doubles…

And seeing triple!

I drink to your health when I’m with you,

I drink to your health when I’m alone,

I drink to your health so often,

I’m starting to worry about my own!

Here’s to women’s kisses,

and to whiskey, amber clear;

Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,

but a darn sight more sincere!

So I have been busy doing some research on a something called the ‘Black Knight’. This is a supposed object that has been in orbit and first detected in the 1950’s.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, why in the world are you talking about this. Honestly I am working on a sci-fi story idea and it is based off this supposedly artificial satellite that has been orbiting our planet for the last 60 years.

I myself heard about this object last year while antiquing with Lisa in Sunol, California.  We had gone antiquing in the Niles district of Fremont, California and decided to visit Sunol to get a picture of the bronze statue of Bosco, elected in 1981 as the dog mayor of Sunol, beating two human opponents.

It’s one of the quirky little things I love about visiting family in Northern California. Anyway we stopped in a shop by the statue and as we were exploring I found a book on UFO’s that had been out of print for some time. As I completed my purchase the gentleman behind the counter asked me why I wanted the book and if I believed in UFOs.

I told him I was a science-fiction writer and yes, I believe in UFOs in terms of people seeing things in the sky they cannot identify, but as far as alien spacecraft, I have my doubts.

After a minute, he looked at me and said, “I have seen them. I was in the Navy and I can tell you there are real. Have you ever heard of the ‘Black Knight?’

Ok normally I don’t get in a tizzy about things like this, but there was something about him when he said it that made me give him a chance. He said he worked for Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC) at one time. NOSC became SPAWAR, the United States Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

I know crazy. However I lived in San Diego where SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific or SSC Pacific is located. I have friends who were in the Navy and they told me when I first heard about SPAWAR, that it designs and develops communications and information systems. Ok seems simple enough.  But what does this have to do with this supposed artificial satellite orbiting our planet.

It seems that SPAWAR and other agencies, presumably NORAD and NASA have worked on technology to interpret the radio signals coming from this satellite.  Now I am curious, he is claiming that SPAWAR had worked on developing communication software to decipher the signals coming from this object.

He never got around to telling me exactly how he knew this, other than the fact he was wearing a hat with USS HALSEY on it. Yes I know it means nothing.  I took some quick notes, thanked him and we left. Was he telling me the truth or spinning me a tall tale?

I have been looking at the ‘Black Knight’ since then. Apparently there are photographs on the internet that purport to be from NASA that show…something in orbit that doesn’t look like any satellites that we or the Russian put into orbit since the late 50’s.

So the story is that this satellite is from the Epsilon Bootis star system and that the ‘Black Knight’ apparently came here some 13,000 years ago.  According to the myth, Tesla himself first heard the signals from the ‘Black Knight’. It’s true that Tesla made claims he heard repetitive signals of what he believed were extraterrestrial radio communications, but these signals are thought to have been the natural radiation of Earth.

Apparently there are news articles from 1954 that mention this ‘artificial’ satellite and even a story about Pentagon officials being angry that this had come to light. The ‘Black Knight’ has been following our satellites and spacecraft since 1957, most often in polar orbits.

In 1963, Gordon Cooper allegedly reports seeing a glowing green object in front of his capsule in the distance moving towards his spacecraft. When Cooper returned to Earth, reporters were not allowed to ask Cooper about the unidentified object. The official explanation given to Coopers sighting were “high levels of carbon dioxide, which caused hallucinations.”

Is this true? I don’t know. There are many sites out there with this story so it appears to be part of the mythology of the ‘Black Knight’.

After reading through these stories I keep coming back to a few questions.

Why would a civilization in the Epsilon Bootis system, roughly 203 light years from Earth, send this here, 13,000 years ago?

What could possibly have prompted them to send a probe to orbit our planet?

Epsilon Bootis is 203 light years from earth, so whatever did prompt them was seen 203 years after it happened.

Did NASA during one of the shuttle mission, (you know when we were awesome because we didn’t have to pay for a ride with the Russians) have inspected this? I agree they may have, we just don’t know.

But check out these links and decide for yourself. Is this something extraterrestrial or one of human origin, perhaps a military black satellite that we aren’t supposed to know about?

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=STS088&roll=724&frame=65

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=STS088&roll=724&frame=66

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=STS088&roll=724&frame=68

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=STS088&roll=724&frame=69

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=STS088&roll=724&frame=70

One thing, notice that frame 67 is missing.

Wow. Sorry it has taken me a bit to get another post up. Initially I had planned to make a rant about Interstellar, the science fiction movie with Matthew McConaughey as the lead, a NASA pilot who had not flown in 10 years or so and had become a farmer because of a disastrous global climate event.  I had seen the movie last Saturday along with Lisa and a very talented and good friend of mine, Uriah Young (He is a great writer and entrepreneur).

We arrive early but it really didn’t matter much it wasn’t atop the list of movies the younger crowded wanted to watch. Probably about 30 people total sat there and watched the movie.

Ok I promised myself I wouldn’t rant about this movie. I thought was a little longer than it needed to be, and dragged on with contrived and painful dialogue at times. There were a great deal of things I found questionable and even though a bona fide scientist was an advisor and admittedly the black hole was rendered with such awe-inspiring beauty that other portions of the movie science left rapidly killed my enthusiasm.

Alright as I said I won’t rant, however several questionable things about the planets circling the black hole boggled me because they were left in the movie, one being the incredible time-dilation effect on the water planet.   Really?  A one-hour stint on the world resulted in a seven year difference on Earth? WOW!!!

Also how and why did NASA get the money to fund the construction of the space craft to launch? I believe that the agency had been defunded for not using its technology to employ weapons of mass destruction on the world. But suddenly they had secretly been granted funding to pursue their endeavors.

On to what the ESA did on November 12th, 2014.  Way to go gang, nice job maneuvering and landing that probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Awesome job, so if the ESA can do great things, why the hell are we still paying the Russians to get our astronauts into space? Seriously?  Anyone?

I am excited about the prospects of this landing. One it is a great technological achievement. Oh by the way all you ancient astronaut theorists, if you make claims that aliens helped us…so help me!!!

The idea that we can land on a comet opens the possibility we can land on asteroids and ultimately use robots to mine them to generate untold wealth back here on Earth.  But I think I am getting ahead of myself. But it is a great start and I am excited about the future of humanity if we can stop all these ridiculous wars of ideology.

On a private note. Veteran’s day has come and gone. Every year I would call my dad and tell him thank you for serving this country. He and I would talk for a few minutes and then we would hang up. I miss those talks with him, because he always told me he would do it again if it meant my brother and I would live better lives. My dad. My hero.

Alright I have been working on NANOWRIMO…a key word, working on it. I have not been as involved as I should be, but I think I can have my goal reached by the end. Well, I hope to announce publication of my book, one of them, in one of these blog posts,  I have patience, it will happen.

I always enjoy Samhain, it marks the change of the seasons and I find I tend to be more productive in my writing. I also tend to write my characters darker and their situations are often more dire.

That is not the purpose for this rambling. No, I haven’t been excited for Samhain in a while and this night will be a good one.  In my family we have a tradition where we layout some plates with cookies and candies, juice and alcohol and other various articles on the dinner table. Light a few candles and welcome the spirits that are free to walk through the veil to our house where they are encouraged to eat at our table as we remember those family members who have passed away.

Tonight will be a busy night since my father passed away earlier this year, I made sure that his favorite clock and its distinctive ring to denote the hours, is placed so he can hear it.

Do you think that this is an odd ritual for someone who is a staunch believer in science? Absolutely! Nevertheless, while I am a believer in science I also accept the fact that I know there are many things that science cannot definitively explain away.

I have had ghost experiences at various times in my life. The very first one that I can remember was when I was a child in the Philippines; it was at a time around Samhain as well. I remember this because my brother and I were dressed as batman and robin for school. It was early, we had just finished breakfast and were getting ready to go to school. I had come down stairs and was sitting alone in the living room when I had the feeling I was being watched.

Looking up I saw movement on the stairs, looking I expected to see my brother and grandmother coming down; however that was not what met my gaze. It was something else, the best way I can describe it is a gremlin. I actually froze because it looked at me and raised a finger to its lips and seemed to vanish from sight.

I have only told that story to a few very close people, and I have worked hard to put that away, to bury it deep down but when Samhain comes around that comes to mind immediately. I still cannot say if I actually saw something or merely imagined it because it was Halloween. Perhaps, but I know that it has influenced me because it has driven me to explore the paranormal and unexplained.

The second ghostly encounter I had was when we moved back to America several years later, we lived in a house in Northern California. Everyone in the house heard and glimpsed this ghost. It was a routine, the front gate sounded as if opened. There would be a fumbling on the front door then footsteps would ascend the stairs.

It didn’t happen all the, but it did happen enough that everyone in the house would look at the door until the steps went up and we would say out loud “Welcome Home!” I cannot explain that except that one night after hearing that, my girlfriend at the time and I were in the living room watching a movie.

Sitting there we had a clear view of the hall leading to the kitchen where the light was on because we had left the pizza in there.  About half way through the movie we both saw a shadow peek around the corner at us, I mean a full on head and shoulders popped out as if it were saying something. I got the feeling it was telling me to turn the sound down which is what I did.

At first I thought it was my dad, so I got up and went in the kitchen to apologize and found it empty. Shaken I quickly went back in and sat down, my girlfriend stared at me a moment then said, “You saw it too?”

I nodded and we both exchanged our perceptions of what we saw and they matched up identically.

My third experience happened the year my grandma passed away. I had been very close to my mother’s mom, and to say her death was hard is an understatement. That year during Halloween, we did the usual, and afterward my mom placed a candle in the living room with us, it was the last candle my grandma had bought before she passed.

Around nine we both heard a noise in the kitchen, as if someone were moving about. Curious I called out thinking it was my dad, and getting no reply I went in there and saw no one…but one of the candies laid out had been moved. Ok, I know it may have been moved when we placed them and I simply am projecting.

So I went back inside and sat down, as I did my mom pointed at the candle. Turning I looked at it and my mouth dropped as the flame rose up and stayed there for a moment.  My mom began talking in Tagalog, she was talking as if my grandma was in the room. When she asked a question the candle flame would drop down to a normal flame then rise up suddenly again. Sometimes it would do it twice, sometimes once.

I know there are a number of plausible explanations that could be used, and I tried to debunk it as far as I could but I found no logical reason the candle flame would rise and fall in response to questions.

Does this mean ghosts exist?  No because these are just anecdotes with no hard evidence, but for me, these experiences grant solace that there may be something that science hasn’t yet explained regarding ghosts. That maybe the veil between worlds does allow people to cross over on Samhain, maybe there is another world. I don’t know but for me that’s enough.

Angels and Extraterrestrials

I really don’t know what else to say when I am confronted with strict dogma. Now bear in mind I don’t like to argue with people about their belief systems, you know their god or gods. However, when someone states that God only made humans I have to pause, count to 100 or 1,000 then politely ask them to defend that position. That’s what happened over the weekend on a chat board I check every now and again. Someone made the statement that humans are the only life in the universe.

Now that is a mighty bold statement, the entire universe is a ginormous place and we, humans, have barely gotten off our own front lawn.

When I stumble into these arguments they are usually good-natured debates, each side fires off their statements of ‘fact’ and then everyone slowly drifts off to some internet meme.  This time however was a bit different. I got the same old argument that God (he or she) only made humans because it says so in the Bible.  I was told the Adam and Eve genesis story with the Garden of Eden and fall of man. I have heard it before and ok I get that. If you don’t accept that science believes the universe came into being around 13.798 billion years ago, that’s fine, but then don’t harangue me for not believing the universe came into being in a scant 6-days. We simply have two different views of creation.  The silent agreement to politely agree to disagree didn’t come, no this time the individual continue to send me private messages and continue the argument.

We’ve all been there, getting PM’s that are irritating but we simply ignore them or send off polite but terse replies hoping that the receiver gets the hint that there is no longer any interest in the topic.

Nope. The person who I don’t know other than their handle and avatar picture continued to send me messages even as I had jumped to another thread and entered a lively discussion about Star Wars or Star Trek.

It was here that the camel broke its back; they had simply made a statement that life doesn’t exist anywhere else but here on earth because E.T.’s don’t exist in the bible.

I’m sorry what?  That’s exactly what I typed. I was in shock, the bible mentions extra-terrestrials many times, around 300 times in fact. That stopped my harasser but only for a moment, then they began a rant of vile and nasty words ending in the statement…WHERE DOES IT SAY ALIENS IN THE BIBLE?

I prefaced my answer with the statement I am not disparaging their belief system, but the Bible, the book they threw at me, mentions angels around 300 times in one form of the word or another. An angel is a supernatural being or spirit found in various religions and mythologies where they are benevolent celestial beings acting as intermediaries between Heaven and Earth. That means that angels by definition are not human and not of this earth, therefore can be considered extraterrestrials.

Ok that didn’t sit well and another profanity laced reply streamed over to me accusing me of being an ancient alien proponent. WOAH!!! I never said that, that is a different kettle of fish and one that I have issues with anyway. I even mentioned that to the person who promptly placed me on ignore after saying they would pray for my soul.

Ok so what is the point of this post? If someone says God never made aliens, simply smile and walk away slowly. I should have learned that lesson after my encounter with the Flat-Earther, but clearly, I didn’t.

For those who asked, thank you so much. I am doing better actually; it has been a while as the grieving process is different for everyone. I never stopped writing, researching  ideas or searching for my next project.

To be honest this summer I have been busy learning to sail. My father, a Navy man for nearly a quarter of a century, always wanted to sail, not on a warship but a sloop. He wanted to sail, he was a sailor and being on the water was he passion.  He had planned to, had wanted to but when his body begin failing he tucked those dreams away and focused on staying as strong as possible to take care of my mom.

After he passed and I was rummaging around helping my mom clean out the house, I found my dad’s plans and all the preparations he laid out. The longitudes and latitudes, the ports of call and the routes he wanted to take. I spent a few days studying this, looking at the maps, the distances and what he wanted to see.

Well Lisa and I talked about, then we started taking sailing lessons in order to sail at least part of his planned journey.

As of now, we are ASA 103 certified and looking to gain a slew more certifications  as well as more experience as sailors for the trip ahead of us.  I  don’t know when I’ll be sailing on this journey, the hardest part is getting certified and of course gaining the experience on the seas in not only calm but harsher waters, as well as finding a large enough boat to charter or if very lucky to own and outfit.

I spoke to my dad a few times before he passed and he wrote in his shaky scrawl that he wanted me to continue my writing, which I have done so, collaborating with a few people on projects, continuing as a free-lance writer and writing coach. I have outlined another book in my Nexus of Worlds series and begun working on it. The science-fiction story that my dad and I talked about prior to his death sits on my desk, the notes and research laying there in a brilliant green folder waiting for me to crack it open and start again on it.  Every day it calls out to me and soon I will open it, then open the word doc and begin reading what I have so far so I can finish it.

This is my return post to my wholly science-fiction/speculative blog as a writer.

Andrea Milne

Historian │ Writer │ Teacher

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