Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Behind The Scenes

Top Posts & Pages for #Readers, #Writers, & #Publishers

I usually promote a post from other blogs on Sundays; but, today, I’ll promote the most visited posts and pages on this blog since its beginning in January of 2011

There have been over 105,000 visits

35,035 visits were to the main page—showing whatever posts happened to be current.

5,228 visits were to the About Page, which is usually a well-viewed feature on most any blog.

2,126 were to Writing Challenge ~ Use The 1200 Most Common Words To Write A Story…

1,837 were to * The Book ~ Notes from An Alien

1,216 were to Why Do Certain People Become Writers?

975 went to Free Software for Writers . . .

718 went to What’s The “Best” Way To Learn “Proper” Grammar?

635 went to Are Fiction Writers Capable of Freelancing?

601 went to * Behind The Scenes . . .

600 went to Diagramming Sentences ~ A Lost Art?

585 ended up at The Danger of A Single Story

483 visits went to * Our Author Interviews

453 were to What’s The Relationship Between A Writer & Their Characters?

438 were visits to Writing ~ Is It A Craft or An Art?

And, finally, 406 lucky people ended up at What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

These were the most visited of 1,787 posts and 9 pages…

So, why did I say the 406 folks who went to What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies? were lucky?

Because, I consider that post the most important thing I’ve written in the last six years of blogging.

If you’re new here, you can also access the Top Tags widget (further down on the left side-bar) for a handy way to find groups of posts with similar ideas
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Further Up The Path Toward My Next Book . . .

So many steps to take… 


Image Courtesy of josh cantrell ~

Some are plodding, some are like skipping, some very passionate dancing

Back on February 19th, I talked about needing to integrate Behind The Scenes with Notes from An Alien—taking notes in my Scrivener project

Then, I tackled a notes file from the time I thought Notes from An Alien would be followed by a collection of short stories rather than a novel.

So, those notes plus the ones from Behind The Scenes plus the few, very general notes directly about the next book added up to nearly 24,000 words

I’ve pruned those down to around 9,600 words.

Now, I need to ponder, deeply, those choice notes

Then, I can finally re-read Notes from An Alien—taking notes from each chapter.

The next book (the tile of which will be Finally, The Story Can Be Told) will have just as many chapters as the first; though, each will be longer

I have firm ideas about my main character and her love interest

Re-reading the last book will let me weave the plot of the new book into the events of the last one—same universe, same time span, very different story


Back to work :-)

On The Path Toward . . .

In my last post, I said my next step on the path toward my next book was to read my last book.

On The Path Toward A Book

Image Courtesy of Matthew Pickard ~

Well, true; but…

There’re parts of my last book that live on this blog—little moonlets of the book

Since the next book is in the same universe and time-span, I must take account of those extra scenes I wrote that weren’t in the last-book-proper.

This is a bit of a challenge (but, what writer worth their salt doesn’t like a challenge) and I’m marveling, again, at how much space a novel can have; even if much of that space isn’t in the book

I wrote a post last November that may be of interest—What Are Your Writing Habits?

Also, while I’m off doing this thing called writing (i.e., not posting as much here), do feel free to use the search box in the upper right or the Top Tags widget down a ways in the left side-bar to find other posts of interest………

The Daughter of My Co-Author Has Her Say . . .

This is the next to last of the series of posts called Behind The Scenes of Notes from An Alien.

The short novel, Notes from An Alien, has its last chapter written by the daughter of the co-author of the book—that co-author being Sena Quaren, who is also a character in the novel ( yes, writers can bend the normal restraints of truth :-) 

This next to last part of Behind The Scenes is also by my co-author’s daughter.

And, the tale following this post has my co-author’s daughter visiting Earth :-)


My name is Ararura Quaren.

Alexander Zoltai and I have been in Plasma Communication for many months, consulting on supplementary additions to the book, Notes from An Alien, which he wrote with the aid of my mother, Sena.

My mother is still pursuing reclusive activities—recharging her psychological reserves for an eventual re-emergence into the social life of our Worlds.

The tales Alexander and I wrote—Behind The Scenes—are a bit of spice and tang for the book penned by him and my mother—a novel for readers on Earth, a family history for we of Angi

My mother gave me the honor of writing the last chapter of Notes from An Alien and Alexander has permitted my voice to be heard again in these companion pieces.

I spoke directly to you of Earth before and I am again—going further in my cautionary prescriptions for a way out of Earth’s trials and turbulence.

There will be more suffering on Earth, due to the crumbling of outmoded ideas and social structures; yet, while the old decays and thrashes, the new is rising up—a way of living that is more spiritual and also more rational.

The major corporations of Earth are attempting a bold and irrational plan to take complete command of the tottering governments.

Most of the religious institutions are wallowing in swamps of fantasy.

To be absolutely clear—corporations of integrity still exist and there are people of Faith who live lives of true service.

Just as Angi was revolutionized by the Appearance of the Prophets Sesuna and Akla, Earth has its future being leavened by the Teachings of a pair of Prophets Who appeared in your nineteenth century.

I leave it to your sincerity of investigation of Truth to learn of these Prophets

There are those, on Angi and Earth, who never become members of a religion yet are honest enough to accept Teachings from Prophets that are sound and practical.

The governmental structure which allowed Angi to attain a political Worlds’ peace was from the Teachings of Akla; yet, most of the members of the Worlds’ Council never aligned in membership with the Aklan Faith.

The future glory of a complete and permanently secure Worlds’ peace—one which embraces all and is maintained by all—is now being built.

Built one heart and mind at a time—spread by those of good will to those still shattered by our past

Now, I would like to share some advice, gained through my experience here, to those of you on Earth who doubt your World could ever have lasting peace.

Let me first make clear that Unity is not Conformity—one can be unified with others while not conforming to particulars of belief.

The key to this unity is sharing a higher purpose.

Also, it needs to be made clear that unity precedes peace.

Those who feel that some miraculous appearance of peace will lead to unity are sadly lacking in clear perception.

How can two people—let alone a whole World—be at peace unless they share a basic, unifying purpose?

So, the hard work is finding a unifying purpose; and, I can do no better in helping you find one than referring you to the Teachings of the Prophets—not the beliefs of the followers of those Prophets, who too often warp the pure Advice to fit their preconceived notions of truth.

For those living their lives in the half-light of their conscious ego-mind, the wider Truths will always be over the rainbow

And, it is possible to reach the shore of this Ocean of Truth, where you may linger for the rest of your life and only wet your feet, without exerting the strain of studying the Prophets.

This shore-bound search will at least help cleanse enough of yourself to walk a truer Path toward Unity.

There is a simple way to prove this:

Talk to an author you respect who has written what you on Earth call “literary fiction”.

Ask them if their creations came from their ego-mind.

Ask a few of them since there are those who lie about their talents

You will find that these creators have relied on a wider consciousness—some call it the Muse—and they will tell you they have trouble believing they actually wrote their books.

What is this wider consciousness?

How can it be tapped?

Again, speak to your writers of integrity

So, if you follow my advice, you will find people on Earth who function at a higher level than the mundane—who rely on more than their every-day minds.

They are tapping into wider Truths and large groups of people can find resonance with their stories—a form of literary unity.

Naturally, this process of gaining awareness of larger circles of unity can be continued into other fields of Earthly endeavor—even into the realm of the honest scientists, who have the ability of sensing a unity with the most honest people of Faith

Refer to the lives of my ancestors—a number of whom married and remained devoted to a spouse with different beliefs—found a unity of thought and feeling beyond their personal rules for living—forged a partnership that permitted both to expand their perceptual and heart-felt horizons.

This is the path we of Angi are on—forging relationships based on wider unities.

The peoples of Earth will first have to suffer enough, daily interactions will have to unravel enough, for the Leaders to agree on a political World’s peace.

Even during a time of mundane suffering, as the peoples of Angi can attest, it is possible to maintain a vision of peace that soothes the heart and empowers the mind.

I pray the Day of Truth will soon become a Reality for you, so the Leaders and the People can work together to establish a permanent and glorious Peace on Earth
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
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A Response to An Attempted Corporate Crime . . .

This edition of Behind The Scenes of my short novel, Notes from An Alien, enters territory not visited in the book

You have two options:

* Grab a free copy of Notes from An Alien and read it before you read the rest of this post, to give you the background to fully appreciate it.

* Go ahead and read the rest of the post then grab a free copy of the book to expand your understanding of the circumstances revealed.


The home was quiet. Four walls listening

Gruyfen sat at her table, mind still, heart open

Recent events were challenging—some saying a tragedy in the making—accepted as tests to be met with love—and, justice.

Her village was astir. Much needed doing. She concluded her prayers.

“May I offer up my life for Your loved ones, if it be Your Will.

“May our World find peace, through Your Grace.

“May Your Strength support me

A knock at the door.

She stood and raised her voice—“Come in, Valin!”

The young man entered and said, “Someday I’ll figure out how you know it’s me.”

“Events are reaching a climax and you have misplaced your mind, Valin. Do you not think your knock has it’s own style?”

“Oh, wow! Sure. So simple

“What news do you bring?”

“Mesra has the animals ready. Murun is prepared for injuries. Casr and Belum are standing by.”

“Valin, go to the mountain. Lead the villagers. Take this cloth as my Token. Wait on the Lake Isle for word to return.”

“You’re so calm

“There is nothing else to be, Valin—Go.”

The village of Makprun was ancient. Gruyfen had been the Leader since she was twenty years old—now, eighty-seven.

The continent of Magruma had seen the forces of the Corporation devastating villages—forcefully taking the young men for the construction of a ship to fly to another World.

Gruyfen had prepared them as best she could, thankful, especially, that Mesra was knowledgeable of the potential of the ever-present Wezut—small, intelligent animals, capable hunters, friends to the people.

She lifted the bag of cyphers from the table and walked to the door.

There was a knock.

“Yes, Selon.”

A young woman opened the door and Gruyfen handed her the bag.

“Gruyfen, I beg you to come with us

“My place is here and your place is on the Lake Isle with the others, using your ability with the cyphers to help them consult and your knowledge of plants to feed and heal them.”

“How long do think it will take?”

“I feel it may take a full cycle of Angi; though, if it be the Will of The Prophet, you will return before nightfall.”

“Why are they doing this?”

“These people are empty bowls of sadness. They have raped other villages. They are not aware of our protections and will attempt many attacks. We will repel their intentions as many times as necessary—a full cycle, perhaps


Bezurn checked his weapon, then ordered the men into the vehicle.

They lifted off and reached altitude swiftly.

Bezurn stood and said:

“We’re on our way to glory. Makprun is the largest village in Magruma. We have word from other tribal leaders that the people of Makprun have special abilities, that we should be careful.”

The men gave back hearty shouts and laughs.

“Even though this will be an easy mission, three of our representatives have returned from the village in a broken condition. The scientists say it was the mountain climate and local plants that cause disorientation by releasing spores. No worries, men. You have the masks and any resistance by the villagers is to be met with immediate Plasma blasts—full power.”


Selon had caught up with the villagers and immediately questioned Valin:

“Do you think it will work?”

“Oh, yes, it will work. Gruyfen has a power they can’t comprehend.”

“But, the others who came only talked. Word is that this time they’ll bring Plasma guns

“Selon, where is your faith? Gruyfen is not just our leader, she’s our Protector.”

“Yes She is but Plasma guns?”

“Ever wondered how Gruyfen communicates with the other tribal leaders?”

“I have wondered

“I heard one of the Corporate visitors say she could manipulate the Plasma

“Really?! That would explain a few things

“She is so spiritual the forces of the universe obey her wishes.”

“She’s calm in the storm

“She’s the rock we stand on!”


Gruyfen stood with Mesra on the lower edge of the escarpment leading to the village as the Corporate vehicle circled for a landing.

“Mesra—as planned. I will do what I can but the animals may be necessary.”

“Yes, Gruyfen


The villagers had reached the Lake Isle, cradled in a valley of the mountain.

Valin was organizing a gathering party:

“Selt, take Uron and Hezil up the slope to those trees and search for Masp, Jenyn, and Tellm—three bags of each—bring them to Selon for preparation.”

The plants would feed them and provide elixirs for illness or injury.

After Selon instructed her aides in the preparation of the plants, she sought out the elders and sat with them in a tight circle—ten men and sixteen women. She opened her bag of cyphers.

Each person drew out three of the small, flat stones. Each was prompted to lay down one of the cyphers so all could see the engraved symbols.

Selon instructed them:

“Arrange them in the way you feel they speak most clearly.”

The collective ritual continued till the bag was empty.

Selon cleared her voice and began her interpretation:

“You have cast the Reading. May the Prophet guide me.

“There is much concern for our future. Others bear down on us but there is faith in our protection. Your cyphers show guidance is needed to shape new plans–this will come from our consultation

A round of spirited conversation ensued.

When the conversation ebbed, Selon continued:

“We are strong in faith but need more practical options. The Others are strong in things—we have our Truth.”

Another round of conversation.

“It is decided that each elder will share all their best wisdom with one of the mature adults—open the channels early—prepare for multiple possibilities.”


Bezurn walked down the ramp of the vehicle, followed by his twenty men.

They approached Gruyfen and Mesra.

Bezurn shouted:

“Bring out your young men and no harm will come to you!”

Gruyfen concentrated her thought.

Bezurn stumbled and fell. Two of his men began to help him up but also stumbled.

Gruyfen spoke:

“Stay where you are and you will not suffer. We do not recognize your authority. Leave us alone or you will incur the Prophet’s Authority.”

Bezurn had managed to stand, tried to speak, but couldn’t

He began to give command signals with his hands.

Gruyfen nodded to Mesra.

Mesra whistled.

Three packs of Wezut appeared from behind rock outcroppings and advanced on the corporate troops, stopping near them, emitting a shrill keening.

Bezurn signaled the men to shoot the animals.

The Wezut began to bark, rapid series of barks more shrill than their wailing.

The men stood still, not raising their weapons, as the Wezut began to circle them

Gruyfen was concentrating so fiercely her face was sweating.

Bezurn gestured commands at his troops, to no avail, then ran at Gruyfen.

He got within ten paces and fell flat on his face.

The Wezut were herding the troops back up the ramp of their vehicle.

Gruyfen approached Bezurn as she said:

“You try to harm us, to steal our young men, yet we are aligned with a Will beyond your understanding.

“Go from us, report to your masters that you have been subdued by a woman and a troop of small animals.

“If you send other troops, we will meet them with other ploys—tactics not conceived by mortals

“Hear the screams of the oppressed!”

Bezurn clasped his hands over his ears and stumbled his way to the vehicle.

Gruyfen turned to Mesra and said:

“They will return


The people returned to the village and Selon told Gruyfen of her cypher session.

Gruyfen instructed the elders to proceed with their plan and spent the next three days meeting with each elder privately.

Valin was also summoned to Gruyfen’s presence.

“Valin, you will take on an unprecedented position in the tribe.

“It is time for a revolution of our spirits.

“You will lead the children in cypher sessions to shape activities for mental concentration.

“I will train you in the ways of Plasma communication.

“You will, eventually, lead our tribe.

Valin slowly crumpled to the floor, a radiant smile on his face
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
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