Behind the Labyrinth of Time: the second blue moon rises

Research is one of the fun things about writing. When I was imagining my young adult novel, The Labyrinth of Time, I became intrigued by the idea of “double blue moons.” In recent times, we generally say the second full moon in a calendar month is a blue moon. A few times each century, you have two blue moons in one year, which is called a double blue moon.

On March 30, we’ll have the second blue moon of 2018, following one on Jan. 31.  The last double blue moon happened in 1999, and the next will be in 2037.

The idea of double blue moons inspired the “prophecy of the Peruvian elders” that’s at the heart of the adventure story in The Labyrinth of Time:

Beware the second blue moon’s rising. Stones will speak to men, and the song of Pachamama and Inti will fill your hearts. Tremble at the dark moon, which heralds the Light’s return. Only those who tread the Path of Knowledge may rise among the First Men and quench the flames of doom.

I took some liberties with the “dark moon” reference. There is a total lunar eclipse during this cycle, but it occurred on Jan. 31, 2018, rather than March 30 when the story occurs. And the next total eclipse visible in Ica, Peru, is Jan. 21, 2019, which is not part of a double blue moon pair…and that was too long for Jade and Felix to wait for the comet’s return.




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Blue moon, super moon, blood moon — see the trifecta Jan. 31!

January 31 brings a lunar trifecta: the super blue blood Moon! This full moon is the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

In St. Louis, the best viewing will be from about 5:50 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. This “trifecta” hasn’t occurred over the U.S. in 150 years!

Beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 31, a live feed of the Moon will be offered on NASA TV and You can also follow at @NASAMoon.

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Meeting with young writers at Wildwood Middle School

Local authors Jennifer Stolzer and Brad R Cook joined me today at Wildwood Middle School to discuss “Writing Real People” with eight classes of seventh-grade students. We had some great questions and lots of participation, which made it fun for us. Hoping to see some of the 200+ students at Gateway Con in June and to read some entries from them in one or both of the young writers contests sponsored by the St. Louis Writers Guild!

Click image to enlarge.

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Strange “blue auroras” sighted

Reprinted from

STRANGE ‘BLUE AURORAS’ SIGHTED: Last night, strange bands and rings of blue light appeared over parts of Scandinavia and Russia. Was it a weird type of aurora? No geomagnetic storm was in progress. The explanation may be a barrage of missiles fired during an overnight Russian war game, spreading a blue-glowing cloud of rocket exhaust around the Arctic Circle. Photos and more information are highlighted on today’s edition of

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See you Nov. 3-4 at St Louis Indie Bookfair!

If you’re at the Grand Center First Friday on Nov. 3, stop by the St. Louis Indie Bookfair at Kranzberg Art Center, 501 N. Grand St., between 5-9 p.m. to visit with me and some amazing local authors, including Jennifer Lynn, George Sirois, H.C. Beckerr, and Braxton DeGarmo. If you can’t make it then, the book fair continues on Saturday from noon-5 p.m.

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Asteroid to buzz Earth this week

Reprinted from SpaceWeather,com:

ASTEROID TO BUZZ EARTH THIS WEEK: Four years ago, a house-sized asteroid tore through the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and exploded.  Shock waves shattered windows and knocked down onlookers as fragments of the disintegrating space rock peppered the Ural countryside. This week an asteroid about the same size is approaching Earth. It will not hit our planet, but it’s coming very close. On Oct. 12, 2017, the speeding space rock, named “2012 TC4,” will skim just above the zone of Earth’s geosynchronous communications satellites and briefly become a target for amateur telescopes. Learn more about the flyby on today’s edition of

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Readers: Thanks for stopping by!

At Penned Con 2017

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, going to three events to sell books and talk about audiobooks. I wanted to say “thanks” to those who stopped at my table to chat, and especially to those who bought a book or short story from me or fellow local authors, a few of whom are shown here. I also had the great pleasure of talking with Mark Coker of Smashwords at Penned Con.

Jennifer Lynn at Penned Con


Brad R Cook at Penned Con

Me with author Candace Carrabus and Smashwords’ Mark Coker at Penned Con

At Crystal Fest with Earth&Wheel potter Sandy Schulz

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Chakra balancing course for writers & other creatives

Following from Mia Silverton:

Where energy flows creation grows!

Next Course Starts October 2017

 Silver Pen Creation supports you to move back into creative flow by teaching you how to work within the 7 Chakra levels of your body, mind and spirit. These are derived from ancient thought, referenced in many different cultures around the world, and said to house the energetic (creative) centers of our bodies.

One of the true shifts in moving forward toward realizing my life’s purpose happened when I learned how to connect with my  “I Am” Presence.  I did this through deepening a spiritual awareness with the energetic flow of the 7 Chakras.

Each of us are absolutely unique in our own way, therefore it is essential for us to learn what only works for us NOT someone else.

By learning how to focus in on these 7 areas, you will experience exactly that. Huge shifts will happen to expand not only your writing life but also your physical, mental and spiritual life in general.

What this 7-month course includes, on top of learning the 7 Chakras:

  • Journaling prompts to help you deepen each Chakra area and move this into your writing lives
  • Meditations for each Chakra
  • Intentional ways you can use to boost your home environment and areas of your life to allow each Chakra to expand.
  • New ways to recognize and trust yourself  — listening to that core intuition we sometimes move too far away from when our logical selves take over.
  • Creating your own personalized Grounding Practice so that when you are ready to write, you are ready to dig down and WRITE
  • A monthly scheduled  50 minute personalized coaching session (Optional times for day or evening provided)
  • Online community to connect with others in the same journey
  • Optional Question and Answer Call (recorded) twice each month (Times will vary)
  • Email support available for any questions in between coaching and group calls


Join The Silver Pen Creation Course Now

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Catalog your personal library using your smartphone!

Following is from Library Thing:

UPDATE: LT staffer Loranne did some speed cataloging to put the app through its paces. Check out the video!

Meet the official LibraryThing Android App!

What does it do? The LibraryThing Android app mirrors our iPhone/iOS app. Among other things, you can:

  • Browse and search your library overall and by collection.
  • Add books, CDs, and DVDs by scanning barcodes. The barcode scanning is SUPER FAST!
  • Add items by searching by title, author, ISBN, etc.
  • Browse and upload covers, using your Android’s camera.
  • Do minor editing, such as adding books to collections and rating them. Major editing is done by a link to

Free accounts. We’re giving away lifetime memberships to anyone who uses the app. Register for a new account using the LibraryThing App, or sign into the app with an existing account, and you’ll be automatically upgraded.

Check out the app at

Come tell us what you think, and join the discussion on Talk. Need help? Check out our App Help Page.

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Come see me Sept. 29-30 at Penned Con!

Ready to meet your favorite authors and stock up on gifts for the holiday season? I’ll be one of more than 150 authors at Penned Con on Sept. 29-30 at the St. Louis Downtown Hotel at 14th and Spruce Streets. For the fourth year, Penned Con brings “authors and readers together for the chance to mingle, have fun and raise money for Autism.”

Don’t miss my presentation with George Sirois on how to “launch your audiobooks into the world” from noon-1 p.m., Saturday. From 11 a.m. to noon, Friday, check out the St. Louis Writers Guild’s presentation.

I’m excited to attend for my first time, sharing table #4 in the Colonnade Ballroom with Candace Carrabus! In the same ballroom, look for:

Don’t miss Lynn Cahoon #6 and Eric Asher #37 in the Breckenridge Ballroom.

Click here to see the complete author lineup!





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