Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: global

Can You Trust An Alien; You Know, The Kind From Outer Space?


Alert: Stay turned to this channel for a special broadcast, Monday, 28 Feb.
Irina Avtsin will tell us all about the power of the word, “No!”.
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If you’re new to this blog, you may think its title, Notes from An Alien, refers to either me, Alexander M Zoltai, or writers in general being aliens…

Let’s see: The roots of the word “alien” come from “strange” or “foreign”…

O.K., I’m strange and most folks find writers, as a group, strange. We writers also have strange and often foreign places as the spaces we create within–our minds, our settings, our being alone so much…

But, when I asked if you could trust an alien, I meant one from a strange and very foreign planet.

Being the writer I am and writing the book I’ll publish in May made me have to trust such an alien. I’m her co-author. I’ll let her explain:

My name is Sena Quaren and this book is a story of my People—a story told in notes; and, even though some readers may think it is a novel or a history, its form is difficult to classify in what are called genres.

This is a tale that spans a large tract of time: from the horrific 500-year war to the immaculate peace—a peace we feel will never falter since we so often stumbled, fell, and rose again on the road we had to create to find that peace.

What I say next may or may not be believed but, either way, this story is true—true as fact or true in the way fiction can rise to heights unattainable by mere facts.

I am a woman from a star system about twelve light-years from Earth. If you choose to believe me, my story might be considered a history lesson—how to achieve unity and peace—a lesson that Earth desperately needs. If you choose to not believe I’m real, my tale might be considered a science fiction story about how to achieve unity and peace—a lesson that Earth desperately needs…

I’ll proceed on the premise that I am real…. My star system’s plasma distribution caused a natural and powerful enhancement of mental/emotional connection between two of our Worlds—Anga-Param, the corporate World, and Anla-Purum, the religious World. Luckily, this only happened during a short period every five years when the two planets were closest to each other.

It should be noted that this mental/emotional planetary connection was used extensively as a weapon in our 500-year InterWorld War. There are even some who claim plasma is the primary conduit for spiritual experiences.

Before we learned to use this power productively many people were doomed to a miserable life in mental institutions. A small percentage of us not only escaped the confusion of the interpenetration of other minds and hearts but could train ourselves to use the plasma even when the planets were not close. An even smaller percentage could reach out beyond our planets and explore alien minds. This is how I found Alexander, the co-author of this book.

Alexander is my transducer—my way of communicating with Earth’s people. We have an intimate mental/spiritual bond—not “conversation” but something much deeper and higher—a conceptual bonding. A simplistic example would be to say that we share things like the idea of dog and cat but not the knowledge of beagles and tabbies. A more accurate example would be that we easily share an idea like four-footed, domesticated animal but not ideas like dog or cat or lizard. Those differences take much more conceptual exploration and sharing.

The sharing we do is rich and meaningful and Meaning is what is most important. Even though trees and flowers and bodies in the Angi system are significantly different than on Earth and even though the way Angians think and feel and act has its peculiarities, there are sufficient similarities that make all the Angian jargon unnecessary. The only times I worked hard to give Alexander specific words to use was when reference was made to names of people and places.

I’ve come to completely trust Alexander to take the meanings I give him and share them with you in meaningful ways. I’ve had significant culture-shock learning about your World and you would feel the same thing if you truly experienced our Worlds. Yet, understanding is the goal—unity of thought and feeling. Even though the specific history of our Worlds is different than yours, I’m sure you’ll find valuable information in this story—information that can help Earth.

Alexander and I have worked together to interact with hundreds of humans before we ever sat down to write this book—worked to help me understand humanity so I could make my story of real help in the efforts to stem the tide of the multiple, global crises Earth is suffering. I’ve communicated, with Alexander’s help, through forums on the Web as well as through the avatar he created for me in the virtual world, Second Life. As this book was being written, we interacted with many reviewers on our publisher’s web site, FastPencil. At the end of this book you’ll find a listing of the people who helped me prepare for and accomplish the incredibly complex task of writing a book.

Does Sena sound like a person you can trust?

Do you think she’s real or just a literary device?

Is it believable, with what most folks think when you mention aliens, that Sena is so reasonable and seems to truly want to help Earth?

Would you like a free copy of the pre-publication edition of the book?

Would you be the kind of person to give a bit of feedback and get your name (or, alias) in the back of the book?

Why do humans, so often, cast aliens as sneaky, manipulative, or downright evil?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
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AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book

A Virtual World, A Writer’s Mind, And Serious Business That’s Always Fun!


I just got back from Book Island in Second Life.

Yep, a virtual world I visit for play and work. I wrote about virtual worlds in a previous post. Here’s a bit of what I said:

“All virtual worlds have virtues that make them valuable whether we’re talking about your mind, a book you read or wrote, or a computer-created world.”

Yes, I called our minds and books “virtual worlds”. Check out that post for more about what I’ve done as a writer in Second Life.

This post is for talking about what I’m doing as a promoter (of my writing) in that virtual world.

Just like a book’s virtuality can become quite real to us, walking around in a computer virtuality can make you wonder why this “real”, consensual, physical reality puts so many demands on we weak humans :-)

My latest book will be coming out in May and I’m doing all the necessary promotional tasks I can squeeze into my day–writing this blog, visiting the blogs on my Blogroll and commenting there, planning a BlogTour for the book launch, making final revisions, preparing for online reviews of the book, using Twitter and Facebook, etc…

Most of those activities are me relating to other people and that’s what I consider Promotion to be–Relationships.

Would you rather be bombarded with TV or online ads for books, movies, or your favorite things, or would you like to have a friend recommend one to you?

Relationships have always been the most effective form of promotion, in spite of the mega-budgets of the marketing firms. Sure, you may have seen a movie that got mega-hyped and liked it but, imho, most of what’s sold through the traditional channels of promotion is either quite useless or actually harmful.

So, I take a break from the sometimes sweet, often harsh, conditions of Real reality and move my relationship-forming brand of promotion into Second Life.

I’m the events manager on Book Island, I help host the weekly Open Mic on Sundays, I take part in the Wednesday Writer’s Chat Support Group, I’m organizing the new Happy Hours at the Writer’s Block Cafe, and I read chapters from my forthcoming book on Thursdays.

Apart from the live reading of book chapters, most of the “work” is hanging out with people and forming relationships. I’m not running around shouting out my agenda. I talk with folks from all over the world. I bond with them. They often wonder what I do in Real Life. I tell them about my book…

What I do in real life takes many hours of every day. I make time for virtual relationship-building, carve it out of my diurnal allocation, find it often more satisfying then this war-torn, global crisis-ridden, greedy and dangerous “real” world…

Like yesterday: I sat with five people from various parts of the United States, one man from Finland, and two others from the UK. Some were writers, some artists, and one was a pole dancer. We all had a great time. We shared information, experiences, laughter, and good will

I think it’s time to wrap this post up. I’ll do it with some questions from that previous post:

Have you ever wondered if your mind is truly registering our physical world with fidelity?

How lost can you get in a good book?

Has a book you’ve read ever made you want to abandon our consensual reality?

Have you ever visited a virtual world?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book

Want Your Name (or, alias) In My Book? How About A 2-Line Bio & Web Link??


“Start with a 500-year InterWorld War. Continue through ecological disaster and the decimation of populations. Follow the institution of a Worlds’ government that helps bring a glimmer of hope. Discover the challenges and failures of unifying three very different Worlds. Explore what it takes to give birth to a lasting peace. This is what reading Notes from An Alien promises. And, this story could help Earth…”

That’s the back-cover blurb for my book. In the last post, I talked a bit about final edits and getting the book ready for a May publication date.

But, ever since six months before I started writing the book, I’ve been seeking feedback. Once it was written in “clean draft” and sent off to my editor, I started offering the pre-publication copy to folks on the book’s web site.

During all this time, I’ve been telling folks they could have their name (or, an alias) in a Special Listing at the back of the book and, if they gave me “significant” feedback, I’d give them a two-line Bio and the web link of their choice.

There are three and a half months left before publishing and, even though the editorial process revealed very few changes (and, none as far as plot or characters were concerned), I’m still eager for feedback.

I’d be happiest if you went to the book’s site and filled out the form to get an email copy of the book. That way, I’ll have your email address and can let you know about future publications and what’s happening on our Forum.

The book site also has a widget so you can read the book online. And, if you want to download it now, here are two different file formats:

Word .doc

.pdf file

If you read it online or download it and want to get a Listing, just send your feedback to amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

I’ve offered this opportunity here because, even though I’ve already held it out to over 300 people, only about ten have taken advantage of it. Curious………

By the way, to get the Bio and web link, “significant” feedback to me is more than “I couldn’t get into it” but less than a full page. Personal recommendation blurbs for the back cover are always welcome :-)
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Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book

Words or Deeds ~ Which One Tells You More About A Person?


Most writers have heard the maxim, “Show Don’t Tell”.  And, even though action in a book can keep most readers turning pages, I find it oh, so ironic that those actions are being conveyed with words :-)

Language is strange! And strange means “foreign”. And, a blog written by someone who’s first language isn’t English prompted me to write this post.

Before I talk about that, I want to explore this Words/Deeds issue.

I’ll leave the strange situation of writing’s challenge of expressing deeds with words for a possible future post. Here, I’ll ask a number of questions:

Which do you feel more comfortable using to convey your heart-felt principles: words or deeds?

Even though many Holy Texts hold deeds above words, do you find certain situations demanding words more than deeds?

Can deeds “say” things better than words?

What do you do when you find a person’s deeds saying something different than their words?

Which can you trust more: deeds or words?

As I write this post, I’m performing a deed. I have to use words to create the result of the deed (this post). The affect of the result of my deed is different for different people. Some folks will respond to the result with other words in the comments. That’s the result of one of their deeds…

Are you starting to feel a bit of the bedeviling wonder I’m experiencing as I explore the interrelationship of words and deeds?

“But, he said he loves me!”

“Right, honey, but look at what he’s doing.”

“I know… But I love him…”

“Just watch yourself, baby.”

So, I started writing this post because someone started following me on Twitter and I checked the link they had in their profile and it led to their blog. It became obvious they weren’t very familiar with expressing themselves in English. I noticed they were from Indonesia but much of what they said let me know that, when it came to their daily deeds, they engaged in things nearly identical to people who grow up speaking English.

I have to say that a person “misusing” English is not reason enough for me to ignore what their trying to say. I have a friend from Lithuania. His art says way more than his words but even his words—crafted more from the structuring of his native language than from English—his words are deeply artistic and actually can say more to me than many who write “good” English…

One day, it’s likely our world will have one language that everyone learns, along with their native tongue, from their earliest years. [It won’t necessarily be English.] Everyone will be fluent in two languages—one that can create challenges of understanding for others and one that will unite our entire human family in the never-boring task of exploring the relative worth of Words and Deeds.
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Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book

Does Anyone Actually Know The True History of Writing?


This post’s title could seem utterly stupid to some folks. Don’t we have reams of evidence that writing’s history is properly recorded in volumes of written work?

I’m a writer and that last sentence was my morning giggle :-) ‘Course, my favorite word is “Word”…

I’ve spent a few decades devoted to the study of various sciences. I’ve learned that humans haven’t quite reached their peak of perfection as a species. From my own deep study, I feel confident that most mainstream science is way off-beam–playing with elegant mathematics that’s used, not to scientifically prove, but to academically justify a very mistaken view of how the universe works. This doesn’t mean I think the scientists are insincere. Even a madman can be sincere in their beliefs…

If I’m right, if even scientists are not getting it right, what about the sincere people who write about the history of writing?

Some of you may already have realized that an attitude like mine–a point of view that’s set against most of the experts of our culture–could lead to a very hopeless view of human learning and progress. It could   lead to that except for my belief that humanity is still growing, will someday reach a level of understanding that’s much more certain. Until then, we’ll find a lot of funny things if we go looking for true knowledge about writing’s history.

One of the more outstanding things you can find if you start Googling “history of writing” is Wikipedia’s entry. Right at the top of the article, these words appear: “This article needs additional citations for verification.” One of the root meanings of the word citation is: “written notice to appear”…

A written article about the history of writing needs additional written notices before is can be verified? Whew!!

Two things stand out if you look into the written record of the history of writing. Our earliest writing ancestors have left us some amazing accounts of massive wars in the sky that brought great suffering on earth. To me, the most amazing thing about such accounts is that, without any way to get together to make sure their stories agreed, writers in widely separated areas of the Earth all wrote essentially the same things. Makes ya wonder, eh?

The other outstanding piece of the puzzle of the history of writing is that another large chunk of it is full of information on how to make the best beer.

O.K. Our earliest fellow writers were drunk and telling fabulous tales.

Now, this is something I can believe :-)

If your whole economic and social structure revolves around raising and eating grain (with a side dish of meat) and you wake up one day and there are titanic thunderbolts in the sky, arching back and forth between the planetary gods of your people, raining hot ash and pukey fumes, why not get good and drunk on fermented liquid grain and write it all down. Hell, maybe some writer in the distant future will find your story and make an academic industry that gets good funding to pretend they know what really happened………
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Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book