August 27, 2013

Learning Inception-Style

Now that school’s about to start (or has just started), I know many a student who will bemoan the fact that there’s going be waaaaaay too much material to learn; meaning lots and lots and lots of repetitive exercises until the lessons are well anchored in their neurons.

But according to some joint US and Japanese studies, it appears that some time in the future, students will be able to just download that knowledge into their brain:

“It can ‘incept’ a person to acquire new learning, skills or memory, or possibly to restore skills or knowledge that has been damaged through accident, disease or aging, without a person’s awareness of what is learned or memorized.”

However, don’t think you can just sleep on your schoolbooks and have the information seep into your mind just yet.  So far, the study’s only involved visual perceptual learning via the early visual cortex, but scientists believe that this type of learning might be applied to other areas of the brain as well.

As always, there’s a word of caution that accompanies such research:  be careful of how people end up using these methods—perhaps they’ll try to implant new memories inside you or brainwash you more easily so some Evil Mastermind will be able to ply you to do its bidding more readily!


August 20, 2013


Cernunnos, the Horned God (by hungerartist)

"The Horned Lord once said that sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it."

~Dalla (A Storm of Swords)

In the context of the story, she meant that even if you have a powerful and magical object at your disposition, using it might turn out to be to your disadvantage as well.

This reminds me of the Iroquois Law that states "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."

AKA think before you act, and think real hard and beyond just the immediate future.

PS: Oviously, the Horned God and the Horned Lord are not the same, but the former is much more impressive, don't you think?

August 19, 2013

Blood Of The Fey - Morgana Trilogy Book I

In early celebration of Labor Day weekend (since I will be spending the weekend working on my book instead), Blood of the Fey is now $3.99 on Amazon Kindle until the end of the year!

The Kirkus Review for my book's out:

The first of an intended trilogy inspired by Arthurian legend, this ambitious, imaginative debut novel intertwines fallen angels, dark magic, modern-day threats and teenage angst.
After the suspicious death of a classmate, teenage loner Morgan Pendragon is sent away in disgrace from the Swiss Catholic boarding school where she has spent most of her life. She’s sent to the home in Wisconsin she has never seen, to parents—a mother and stepfather—who never visited. The only friendly face belongs to the family’s elegant, mute lawyer, who’s drawn with enigmatic finesse. The unhappy teen learns that she’s to attend school with Arthur, the half brother she recently met for the first time. The school, it turns out, is located in a secret land directly beneath Lake Winnebago. It houses a training ground for modern-day Knights of the Round Table, aka KORT, young warriors-to-be who battle against Earth-dwelling fallen angels—the Fey—who have long been at war with humankind. The KORT students learn weaponry, combat and the ability to call upon elemental magic, while a Catholic priest oversees their spiritual needs. (Religious faith is an intriguing if sketchy element here; how it develops over the next two novels in the trilogy remains to be seen.) Bullied by students suspicious of her ignorance of the world they’ve known since birth, Morgan begins to question their zealous desire for all-out destruction of the Fey, even as she puzzles out the possibility that the world might be weakening against the worst of the magical evils. While Morgan struggles to find a place in her new world and wonders about the mystery of the father she never knew, she begins to realize that not everyone is what they seem—herself included. Ellefson keeps readers guessing and juggles imaginative twists, placing her heroine under an increasing threat that escalates to a suspenseful ending guaranteed to leave readers hungry for the next installment.
A creative, well-crafted narrative filled with colorful characters, a conflicted heroine and a multifaceted plot.

August 16, 2013

The Creative Process

I find this particular chart to be true, even though my deadlines are self-imposed now...  Does anyone else agree?

August 6, 2013

An Ideal Roman Woman

Cornelia, stepdaughter of Augustus (Ceasar's nephew) and wife of Paullus, defends herself before Hades, king of the underworld...

"I was born to this,and when the wreath of marriage
Caught up my hair, and I was a woman grown,
It was your bed, my Paullus, that I came to ad now have left.
The carving on the stone says she wed but once.
O fathers long respected victors in Africa, be my defense
I asked no favours when Paullus was made censor:
No evil found its way within our walls.
I do not think I have disgraced my fathers:
I set a decent pattern in these halls.
Days had a quiet rhythm: no scandal touched us from the wedding torch to the torch beside my bier.
A certain integrity is proof of breeding: the love of virtue should not be born of fear.
Whatever the judge, whatever the lot fate gives me,
No woman needs to blush who sits at my side...
For my children I wore the mother's robe of honor;
It was no empty house I left behind.
Lepidus, Paullus, still you bring me comfort;
You closed my eyes when death had made me blind.
Twice in the curule chair I have seen my brother;
They cheered him as a consul the day before I died.
And you, my daughter, think of your censor-father,
Choose one husband and live content at his side.
Our clan will rest on the children that you give it.
Secure in their promise I board the boat and rejoice.
Mine is the final triumph of any woman,
That her spirit earns the praise of a living voice."
(Properitius, transl. by Constance Carrier, The Poems of Properitus)

So basically, she had to be honorable, truthful to her husband, and give him many heirs...  I'm so glad I live in our current times!