What’s in a last name?

I worked for community newspapers for over seven years, so there’s a decent chance I may have misspelled people’s names at various points along the way. If I ever misspelled yours, I’m sorry.

But if it makes you feel any better, I’ve endured my fair share of misspellings and mispronunciations for as long as I can remember.

My last name Sherrier has been written as Shearer, Scherrier, Sherer, and other variations. On rare occasion, people have attempted to give my first name a sex change.

Pronunciations tend to be just as creative. Sherrier rhymes with merrier and terrier, but folks have opted for Sheeerer, Sherr-ee-ae, Sherrararar, and so on.

I’m not complaining. It’s understandable. There aren’t many Sherriers in my area. I don’t hold it against anyone. It happens.

Back in school, whenever the teacher would read through the roll on the first day, I never knew which name I’d get. But I’d politely correct these teachers, and as you’d expect, they’d take me at my word.

Except one. Continue reading

Amena’s Imagination, #8

(To start at the beginning, please click here.)

What if there’s a species currently living on Earth that originated on some other planet?

I’m thinking, of course, of the duckbill platypus.

If any animal’s an alien, that’s the one. I’m onto you, Mr. Platypus.

Come on now. A mammal that lays eggs? I call alien!

But why would they have come here? Did they escape a doomed planet? Were they exploring the universe before they got stranded here? Or are they simply enjoying a long-term, multi-generational vacation—as in, “multi” multiplied by millennia?

If the aliens are platypuses, then that means we’ve already seen them. I’d hate to go all that way and only find something familiar. Well, I’ve never actually seen a platypus in person, and I suppose it would be cooler to meet a platypus on the other side of the galaxy rather than the other side of the world.

I’d be okay with it under one condition. The alien platypuses must talk. Any voyage that results in a conversation with a platypus is a worthwhile voyage indeed.

But I have this feeling there aren’t going to be any talking platypuses in outer space…

To be continued


Time for a spontaneous giveaway contest! Your creativity will earn you a chance to win a copy of EIS1Earths in Space vol. 1: Where Are the Little Green Men?

All you have to do is invent the name of an alien planet and leave it in the comments, and I’ll draw a winner at random at noon EST tomorrow (June 25).

Let’s compile a long list of wacky planet names. None of these will appear in Earths in Space, since all the other planets happen to be named Earth, but it’ll be a fun creative exercise, won’t it? And one of you will come away with a free e-book of Earths in Space as an ePub, Mobi, or PDF — your choice!

Quickly now! To the comments!

Don’t forget…

Promo reminder: For the rest of this month, if you purchase Earths in Space and send me the confirmation number, I will give you a copy of the first RIP novelette AND a PDF of the original RIP, a TV pilot script. Or, if you just purchase RIP, I’ll give you the script.

I’ll be re-releasing that RIP novelette as part of a four-novelette volume in the late summer/early fall timeframe. I’ll put that first novelette in the Kindle Select program in July for additional opportunities to snatch it for free.

But why wait? Earths in Space wants you to read it today. It told me so.

Amena’s Imagination, #7

(To start at the beginning, click here.)

What if all those worlds are just a copy of this one? I mean, exact copies. We’d go over there right as the other “us” is coming here.

Oh, God, that would be pointless. Shoot me now. I’d hate to travel across the universe and meet myself.

It would be really boring for the time blobs, too. If I were a time blob in a repetitious universe, I’d go insane.

Now, a world of evil twins, however…

Nah, let’s not. I’d look terrible with a goatee.

To be continued

Get to Know…Pamela Foreman

 pam_author_photo_med copyAuthor Pamela Foreman joins us for this week’s “Get to Know…” and her visit coincides with her Not Again, My Love blog tour. Be sure to read to the end for info on a giveaway she’s running. Welcome, Pamela!

Tell us about your book.

My book, “Not Again, My Love,”  is about David and Annette who have recently married and combined their two families. Unfortunately, their children are college-age and teenagers and with those age groups, the typical relationship issues arise as well as rebellion and hatred. But the family also has an unforeseen problem – one of the children succumbs to cancer, ripping the family to shreds. It’s a rather emotional book in my opinion, and if you’ve read the first book and have become attached to the characters, this will rip your heart out. Continue reading

You’ll take it for granted that a man can fly


I saw Man of Steel this weekend. There’s a great piece of writing advice that you should start the story as late as possible. So where does this movie begin? Superman’s birth.MOS

Superman doesn’t need his origin retold. At the most, it could’ve been recapped in an opening credits sequence, and then we get on with an established, experienced Superman who’s already great at what he does…and then he faces his greatest challenge yet.

Also, if you’ve seen it, compare Superman’s first public appearance here with his first public appearance in the original Christopher Reeve movie, and you’ll get a sense of how they missed the mark this time around.

“You’ll believe a man can fly” seems to have been replaced with “You’ll take it for granted that a man can fly.” I kept wondering where the fun was.

The film lacks any sense of fun, whimsy, charm, or grandeur, which are four essential ingredients when making a Superman anything

SPOILERS are next. You’re warned. Continue reading

What’s your excuse?

I earned my black belt in Thai kickboxing last night.img073

I began my training in late 2008 without any fat, muscle, or awareness of my exercise-induced asthma.

My inability to breathe properly sort of snuck past me for more than a quarter-century. At first, I assumed I was in terrible shape, and that was likely part of the equation, but then my endurance became more erratic. Some days, I’d get through the class with energy to spare. Other days, especially really hot or cold days, I’d feel out of breath in five minutes.

I saw my doctor, and he told me I have asthma. Continue reading

Promo: “When I Was a Lad and Later” by Raymond Scheicher

Raymond book picThe following is contributed content from Raymond J. Scheicher, author of When I Was a Lad and Later, a non-fiction e-book. He’s running a promo through tomorrow in which he’s offering a related DVD. This is not an especially grammatical book, as you’ll see from the copy below, which I have not edited. However, the subject matter might interest some folks, so here it is…


This book is an introduction of a family known by the name of D’Angri, fourth generation of Natale Spiridion Giorgio, miner, arriving to Australia in 1852 at Ballarat Victoria Australia.

Mr. Norman David with his late brother William Noel D’Angri had turning back the clock in their youth.

Systematically both were walking around Ballarat to remember how it was in their younger years. Continue reading

Amena’s Imagination, #6

(To start at the beginning, please click here.)

I’ve thought of something less far-fetched than a world of talking letters warring with talking numbers. A planet of living time!

Stay with me on this. Each moment there ever was or ever will be is concentrated within a distinct, single being. Everything going on throughout the entire universe in that moment exists within that person—or plant or blob of energy or what have you.

Probably a blob of energy, and when you look in, you see that entire universal instant, and you’d get a killer of a headache.

There’d have to be a lot of time people—time blobs, whatever. They’d fill an entire interstellar empire.

Maybe all the planets on our list are populated by time blobs.

Maybe we’re all time people and don’t even realize it. Come to think of it, you couldn’t be a time person and be aware of it. Knowing absolutely everything going on everywhere—that’d drive you mad!

So maybe we are time people.

But that would be interesting, to be a time blob knowing absolutely everything in that moment. You could spend forever exploring a single moment throughout the universe.

The downside, however, would be not knowing what happened before or after. That’d take quite a bit out of context.

Time blobs wouldn’t be as smart as they might think they are, would they?

And what kind personality might a time blob even have? The sum of everything going on during its moment? What relationships would time blobs form with each other?

So many puns I can make. So many worlds to speculate about…

To be continued…